This morning I noticed a tweet announcing the release of Libre Office 4.4, so I downloaded a copy to install as soon as I could and installed it to try out on one of my home laptops. I was most impressed by this upgrade and processed to install it on four more Windows 7 & 8 machines in the house. It's worth the effort. A few days after the release, whatever device you run Libre Office on, notifies you of the upgrade and nags you until you install it. If you're busy, that's a time wasting distraction, so it's better to waste a block of free time and get the job done early, if you can.
It's been one of those weeks when business work has been done mostly from home. The afternoon I went into the office to touch base with Ashley and work on a few things together. I got around to upgrading two of the four machines with Libre Office installed, although I'm the only regular user, as the machines are set up for MS Office default use. Changing that would most likely sow too much confusion for comfort and efficiency. I'm glad to have been an early adopter of Open Office, and then Libre Office, not least for their versatility in dealing with different file-types, and ,pdf generation. It's great to think that so many people world-wide contribute their expertise to make a product which continues to adapt and develop in changing times.
On my way to the office I resolved after much agonising to buy a new telephoto lens for my Sony Alpha 55, something more capable than the kit lens which came with the camera originally. I visited Cardiff Camera Centre, where I've purchased all my Sony camera equipment over the past decade, and walked out, not only with the 18-270mm 'all in one' general purpose travel lens I had my eye on, but also a second hand bargain, an old and heavy 75-300mm Minolta lens with Sony Alpha mount compatibility. It's known as the 'beer can' lens because of its length and shape, and needs mounting on a tripod, but even with the few trial hand-held shots I took outside the shop, I was impressed. Very quickly I got the feeling this would be fun to experiment with.
Later, back at home, out in the back garden, I got a hand-held shot of the half-moon with better detail than most attempts I've made in recent years with other cameras. I'm confident the new lens will do everything I need it to. There's extra pleasure in having a classic old lens to play with as well, at little extra cost. Moreover, the purchase has prompted me to retrieve the camera handbook from my digital archive to investigate the ins and outs of using the camera's 'manual' settings. Normally, I am so lazy that I rely totally on Auto settings, and spend ages afterwards fiddling about with a digital photo edit program to get the result I could have got in the first place with a bit more forethought. What you think you see isn't always what you get in the world of photography, digital or otherwise.