01 August, 2008

Credit Crunch

It's credit crunch time. And I don't mean the bloody BBC crunching end credits so they are barely visible even through a bloody microscope when a simple bloody re-design would solve the bloody problem. I mean if the commercial channels can do it properly then why can't they?! Apart from arrogance and incompetence! Where was I? No, by credit crunch I mean a greater emphasis on saving money for you poor people.

I am empathetic towards poor people as I was once so poor I had to drive a non-German car. I had to get my windows tinted so no-one would recognise me. In the same terrible period, I had to shop at Sainsburys and not Marks and Spencer and although my dinner party guests didn't say anything I'm sure that they could taste the difference.
I can laugh about the experience now but it certainly wasn't funny at the time. It was the worst 9 days of my life.

So what tips do I have for the rest of you? Firstly sign up to the newsletter at MoneySavingExpert.com. The weekly missive often includes how to get stuff free or cheap including computers and peripherals but also broadband deals as well.

Also sign up for the newsletter at Free UK Stuff. While much of it is marketing shenanigans, free stuff is still free stuff.

You may be baulking at the cost of computer virus software and wondering if you can do without it. Well, wonder no more, you can't. Simple as. Viruses and trojans have got more clever and sophisticated. Not only in tricking you to click on a link but also in avoiding spam filters.

"What am I supposed to do then, you rich ponce?" I hear you cry. There are free options available which are just as good. Probably the best is Avast! but AVG Free is not to be sniffed at. There is also one for the Mac called ClamXav.

The big daddy of free software is OpenOffice, a Microsoft Office compatible suite. And you'll be needing the script template to go with it.

Dedicated screenwriting software like Final Draft are lovely but the free online ones work just fine. Some argue that Celtx is actually better. I certainly wouldn't advise spending dosh on software until you're forced to by the prodco or network you're working for. Doctors writers have to use this Word template and if it's good enough for them...

Although the credit crunch doesn't affect me, I really genuinely hope that it finishes soon. It would mean fewer jealous plebs trying to rob me.


Michelle Goode said...

I tried the Word template but couldn't get it to work. Luckily a fellow starting-out screenwriter recommended Celtx to me. It's incredibly easy to use and I have also read the arguments about it being better than Final Draft...

All I can say is, thank the Lord for free scriptwriting software! There's no way I could have afforded a software package and if free software/templates didn't exist, my screenwriting aspirations would have been thwarted before they'd even managed to get going. The good think about Celtx is that you can also back up your files to their website (although I always export the text into other programs and save them elsewhere on my computer, and I also format my scripts into pdf files and save those, too.)

The only negative point about Celtx that I have noticed thus far is that you cannot typset your scripts into pdf format without being on-line. But apart from that, it has been wonderful to use, and I highly recommend it!

Wendy Ragiste said...

I too once suffered the indignity of having to purchase my champers and salmon from a second tier retailer. Oh the horror!

Anonymous said...

I laugh in the face of virii and trojans. I don't know a single Mac user who owns (let-alone pays for) anti-virus software. Or in fact most basic productivity software. Sorry - I know you knew this was coming. Well it came. Your Tesco branded PC was a false economy I'm afriad.

Robin Kelly said...

Wendy, and do we get any sympathy? No. It's so unfair.

Ano, if Macs use the Internet then they are susceptible to attack just like anyone else and should at least have a firewall. But the reasons Macs were less likely to have viruses/trojans isn't so much because of the "superior operating system" but because few scumbags find it worth the trouble creating them for such a tiny tiny part of the market (3%) and information on how to do it isn't as readily available as info on how to attack Windows.

Now Macs have shifted to a Unix based OS like everyone else then there's even less call for complacency and smugness. Low risk isn't the same as no risk anyway.

No doubt several years ago the Mac versus Windows argument wasn't really much of one but choosing a Mac now instead of Windows suggests more money than sense.

Microsoft has the fewest holes and was fastest at plugging them, according to Symantec's security report.