Recently, we upgraded most PCs using Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard as a basis for a new configuration. This upgrade was designed to increase performance (for TM database access), decrease overall noise (quiet fans), and provide an ability to build a multi-monitor configuration with at least 2 monitors. A multi-monitor configuration increases translator’s performance by allowing to save a lot of time that is normally wasted on switching between different windows. What’s best about this new motherboard is that unlike older motherboards with just one monitor connection, it enables connecting 2 monitors to the built-in graphics card. To use more monitors, you can add an expansion graphics card. A very cheap and sweet solution!
We also replaced the older keyboards by slim ones providing a shorter key travel. In terms of functionality, the new keyboards don’t really beat the old ones, but the idea was to reduce the noise generated by key presses, which is quite important for translators working in an office together like we do.
We replaced our outdated IM (Instant Messaging) solution by a combination of freeware Openfire and QIP Infium. Openfire is an XMPP (Jabber) server. We prefer to have an IM server on our LAN for two reasons: Internet messaging may expose users to unnecessary confidentiality risks while also making you depend on a permanent Internet connection. So far, the new server has been performing well. The client component, QIP Infium, is also a good choice. The good thing about QIP is that the developers keep improving it. Before making the switch, we also looked at other similar programs including Microsoft Office Communicator. But its advantages didn’t provide enough compelling reasons to choose it over the free QIP Infium.
Another step we did to migrate to free software was replacing The Bat e-mail client with the free Mozilla Thunderbird. In fact, economy wasn’t the main decision factor here. I still think that The Bat is a great tool, which we got used to over the years and like a lot. But it’s my belief that overwhelming IMAP errors in this software outweigh the advantages. And The Bat developers don’t plan to fix these issues and just recommend using POP3. As a result, we migrated to Thunderbird and have no regrets so far. Well, we did miss a few features we had used in The Bat extensively, but after all, in a business environment, reliability is more important. You can read the next part of this post to know why IMAP is so important for replying to clients’ requests promptly.
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