Does Powerpoint Suck???

Last month, Mashable made a list of over 30 online presentation tools available on the web. I didn’t see the list until today, but I quickly opened up every single link in my browser. Near the top it mentioned that these would allow you to dump Powerpoint for something better. The implication is that Powerpoint kinda sucks. I agree that its not quite as slick as that preso tool that exists on the Macs, but its not all that bad. And seeing this list of competition made me see that Powerpoint actually is pretty cool. Or its just sucks less than the more than 29 online options on that list that completely suck. Almost every single one of them give me the feeling that a dev spent a few evenings whipping up a crappy web app and then spun it off into a new company.

But I said “almost”. There was one amazing exception to that list. Coincidentally its the one that isn’t available yet. SlideRocket looks like its the one presentation application good enough to make me want to dump one of the primary idea expression tools in my arsenal. From the online demo, it looks like I can create some amazing presentations, incorporate beautiful transitions that aren’t annoying, and play them back with minimal overhead. It appears to be a mostly online solution with some offline capability as well.

I can’t wait for SlideRocket to become available, or at least to get an invite. It looks like it could be the first online app as good, or even better, as the definer of its genre.

A Six Month Goal Realized

Its amazing. Closer to the beginning of the year I set a six month goal for myself. And pretty much six months later I realized it. A few days before going to Kuala Lumpur for the Captaris Partner Conference, I told myself I would buy an apartment within 6 months in Amsterdam. 30 viewings, and 4 offers later, I signed the papers at a local notary’s office in Amsterdam. I am now the proud owner of a 2 floor, 120 square meter apartment in Amsterdam’s Old West neighborhood. Well, I signed the papers. Money has yet to change hands and that won’t happen for nearly 2 months, but I am committed. Well, I have a few days to realize my mistake and get out of it, but I don’t think I will.

Buying a place in the Netherlands proved to be far more difficult than I ever expected. I tried to look in Utrecht, but couldn’t get an estate agent to call me back. No, really, they just never called me even though they said they would when I spoke with them in person in their offices. I had great success with a estate agent and mortgage broker in Amsterdam and would recommend them to any expat looking to make the big move. In fact, they are both from the same company: Finsens. But even with a great agent, I had to see lots of crap apartments before finding a few gems. And those were just the ones I could see. Some even turned me away when I had an appointment…the owner just didn’t feel like showing it that day.

As I mentioned, I bought it, but I won’t be moving in for a while. First I have to wait till November before the money changes hands. Then I am doing renovations and that will take 2 months. So I probably won’t actually move in until January. So I am most of the way there and soon I will be done and living in a new apartment…woohoo!!!