A Week in Computing

By Martin Jansen, Owner of Jansen-PCINFO

Here’s a glimpse of our computing life in the Jansen household.  As you probably know, I use Linux Mint as my main operating system.  My wife, however, while using Linux Mint daily also has a need to run Windows programs, like a Hallmark Card program.  So, despite our primary use of Linux, we sometimes still need Windows.


After the weekend, computing is light.  I read my email, read a daily bible excerpt, and wish a few people happy birthday on Facebook.  Sometimes, I will post an article, like this one, late on Sunday on Monday evening.  This involves writing the article in Google Docs, copying the complete article (Ctrl + A and Ctrl + C) and pasting (Ctrl + V) into my website: https://jansen-pcinfo.com.  I also work on the music of Appleton MacDowell Male Chorus in PDF form, for practice is Monday night.


This is usually when the cantor list comes out for church.  I have now taken to putting all the songs of the Mass on a cheap Android tablet, to avoid swapping of books.  It doesn’t take much computing power to display a PDF file.  I bought the Pro version of Librera PDF reader to eliminate the many advertisements of the free version.  I use Total Commander to list all the files and number them to open as needed during the Mass.  Some of the songs are scanned using VueScan or I can download them creating my complete worship list.

Tuesday is also the day I volunteer with Appleton Public Library as a Job Search Assistant.  In this job I use my personal Linux Mint laptop that is a converted Chromebook and the library’s HP Laptop to help people find jobs.  This includes helping with resume and cover letter writing.  We (the patron and I) search for jobs on Indeed, and the like, matching their skills with the jobs available.


Seraphim Choir practice is tonight.  I will look over the songs and assemble the song list on the tablet.  Much of the music is copied over to the next week, especially the Mass settings: Gloria, Holy, Lamb of God and Amen.  I also sing with the Renewed Spirits at church and the song lists are very similar.  I can copy the songs on the tablet or link the tablet to my computer for quick copying of files.


I will scan some of the mail that came in during the week.  Fortunately, I was able to eliminate some of this mail by going paperless for my financial records.  In this article I describe in detail my paperless office.  I will prepare to sing with the Renewed Spirits by going over my music.  We usually practice on Thursdays.

Lydia will view her list of birthdays and prepare personalized cards.  She will use a mini-computer with Windows 10 installed and a Hallmark Card Program.  She also used to print out labels in Windows, but we figured out how to use our Brother label printer in LibreOffice on Linux Mint.


I might work on some music for MacDowell.  This includes using VueScan to create PDF files of the music.  From there I open the file in PDFEdit (a Windows Program that runs on the Mini-PC) and block out extraneous information.  From there I can scan in one of two Music OCR programs to get the best results.  I can then import the resulting XML file into MuseScore for further editing.  Some music does not import well, so I will create four part scores with MuseScore from scratch.  It’s also cleaning day, so I will clean up the computing workspace.  Paper is constantly the enemy, cluttering the office.


One of my two church choirs usually sing at 4PM, or I may be a solo cantor.  I review the music to make sure I am prepared.  This is usually a light computing day where I enjoy watching a college football game or two.


It’s time to work on the checkbook.  It really doesn’t take long.  I go on the bank’s website and download a .qfx file of the weekly activity.  I then import the file into Moneydance, a double entry bookkeeping program based on Java.  I reconcile the entries looking for any issues and place them into the proper categories; Moneydance remembers previous entries.  Once a month I make sure everything balances with the statement.

One choir or another will usually sing on Sundays, I review the music prior to rehearsal and Mass.


All work and no play makes for a dull Martin, so Lydia and I plan trips and entertainment to keep ourselves occupied.  We like to go to the state parks and walk in the woods.  Unfortunately, riding our trikes is becoming less frequent due to inclement weather.  In these COVID times we are reluctant to take any long trips by air, but local travel by car is fun.  Exercising the mind and the body are important for us elderly types.