Archive for April, 2007

Two insights

Posted in Speculation on April 28, 2007 by Patrick

One:  I spend far too much bloody time in front of this computer.  It’s a beautiful day out and I should go play.

Two:  Reasons why not should always be judged with a greater degree of skepticism than reasons why.


Finals Week Coming

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2007 by Patrick

Damnu air!  That was a hell of a stack of papers there.

Well, I’m somewhat likely to become less grumpy now that I’m through that.  At least until finals week actually gets here.

End of the Semester

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2007 by Patrick

It’s nearing the end of the semester; I may be somewhat quiet for a few weeks as I read papers.

I Lied

Posted in Writing on April 6, 2007 by Patrick

Because OpenOffice seemlessly converts files from one type to another without, as far as I can tell, much or any schmutz, I’ll be finishing my second book on OO as well.

I’m demanding custody of the kids.  Fortunately, OO will happily adopt them all.

Holy cow

Posted in Uncategorized on April 5, 2007 by Patrick

It makes PDFs.

Pretty cool.

Getting a Divorce

Posted in Writing on April 5, 2007 by Patrick

I wrote my first “book” on WordPerfect, back when WP was a blue screen and you had to memorize the keystrokes to do things like change margins or print (shift-F7). I felt hardcore then, but now — well.

I wrote my dissertation and two books on WP and I have to say — What the hell was I thinking? Okay, seriously. If you convert files, it adds headers where none previously existed, for example. No one else uses WP, so I had to send files in other formats to people on my dissertation committee. When they sent back comments, and I integrated the changes, I found that my new version had margins that varied from one inch to four or five inches. Four or five inches! When you turn in a dissertation, people actually go over it with a ruler to make sure the margins are right. So fixing that was a nightmare.

Tables, which I use a lot of in creating lesson plans, were a snap. Graphics are a bit harder to manage. Although it’s all menu driven now, the menus still aren’t exactly intuitive. And, more to the point, no one uses it. Ever. It’s like I’m writing in Esperanto, sed si skribus Esperante, alio potas ligi gxin! (Yes, yes, I know, my Esperanto sucks). It also lacks some functions that would be kind of handy, like usable spreadsheets.

So I’m getting a divorce from WordPerfect, despite our long and fruitful relationship, and I’m trying out OpenOffice. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. I’ll probably finish my second book, when and if it’s accepted, on WP, but my third book will be written on OO.

(I just realized, this is the sort of thing normal people write in their blogs!  I’m sincerely hoping this will not become a trend.)