Saturday, January 26, 2008

Office 2007 - Where did my menus go?

So this was the week my company made the Office 2007 update 'mandatory'. I came in Tuesday (got to love banker's holidays) and started the update. I start Exchange 2007 and . . oh my god, where did my menus go? Every office program has had its menus blown into little bits. I spend more time trying to find things than I think is reasonable. Of course, with a new office suite comes a new set of bugs and/or features. I have two favorites so far. In Exchange if you have a repeating to-do with a reminder time set for it, it now has been assigned a Due Date. If you create a new repeating to-do, it also gets a due-date assigned. The problem, is when the reminder pops up, the “Due in” time will be from now to the ‘End Time’ you set in the Calendar Options. If you have a to-do without a Due Date, the Due In time in the Reminder will be from now to the alert time. So now when I come back to my desk, and have a reminder or two with a due in of so many hours instead of 20 minutes late because it was due at 10:00, and it is now 10:20. What have I had to do, go to all the to-do's and put the time the to-do is due in the title. My second bug is that sometimes when you are typing a new message in Entourage, and you make a spelling error, and stop typing without typing a space or period, and right click on the error, the suggested spellings are not displayed. If you right click the word again, then the suggested spellings are displayed. My favorite inconsistency added in 2003 and still present in 2007 is that in Excel you have a master close/maximize/minimize set of boxes and a second row for the front-most spreadsheet. In Word you only have a set for the document you are on. In Excel if you close the last document, the program is still running. In Word if you close the last document, it shuts down until you open the next one. I don't know about you, but I go through 5 to 10 documents a day opening and closing them, and I hate closing the last one because of the noticeable pause as Word re-starts. My least favorite bug from 2003 still in 2007 is in Excel when you open a spreadsheet from a Web based application, Excel doesn't move to the front, you have to go and get it yourself. Word will move to the front when a document is opened from the same Web application.

End rant. I feel better now.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Backups are you friend . . .

Well, for the first time in since I originally bought my computer, it crashed with a disk error. I own a somewhat abused PowerMac G5. Aside from problems when it was first purchased (and repaired by Apple), it has been a trouble free system. Last weekend, I updated it to the current OS 10.5.1 with no problems. However, on Wednesday it crashed very hard with a disk error that is not recoverable (invalid key length) and required the partition to be erased and the os re-installed. The only saving grace is that I frequently (every couple of days) backup the 'Users' portion of my computer which contains all of my data and preference settings. The bad news is that the last full backup I had was just prior to the upgrade. In retrospect, I should have started with that full backup, then applied all of the data backups and moved on. Instead, I started fresh with a new 10.5.1 install, restored all of my user data, and have been slowly installing each of my applications. After about 20 hours of working on this, it is now Saturday night and I am about half way done. I have no idea what caused the disk error, but I know I had older software on that system and my guess is one of those programs or underlying system installs caused my issue.