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The strangest craving. - Elf M. Sternberg
The strangest craving.
I felt the strangest craving this morning to start using Microsoft Word again.

It felt exactly like the feeling one gets when looking back on a relationship where the sex was fabulous but was otherwise horribly abusive. MS Word is very pretty and while you use it you feel like you're getting a lot accomplished.

But when Word gets into a bad mood it gets really crazy. Often, when Word does get crazy, it trashes something of yours, sometimes a piece of work you really value and put hard effort into. Yet, when Word does this, it also somehow manages to make it feel as if the wreckage was all your fault.

Word's gotten worse over the years. These days, it's gotten more bossy and demanding. With it's new DRM thing, it works harder than ever to isolate you from anyone who might convince you that the flash and shine of Word isn't the best thing in the world. Word has a history of bad relationships, as each release has locked out a new generation of some other wordprocessor. Yet Word seems perfectly happy to run embedded viri for you, flirting with every trojan macro that comes along. And really, why hang out with Word? It's gotten fatter and more bloated over the years. Think about how much money you've poured into bling just so you can keep your relationship with Word. Are you doing anything more with Word today than you were in 1995? I mean, really.

I'm sticking with Emacs. Compared to Word, Emacs isn't flashy or hot. It's downright plain and very, very nerdy. On the other hand, Emacs has had twenty-five years to learn how to do safe computing right, and since it's all in plain ASCII I'll never be locked into using a DRM manager and I'll be able to share my work with others. Emacs very rarely crashes, and when it does it's actually apologetic and gives good suggestions for avoiding that accident in the future.

Current Mood: amused amused

8 comments or Leave a comment
pixel39 From: pixel39 Date: September 10th, 2005 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you doing anything more with Word today than you were in 1995?

Considering that in 1995 I was writing in either emacs or bbedit lite, and then putting the text into Quark, yes, I can truthfully say that I am doing more now with Word than I was in 1995. But that's merely a technicality, seeing as then I was working in all-Mac shops, and now I'm working in a 99% Windows shop. But I should probably be good and get a copy of Quark, since I can get the student discount now.
valarltd From: valarltd Date: September 10th, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just continue my ongoing love affair with WordPerfect. I only use Word at work.
woggie From: woggie Date: September 10th, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I went and looked up DRM, since i didn't know what that was. I got this, which I assume is what you were referring to.

Of course, my mind immediately snagged on WMDRM, or the WMD part of the acronym, and a small, isolated thought wandered through my head: "What if the WMDs Bush was looking for were nothing more than a collection of graphics Saddam wouldn't share, and that's what this latest overseas hostility was actually about?"

Of course, that would make a horrible sort of sense to me, but then I tend to reduce most troublesome adults down to the level of playground children.
rapier From: rapier Date: September 10th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel like one of those guys who's kind of lost in terms of word processing. I like some of the things that word can do, but for day-to-day stuff, I end up using notepad and wordpad. There always seems to be so much ... stuff happening with Word that I don't necessarily need or want.

Back in, oh, '94 and '95 or so, our university was still using Telnet and a program called Pine as the main .. er .. (god, I hate lacking the language) method of accessing our school's e-mail. I remember being terribly intimidated by the native word processing you could do there (something called VI maybe? I don't remember exactly.), so I end up sticking with Windows-related software. But again, I'm vaguely dissatisfied with Word, and sometimes Wordpad doesn't do everything I need it to.

What's a boy to do? I need a witness!
(Deleted comment)
elfs From: elfs Date: September 10th, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I use AbiWord for legal documents, Scribus for desktop publishing, the Gimp and Inkscape for art projects, and Gnumeric for spreadsheets and analysis. See? There's something for everyone.
From: j5nn5r Date: September 11th, 2005 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not Emacs fluent. Anyone here have a link to a good vi equivelant that runs on XP?
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elfs From: elfs Date: September 11th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
VIM has a Win32 variant. I'm not sure what it supports, and it calls itself "The GUI version," so it's not "just" vi on steroids, but has OLE and menu support as well.
8 comments or Leave a comment