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Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Sigh.  And So I Suffer Through another Set of Microsoft Crashes

It always happens under deadlines, doesn't it.  I had written the bulk of 1/3 of a book using FrontPage as a word processor (I really don't like MS Word) figuring that since my formatting was nothing more than screen captures, bullet tags, numbered list tags, occasional bold facing and heading tags, I could just copy and paste from FrontPage into MS-Word.  It's been, ahem, interesting.  Or substitute "I'd Prefer to Gargle Razor Blades" or "Poke My Eyes Out With a Fork".  Or just about anything.  Here are two undocumented, but pivotal, improvements in Office XP:

  • CTRL+C, ALT+TAB, CTRL+V from FrontPage to Word is an Exit without Save command every 3rd time you do it.
  • Word's normally bloated file format now includes the "Make Screen Shot into Mural" feature.  Take a look below:

Notes the 27.6" screen shot?  Pretty cool!  I aways wanted a mural of a single screen shot.

After getting what I could to my editor I watched to cast back to my evil dot com experience (they were just as screwed up as we were), wrote this blog entry and downloaded OpenOffice!  No idea if it's any better or not but it certainly can't be all that much worse.  Now I'm going to go offline for the rest of the night to salve my wounded psyche.

NOTE: Office XP, Windows 2000 Pro, IBM ThinkPad X20 w/ 192 megs.  This is not crappy cheap hardware.  And I'm running a new update of IE 5.5.

comment [] 8:30:54 PM    

If You're Doing Any XSLT Work on Windows then Move to IE6

I've been working on and off this week on adding the OPML XSLT viewing I learned about from to my opml viewing application and I keep hitting xslt bugs. Debugging via IM to Amsterdam?Holland? with the author of drupal ( finally pointed it out to me: This just isn't going to work with IE 5.5 even with the latest XSLT patches. I did a full update 2 days ago and, again, it's dying on certain opml files. No idea why but it's pretty clear that it's not going to work. I guess I really have to update to IE6. If you do have IE 6 and all the XSLT updates and you want to see this then go to: Sample OPML Send me a screen shot if you can. I'd like to see it in IE6 myself.

comment [] 3:19:53 PM    

And a Wonderful Silence Descended Upon Me and It was Good

I'm in the middle of writing 1/3 of a book (topic and title to be announced shortly) and, to be honest, I've been struggling more than a bit.  I know the topic cold.  It's exciting and it's still new so why have I been having problems?  Noise.  Before I accepted this book gig, I hired New Star Painting of Lynn, Massachusetts to paint my house.  Right as I hit the middle of the book chapters I'm working on, of course, a five man painting crew showed up. 

Now here's the weird part: Even though I struggled with this book, I _cranked_ on code and on blog entries.  Go figure.  Productivity is very, very strange.

Conclusion: I'm back to pounding it out and it feels good.  Also, if you need a home painted on the North Shore of Boston, call New Star Painting & Roofing.  They're fast, cheap and honest.  Talk to Tasos at 781 598 2918. 

comment [] 6:18:33 AM    

IE 5.5 Upgrades and Winamp and MS Media Player

Ok.  While I'm not a Microsoft fan, this isn't a lie from the Open Source camp.  This is real and it illustrates an abuse of power that is a) very real and b) has hurt my productivity.  Here's the deal.

  1. On Saturday I upgraded to IE 5.5 so that I could take advantage of the latest XML parser to add XSLT browsing to my OPML Application.
  2. I resumed playing music from the same list of MP3 files that I had active (WinAmp saves your MP3 play list across reboots).
  3. Yesterday I said "Well, enough of listening to the same Pink songs over and over and over, time for some Weird Al".
  4. I went to my mp3 Weird Al directory, did a CTRL+A to select all the MP3s and did my normal RIGHT CLICK ==> "Play in WinAmp".  This command sends all the selected mp3 files straight to WinAmp and then starts them playing.
  5. The MP3 files didn't go just to WinAmp -- they also went to Media Player! (actually about 20 go to WinAmp and then a bunch to Media Player which then crashes and then more go to WinAmp which then replaces the existing files).
  6. Every single file in this directory is identified by Windows Explorer as WinAmp media file so why are they going to MediaPlayer?  See pic below.

Anyone out there have an email for a columnist that covers digital music to find out if this is widespread?

If anyone wants to see screen shots of the whole process, please drop me an email.

comment [] 5:53:33 AM    

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