Sunday, March 9, 2014

Learning Some New Tricks

This is an interesting development and one that is sort of cool and very enlightening. For most of my adult life, I’ve worked with computers that used the ubiquitous MS Word program. It’s pretty much the gold standard, and since I do mostly writing stuff, I’ve become accustomed to having it to the point where I don’t feel a computer is of any use to me without it. What good is a machine if I can’t write on it?

When I upgraded my operating system (OS) to Maverick, things changed. My Word program is old and outdated, and I have problems opening documents sent to me by people who have more modern versions of word. I get these .docx files, versus .doc files that I create. My old version of word cannot open .docx files, so I have to send them to R, where she converts them or opens them for me. She has the newer version of Word. I also run into problems with Excel files, or .xlsx files. Whatever be the case, it’s not the end of the world. I can also ask the sender to convert to .pdf, or send me an older version.

Well, as luck would have it, when I changed my OS, my Word application no longer worked. I was given fair warning about this before I upgraded, so I knew what I was getting into. I experimented a bit with other options, and discovered that I didn’t actually need MS Word. How crazy is that?

Using a combination of Google docs, TextEdit, and iCloud, I’ve found that I can survive just fine. I’m sure these options are not as powerful as the real application, but the reality of the matter is I only used a fraction of the capabilities of the program. I just don’t need to do fancy stuff. This may come back to haunt me at a later date, but for now, I’m feeling kind of stoked and liberated. Plus, my new OS is way cool, and I can’t help but think (wishful thinking, perhaps?) that my computer is running more smoothly.

I love when that happens.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Ronn aka "Blue" Aldaman for the pic.

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