Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ooh, Ah, Oh. I got to play with a Windows Vista machine

Take one smoking Lenovo/IBM T60, add Vista, hand it to Jean, and listen to her scream as she tries to figure out "where did they put the damn coffee cups when they reorganized my kitchen!?!?"

That bad? Well, not really. In fact, the experience was quite well, not eventful.

I was asked to evaluate one of my employer's custom MS Word 2003 XML-based templates in MS Word 2007 on a Vista machine. So I borrowed a Vista machine from our IT department and was up and running.

The best I can say about the new Aero interface: ooh. Pretty. And shiny, too. Other than that, there were no cataclysmic realizations that I just could not live without Vista, or that it was the neatest thing since sliced bread. Maybe it's because I became a part-time Mac User within the last year, and got one of the first Intel MacBooks running OS X… Now THAT's a cool toy.

But, back to Vista… Nothing bad happened, but nothing astounding happened, and my husband was all too relieved that putting the Vista machine up on our wireless net didn't make anything explode, or cause other computers to fight like cats and dogs. Which, in itself is interesting, because we have all nature of operating systems running on our net – from my Mac, to my husband's really ancient Windows 98 SE machines, to various forms of Windows XP, and even a Linux box or two (my husband is partial to PC Linux and Knoppix).

Moral of story – operating systems are less important to me as long as I have a good XML IDE. My current favorite is oXygenXML, because it works on both my PC and my Mac, but I just heard that XML Spy now has nifty interface features to support Open XML, if one is inclined to pay for such nifty features, which you really don't have to if you know where to look.

I also need to make Word do the XML things that it needs to do – regardless of version. This means I am limited to the Windows environment so long as I want to play with Open XML within the Word 2007 interface. (Yes, I know the Mac converters just came out. I have not had a chance to install them yet, and it still does nothing for letting me work in the actual Word 2007 UI). So, it turns out that whether my Windows environment is XP or Vista is not really relevant to the type of work I do.

My conclusion? My next personal PC purchase will be an Intel Mac that can run Windows XP in Parallels (because why fork out the cash for Vista if XP suits my needs just fine?). There. Problem solved.

Will someone now do the honors of pressing the "That was easy!" button?


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

OMG – They fixed it!

So the last time I tried to use Word 2007 to blog, I found that blogger no longer worked with Word 2007 because Google had switched the blogger log in to the Google log in. Bummer.

I've been deep diving in Word 2007 for the past couple of weeks (wait 'til you read what I've got to say about the new equation editor) and figured I'd give the blog setup another shot.

What do you know? They FIXED it! Well, they fixed it if you are actually reading this post, anyway.

Stay tuned… there's more Wild XML to come.


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