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a sad confession

maura @ 9:57 pm

I’ve had my laptop for over a year now, and have been proud to have very little closed, corporate software installed. A few smallish applications here and there — e.g., BBEdit, Omnigraffle — all fully purchased, thank you very much. But I’d avoided the big evil: Microsoft Office. Instead I went with OpenOffice, the open source, freely available word processing/spreadsheet/presentation software alternative.

The interface is a little clunky, but I’ve gotten used to it by now and I know which menu options have all of the tools I commonly use. Sometimes there’s a bit of weirdness moving files between OpenOffice on my home machine and Word on my PC at work, but it’s not that big of a deal. Usually it’s just on the order of bullets being replaced with little checkboxes or something similarly innocuous. The bullets print out okay so I figure all’s well that ends well.

There is one quite significant stumbling block with OpenOffice though, and that’s the presentation software. No matter how hard I try, bad things seem to happen when I move a file back and forth between OpenOffice presentation and PowerPoint. Backgrounds disappear, fonts go wacky, I can’t print the slides in Notes view, that sort of thing. For the past year I’ve managed this mostly by creating all of my presentations at work using PowerPoint, since it’s pretty much guaranteed that any computer I’ll need to use for a presentation will have PP and not OO. But this weekend I hit the wall with that strategy. I’m giving a presentation at the end of the week, and it’s a long enough talk that I really need to be able to create my slides while I’m at home. The presentation is at a conference, and I realized yesterday that I’m just not willing to leave things to chance by using OpenOffice to make my slides.

So I installed Microsoft Office on my machine yesterday. The whole kit + kaboodle, even Entourage (does anyone even use that? what the heck does it even do?).

It makes me feel low. I wanted to stick with the open source stuff. I hate the MS monopoly. But then I realized that I hadn’t even gotten away from it when I was relying solely on OpenOffice: I never once saved a file in the native OpenOffice format. Every file I have is saved as a .doc or a .xls, which I needed to do so I could use the files at work as well as at home. I was locked in to the closed source system without even using the applications.

Now I’m part of the MS matrix again, sigh. Except that the joke’s on me, in two ways:

1. The interface for the Mac version of Word is significantly different than for the PC version, so I’m kind of lost when it comes to menu options.

2. Word and Excel display with such a high resolution that I need to increase the view size to comfortably compose text. I hate it when I get docs from folks who have the view cranked up to 150%, now I know why they do it!

I guess I will get used to these new “features.” But in the meantime I am still using OpenOffice to view .doc and .xls files. Old habits, etc.


i am the passenger

maura @ 10:13 pm

Today I went to a conference and had a blast. I’m exhausted now, but it strikes me that I’m incredibly lucky (an incredibly grateful) to have a job in which I get to spend a day listening to and talking with smart, interesting people and thinking about important issues.

Lots of tweets from today, and before, because it’s been awhile since I’ve posted them:

@alevtina sounds delicious! except for the brussels sprouts, i just can’t abide them.
half a minute ago via web in reply to alevtina

Awesome time at #du10 today. My brain is full.
about 1 hour ago via Echofon

@mkgold experimentation and freedom to fail (and try again)… sounds like a game to me. #du10
about 3 hours ago via web

@jrrnyc ha! what about a homemade one? i got sharpies!
about 5 hours ago via web

RT georgeotte @s2ceball: What is rigor, and why is it applied in a way that clamps down on production & access #du10
about 6 hours ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by you

today makes me want to get a tattoo of the open access logo. #du10
about 6 hours ago via web

Clifford Lynch makes the point that peer review itself is extremely time-intensive and increasing as publication increases. #du10
about 6 hours ago via web

@epistemographer true, true. tho could be another argument in favor of curation as a valuable scholarly activity. #du10
about 7 hours ago via web in reply to epistemographer

clearly needs coffee, many tweeting typos from me this session
about 7 hours ago via web

@epistemographer yes! and other places. i think we need to be willing to consider multiple spaces for communities to come together. #dh10
about 7 hours ago via web in reply to epistemographer

@epistomographer discussing the flip side of everyone is a creator — interesting. #du10
about 8 hours ago via web

I suspect that the term paradigm shift was used in every workshop this morning. #du10
about 10 hours ago via web

Phil Pochoda (UMich): we need to think bigger, not smaller, in scholarly publishing. the system will adapt. #dh10
about 11 hours ago via web

digital scholarly publishing has evolved slowly for yrs, are we at a point now when we can make a strong push for change? (i hope so!) #du10
about 11 hours ago via web

re: needing 2 B in 4 rms at once: can the tweets B divvied up later & posted on workshop pages on the website? alternatively: clones? #dh10
about 11 hours ago via web

Willinsky: new models for publishing (of course) should include digital forms including datasets (amen to that!). #du10
about 11 hours ago via web

@lwaltzer nope, they are one + the same, just 2 diff digital spaces to accommodate non-CUNY folks too. #du10
about 11 hours ago via web

John Willinsky: there is already enough money in scholarly publishing, it just needs to be reallocated more cooperatively #du10
about 12 hours ago via web

Nick Carbone: with more open publishing scholarly writing will change, less jargon, more public discourse #du10
about 12 hours ago via web

Wow, diverse attendees in this acad publishing workshop: faculty, grad students, librarians, publishers. #du10
about 12 hours ago via web

In the Academic Publishing workshop at #du10
about 12 hours ago via web

Practically perfect blossoms today:
6:33 PM Apr 18th via Echofon

RT CityTechLitFest Are you getting ready for Wille Perdomo on 4/29 at City Tech? Tell your friends, too!
1:26 PM Apr 18th via web Retweeted by you and 1 other

my kid just asked me if he could borrow my nintendo ds. :)
6:52 PM Apr 17th via web

On the bus to karate. Sometimes I love the bus.
11:18 AM Apr 17th via Echofon

@ChrysalisArch You should! I’d read it for sure.
11:14 AM Apr 17th via Echofon in reply to ChrysalisArch

Testing pasting in a longish URL to Twitter, pay me no mind:
3:17 PM Apr 16th via web

This morning I got into the shower w/my glasses on and was 1/2way finished before I even noticed. #iclearlyneedmoresleep
7:24 AM Apr 16th via Echofon

@captain_primate It’s really just impossible not to. Same with American Bottom.
6:05 PM Apr 15th via Echofon in reply to captain_primate

You know, when technology actually works the way it’s supposed to, it’s really awesome.
12:11 PM Apr 15th via Echofon

@Annefesto woah, you jetsetter! that is not enough time at home in my book.
10:40 PM Apr 14th via Echofon in reply to Annefesto

New workshop room projector training webinar (actually pretty cool).
10:24 AM Apr 14th via Echofon

This parenthood vacation has been a hoot, but I miss my kid.
8:39 AM Apr 14th via Echofon

OH: it’s like they’re anti-cellphone windows.
7:20 PM Apr 12th via Echofon

Hey edupunks, you saw this CFP, right?
4:59 PM Apr 10th via web

I was only temporarily awesome, apparently. Personal inbox=16, work inbox=23, feedreader=56. Bah.
11:04 PM Apr 8th via web

gearing up to team teach w/my evaluating sources game today. have candy for the winners!
10:47 AM Apr 7th via Echofon

Why I am awesome: apparently sometime last week I prepped for tomorrow’s class, thus preventing a severe case of end-of-Spring-Break-itis.
9:54 PM Apr 5th via web

i know it’s lame to tweet about the weather, but i am seriously not ready for it to be 76 degrees.
6:46 PM Apr 5th via web

The water is freezing, yet he must build.
3:43 PM Apr 4th via Echofon

Home again, home again, and the cats are happy to see us.
9:09 PM Apr 3rd via Echofon

@JenHoward Hi, I’m a college librarian trying integrate games into my instruction, I’m happy to talk with your colleague.
7:18 PM Mar 31st via Echofon in reply to JenHoward

Did I forget to mention the giant inflatable census I saw last week?
9:15 PM Mar 30th via Echofon

spinning my wheels a bit today, sigh
3:42 PM Mar 30th via web

RT Registration now open for The Digital University conf at CUNY GC (NYC 4/21). @sivavaid keynotes #du10 Pls RT
10:23 AM Mar 29th via web Retweeted by you and 4 others

@boonebgorges I mouse lefty, totally helps w/carpal strain. Try swapping yr buttons. Bonus: freaks out ppl who try 2 use yr machine!
1:55 PM Mar 29th via web

@divanoir yah, rain is making me sleepy, too. tea is yr friend!
1:53 PM Mar 29th via web

First full RT day in weeks, yay! Let’s get this research party started.
8:55 AM Mar 29th via Echofon

les tags: , ,

it’ll be just like that book you read

maura @ 9:26 pm

I went to the CUNY IT Conference last Friday so this past week’s tweets are a little techy. I also presented at the conference, which was fun if a little nerve-wracking. When I got there on Friday morning and looked in the program, the room listing for our session read Theater. !!! Yes, the multi-hundred seat Theater. Thankfully, for some reason (tiredness? still getting over this dang cold? who knows?) I didn’t freak out, not even at the beginning of the session when the tech was buggy. It was quite the weird experience, with microphones and blinding lights and my co-presenter’s course blog on a seemingly million-foot tall screen behind us. Crazy.

So here’s last week’s twitterstream:

Learned lots of new stuff at tonight’s wine + cheese + Firefox workshop. I love my job!
less than 5 seconds ago from web

I love my RT days, but working from home makes it a little too easy to have a cookie for lunch dessert.
12:46 PM Dec 7th from web

@divanoir totally! Gus is getting the new super mario bros wii for xmas, let’s have a wii brunch sometime!
12:18 PM Dec 6th from Echofon in reply to divanoir

Wish I’d been able to make it to #acrlny09 last Friday. Thx to all the tweeters for the great summary, esp. @StJ_Libraries
10:11 AM Dec 6th from web

Watching a sensei @ Gus’s karate class teach 30 kids while clearly fighting a sore throat makes me feel like a whiner.
11:58 AM Dec 5th from Echofon

Still waiting for my kid to return from his field trip.
10:46 PM Dec 4th from Echofon

@ms_tinamarie Sorry to miss yours too! Too many great sessions today, wish I could have made it to them all.
4:18 PM Dec 4th from Echofon in reply to ms_tinamarie

# In the info lit presentation @ #cunyit, wish I could be at the WordCamp session, too. Where’s my clone?
2:42 PM Dec 4th from Echofon

At #cunyit? Want to sign up for the CUNY Academic Commons? Visit the computer lab in 436T all day to join #cunycommons
10:24 AM Dec 4th from web

@mikhailg yes, audio for #cunycommons preso from #cunyit, tho quiet.
10:11 AM Dec 4th from web in reply to mikhailg

@zephoria Parents who are scared of video games do. As a parent, it always surprises me how many parents are still afraid of video games.
8:20 PM Dec 3rd from Echofon in reply to zephoria

RT CityTechLibrary Merlot+Firefox make for a great combo. Join us Dec. 8, 5:30-7:30 for Web2.0 Happy Hour
12:33 PM Dec 3rd from web

Twitter is the only thing I’m caught up on right now, bah.
11:04 PM Dec 2nd from Echofon

really hoping that this is my last superbusy week. i’m tired.
8:19 AM Dec 2nd from web

les tags: , ,

yes, alright, i can, with sunburned lips

maura @ 10:37 pm

Where I’m not:

1. Throwing Muses/50 Foot Wave, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

Yeah, so it turns out that I was kind of lying when I said I wasn’t all that disappointed not to be going to this show. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’ve had the 50 Foot Wave records on repeat this whole week. I’d listened to them a bit a while ago but hadn’t much recently and holy crap they are amazing. Much harder than Kristin Hersh’s solo stuff, and even harder than much Throwing Muses, but in a wall-of-driving-guitar-and-drums way rather than an intricately-woven-guitar-and-drums way. I like it. Which makes me even more mopey because 50 Foot Wave don’t play out much and I’ve never seen them live, bah.

But it *is* late, and I’m already exhausted. For whatever reason Spring Forward is really kicking my butt this year. Maybe it’s the morning darkness, but this has been a long week. Who’s idea was it to move the time change up to March, anyway?

2. ACRL National Conference, Seattle, WA

Yes, the biannual library nerd-a-thon! It’s far away and expensive and inconveniently right in the middle of our semester, so I decided not to go. CUNY follows the public school holidays which means that our spring break is in April, not now like everywhere else. (Which I don’t hate at all, actually, since it makes childcare easier.) Also I thought that this would be a really busy week for instruction in our library.

But it turns out that we don’t have that many classes this week (we’ve scheduled most for after midterms, in a week or so). And I’ve been thinking a lot of research thoughts recently and really jonesing for an academic conference. Yes, had you any doubt about the depth of my nerdiness, I’m pretty sure I just dispelled it.

So I am using twitter to follow the conference. I guess living vicariously isn’t so bad. And it is much, much cheaper.

les tags: , ,