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February 09, 2007

Cute Assistants

Have you ever wondered why Microsoft Office products need a cute and cuddly 'Office Assistant'? During the last two weeks Mausi has developed the theory that they were incorporated into the programmes to prevent the user from smashing his/her keyboard into the computer screen!

At work Mausi needed a new bit of software which wouldn't run under her current operating system Windows NT so the IT people changed it to Windows XP - and that's where all the trouble started. Mausi spend half a day getting used to all the annoying alterations in the system like that you have to set the viewing options like column width for every single folder to make it permanent. And Mausi has loads of folders - it'll take years! Then Mausi discovered she had forgotten to jot down her desktop connections and spend another exhilirating hours putting the important ones back into place.

Some of her old software that had worked perfectly all right with Windows NT started to behave very strange. Corel Draw suddenly insists that it has an English instead of a German keyboard layout which can be particularly annoying if you need the Umlauts ä, ö and ü! I think I could live with 'z' and 'y' changing positions but the rest is a d****d nuisance. There are of course always ways and means to get around it but it takes time.

One of the things that are realling getting on Mausi's nerves, however, is the stupid question if she wants to save the style sheet as well every time she saves a WORD document. And lots of other little things that would drive Mausi mad if it weren't for Minki. Minki is her Office assistant, not that stupid paper clip this time, but an entertaining little cat. Okay, Minki's not really much help if you ask her a question but she is still young and she's trying. You should see her carefully writing down your question letter by letter, her tongue sticking out between her teeth. She usually enters the document through a catflap and gives a soft meeow greeting. Whenever she gets bored she either falls asleep, even snoring sometimes, or rises up on her hind paws and hammers blue paw marks on the screen. She accompanies each printing job with stamping paw prints on a pile of paper. And you should see her when you ask her to search for a lost file. She even lifts and carpet and peers underneath it! That never fails to make Mausi grin and relax.

You see there is a purpose behind these cute little fellows. Otherwise people would probably get angry enough not to use Microsoft anymore. Mausi is quite sick having to pay good money for being allowed to be the beta tester for that company. At home she has joined the Linux community but at work there's not much she can do about it. Mausi is one of the old fashioned computer users who likes to think for herself and not let the computer take over completely and telling her what to do and what is best for her.

Ah well, if she doesn't have a choice she'd better learn to live with it and allow Minki's antics to make her smile once or twice a day.

Posted by Mausi at February 9, 2007 06:44 PM

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ohhh. I want to hear what happens when mausi goes to Vista!!! ;-)

Posted by: vw bug at February 9, 2007 07:23 PM

From what Mausi has heard about Vista so far she's not impressed in the least. But she might be forced to use it one day as Microsoft will end its support for XP in a couple of years in its usual cut-throat way.

Posted by: Mausi at February 9, 2007 09:30 PM

Gorse Fox recommends Open Office. It's free, it's open source, and i can interchange documents with the Microsoft Bloatware.

Silver Vixen had trouble sending a newsletter developed in MS Word. It was over 10MB. GF read it into Open Office, et voila 135KB... and looked identical. (Also it can creat PDFs directly)


Posted by: Gorsefox at February 9, 2007 09:33 PM

Mausi couldn't agree more with GF. She's been using Open Office at home for several years now and she loves it. But working for a big oganization means that the decision which software is used for the daily routine paperwork is not hers.

Posted by: Mausi at February 10, 2007 08:40 AM