Saturday, August 04, 2007

Q: What’s the fast lane on the road to divorce?

A: Office 2007

It’s back to college time for my youngest daughter; so it's time to do the Laptop Shuffle. The Laptop Shuffle is a simple dance. I buy a new laptop for my wife and give my wife’s laptop to my college bound daughter so that she can IM, FaceBook, LiveJournal, email and maybe write a paper or two.

So I bought my wife a Gateway laptop with a big ass screen with Windows Vista and Office 2007. My daughter got the Dell Latitude.

All seemed to be good. My wife liked the big ass screen and my daughter was happy to be back in the online soup with her cohorts and colleagues. (Her previous laptop, which was the product of a Laptop Shuffle with my older daughter, died an “I’ll power up for five minutes only” death.)

As I said, all seemed to be good.

One night my wife and I are sitting around on the couch. She was working on her laptop. I was working on my laptop. We both watched mindless TV. (We like to parallel play and multitask.) It's her first night on the new laptop with the big ass screen. She opens up an old Word document that I had copied over to her new machine. The next thing that I hear is, “WHAT'S THIS?”

She starts plastering me with questions:

“Where’s the File menu?”

“Where’s the Edit menu?”

“How do I save my file?”

“How do I print?”

“How do I change the footer?”

So I say the obvious, “Read the help files.” (Not a wise move on my part.)

She says, “I don’t want to read the help files, I can’t even find the help files. I want my Word back!

So I figure out how to access the help files and read them trying figure out how to make Word 2007 display in “Classic Mode” so she can have her Word back.

Turns out that there is no Classic Mode. All that's to be had is Word 2007 with it wonderful, easy to understand, easy to work, patented pending, Ribbon enhanced, Graphical User Interface. NOT!

So I end up having to learn the entire new interface to Word 20007 just so my wife can get her night’s work out.

I felt like her personal computer, and I let her know it.

(Another, not wise move on my part.)

We both went to bed angry. The next morning was not fun. We did the “let’s try to smooth things out and understand each other perceptions” talk, which is unusual because it is rare for my wife and me to have an angry word between us. (I got most of the angry words out in my first marriage. But that's another story for another time.)

All this over Office 2007.

I mean, help me understand the benefit of changing this:

to this:

With no backwards usage path?

Ya know, I’m use to having Microsoft impose its will upon my profession. I've learned to adjust. But this is the first time I’ve had to deal with the company imposing its will on my marriage.

I mean, jeepers, some boundaries really should be respected.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm laughing hysterically, because my husband (also a tech guy) and I had the exact same night about 4 months ago! LOL He bought a beautiful new laptop for me, installed new software..and I couldn't fins the damn 'select all' function to save my life...Gary found it though. And then he found another function and another and another--well, you get the idea. The only other wirse night we had was when he bought a universal remote to run everything...stereo, dvd player, xbox, tv, et al. When hr bought that "it'll make life easier with one remote" contraption, we fought for at least 4-6 different nights! As a word of warning...never buy a universal morning and expect there to be marital bliss.


4:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yet another thing that makes me wonder how the hell Bill Gates got to be a billionaire.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why would you even bother to torrent microsoft office anymore?

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm smiling my million $$ smile to my hero of the "machine"
This is what you do and do well. Just think how I'm SLOWLY learning my new version of Microsoft XP.
And this is making my life easier??
Your still my hero!!


10:59 AM  
Blogger tomg said...

I actually like the 07 interface, better than previous Office versions and also better than OpenOffice. The only thing that I have stumbled on was editing header/footer; but, that passed pretty quickly. That said, I'm not sure my wife would have much patience with either the changes or my tutoring.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I can't even find the help files." If I hadn't known about the F1 key, I would not have been able to find them either. Luckily, there are two tools that do get Classic Menus and Toolbars for some of Microsoft Office: Classic Menu at and Toolbar Toggle available at Which one you or your wife use will depend on personal preferences and what applications you and she use since Toolbar Toggle is not available for Access. That said, Microsoft had a duty to provide a classic mode with such a radical change, and the people who decided not to even got promoted instead of fired.

9:34 PM  

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