Monday, October 25, 2010

Office 2010 Madness

It sounds quite like something from a horror movie:

In a casual conversation with one of our IT guys at work today, my boss overheard the following snippet: "Well, it doesn't matter as we'll all be switching over to Office 2010 in a week anyway. . ."

"I"m sure I turned red when I heard it," my boss said afterward. He went to our supervisor to confirm, and our super just happened to be on the phone with another IT guy at the time. It is indeed true: We'll be migrating over to 2010 in a week or so.

This is not good. This is Reefer Madness.

 Why? Well, we've got a Cat 2 nuclear facility we're supposed to have a management self-assessment on in a few weeks, and that includes tons of paperwork. If, before that MSA completes, we migrate to 2010, we run the risk of having our Word 2003 documents explode, as the templates may not translate from one version of Word to another (Cannot even begin to emphasize how asinine this feels; you'd think with the same word processor from the same company that things would translate easily, but my boss knows from experience that they don't).

The timing couldn't be worse. Not only do we run the risk of having our documents for this Cat 2 facility blow up in our faces at the exact moment they're supposed to be pristine, pure, and winter white, we're also in the middle of getting another, much more complicated facility online paperwork-wise, and my boss knows in working with their current documents that the switch is going to be a nightmare. It simply appears that whoever decided to do the migration is doing so without really thinking of the implications, or talking with the people who know what the implications might be. They're most likely thinking, well, a word processor is a word processor, right? How hard can it be? Just numbers and letters appearing in the right order.

Exactly. And when the templates don't translate, they'll be there -- but all in the wrong places.

This could be solved had we switched to Open Office a while back, but apparently someone in the higher-up is afraid of a well-respected, well-running program that everyone can get for free. Of course, left to the writer/editors, we'd all be using WordPerfect right now. I really miss WordPerfect. My last home computer came with WordPerfect on it, and when that computer died that was the thing I knew I was going to miss the most. I can't afford to replace it, so now I run Open Office as a second best.

We're hoping that cooler heads prevail and that the switch is delayed at least for a while, But as this is government work . . .

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