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Why I use MS Word

I originally started writing the Masters thesis on Tina, a Mac II, in MacWrite II. This proved incapable of handling the job; it kept trashing the footnotes. So I installed a copy of MS Word purloined from a secret Defence Force project. This worked well enough to get the job done, although it was slow at times.

Almost all the Masters thesis was written on this machine, although at the editing stage it was transferred to Anna, a PC I won in a raffle, which came bundled with Word 97. Anna was more powerful and the version of Word was better, which came in handy for mass spellchecking. Formerly, I had to order a spellcheck and wait; now it highlighted errors as I typed. The major annoyance was that the pages never seemed to look the same when it was printed out.

Between thesis, the old Tina and Anna machines have been decommissioned and replaced by Sandy (the Power MacIntosh), Judy and later Jessica. Sandy has Project Raven's old copy of MacWord; Jessica, a Win2K machine, has MS Word 2000 on it. Judy, originally the Win2K box, has been rebuilt as a Linux machine.

Since Sandy is slow and no more more recent copy of MS Word for Mac is available, this reduces to two possible alternatives to MS Word:
  • OpenOffice in Judy. Judy is slower than Jessica and a bit noisy and at the moment has a problem: the stupid KVM won't let them share their mice and keyboards. This is a real pain, as it means starting Judy up requires switching cables.
  • OpenOffice on Jessica. I have a copy for MSWin32 so maybe I should try it out. Jessica, of course, is the one connected to the printer.