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gizmo_mathboy (782)

  reversethis-{moc ... } {yobhtamomzig}

aerospace engineer by education, all-around walking cesspool of knowledge by nature, and professional grade slacker by choice. Sysadmin at a major midwestern university.
Tuesday February 25, 2003
11:39 PM

I hate people

[ #10796 ]

That may be a bit strong. From about noon yesterday until about 4pm today I had an utterly useless and stressful day.

The dean of our school wants a "paperless office" (link as emphasis is mine). We have a document need to get to the dean's office like yesterday. The document was created in Word because that was what we decreed, however the final document was 60MB. Dean's office said it was too big, they need to put it on the web. So the folks in my school ask me to help.

The document was about 30 pages of forms and such and the rest was images that were scanned documents. The person that compiled the document had just copied and pasted the scanned docs into the Word doc. I figured I would try something else. My first guess was to just Insert->Picture. This sucked in the scanned docs but when you looked through the Word document to proof it about half of the scanned docs were garbled. Half of the iamge of readable text and the rest looked like streaks.

I looked more carefully at the image files that were the scanned docs. There were in TIFF format. So I thought I would convert them to GIF or JPEG. Inserted them again and got the same result.

I then printed out the Word document. Prints out fine, everything was readable. I'm going crazy so I have on the ladies call over and see if PDF is ok because the PDF file is about 1.5MB. Hear back that it has to be Word.

So I continue these gyrations. Trying different formats, rescanning the documents, entering the images in one by one. Everything. I finally give up and call it a day.

I come back this morning and sams stuff. I call into my central group and see if anyone else has some ideas. I hear back from the central group and he asks me what's wrong because the test doc I created looks fine. What? I open it, look through it and everything looks great.

So to convince myself I'm not insane I create another test doc where I insert all of the images. After inserting I scroll through it and get about half that are garbled and useless. I close Word, start Word again, and load the doc and it looks perfect. Great, Word gets some weird corruption after inserting a bunch of images. So problem sort of solved. We did get the finished document to the Dean.

The problems I still have are:

1) Bill Gates is a fuck. I knew this but this just reinforces my hatred of MS. I'm going to try a test with OpenOffice and see what happens when.

2) Paperless office process. The nominal reason for needing a Word file is because it will be posted on the web (be it the big, bad internet or just within the university network I'm not sure). Hmmm, I think it is much more likely that people could view a PDF file than a Word file. Besides a PDF file will almost always be smaller. I plan on talking to the sysadmin for the Dean's office to let me know the reasoning behind the process and how to educate the higher ups.

So ends the most stressful 36 hours of my life and I was a forest fire fighter for 5 years! I have never been more aggravated in my life. Dealing with an inane process and application was no fun. I suppose I should have brought in a 4th set of eyes sooner. I just didn't think to get out of Word and restart Word.

Maybe it was just a confluence of have a rough couple of weeks (lots of urgent problems piled up in a short amount of time), dealing with some rather stupid problems (some created by me and some user created), and starting to see how corporate the top level IT group is.

Well, at least my fiancee still loves me. :-)

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  • I totally understand your frasuatration with microsoft word.

    It was the bane of my life for several years from college through to university it mangled layout, images, corrupted itself, lost info and misbehaved.

    Even now my wife regularly finds word unable to do basic tasks like opening or printing a file and I have the same problems.

    Now I only use open office and used an early star office for my degree dissertation - no problems, no corruptions, printed and worked fine despite being dozens of pages lon


    @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
    print reverse @JAPH;