LibreOffice brings the old

Twenty-two years ago, I wrote a thesis. It wasn’t a very good thesis, but it did what it needed to do. For years, its model files have been unreadable, because the spreadsheets were written in a ~1992 version of Microsoft Works. These are old files:

1993-04-21 03:19 newmodel.wks
1993-04-21 03:19 newmodel.wk1
1993-04-08 06:29 pr_fa.wks

Quite recently, LibreOffice realized that there are old files out there that (unlike my thesis models) could still be useful. As they have no commercial requirement to only support the latest and greatest, LibreOffice added the ability to read these ancient works. So my old stuff lives again:

ms works files from 1993

I found a screen dump that I used back in ’93 to illustrate the layout. The display was colour, but here it is brought back to life with a little bit of antialiasing:

'93 print stylee

LibreOffice can also read old AppleWorks files. Although Works 6 still runs on Catherine‘s Mac, it looks a bit … dated:


Thanks, LibreOffice! It’s sometimes easy to forget (like right after updated to Ubuntu 15.04, which decided that BlueTooth support was kinda optional unless you jumped through hoops …) that people do write software just to be more useful.

Mesmerizing, isn’t it?

This is my profile on Microsoft’s new social thing, socl:

Every link produces no content, and the name looks suspiciously like “sod” if over-kerned. Well, at least it’ll make Google+ feel busy.

I can’t seem to do anything; creating a post gives me this:

Independent date x-axis in Excel charts

The Ask Metafilter question “Basic line graph” spurred me to make this unpretty graph:

Here are the input data:

You need to make an X-Y (Scatter) plot. All others don’t have fully independent X-axes. Make your chart by selecting the first two data columns, then Insert Chart. Once the chart is in, right click/Control-click (OS X) to get this context menu:

which should show

You can add more data series by hitting Add. Here are the specs for the next two series:

Finally, here’s the example spreadsheet: MultipleDateLinesChart.

the voice of the Mr. Owns

I am trying to speak to my computer I’m not sure it understands the two well actually it’s doing not badly I’m speaking in a rather disjointed manner I have to go to New York state tomorrow I’m not quite sure why I have to look at twin turbo inns no I don’t have to look at twin turbo ends I have to look at wind turbine what’s

While it’s remarkably accurate I’m going to be really mean and bald face and sure I don’t know “bold face is that I’m going to be located anyway, to your things have calmed pear shaped nine

This is the voice of the Mr. Owns and I do I think I’m going to live. I suppose this is better than I expected especially since Mike accent is unusual most people in Canada do not understand a and so finally I have a computer that understands the this is a bit worrying isn’t it?

Well that wraps it up for dictation. You have a pleasant evening. Good night!

– what Microsoft speech recognition thinks I said. The random “what” and “nine” is me starting to laugh, and “bald face” is “blog this”.

the great lost opportunity

I’ve always thought that Adobe missed a great opportunity when they didn’t make their basic PDF writer freely available for Windows. Other OSs now have transparent print-to-PDF options. If you’re lucky, a corporate PC might have MS Office Document Image Writer installed, but a 300dpi monochrome TIFF can’t compare to a PDF.

Still, one can always install PDFCreator (if you have admin rights to the PC, of course). It’s a shame they decide to bundle a marginally dodgy toolbar/spyware package with it, but you don’t get that if you use the MSI installer package.

look out!

I see that my company’s Outlook Web Access does much niftier things on IE than on FireFox:

outlook web access on IE

You don’t get those options of Firefox. Bah

But in true MS dunderhead fashion, when you quit the mail client, it clears all your cookies — including the ones of sessions on other sites. Microsoft, this isn’t DOS; people multitask these days …