I was working in Google Docs yesterday and thinking that I could be more efficient by creating documents in Word. However, Word doesn’t allow me to share my documents with coworkers. Perhaps Microsoft’s online Office Live workspace would bridge that gap.
I signed up and was pleasantly surprised that the site allowed me to use Firefox. After two confirmation e-mails I uploaded a Word doc and tried to edit it. Office Live prompted me to download and install a program to my hard drive. However even with this program it is not possible to edit documents directly using the web interface. The system “checks out” the file and opens it using your own copy of Office. This is true in either Firefox or Internet Explorer.
Sharing the document was easy enough. I’m not sure how many hoops my invited viewers will have to jump through to access the document, as they are not regular Office Live users. There is a checkbox that will allow viewers to see the document without logging in, so I hope that will streamline the sharing process.
So far the lack of direct online editing and the cumbersome signup process are major hindrances to this service. I’ll try it a bit more to see if there are any features that outstrip Google Docs in the online collaboration arena.
In an earlier post I commented about day 1 of an onsite Microsoft training class here at Illinois Wesleyan. My main complaints at that time had to do with the virtual environment and the obsession with Microsoft troubleshooting dogma. I’ve had some time to reflect on the class so in this post I’ll give a more complete evaluation. Continue reading Maintaining and Troubleshooting Vista Computers
I like Microsoft Windows Vista. I’ve been using it for quite a while and it works quite well. I like the look of things, and with a few usability concerns aside, I find it to be an improvement over XP. One of the features that is simultaneously a good idea and kind of silly is the “Windows Experience Rating”. Continue reading Vista Experience
Today was the start of a three-day onsite Microsoft Vista training class at work. I’ve been to lots of these courses and I guess I’ve adapted to them. Others didn’t take to it so easily. Upon reflection I can see why. The first module is all about “troubleshooting methodology”. While I understand that someone wishing to become a MS certified support person would need to know Microsoft’s doctrine on troubleshooting techniques, I’m not so sure it needs to be an instructor-led piece, and I’m dead sure it shouldn’t lead off the first day.
Furthermore, the whole class is done with virtualization. This is a cool, cheap way to go that doesn’t waste a lot of time (except in setting up). However it is kind of hard to conceptualize a series of remote connections to virtual machines on the same single physical PC.
I have learned a few neat support tricks that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise. Apparently there is now a Windows Recovery Environment that trumps the old command line Recovery Console. It includes a memory test – better 12 years late than never! I also never realized that the msconfig application in Vista has an extra tab. You can use it to launch a number of different tools, including a reg file that disables/enables User Account Control.
I certainly hope that the rest of the class will find similar gems even among the questionable course design by MS. I’d hate to see this first group training effort be our last!