nerdcore for the (I AM NOT AN) english major

8 05 2008

i took a bit of a leap with this computer, one i didn’t tell y’all about ’til i was sure it would work, & one that you real nerds, who do geekstuff all day and rarely write a document (or do it in latex!) won’t appreciate anyway, but the paper-writers and paper-readers and paper-editors and other sorts of excel-using whatever-you-ares out there will: i bought this machine with no office suite. no microsoft. no word, no excel, no office, no nothing. i also do occasional web-page building, nothing fancy, but i have to make html docs to do my editor-who-publishes-people’s-poems job for the harrow, and i bought a computer with no dreamweaver. and despite how i love my ipod and take it with me everywhere, part of why i was delighted at having a new computer was that i knew it would come without itunes, and i wouldn’t have to put it on here at all, letting it spider its infecting little fingers into anything at all.

i’ve been merrily using firefox instead of explorer, thunderbird instead of whatever-the-default-email is supposed to be, and miranda instead of paying for trillian for years, and i knew already that the new versions of winamp supported ipods, so i figured i was good to go. the intenet would provide. the internet always provides.

and it’s working.

i’ve been meeting my editing clients’ wild demands and tweaking my diss using open office, which has worked just fine so far–it’s not identical, and it’s not a seamless transition, but it’s pretty damn easy, the answers to questions i can’t figure out are on the internet, and my clients say when they receive files and open them in word they can’t see a difference, even though we’re using all of the less-obvious track changes & comments features, not just typing and formatting.

i put three poems up in the harrow’s latest issue using galleys built in kompozer instead of dreamweaver–it’s a slightly different interface, but they look plenty pretty up onscreen.

i’ve reformatted new miranda to keep all of my old logs and lists, winamp’s talking cheerfully with my device and burns cds without being even a little bitchy, and the other gifts are likewise working fine: media player classic with free codecs plays my movies w/o crashing like the windows media player always wanted to, audacity lets me pull the sound only off of youtube files & myspace pages when i want songs that won’t download as songs, the new pictures are going up through picasa for a while, as a wean myself off of the writing program’s server space, panaramio & google earth still entertain me & show me what the world looks like, skype’s still free in case i really want to talk to anybody in it (although my headset has seen better days), & i’ve been running this for my own amusement and because it drives my roommate crazy.

so mostly i’m busy working, and wondering how i’m going to get paid when the work runs out, but having trouble right now believing in the part where it ever will b/c the piles are so high, and sometimes i’m even contemplating my last chapter (the others are getting lonely in googledocs), and right now i’m putting laundry in and coffee on so i can work right through the spring rain (they’re a little out of order here–it’s more like the april snow brings some nervous april flowers, and then the may rain brings the leaves), but sometimes i “play” with the web, and the web is good.

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20 responses

8 05 2008
2eclipse

i miss you lots lady.

8 05 2008
2eclipse

i miss you lots lady.

8 05 2008
pictsy

I’d never even heard of Open Office. Neat!

8 05 2008
tyra

i saw a random banner on something else & checked it out, with fortuitous timing. i’m still a little nervous about some of the trickier formatting things involved in, say, building tables of contents and figure-captions for a 200+ page dissertation, which i never learned how to do right in word in the first place (shh), but the internet has been very helpful so far, so it ought to work okay.
mostly, of course, the appeal is in the piratical nature of “open” anything, but i forget sometimes that i even have it–i just do doc stuff, and it works.

8 05 2008
tyra

i saw a random banner on something else & checked it out, with fortuitous timing. i’m still a little nervous about some of the trickier formatting things involved in, say, building tables of contents and figure-captions for a 200+ page dissertation, which i never learned how to do right in word in the first place (shh), but the internet has been very helpful so far, so it ought to work okay.
mostly, of course, the appeal is in the piratical nature of “open” anything, but i forget sometimes that i even have it–i just do doc stuff, and it works.

8 05 2008
pictsy

I’d never even heard of Open Office. Neat!

8 05 2008
thebroomecloset

Good for you! Glad it’s working out, and you’re an open source success story.

8 05 2008
tyra

thanks! i know it’s not really that impressive if you’re a real geek, but it feels somehow redeeming to me, like i’m not totally hopeless… just only mostly. 🙂

8 05 2008
tyra

thanks! i know it’s not really that impressive if you’re a real geek, but it feels somehow redeeming to me, like i’m not totally hopeless… just only mostly. 🙂

8 05 2008
thebroomecloset

Good for you! Glad it’s working out, and you’re an open source success story.

9 05 2008
west_wind

Sounds like you are in a state of happy productiveness, which is a major accomplishment when it comes to the diss. Yay!
We use Open Office for our management and markup software at Georgia, so the little writing geek in my cheers to hear that you are using it exclusively. I have to admit that even though I’ve asked my students to use it for years now, I’m still writing my diss in good old Word. Word.
Yay for all of your freebie applications and the power of the Internet!

9 05 2008
west_wind

Sounds like you are in a state of happy productiveness, which is a major accomplishment when it comes to the diss. Yay!
We use Open Office for our management and markup software at Georgia, so the little writing geek in my cheers to hear that you are using it exclusively. I have to admit that even though I’ve asked my students to use it for years now, I’m still writing my diss in good old Word. Word.
Yay for all of your freebie applications and the power of the Internet!

10 05 2008
l_stboy

You are an open source goddess 😛
But… if you think it would be a good thing to have around, since you are a student and all that, you should check this out before the offer expires next Saturday. (I got my copy a couple of months ago on merit of an old .edu account, it’s legit):
http://www.theultimatesteal.com
edit: ooh. glass2k is pretty 🙂

10 05 2008
l_stboy

You are an open source goddess 😛
But… if you think it would be a good thing to have around, since you are a student and all that, you should check this out before the offer expires next Saturday. (I got my copy a couple of months ago on merit of an old .edu account, it’s legit):
http://www.theultimatesteal.com
edit: ooh. glass2k is pretty 🙂

15 05 2008
ranagar

Cool!
I’m not sure I ever remember you saying this much about a computer without complaining, and I it might be the first time you’ve talked about a computer that I actually understood everything you said — which in itself qualifies as pretty geeky!

15 05 2008
tyra

Re: Cool!
i complain b/c stuff that ought to be intuitive isn’t, and you folks who devote your lives to it ought to make it be intuitive. it’s very directed complaining–i expect you to fix it. 🙂
when i’m going out of my way to take on things that aren’t packaged as easy-for-dummies and take some poking and tweaking and asking for help on forums to figure out, there’s nothing to complain about!

15 05 2008
ranagar

Re: Cool!
There’s a book out by David Platt “Why Software Sucks” that calls out the problem you are talking about extremely well (paraphrased)…
Developers, lacking both social skills and good requirements, develop software the way that they would want to use it. We need to teach our developers to design for the user, and more importantly that their users are not (with rare exception) like them.

15 05 2008
ranagar

Re: Cool!
There’s a book out by David Platt “Why Software Sucks” that calls out the problem you are talking about extremely well (paraphrased)…
Developers, lacking both social skills and good requirements, develop software the way that they would want to use it. We need to teach our developers to design for the user, and more importantly that their users are not (with rare exception) like them.

15 05 2008
tyra

Re: Cool!
i complain b/c stuff that ought to be intuitive isn’t, and you folks who devote your lives to it ought to make it be intuitive. it’s very directed complaining–i expect you to fix it. 🙂
when i’m going out of my way to take on things that aren’t packaged as easy-for-dummies and take some poking and tweaking and asking for help on forums to figure out, there’s nothing to complain about!

15 05 2008
ranagar

Cool!
I’m not sure I ever remember you saying this much about a computer without complaining, and I it might be the first time you’ve talked about a computer that I actually understood everything you said — which in itself qualifies as pretty geeky!

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