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Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 - Tue, 1 Mar 2005

My love/hate relationship with Microsoft products continues. I had to make up about 40 mailing labels for my wife with names and addresses she had in Microsoft Excel. So I used the mailmerge in Microsoft Word to do it. Microsoft Office: Lovely user interface! Huge number of features that can do almost anything you might think of. But its usability is just horrible. I am probably like many people who have good knowledge of Word and Excel, but just don’t use certain features like mail merge very often. It doesn’t speak well for a product when a 5 minute task ends up taking 60 minutes because you have to redo it 6 times before you get it right. Nothing is obvious when it comes to Office, and everytime you think something should be done one way, they implement it another way. It’s like they got the best programmers to design the user interfaces and functions, and the worst ones to implement them. I’m sure many of you can relate.

Meanwhile, my ASP -> executable -> ASP solution also has another quirk in it I have to handle. The file that’s created has to be marked “in use” and then released when done so that if two people try to use it at the same millisecond, then one won’t read the info that the other wrote. This is standard practise in file handling - I’ve done it before for my counters at the bottom of each of the pages - but again it is something that must be carefully implemented and tested to prevent problems. Barring more problems, this won’t take long.

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