So I installed Office 2000 Professional on my Windows 98 laptop. Here are some observations ane experiences. If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them if you email me.
First, installation did not go smoothly. After about half an hour of installation had gone by, I got an exception error and the installer locked itself up. I tried a variety of things over the next two hours, and I eventually figured out that the installer was choking on a java .dll. After I deleted the .dll, installation proceeded without incident. I’ll try to cover all of the applications at some point this week. So far, I have used Word and Outlook only.
Outlook: I use Outlook as my primary Windows email program. This is primarily because we use an Exchange server at the office and it makes managing that mail and my Internet email easier. I also sync my PalmPilot with it. Outlook 2000 is not substantially different from Outlook 98 on the surface. My settings and email migrated without issue. I added some contacts, appointments, and to do list items and then synched my Palm V. Everything worked as I would normally expect it to. The Outlook Today panel is more customizable, and it seems like everything is HTML based so creating custom interfaces for it should be quite easy. The main Outlook window also can act as a Web browser.(Not that I would ever use it as one). The enhancements to Outlook don’t amount to much on a single user level.
Word: The application, as with Outlook, does not stray from 97 all that much. I was much more interested in looking at a document after it had been saved with the “Save as Web Page” command than basic operation, which I expect is very much the same as 97. I saved two documents that I had lying around and opened them with Allaire Homesite 4.0. While the HTML is more correct and less intrusive than the 97/98 converter, there are a lot of custom tags that aren’t part of any spec. They have a modified version of CSS that they use too. Overall, I think it’s better than the same feature in Word 97. I would, however, rather have had something that output strict HTML 4.0 or at least had that as an option. The document also contains meta-tags that a novice user might not be aware of. These give the users name, date of edit, and other information about the document. There is a copy of one document I saved this way here for your perusal. I tried out its self repairing option, which worked well, and also tried to use an option I hadn’t installed. Word then prompted me and asked if I would like to install the option(in this case a file format filter) and installed it at my command. I liked this quite a bit.
I liked what I saw, but I am not certain that the average Office user will benefit substantially from this update. Most of the changes are of benefit to large scale users. Considering the update costs, I don’t think anyone who doesn’t need the new features for some reason should run out and buy the upgrade.
Allaire has updated HomeSite 4 to 4.01. Update info is here.
I went to see Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me . I liked it quite a bit, but I think they lowered their standards in order to try and make the second movie funnier. It wasn’t as intelligent and witty as the first movie, but it was well worth the $4.75 I spent to see it.
LinuxPPC.com has announced that LinuxPPC 5.0 is shipping.(finally) There are substantial differences in this new version, and I look forward to receiving the copy I pre- ordered in January.
I saw Very Bad Things on DVD over the weekend. I didn’t like it nearly as much as I expected to. It was very very very dark.
I found the new Red Hot Chili Peppers CD, Californication, to be a huge dissapointment. Very mellow and almost completely devoid of the energy that I had come to expect and love from them(they are still one of my favorite bands). The lyrics were very sing songy. They have realaudio versions of the songs on the Web site.