A3Writer: My technical rant
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Sunday, December 2, 2007

My technical rant

I know, at first thought you don't know if this is actually about writing; however, I assure you that the subject of this rant is intimately related to writing. I, as you can see if you look at the links in the sidebar to the right, am an advocate of WordPerfect. I have used this amazing software since my 286 computer from many moons ago. Many moons. For those who don't know what that is, do a Google and marvel at the wonder of computer before Windows and mice took over; try dealing with command lines and switches with DOS and the infamous "syntax error"---and as a writer I feel syntax is very important.
&nbResuming my rant, I use WordPerfect for a variety of reasons. Primarily among them is that I can readily usp; se keyboard shortcuts to achieve nearly any effect I want, thus keeping my fingers on the keyboard where I can type instead of on the mouse scrolling through menus for features (I will not even bring up the horror that is Word 2007). Other reasons include the ability to actually get WordPerfect to do what I want instead of what it thinks is best for me. Word's desire to help in all the wrong ways, thus slowing me down, becomes a major irritant; plus Word has a tendency to screw up in some style aspects and at times the only thing to do is to copy all the text over and paste it without formatting to start from scratch. With WordPerfect's reveal codes feature, eliminating unwanted formating is a breeze, just ask anyone who has used reveal codes, it's indispensable. Lastly, I consider file size to be very important. I'm attempting novel length documents, and for reasons passing understanding a Word document that is identical to my WordPerfect file is twice the size; a personal letter runs only a few kilobytes, but they do add up, especially when for these larger files I'm starting to push a megabyte for a Word document. Yes, I am fully aware that digital storage is very easy nowadays with usb drives running into the several gigabyte range with ease; however, I don't have just one document. I'm an educated man with years of essays written as well as several hundred files including notes for novels and short stories. I have well over three thousand files that are all documents, and they add up. And for many more reasons on why Word isn't the best document format, click here.
Yes, I will admit the last is a minor point, but it still serves to tip WordPerfect as my preference as I did have to cram essays onto floppies while in college. This, however, leads me to the other aspect of my rant. At college, they provided WordPerfect as an alternative, and even on some machines that didn't have it, the college had installed the appropriate document converters into Word. These converters come with every iteration of Microsoft Word. Word even offers a "help for users of Wordperfect" as an option on the installation, but only those who actually look at the install options will find it. Word doesn't install it by default.
Because Word is the default standard for word processors these days, I have been forced to use it when I receive documents from others, and I must admit certain things in Word are easier than in WordPerfect. However, I am tired of converting all of my WordPerfect documents into Word documents so people can look at what I've written. At this point, I simply refuse to cater to Word users. I am not without mercy, though, and have actually done the leg work for my friends who use Word exclusively. By clicking on this link, you will be able to install the conversion filters into Word. This will enable people to open up WordPerfect documents automatically in Word, and save me a great deal of hassle.
And for those who are at least interested in looking at WordPerfect, I shall point you in this direction. I'll be putting up some customized link badges regarding these links in the near future, so they'll always be there as a reference and reminder of my position and advocation of the what I feel is the best word processor.

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