I hate Word

Hardly an original sentiment I know, but I feel moved to make a token gesture of disgust at the monstrous bloated pile of junk that can't even paste text sanely and appears unable to resize a table in a comprehensible manner.

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If Microsoft spent as much money on useability as it does on figuring out ways to emulate all the bells & whistles we typically find in a Mac or in Linux, we'd have a far better system, but when you're forced to use Microsoft products in your work envuronment and they're running under a Microsoft operating system, and they're regularly screwing up, causing huge frustration, and crashing, No amount of MVPS support is going to be worth that, and you can't help but wonder how Bill Gates et al managed to pull the wool over so many people's eyes so effectively for s long. Fortunately Gates is doing penance for his sins by spending his billions helping out the sick, but I'm not sure that really makes up for the worldwide ills he's caused.

One of my metrics for software is MTBC (Mean Time Before Cursing). Excel has historically been about 30 minutes, Word about 5 minutes, and PowerPoint something under 10 seconds. These numbers have all gone lower since I got Office 2008.

Seriously Ian?

Billions of dollars for the sick and poor is not enough compensation for you having to deal with clunky software? That's just a disgusting sentiment.

So, Microsoft is a charity now? When I buy a copy of Word what I'm really doing is making a charitable donation and the box I get is really just a sort of badge ... "I donated to Microsoft".

I avoid the whole word processor thing as much as possible.

{Well funnily enough that was one of the reasons I ended up leaving science. It took me a loooong time to realise this, but I'd spent my school years loving maths / phys / chem / computing, and giving up eng / hist / geog, at least in part because for the latter you had to spend sooooo long writing tedious padded words. Then I go into science, a major portion of which is... well, you guessed. At least now I get to talk to the nice computer mostly, and only have to write release notes rarely -W]

I gave up on Word and switched to LaTex. There's an initial learning curve, and I keep a cheat sheet on the wall, but life has become better.

No Microsoft is not a charity and you don't have to use Word (at least I'm not going to force you to). I responding to Ian's characterization of Bill Gates that says spending billions of dollars to heal poor people is not enough to atone for the crime of convincing people to buy your products. Not that anyone else cares four days later.

Well you should just have been one of those scientists who never writes anything :-)

[I didn't really fancy working for the Met Office :-)) -W]

I haven't touched Word in a decade or more, except for about one special occasion. A basic text editor does for English, and vim for code.

[Slightly more seriously: you misunderstand me. It wasn't the Word bit that annoyed me: I just didn't want to write stuff. Which is why I have a blog. Oh rats. Go on: its your turn to opine about the sign of proxies and set Roger straight -W]

Oh I don't think I can be bothered about the proxies (which is why I'm replying here). As fas as I can tell, your take is right and Mann's "bizarre" is absolutely appropriate, because the (original) orientation is simply irrelevant to the algorithm (but I hope the final orientation is climatologically meaningful). The broader issue of whether the proxies have any usable climate signal in the first place is rather more difficult...

[Well yes. But are you sure you don't want to take this chance to write an amusing headline about RP being wrong again :-? -W]