20 August 2010

Office 2010beta beware!

I liked Office 2010 and the free beta version seemed to last for ages. But all good things must end, someone said, and one day I realised I was back in Office 2007. That was OK as I hadn't got a spare £100 and wouldn't be able to get a free copy from College for a while.

A little while ago I was trying to print the final version of my huge great MA paper and the air had already turned blue just drafting it all. It became a purple haze Jimi Hendrix would've been proud of, though, when I tried printing it. Pages of nothing flew out of the printer. Now I know some people might say I write a load of poppycock but at least you can see poppycock. And anyway, that's for Middlesex University to decide.

Now, I admit that I did run the cartridges down to their last droplets and the level indicator showed just a thin line along the bottom and that was my first thought as to what was wrong. Replaced them. Same problem. Next I wondered whether the printer's drivers had got either corrupted in a strange way or one of my children had plugged and uplugged the thing and it had had some sort of coronary or brain damage. Installed new drivers. The old ones were 2004 vintage and the new were dated at around the time Office 2007 with its nice new Cambria, Calibri et al arrived. That must be it, I thought to myself and hit print once more. Still nothing.

Strangely, I could print PDFs fine so I did that to get the work off in time. I look for some answers on Google and the excellent Woody's Lounge. No-one else seemed to have had the problem. I even used one of those Just Answer type sites and some nice guy from the States had a go but gave up.

I did notice on my travels through the US Microsoft site that there was a trial version of Office 2010 available. No money to pay, no credit card, just download and away I go. That seemed a good idea anyway and maybe that would solve the problem. It did! For a while anyway.

On the way through installation it instructed me to uninstall 2010beta manually. I did that and now all the fonts print just fine.

What I don't know is whether all I need to have done was uninstall 2010beta. It would be pretty strange if I had to uninstall 2010 to get 2007 fonts back but it was, in fact, a suggestion from one of the leading Office guys on the planet who did reply on Woody's Lounge. Even he wasn't sure, though.

So, for the odd few people who had 2010beta but couldn't afford the upgrade and who now have the same problem, do give the uninstall thing a go and let me know.

Incidentally, I didn't see an equivalent free trial on the UK site.

02 August 2010

My laptop hibernates more often than my tortoise

Nice free defragging tool from the people that brought us the excellent CCleaner. It's a task that I don't do as often as I should but this should encourage me to have a look at the state of my hard drive a bit more frequently and actually do something about all the bits that have been dumped randomly across the place by various users, including myself, not always closing things as carefully as I should, especially on the laptop which gets carted around fom room to room and hibernates more often than my tortoise.

Click here to download this.