This morning I needed to respond to a tech call from Grace. It was a matter of getting this relatively new iPhone back onto the CH wifi, which I quickly did using info that Craig had sent me.
Then I responded to an email from Connie. She has a bunch of old doc files that, when she opens them in current Word, “just look like chicken scratches at the edge of the window.” Huh? I had her mail me one. Yup, the doc is displayed as a bunch of ###% etc on the left edge of a blank page. Oh wait, look at the bottom, this thing has 27 pages. I start scrolling. About 15 pages of sparsely scattered #%#%#% into it, there is the original text in ascii with no formatting.
I go into the terminal and use the UNIX
file command which instantly reports, “Microsoft Word for Macintosh 5.0”. It’s a poem and the title includes a date, 1997. Really old. I download OpenOffice, but to my surprise, it shows it the same as Word. I really thought the open-source Word replacement would have better backward compatibility.
I do about 90 seconds of searching (not “googling”, I haven’t used actual Google search in a long time) and find Zamzar.com, an outfit that sells file conversion apps, and offers free conversion of single files on their site. I feed it Connie’s doc and get back a properly formatted .docx file that looks great in both OpenOffice and Pages. I write her a note saying what I found.
So that’s two people’s tech issues solved between 9am and 10:30. I am feeling like The Techmeister. It’s time for the writers meeting. The cue is “comic strips” and I have written up the history of web comics. It is well received. Several other people have written entertainingly of childhood memories of comics.
Next, I make myself a sandwich and drive to FOPAL to finish my section for sale day. That takes an hour. Back for a nap and soon it is time for the monthly Sixth Floor meeting. The only news is that the 6th floor is responsible for the July TGIF party, which is to also be the 4th of July party, on the 11th floor before watching fireworks. I literally sit on my hands so I don’t get volunteered for anything. I guess when the time comes I will be scooping ice cream to make root beer floats.