Articles posted in October, 2004

FileMaker Pro Updater: As dumb (and useless) as Microsoft’s Office updater

Sunday, October 31st, 2004 • 5:48 am

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the idiotic behaviour of Microsoft’s Office 2004 Service Pack 1 updater, which leaves a log file at the root level of your hard drive. I am sorry to report that FileMaker’s recently released updater (which updates FileMaker to 7.0v3) is just as bad. It too leaves a […]

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High-speed Internet, iPod Photo, U2 iPod, and more

Thursday, October 28th, 2004 • 2:13 am

I am on vacation in Ottawa this week and am fortunate enough to be staying in a house with high-speed Internet. This is my first time being able to use high-speed on a on-going basis for a week. And of course, for someone like me, who’s been stuck at 28 kbps for the past decade, […]

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Google as a trouble-shooting tool

Tuesday, October 26th, 2004 • 8:21 am

Damien Barrett gives a good example of the use of Google as a trouble-shooting tool. I too have been able to help people with technical problems that I had never heard of before, simply by searching for answers with Google. Damien goes on to raise some questions about the importance of Google as a search […]

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More from John Gruber on brushed metal

Sunday, October 24th, 2004 • 7:47 am

Following the many responses he received to his first posts on brushed-metal windows in the Mac OS X interface, John Gruber finally makes the connection between brushed metal and usability. I am sorry I have to say finally, but it’s because it took a long time for him to raise one of the issues that […]

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EPL 2005: Day 10 (Manchester United 2 – Arsenal 0)

Sunday, October 24th, 2004 • 5:34 am

The end of the unbeaten run is obviously a crushing disappointment. The fact that it happened at Old Trafford, and just one game short of the symbolic 50 mark doesn’t help. But what is really disappointing is that, once again, what was supposed to be a “massive” game had so little to do with actual […]

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FileMaker 7: Intrusive Dock icon bouncing when launching in background

Friday, October 22nd, 2004 • 6:11 am

If you launch FileMaker 7 by double-clicking on a FileMaker 7 file in the Finder, and then, while FileMaker 7 is in the process of launching, you switch to another application to continue what you were doing instead of waiting for FileMaker to finish, then inevitably FileMaker starts high-bouncing in the Dock as if it […]

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More on Mail Merge with Word and Excel, and FileMaker importing

Wednesday, October 20th, 2004 • 4:39 am

Yesterday, I talked about the dreadful interface in Word for creating a form letter with data merged from an Excel spreadsheet. But it was only the first part of the story. Today, in the space of 15 minutes, once again, I had the opportunity to experience many of the things that are simply wrong with […]

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Non-breaking spaces: They aren’t just for French punctuation, you know

Tuesday, October 19th, 2004 • 5:19 am

As regular Betalogue readers know, I do a fair bit amount of work in French with my Macintosh computer. Because of this, I am particularly sensitive to issues that affect French-speaking users. I am constantly amazed and frustrated by the utter lack of respect that non-English-speaking users get from most major software developers. Things have […]

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Office 2004: Mail Merge with Word and Excel

Tuesday, October 19th, 2004 • 4:18 am

Not being a secretary myself, I don’t often use this kind of feature (mail merge), but I have to help out people who need it. So here I am with a letter typed in Word and an Excel worksheet containing a list of addresses to be inserted into the letter in Word in order to […]

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Office 2004 Service Pack 1: What it doesn’t fix

Tuesday, October 19th, 2004 • 12:06 am

Here’s a short list of obvious and extremely annoying bugs in Word 2004 that Microsoft’s recently released Service Pack 1 fails to fix: Disappearing I-beam Cursor: If you cut or paste or copy or delete text and then immediately try to move the cursor around using the cursor keys, you’ll notice that the insertion point […]

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New York Times magazine article on ‘our national eating disorder’

Monday, October 18th, 2004 • 11:31 pm

The New York Times magazine has an excellent article by Michael Pollan titled “Our National Eating Disorder“, which covers everything from the Atkins fad to the “French paradox”. As a French national living (and eating) in Canada (now a Canadian national too), I can only confirm the fundamental difference between a North American society driven […]

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Google: logging in and posting to newsgroups

Monday, October 18th, 2004 • 8:10 am

I love Google as much as the next guy, but the company still has a thing or two to learn about basic web design. I was reading a newsgroup post in Google Groups today and wanted to respond to it. So I clicked on the “Reply to this message” link at the bottom of the […]

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John Gruber on brushed-metal windows

Monday, October 18th, 2004 • 4:29 am

John Gruber has a new article on the use of brushed-metal windows in the Mac OS X interface. It’s not quite as in-depth as John’s articles usually are. In particular, he fails to mention two additional problems that I have had the opportunity to point out, namely that there is not enough visual difference between […]

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EPL 2005: Day 9 (Arsenal 3 – Aston Villa 1)

Monday, October 18th, 2004 • 1:18 am

It was an excellent week-end for Arsenal. Early Saturday, Birmingham had managed to hold Manchester United to another disappointing 0-0 draw, which meant that the Gunners could put an 11-point between them and their rivals prior to the October 24 clash at Old Trafford, if they could beat Aston Villa at home. They did just […]

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Wired on ‘The Long Tail’ and the future of the entertainment industry

Saturday, October 16th, 2004 • 12:20 pm

No one can really predict the future, but Wired‘s Chris Anderson has given it a good try with his long article on the newest trends in entertainment retail and in particular on the future of the in-crisis music industry. The article goes off on a bit of a tangent towards the end, when it talks […]

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