Friday, December 26, 2003

Microsoft Word is a terrible program

L. Menand "speaks the truth to power":

Microsoft Word is a terrible program. Its terribleness is of a piece with the terribleness of Windows generally, a system so overloaded with icons, menus, buttons, and incomprehensible Help windows that performing almost any function means entering a treacherous wilderness of pop-ups posing alternatives of terrifying starkness: Accept/Decline/Cancel; Logoff/Shut Down/Restart; and the mysterious Do Not Show This Warning Again. You often feel that you’re not ready to make a decision so unalterable; but when you try to make the window go away your machine emits an angry beep. You double-click. You triple-click. Beep beep beep beep beep. You are being held for a fool by a chip.

Like all humanities geeks, Louis should really learn to use LaTeX and Xemacs. I learned to use Xemacs as a CS undergrad, and I learned LaTeX during my first year of grad school. At first it was kind of odd but now I actually find it astounding that any human being can stand to edit large quantities of text using Word. Blech. And LaTeX has excellent citation support.

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