Working in the new Office

I will admit my blogging has slacked off a bit of late, which is partly due to the World Cup being on and trying to get work done around that. But there is another reason and I thought it worth a little blog post. For my work computer just got upgraded with Microsoft Office 2007.

Now my work computer is hardly an obsolete museum piece but it is also not a state of the art either. The drop in performance with the new Office is palpable. Waiting for Outlook to finish opening generally involves a walk down the hall, a cup of tea and some discussion of the latest world events with a colleague.

I should add that once it is open it is reasonably OK. I have Office 2007 on my home computer (which has a bit more processing power than my work one) and so have gotten used to its changes. I have also heard that I am due to get a memory upgrade to help with the performance. That will help, as I can’t imagine how it will do if I am trying to run 3 or 4 applications at the same time.

But really, am I alone in feeling that it is an unnecessary upgrade? Is it even truly an upgrade, as in something that makes the product better? Office 2003 served me pretty well for many years and I don’t recall even one time that I wished I could something on it that I can now do with the new version. Word processing and spreadsheets are useful tools for me, and do not need to be extremely elaborate. If they can do the basic stuff, I am pretty happy.

It is not just Office either, new versions of ChemDraw and upgrades to the operating system and Adobe needs to be updated. Does the updater for Adobe Reader get used more than the actual application? Maybe not, but it is closer than it should be. They add some functionality but a lot of times it is a case of adding something that you will never need.

It is about now I start to hear the words of my father-in-law who is a big fan of Linux, though installing a whole new operating system on my employer’s property might be considered overstepping the bounds.

One thing that I have seen upgraded with definite improvements: the Isco purification system. Not quite the same thing as upgrading software, I concede, and the “upgrade” here is an entire new piece of equipment, but stay with me here. The first system they produced worked OK but was definitely clunky. The Companion was a great improvement and a real work horse for the lab. I didn’t think there was too much that you could do with it, some minor things perhaps, but the newer model that we have (I have blogged with affection about it before) is again a step up adn the reason it is such an improvement is because Isco looked at how the people using it used it, saw where they had problems and saw ways they could fix those problems. Not just adding features that you never knew you needed. And using it does not require a 2 week training course – generally if you cannot pick up the features in a few days routine use then those features are not going to be a valuable addition.

Anyway, just felt like a little rant and if you can’t do that on your own blog, where can you? Better than the street corner certainly.

UPDATE: My memory upgrade was installed last Friday. The improvement in performance is significant. I noticed even just logging on this morning that it took much less time, whereas before it took a while even to put the proper graphic for the icons on the desktop. And opening Outlook was complete before I got back from the coffee room. So that would appear to be problem solved.

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2 comments on “Working in the new Office

  1. akshatrathi294 says:

    Might seem like an unnecessary upgrade to 2007 from 2003 considering the amount of resources (processing speed & memory) that need to be allocated to it but I’ve found it helpful. I can’t see myself use 2003 again. Actually, I’ve liked the 2007 interface so much that I am considering moving Office 2010, which is quite similar but has a lot more improvements. One thing I’ve heard is 2010 is not as resource heavy as 2007. Just like how Windows 7 is so much more efficient than Windows Vista.

    • David Perrey says:

      The initial shock of the change in the interface aside, I have had no problem with the software, other than it being slow to get going and intermittently slow after that (usually if you have it open and come back to it, it takes a while to notice you poking it).

      Interesting that 2010 has sought to address that particular concern. It seems ironic that we have finally upgraded from 2003 now just as a potentially superior product is released. Wonder if we could have just skipped a generation?

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