Th’ Gaussling was upgraded to Windows 7 and Windows Office 2007 recently. I wish I could report that it has gone smoothly, but it has not.  Like millions of others I have been using the Office suite of software for a long while. The latest upgrade seems to have made a largish stepchange in alteration of features in Word, Excel, Access, etc.  While it is plain even to a caveman like me that the upgrades are generally for the better, I am having a bit of difficulty absorbing the changes and altering my keyboard habits.

It may not be that functions have come and gone, but rather it is that the access or arrangement of the functions have been “improved”.  Just this morning I was unable to plot a graph from a table of data as I had done a thousand times before. The manner in which curve data and axes are defined has been re-jiggered and re-rigged so that I have to do it differently now. It is very much like a different piece of software.

It is hard to say anything defensibly negative about these changes because I can see how it might be viewed as an improvement. 

 But it is an improvement of the sort when you rearrange the furniture in a blind persons house. Yes, the couch and end tables are in a better place, but somebody is going to bang up their shins and maybe fall on their face trying to figure it out.

The gift that Microsoft has given American business is the means for the elimination of administrative assistants.  Today, it could be argued that everyone can do their own correspondence, writing, and ciphers in the same or less time than it takes to supervise the execution of the work by an admin. 

What has resulted from this benefit bestowed upon us by the geniuses at Microsoft is that we must all strive to keep up with a never ending parade of features and software upgrades, online access and passwords. In my immediate area I now have 6 computers driving different pieces of apparatus with multiple software packages across a network and into the clouds.  At home I have two more computers to maintain and internet banking to keep up with.  My freaking computers really don’t belong to me- they all talk to the clouds on their own schedule and have routines that they do for Gawd knows what purpose.  I don’t think this is too unusual.

It’s getting to be too much for a caveman like me.  I have the urge to spear some cloven hooved beast and roast its flesh on a big fire and feast under the moonlight amidst the smoke and grunts of satisfaction of my hairy cohorts with thick eye brows. This is something that Microsoft has yet to provide for me.