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Writing and uploading stories

zeguy4u

Where do u write stories (wordpad microsoft word etc)
And do u create a separate file for each chapter?

rustyken

@zeguy4u

I use Libre Office and create a separate file for each chapter. I also have separate files for character names and relationships, facts about the stories location, and timeline.

Cheers

Replies:   Robin Pentecost
John Demille
Updated:

@zeguy4u

I use scrivener to write. It's a writing project manager. It allows you to be organized in your writing and allows/encourages you to have a separate section/file for each chapter among other things.

Switch Blayde

@zeguy4u

Where do u write stories (wordpad microsoft word etc)
And do u create a separate file for each chapter?


I use MS Word.

If I'm writing a novel, it's one file (with chapters as "heading 1" so I have a Table of Contents on the left to quickly go to a chapter). If I'm writing for SOL, each chapter is a separate file (simply because I post by chapter).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

I use Libre Office and create the whole story in a single file, because I finish the story before posting it. Once the story is finished I will decide on where to make breaks to post it to SoL as SoL chapters and make them as separate files while I retain the master file. That way I use the master file to create the e-pub for Lulu and if I do revisions after it's all posted I simply upload the revised master file as one upload.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@zeguy4u

Where do u write stories (wordpad microsoft word etc)
And do u create a separate file for each chapter?


I use BBEdit on the Mac. It's a very powerful plain-text editor. Each book is a folder and each chapter of each book is a file. BBEdit allows them to be combined into a project, and you can do global search and replace in a file, project, or across multiple projects.

I find writing in plain text to be much quicker and cleaner. YMMV.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

I use MS Word and save my chapters as individual files. I also use Word's Master Document feature to combine the individual files into a single file for searching and for standardization (i.e. replacing words when I start using the wrong name or term).

ETA: Michael's combining project function sounds like the Master Document function. The implementation is probably different.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Uther_Pendragon

@zeguy4u

These days, I mostly write in MS Word -- sometimes in Word Pervert.

I use the proofreading function there, and then I copy&paste into a simple text file. I post that.

I keep everything in the chapters I'm going to post, sometimes in smaller sections that I join later. (I use a lot of "Hold_016" etc. files since I don't always write sequentially.

I also have files for names -- something I often get wrong -- and -- in some cases -- locations, etc.

Crumbly Writer

@zeguy4u

Where do u write stories (wordpad microsoft word etc)
And do u create a separate file for each chapter?

I'm tempted to say "On the toilet, with my desktop computer running WORD sitting in my lap," but it's not exactly accurate.

As I've stated many times before, as an old-time office hack, I've familiar with WORD, and already know how to use it, so that's what I stick with. While the newer programs eliminate the obvious bloat, they completely bypass the consistent formatting. I also think you should ask (word processor, text file, mark-up or html?), as they fall into separate categories.

And not ONLY do I create a separate file for each chapter, but I create a separate master file for each outlet I self-publish at (i.e. Amazon, SW, lulu, D2D and one for print).

It's easier to process edits a chapter at a time, otherwise you'll spend weeks with a single editor's edits, leaving the others hanging as you process each change. Also, if you update/revise one chapter, it's easier to find the changes if you only transfer a single file, rather than expecting them to wade through the entire story. However, there is something to be said for seeing the story in it's final form. Also, editors prefer editing the complete story in one go, as they frequently need to check what happened when, forget what happened, and often will reread/reedit certain chapters.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

If I'm writing a novel, it's one file (with chapters as "heading 1" so I have a Table of Contents on the left to quickly go to a chapter). If I'm writing for SOL, each chapter is a separate file (simply because I post by chapter).

Doesn't that mean you have both (a single file and individual chapters)? If so, does it make a difference in how they're edited, and how you distribute chapter modifications?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I use Libre Office and create the whole story in a single file, because I finish the story before posting it. Once the story is finished I will decide on where to make breaks to post it to SoL as SoL chapters and make them as separate files while I retain the master file. That way I use the master file to create the e-pub for Lulu and if I do revisions after it's all posted I simply upload the revised master file as one upload.

Maybe I need to clarify here. I write a chapter at a time, as it provides a more distinct objective (i.e. "I need to finish this chapter by xxx!"), but when I finish each, I transfer them to the comprehensive master file (formatting each as I go, rather than trying to retroactively copy formatting from one distributor's copy to the others).

Thus, when I'm editing, or making corrections, I can quickly search the entire book, but while I'm editing, I'm not distracted by the other chapters, while also having both close at hand.

What can I say, I have a complex mind that thrives on challenges? Simplicity bores the crap out of me. 'D

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

I use BBEdit on the Mac. It's a very powerful plain-text editor. Each book is a folder and each chapter of each book is a file. BBEdit allows them to be combined into a project, and you can do global search and replace in a file, project, or across multiple projects.

I'm assuming you're adding 'in-line' editing (rather than using pre-defined Styles) as you go, so it's not really plain-text. That makes a big difference. For many of us, we choose Word Processors simply because using Styles ensures consistency across each chapter, rather than treating each paragraph as a separate entity. Either approach is fine, but that's generally the dividing line, not just which is easier to use.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I use MS Word and save my chapters as individual files. I also use Word's Master Document feature to combine the individual files into a single file for searching and for standardization (i.e. replacing words when I start using the wrong name or term).

I hate to admit it, but while I'm familiar with separate worksheets and combined worksheets in Excel, I've never heard of doing the same in WORD, and suspect I've just never set WORD up to use them properly.

Crumbly Writer

@Uther_Pendragon

I use the proofreading function there, and then I copy&paste into a simple text file. I post that.

I've never liked Word's spell/grammar checker, preferring Google's search bar for spell-checking (I've never spelled well enough to use a dictionary, so have difficulty looking up correct spellings), though I spot-check using Word's spell checker before going to my browser to use Google.

I keep everything in the chapters I'm going to post, sometimes in smaller sections that I join later. (I use a lot of "Hold_016" etc. files since I don't always write sequentially.

We probably need a separate discussion about writing non-sequential chapters, outline both the pluses (focusing on essentially chapters first) and the minuses (loosing track, not knowing what happened earlier when writing those 'all-important' scenes).

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Doesn't that mean you have both (a single file and individual chapters)?


No, it's one docx file. The thing on the left is like links to the chapter headings (and therefore the chapters).

I started using a single file for novels because I was interested in the total word count while I'm writing (it displays on the bottom left in Word). If I'm running short on words, I might introduce a sub-plot, for example. Not put in meaningless words to make it larger, but to add more to the story.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

No, it's one docx file. The thing on the left is like links to the chapter headings (and therefore the chapters).

No, I understand Word's 'Index' function, but that's all in one document, rather than individual chapters (i.e. it allows you to focus on each chapter, while also allowing you to perform gloval searches.

Your terminology (i.e. "individual chapters") threw me.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Maybe I need to clarify here. I write a chapter at a time, as it provides a more distinct objective


Interesting. My approach is very different.

I have a set of paragraph styles set out in a preset ODT document format which looks exactly like a print book of what I write will look like.

I write the story from start to finish (regardless of how many years it takes) in that same file (or a copy of it).

I write a scene at a time and will finish a scene before I break, but it may or may not be the end of a chapter. The chapter will go for as long as it needs to for that chapter's content.

When I want to make the print ready PDF from the finished book I simply click on the icon to do so. Then I'll use "save as html" to make a html copy which I'll clean up to make the SoL file from and the epub file from.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

I'm assuming you're adding 'in-line' editing (rather than using pre-defined Styles) as you go, so it's not really plain-text. That makes a big difference. For many of us, we choose Word Processors simply because using Styles ensures consistency across each chapter, rather than treating each paragraph as a separate entity. Either approach is fine, but that's generally the dividing line, not just which is easier to use.


If you mean using underscores and asterisks for italics and bold, yes. Otherwise, it's pure text. And those minor formatting marks are trivial to remove. I don't use any html, etc.

When I'm ready to actually format as an ePub, mobi, docx, or pdf, I have a bash script that uses Unix command-line tools to prepare the plain text files, then import them into Scrivener, where I have styles, etc, predefined.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
PotomacBob

@Uther_Pendragon

since I don't always write sequentially.


When you don't write sequentially, how do you keep track of continuity?

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Interesting. My approach is very different.

Actually, they're actually quite similar. You decide, after the fact, which chapters go into your SOL posts, so those 'chapter' lengths really don't impact me.

I too base each book on my last book, thus maintaining each of my latest Style Definitions, since I tend to add them as I need to with each book, but when I do (and after the book is finished and published) then I'll go back and update each of my previous books with the new Styles and details, if needed (when I also add links to my newest story).

Clearly, I rarely complete an entire chapter at one sitting, so I'll often finish a single scene (if possible) before doing something else, but the end of the BOOK chapter determines when I close and save the open chapter, then switching it to my other master copies.

Again, I've build in a LOT more redundancies to avoid losing data, which isn't necessary for anyone else, but because of how I write, it's easier for me to process and keep track of the changes over time.

Our 'final' output (html or pdf) is the same too, and doesn't take much time (aside from the cleanup effort, that is), but for your print file and SOL posts, I've got multiple, each requiring completely different formatting, so trying to update each when under extreme time constraints in publishing dates, is a recipe for disaster, so I put the extra effort in early to ensure I don't make fatal mistakes later in the process.

Once again, my ambition is my own downfall. If I wrote simpler stories, or only posted to a single site, or even only published to a single outlet, I wouldn't have as much work as I do. But I keep trying to increase my reader base to including more and more reader sources, hoping each one will yield one or two readers who'll then order ten to fifteen books (after reading the one currently posting).

But I wouldn't recommend this approach to anyone else, I'm merely reflecting how my process works and what it entails.

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

If you mean using underscores and asterisks for italics and bold, yes. Otherwise, it's pure text. And those minor formatting marks are trivial to remove. I don't use any html, etc.

You're right, that's a basic test editor. For some reason I was getting BBEdit confused with the newer 'mark-up' or 'distraction free' apps.

If working with text files works for you, why complicate things. But as I said, I thrive on complications (like including publishing marks, plus foreign languages in my stories which necessitate foreign accent marks and odd letter forms).

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

If working with text files works for you, why complicate things. But as I said, I thrive on complications (like including publishing marks, plus foreign languages in my stories which necessitate foreign accent marks and odd letter forms).


BBEdit accepts all UTF-8 characters. I include Cyrillic, Japanese, extended Latin (e.g. å, ä, ö for Swedish), etc, in my 'plain text' files. I think you're thinking 7-bit ASCII. :-) I type everything directly into BBEdit (or cut/paste for the languages with ideographs which my keyboard does NOT make easy to type).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

Actually, I knew that, but I keep thinking of all text editors as being the equivalent of MS's Notepad (though, even there, you can define the file so it will accept and save those characters, it just won't by default.

REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


The thing on the left is like links to the chapter headings


Navigator pane. It displays text that is formatted as a heading. If you use multiple levels (i.e. Part, Section, Chapter, etc.) assigning each level to a heading style creates an indented links to the respective place in the file.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@REP

Navigator pane.


That's what I said. "The thing on the left." :)

Replies:   Keet
Robin Pentecost

@rustyken

I use Libre for editing on a Linux machine. My author sends me Docx files. I use track changes, but when I return the file to the author, the changes disappear. I've tried changing to Doc format with no luck. Any ideas?

Keet

@Switch Blayde

Navigator pane.

For those using LibreOffice:
LibreOffice also has a navigator pane. Activate it with F5 or from the view menu. You can dock it to the left side, right side, or bottom by dragging it an see the outline before ending the drag.
You can double click headers, images, etc to jump to them in your text.

Ernest Bywater

@Robin Pentecost

I use Libre for editing on a Linux machine. My author sends me Docx files. I use track changes, but when I return the file to the author, the changes disappear. I've tried changing to Doc format with no luck. Any ideas?


Libre Office uses the industry agreed standard code for such actions, no MS Word program uses the industry standard code for such actions, thus no MS Word program recognizes the track changes code. So you're wasting the time to do so. I've an editor who insists on using MS Word because it's all he knows. So he marks the edits by changing the text color to red to make it stand out. I also use the 'Compare files' function within Libre Office to show the changes, and I suspect the same will work in the MS Word software.

Ross at Play

@Robin Pentecost

I use Libre for editing on a Linux machine. My author sends me Docx files. I use track changes, but when I return the file to the author, the changes disappear. I've tried changing to Doc format with no luck. Any ideas?

I have two ideas but no idea what their value to you will be.

I had compatibility problems using OpenOffice (similar to Libre, AFAIK) on my previous computer. Asking authors to send me doc instead of docx files, and as attachments rather than by Google Docs, seemed to work.

One author recently couldn't read my edit file whether I saved it from Word as either docx or doc. I sent him a pdf.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Ross at Play

One author recently couldn't read my edit file whether I saved it from Word as either docx or doc. I sent him a pdf.

I think Word can work with .odt nowadays so maybe you could try that. It might even work as the default format between writing and editing.

Dominions Son

@Robin Pentecost

Any ideas?


OO and LO are free, and available on Windows. Convince your autho9r to switch. :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
rustyken

@Robin Pentecost

I think track changes will show if the MS file is in doc format, not docx.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@rustyken

I think track changes will show if the MS file is in doc format, not docx.


Only if the changes were made by another copy of MS Word, as the code to do the tracking is different from the standard code.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
zeguy4u
Updated:

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I didnt think i would get so many replies. I think i will stick with word and have a separate file for each chapter because i am so used to it.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@zeguy4u

I think i will stick with word and have a separate file for each chapter because i am so used to it.

You should switch to LibreOffice because that works on all operating systems. From what I read in this forum a lot of writers and editors work on Linux so both sides working with the same word processor is a great advantage.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Robin Pentecost

I use Libre for editing on a Linux machine. My author sends me Docx files. I use track changes, but when I return the file to the author, the changes disappear. I've tried changing to Doc format with no luck. Any ideas?

That should work, as both programs have similar features, but use different names. As long as you send it back as either .doc or docx, it should maintain the information, as I've had several authors/editors who do the same, but as Ernest says, it's easy enough to recreate using 'Compare files' feature (though that won't restore your comments). He should be able to view those separately by clicking "show markup>comments" and "Reviewing Pane>vertical" in his "Review" panel.

Hope that helps. I can't recall how to list Word's shortcut keycodes for each feature.

@Ernest

I've an editor who insists on using MS Word because it's all he knows. So he marks the edits by changing the text color to red to make it stand out.

Yeah, your brother does that all the time, but I have a hard time scanning a chapter and spotting the as it doesn't stand out well enough, so most often, I simply use "Compare files" to convert it to a "mark changes" format and I'm good to go, while also changing the colors back again. 'D

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play

I had compatibility problems using OpenOffice (similar to Libre, AFAIK) on my previous computer. Asking authors to send me doc instead of docx files, and as attachments rather than by Google Docs, seemed to work.

.doc remains the 'gold standard' in terms of transferring files and still retaining compatibility, which is why that's ALL I use (about all I've ever noticed that .docx gives me is the ability to use small caps, which isn't essential, especially since html can't process it).

One author recently couldn't read my edit file whether I saved it from Word as either docx or doc. I sent him a pdf.

Since .pdf isn't reformatted on the fly, but a fixed size forcing you to scroll around to read it on most screens, you're better able to SEE the changes, though it does take more time.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

OO and LO are free, and available on Windows. Convince your autho9r to switch. :)

While I typically use WORD on both my PC desktop and my Mac laptop, I keep OO on each, as both OO and LO can open each others files without issues. It is the easiest solution, and rather than 'giving up' a comfortable tool, you only start it up when needed, and can then cut & paste between windows.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Only if the changes were made by another copy of MS Word, as the code to do the tracking is different from the standard code.

In most cases it will work. As I've said, I've had several authors return my .doc files which they've edited in either LO or OO, and they open file and display all the marked changes, but it can screw up occasionally. In that case, keeping the free copies of either LO or OO makes sense, especially since the programs are so much smaller than Word!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

From what I read in this forum a lot of writers and editors work on Linux so both sides working with the same word processor is a great advantage.

As an author, I realize that not everyone has the same tools that I do, or is as comfortable using them, so I send .doc files since every can generally read them, and I'll accept anything they send me, even if it's OO, edits via email or even SOL's messages. The onus in on the author, not on those providing feedback. If the author was paying for you to purchase and train on each of his favorite tools, it would be another story. As they say, beggers can't be choosy!

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Yeah, your brother does that all the time, but I have a hard time scanning a chapter and spotting the as it doesn't stand out well enough, so most often, I simply use "Compare files" to convert it to a "mark changes" format and I'm good to go, while also changing the colors back again. 'D


I use the compare file feature if there's a lot of entries by him, and I type the changes into the master file, which is not the two files I'm comparing: his returned edit file and a copy of the master.

For the ones where he says there's only a couple of items I find bumping the file text display to 150% makes the red stand out like a searchlight.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

CW, I was talking about the 'Track Changes' software code within the word processor. The code used by MS Word is not the same as others, so it doesn't work the same. Often it won't show, while sometime it will only show some things.

Heck, in the past I used to have trouble getting the track changes in MS Word working between word 2a and Word 6 due to the difference in the code.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

The code used by MS Word is not the same as others, so it doesn't work the same.

The tracking changes feature is quite different for Word and OpenOffice. The OO version allows you to turn 'show changes' on and off. Word does not allow that.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Ross at Play

The tracking changes feature is quite different for Word and OpenOffice. The OO version allows you to turn 'show changes' on and off. Word does not allow that.

A tip for those whose use the track changes feature in a document.
If you are finished and all changes from your editor are done save without the tracking. It makes the document a lot smaller and it's 'fresh' to get the next round of changes. That is of course only necessary if you work with the document that has the changes tracked. If you just copy the changes into a separate master file it makes no difference.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I use the compare file feature if there's a lot of entries by him, and I type the changes into the master file, which is not the two files I'm comparing: his returned edit file and a copy of the master.

Again, that's partially why I keep so many copies of my stories, so I can make the corrections in my chapter document as I process the changes in the flagged (marked changes) document, while still doing searches across the entire document without losing my place in my master document. This is one situation where having individual chapter files pays off. If you only maintain one master file, they you tend to fix the edits in your master file, rather than vetting them all beforehand.

Hint: For normal 'accept' or 'reject' edit checks, I just click the button and go, but if I don't think the suggested changes sound like either my writing style or the character's voice, or the fix conflicts with the larger story (i.e. it contrasts with something which occurs later in the story), I'll rewrite the problematic section in my original chapter file while keeping the original marked-up edited version showing both before and after versions in front of me, and then I cut & paste the entire chapter into my other documents. Once again, my system has a LOT of duplication of effort, but at times like these, it gives you a few more options.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

CW, I was talking about the 'Track Changes' software code within the word processor. The code used by MS Word is not the same as others, so it doesn't work the same. Often it won't show, while sometime it will only show some things.

Ernest, I understand you perfectly. As I said, I maintain and use my own copy of LO, however, aside from an odd chance problem, I don't have the same errors when transferring edits from system to system. I firmly believe it because I only work in the more widely accepted .doc format. Most of the times it doesn't work is when the original author is working in the new, and more proprietary .docx format, which really offers no meaningful benefits (which is why I've never upgraded Word for Windows beyond v10)!

Now, I might just be incredibly lucky, or you might encounter more errors since you're based entirely in LO and thus have more transfer acceptance errors than I do, but despite my love for complexity, I always prefer elegant, simple solutions over complicated, hard-to-maintain ones.

That said, does anyone out there have these ongoing transfer errors while working with .doc files? If so, then I'm just whistling out of my own ass.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The tracking changes feature is quite different for Word and OpenOffice. The OO version allows you to turn 'show changes' on and off. Word does not allow that.

Sorry, but both OO and LO (they split off well before Word first introduced the "Review" feature years ago in Office 10) copied the functionality (while changing the names to avoid copyright infrigement, so they all function the exact same way, only the names and buttons differ.

On Windows Word, you can also 'Show Changes' on and off (as I'll often simplify my markup by selectively turning it off to 'accept' or reject my own edits before sending it on). If there were more options in LO and OO, no one could ever transfer files between different editors using different systems, meaning OO and LO's markets among writers would effective dry up! Keeping them the same works for everyone's benefit. Since the commands are called different things, Word/Office users are less likely to jump ship for something their unfamiliar with, while authors and edits can continue working unimpeded.

P.S. I routinely forget to turn 'tracking changes' on my chapter files before sending them to my editors, so they routinely turn them on after receiving them, with no loss of data on my end.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

A tip for those whose use the track changes feature in a document.

For my very first story, I was lucky enough to get no less than both Switch and Ernest as editors. They both walked me through the proper procedures for maintaining, transferring and tracking changes, as well as working with editors, and then they both cut me loose after the first chapter to find my first 'official' editors. It was the perfect introduction to 'how to' surviving on SOL.

The key, is that I don't email to use Google Docs, instead I use DropBox (DB), which creates virtual folders of my works-in-progress, so they can easily see the originals, their own marked up edits, and the most-recent version, all while maintaining their own versions of the document. Thus there's no need to 'save' or 'reject' all. The documents are kept more or less permanently on DB at no expense for anyone. All 17 of my books, including all the detailed graphics and covers, easily fit into their 'free' usage restrictions, so there's never any fear of their either being delete, my account being deleted, or DB 'reading' anyone's edit to send them targeted ads if one of my characters has athlete's foot. Although many people dislike DB's founder for political reasons, it's a simple, elegant and painless solution. The kind I like best. 'D

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

If you only maintain one master file, they you tend to fix the edits in your master file, rather than vetting them all beforehand.


I maintain the one master file while having duplicates about. However, the only changes to the master file are made by hand by me after examining what the editors send back.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I firmly believe it because I only work in the more widely accepted .doc format.


My first question here is which one of the several .doc format sets are you using? Even when I was using two systems with Win XP where one had Word 2a and the other had Word 6 I found I often got format errors from a .doc file saved on one when it was opened in the other. This was solely due to the command codes differences within the MS Word .doc commands for the 2 versions.

When you open Libre Office and use Save as you have the Word options of:

Word 2007-2019 (.docx)

Word 2003 xml (.xml)

Word 97-2003 (.doc)

They no longer support the earlier versions of MS Word .doc files as a 'save as' function while they will open them and display them correctly as well as convert them as best as they can. Mind you, MS don't support most of their early Word .doc formats now, either.

...................

At one time I had to use Win 7 for a while due to an issue with the new CPU, and the track changes Gary made in the MS Word copy on his system using .doc weren't saved into the .odt copy when he saved it as .odt. Nor were the track changes readable in LO when he tried opening the .doc copy in LO. That was a few years ago.

......................

I'm sure if you transfer between systems using MS Word 97-2003 .doc files the track changes should come through because the programs should be using the same files. I also think if you save as .doc in LO and open it in another version of LO the track changes should come through due to the programs using the same code. But it's odd if they're getting through from MS Word to LO, especially if they're different Operating Systems.

...........................

BTW: I've never had a problem with track changes between LO on Windows XP, Windows 7, and Linux. - My son uses Windows on his laptops so I have to use them when I borrow the laptop.

Edit to add: If things are working for you across platforms and software, good luck and I hope they continue to do so.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

On Windows Word, you can also 'Show Changes' on and off

Either I can't find the feature or we're talking about something different.

In OO (and I expect LO has the same feature) I can select Edit > Changes, and then turn on or off both 'Record Changes' and 'Show Changes'.

Turning Show Changes off results in the coloured deletes no longer being shown and the coloured inserts switching to the same font as surrounding text. I then see what the revised text looks like.

I cannot find where in Word to switch between those two displays. To view a clean new version I copy the version with changes marked and paste it somewhere else.

If that is possible in Word, please tell me where to find that feature. BTW, I'm using Word 2010 on Windows 7, if that matters.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

In the early versions of MS Word it used to be called Turning on/Off Revision Marking - I'm not sure if they still use that terminology in Word 2010. In the early versions of Word you could use the following keyboard commands:

Alt,U,M to choose the Utilities Revision Marks
Alt,M to turn on or off Mark Revisions

Alt,U,V to choose Utilities Compare Version

You may find those old keyboard commands still work, many of them do.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

his returned edit file and a copy of the master.


I do something similar. Jim7 uses Word's track changes feature to mark his edits. When I get his edits for a chapter, I save the edited file as the next version of the chapter and then review the edits. When I get the edits of Ernest's brother, I compare the two files saving the differences in the new chapter file. I save the differences in the new chapter file, and they get saved as tracked changes, so i can review the changes using the Track Changes feature.

I had used the 150% display to find Ernest's brothers changes until I came up with the above method, which is far easier than looking through a file containing 8K+ words to find something marked with red text.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

In the early versions of MS Word it used to be called Turning on/Off Revision Marking

Thanks for the thought but that doesn't seem to work.

I searched the Help for 'revision marking' and it showed me the same information as a for 'track changes', i.e. how to turn "record changes" on and off, but not "show changes".

Alt-U did nothing
Alt-M took me to 'Mailing'
Alt-V almost gave me apoplexy. The text covered the entire screen except for the Toolbar. I tried quite a few ways to get back to the usual display before guessing to try 'Esc'.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

I'm not sure if they still use that terminology in Word 2010


In Word, the Review menu has a Track Changes button. Clicking it turns the Track Changes function On and Off. The button also has a submenu for customizing the Track Changes function.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Alt-U did nothing
Alt-M took me to 'Mailing'


by ALt-U and ALt-M did you hit the 2 buttons together or did you hit alt, then wait and hit U? In the early MS software you hit alt to bring up the sub-menu, then you used U to access the next level of menu, and then M for the final option - it was a sequence process. thus it showed as Alt, U, M for a one by one step order as against Alt+U to be done at once.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

it was a sequence process. thus it showed as Alt, U, M for a one by one step order as against Alt+U to be done at once.

The only difference hitting the keys in sequence was an error bell when I hit U. I still got to 'Mailing' when I then hit M.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


The only difference hitting the keys in sequence was an error bell when I hit U. I still got to 'Mailing' when I then hit M.


The process is still there, somewhere, just the access is changed.

That indicates the U option has been disabled you don't get to where the sequence should work.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

The process is still there, somewhere

Thanks.

But you do realise that finding it may defer my decision to finally dump all things Microsoft and convert to Linux. :-)

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Ross at Play

But you do realise that finding it may defer my decision to finally dump all things Microsoft and convert to Linux. :-)

Just go for Linux ;)
I haven't run into anything I couldn't do with Linux since I dumped MS many years ago. And I'm a C# programmer, 100% on Linux.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I maintain the one master file while having duplicates about.

That's essentially the same, as we both have backups, but I generally focus on each chapter being the latest update, while you focus on the Master File being the "Gold Standard" for every other document.

But now that I think of it, at least with my current story, I am making updates to the one Master File rather than the individual chapter files, but that's mostly because I got a Content Editor involved, as it's easier to add new details I'm unsure about keeping (like various epigraphs) in one place rather than duplicated in multiple places, as well as needing to check details before committing to changes in multiple documents.

Again, my own love of complexity is wrecking my solution to my own Complex Stories! :( Talk about a conundrum!

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

My first question here is which one of the several .doc format sets are you using? Even when I was using two systems with Win XP where one had Word 2a and the other had Word 6 I found I often got format errors from a .doc file saved on one when it was opened in the other. This was solely due to the command codes differences within the MS Word .doc commands for the 2 versions.

Unlike you, my baseline isn't historical, it's based on functionality. The one key component we're each focused on, are the 'Mark Changes' functionality, which, if I recall correctly, was first introduced in Office 10. As such, that version is my 'gold standard', and anything previous to that is automatically rejected. (Plus, there really wasn't anything introduced after that which I've ever cared about!)

That said, I'm not focused on ancient history problems, but on my experience using that one formalized standard, which everyone (each OS and WORD Processor Program) currently adheres to.

As I said, I may be wrong, simply because my 'dataset' isn't big enough to present a comprehensive picture, but so far, I haven't has a significant problem with it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

In OO (and I expect LO has the same feature) I can select Edit > Changes, and then turn on or off both 'Record Changes' and 'Show Changes'.

That's the key difference, and why you can't find it. Those 2 WPs chose to put the 'on/off' switch into a drop-down window, rather than in the "Review" Pane, as Windows does (which is understandable, since the entire 'Pane' concept is an Office exclusive feature). But again, both OO and LO duplicated the vital MS elements, so they ALL share the same functionality, they just store the key elements in different places.

Next time you can't find something, ask me and I'll find it. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I first set it years ago, but I'm generally pretty good at finding these 'lost details', since I know where to look.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The one key component we're each focused on, are the 'Mark Changes' functionality, which, if I recall correctly, was first introduced in Office 10.


I'm not sure what they called it back then, but the capability has been in Word since the first versions of MS Word. It was because of this capability that it was possible to reduce the file size by saving the file in a way to remove all of the saved changes by simply saving just the latest version of the file.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

In the early versions of Word you could use the following keyboard commands:

Alt,U,M to choose the Utilities Revision Marks
Alt,M to turn on or off Mark Revisions

Alt,U,V to choose Utilities Compare Version

Thanks, I couldn't remember the little-used (by me) key codes (I was searching for them earlier, but couldn't remember how to turn on the key-code guide), but that early version wasn't the final version, The final version is Windows 10, which was the ONLY reason I went with 10 and haven't upgraded since.

P.S. While I don't use keycodes often, my close friend is blind and very computer savvy (like me, he's not afraid to open up a computer and patch his system with new updates, but often needs either me or his wife to 'read' him the pop-up screens before the Windows OS fully loads, enabling his 'spoken interface WindowBlinds to function), so he usually tells me which keys trigger which items. As such, I've never needed to keep a printed copy around.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I had used the 150% display to find Ernest's brothers changes until I came up with the above method, which is far easier than looking through a file containing 8K+ words to find something marked with red text.

DAMN! That's why we need these detailed comparisons of techniques. Since I've been using that technique for years, I could have set you straight right off the bat, but since you never know who to ask, you had to fumble around until you finally stumbled across it.

These 'How do you handle this' discussion aren't for each of us to brag, but for each of us to compare notes, and figure out what we might have missed, and what we need to tell new authors going forward.

Unfortunately, the discussions tend to degenerate into specifics, so by the time we uncover the important details, the newbie authors have long ago abandoned the 'unproductive' thread. :(

That's why I've always LOVED the 'permanent anchor' posts, so once everyone reaches a resolution on our little conflicts, we could submit a 'final update' to Lazeez to permanently fix as the very FIRST post in the abandoned forum.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Thanks, I couldn't remember the little-used (by me) key codes


One of my close to hand reference books is Microsoft Word for Windows User's Reference from 1987 which includes all of the old keyboard shortcuts as well as the instructions on how to do things. The Alt, U command to open the Utilities sub-menu is the first one I've heard of that doesn't still work out of the 3 pages of commands.

Several years ago I went to a compulsory training course where I had to use the latest version of Windows and MS Word, it was the one with the atrocious ribbon. I found using the ribbon instead of the menus cut my speed to one tenth of what it was due to the ribbons not matching the menus properly. I photocopied the keyboard commands and immediately went from being the slowest in the class to the fastest, despite having to look up the command on the sheet most of the time. If you want to know any, just ask and I can look it up.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Next time you can't find something, ask me and I'll find it.

I have one now. I cannot find how to make MS Word stop displaying recorded changes, and show just the revised text instead.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Un petit Google suggests you have to 'accept' the changes, whatever that means/entails.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Updated: A new update is include farther down.


Thanks for the thought but that doesn't seem to work.

I searched the Help for 'revision marking' and it showed me the same information as a for 'track changes', i.e. how to turn "record changes" on and off, but not "show changes".


OK, here it is, once again (as I previously posted this in an early post by you). To turn 'Marked Changes' on and off, you go to the "Review Pane", and to the left of "Track Changes" (under "Tracking", there's a little tiny drop-down marked 'Show Markup". You press this, and then select the item marked

"Highlight changes". Wala, you're now displaying the marked changes (though this is actually the default for Windows, so I suspect you're barking up the wrong tree. It isn't that you want to SHOW the existing 'marked changes', but you instead want to enable the 'marking of changes', which is a separate command. Under Tracking "in the "Review" Panel, you click the BIG leftmost image marked "Track Changes", to either turn "track changes" on or off.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

But you do realise that finding it may defer my decision to finally dump all things Microsoft and convert to Linux. :-)

I was kinda under the impression it was already a done deal. You may not have been ready to switch yet, but my impression was that you were already prepared to dump Windows in time, one way or the other. But maybe I was mistaken.

But you're right, pressing and holding the Alt key does highlight the various key-codes, which I couldn't remember, but even that isn't what I remembered. Instead, it ONLY highlights the menu bar options, not the individual key-code commands. Likewise, neither Alt-U or Alt-M did what I expected, they instead switch between Panels, but what I wanted at all.

Frankly, it appears the entire key-code array of key-codes I remembered and 'forgot' have all been disabled (in Office 10, which I've been 'using' for years!!!), yet I've never once noticed it.

You can still access the necessary codes by selecting the Windows Pane and then hitting the proper button, but the old key-codes no longer work.

I definitely need to contact my blind friend and ask him for the current (8-year old) list of 'modern' key-codes, because the ones I thought there clearly aren't. Again, the most hated feature of Office 10+, were those damn Panes which NO ONE liked.

I got around those Panes by installing an "Add-on" which added a new "Menu" Panel which restores ALL of the old commands under a separate Pane, but that's a work-around. The fact of the matter is, once again, M$ has once again 'slit its own throat' by forcing an unwanted change on ALL of its customers all in an effort to present a 'simpler' interface which does nothing but make the usual commands impossible to access!

Once again, M$ is heading in the wrong direction in trying to compete with smartphones. Rather than fewer features, smartphones have succeeded because they continually add more features, rather than removing them. That's why M$ is no longer a viable computer/software vendor! Their ONLY viable product is a product which has really not been updated in eight years! (Windows 2013 really didn't add any meaningful features, so it's not even a viable 'upgrade' other than yet-another demand for 'more money for the exact same thing as before'. :(

But, I'll get an answer about the missing key-codes from an expert whose entire ability to function depends
on accessing those key codes. I'm convinced they are there, I just can't remember how to uncover them!

Grrr!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Thanks.

I can see my mistake now: I was thinking again. I should have just experimented with the features next to 'Track Changes'. DOH!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I haven't run into anything I couldn't do with Linux since I dumped MS many years ago. And I'm a C# programmer, 100% on Linux.

Sadly, I agree with you. Windows, like MS Office, hasn't had a meaningful update in over 8 years! The only reason I'm not jumping on the Linux bandwagon is because Linux offers even fewer features than Windows is, rather than more! Thus, I'm waiting for my desktop to die (which hasn't happened, despite how old it is, because it was custom-build, rather than the crappy Name Brand computers which routinely fall apart at the 3-year mark. But, once it does, I'm going all Mac!

Again, there IS nodesktop OS offering any new features, and that's now the exclusive domain of tablets and smartphones, but … the future of Apple is they're planning to offer Apple app support within the Mac, thus I can at least run my smartphone apps on the pricey Mac as a desktop display, rather than as a 'fudged' tablet app.

Here's hoping, anyway, but with no viable options on either Windows or Linux, it's really the ONLY game in town.

For the rest of you (or offense intended), it's a no brainer. The Mac is vastly overpriced, thus you get MUCH more computer for a comparative price while losing NOTHING at all by switching to Linus. I'm still holding out hope that there is any future to desktop computers, since it's so damn hard to write stories on a damn smartphone screen!

Grrr!

As I've said before, the demand for desktops didn't disappear, instead it was actively abandoned by computer manufacturers who simply 'gave up' and are only now offering CRAP. If there were serious upgrades in features in new computers, I'd gladly purchase a brand new one every three years, just as I did in the 'old days', but NO ONE is offering a machine I'd waste my time purchasing!!!

Grrr!!!

Just call me 'That old fart standing on his porch and waving his cane at all the 'Young Whippersnappers!' :(

Replies:   Michael Loucks  Keet
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I was kinda under the impression it was already a done deal.

I was thinking but my previous laptop started having overheating problems.

I wanted an SSHD on my new laptop and bought one second-hand with 250GB in Malaysia for about USD$400. It came pre-installed with Windows 7 and MS Word. I'm happy with it.

Chances I'll switch to Linux unless forced don't seem good, given that I haven't gotten around to installing OO about 6 months later.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I'm not sure what they called it back then, but the capability has been in Word since the first versions of MS Word. It was because of this capability that it was possible to reduce the file size by saving the file in a way to remove all of the saved changes by simply saving just the latest version of the file.

So you keep claiming. My point, and I DO have one, is that those earlier 'features' are no longer viable. The only universally accepted 'safe' version of WP format is the 2010 .doc format (officially accessed via "Word 97 - 2003" on Windows Office 2010 or later. It's a strange conundrum, but that's the bottom line. Earlier version just don't work, and the later version just don't add anything worthwhile. For whatever reason, MS WORD 2010 is the ONLY viable option, assuming you ONLY transfer files via the 'older' .doc format!!!

You can argue all you want, but you continue having transfer errors, while I encounter only the rare error, which are easy to ignore since they ARE so rare!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Several years ago I went to a compulsory training course where I had to use the latest version of Windows and MS Word, it was the one with the atrocious ribbon. I found using the ribbon instead of the menus cut my speed to one tenth of what it was due to the ribbons not matching the menus properly. I photocopied the keyboard commands and immediately went from being the slowest in the class to the fastest, despite having to look up the command on the sheet most of the time. If you want to know any, just ask and I can look it up.

Again, the key codes didn't vanish, they just 'hid them' behind a new firewall. If they weren't viable, not a single visually impaired person would be able to USE a Windows computer, and that's just not the case.

I used to know how to access the newer key codes, as it'a s 'new' key code to access the new key codes, but rather than bitch and complain, give me time to ask my blind 'Expert', and I can give you the 'official/unofficial' answer!

Otherwise, we can play guessing games until the cows come home. I know it's possible, I just can't recall how to access the hidden controls. But ALL of Windows can still be accessed purely through key codes, MS just decided to 'hide' the access from the average user.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

The only universally accepted 'safe' version of WP format is the 2010 .doc format

Here's a feature I'd like in Word if you can find it. Can I make the default file type for 'Save As' the Word 97-2003 .doc format?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  paliden
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play

I have one now. I cannot find how to make MS Word stop displaying recorded changes, and show just the revised text instead.

That's simple. You just click "Track Changes" off, and 'Highlight Updates' remains on by default. You don't need to turn it on!

Again, I know this because I frequently turn it off to not flag a non-correction, and turn Tracked Changes on again while losing nothing and not losing the many other updates.

As they say: Trust me, it works!

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Un petit Google suggests you have to 'accept' the changes, whatever that means/entails.

THAT is definitely not true, as I've done this many, many times. 'Accept All' only 'accepts ALL changes, converting the entire document as your new file, which is not what Ross is asking for. :(

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Thanks.

I can see my mistake now: I was thinking again. I should have just experimented with the features next to 'Track Changes'. DOH!

Thanks, but i wasn't answering the right question, instead jerking you around with 'partial answers'. If I was thinking clearly, I would have given you the correct answer right off the bat. :(

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I wanted an SSHD on my new laptop and bought one second-hand with 250GB in Malaysia for about USD$400. It came pre-installed with Windows 7 and MS Word. I'm happy with it.

A word of warning, SSD's a much faster, but they are VERY unreliable. They not only have an abnormally high failure rate, but there is ZERO chance of recover. If you hire an expert, you might be able to save a single file or two, but your entire disk will be permanently trashed if you DON'T back up your data religiously!!!

SSD drives are a vast improvements, but the failure rates almost guarantee you'll eventually lose SOMETHING every time one fails! :(

RAID disk array promise to protect you, only they instantly copy any and ALL corrupted files, while they don't always prevent your latest changes from being swallowed by a lost SSD disk.

I've yet to find a reliable 'backup' routine! I've safely save most of my data each time, but always lose a few isolated files each time. :(

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Here's a feature I'd like in Word if you can find it. Can I make the default file type for 'Save As' the Word 97-2003 .doc format?

Glad you asked. Yes, there is, but once again, they 'hid' it in a place you'd never think to look.

Instead of searching for "Settings", which isn't there, instead select "Save As ..." and when the "Save As" window appears, clock the drop down under "Tools" and select "Save Options...". In that window, there's a very clear option for "Save files in this format:" where you can easily select "Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)". That's it, you're done.

Again, I access this 'impossible to find' Settings window frequently when I save .pdf versions of my print documents, and keep having to check that obnoxious "Do not embed common system files" is turned on each time I save a damn .pdf version.

paliden
Updated:

@Ross at Play

open word and then click

file

options

save

the first option is to select your DEFAULT file format.
ETA
You will still be able to select another format if you so desire when you save an individual file.

The file format you select under the save in the options saves you the trouble of having to choose a "save as" when you save the file.

Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

But, once it does, I'm going all Mac!


Good for you! Once you go Mac you never go back! I ditched MS for Mac ages ago. I'm a Unix/Linux guy from way back, and to me Mac is the best desktop environment. All my servers are Linux. :-)

Replies:   Keet
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

SSD drives are a vast improvements, but the failure rates almost guarantee you'll eventually lose SOMETHING every time one fails! :(


I don't know what's the failure rate of SSDs on Windows, but on the Mac, I've yet to see it happen. I've had SSD as the main drive for my Macs since 2010. I've had my current Mac since 2013 and it has a 500 GB SSD for a boot drive, not a hiccup.

I have several Mac Minis with SSD and not a hiccup.

But yes, whether on Mac or windows or linux, if an SSD craps out, all that's on it is gone. So backups are crucial and absolutely needed, just in case.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

A word of warning, SSD's a much faster, but they are VERY unreliable.

Maybe that was true for the first generations of SSD's but the the current SSD's are more reliable then HDD's.

but there is ZERO chance of recover.

There should never be a reason to recover. Recovery is a last try option if you failed to have a good backup policy and acted upon it.

RAID disk array promise to protect you, only they instantly copy any and ALL corrupted files,

RAID protects you from disk crashes so you have the time to replace a disk without losing data. Most of the time it's easier and faster then restoring a backup. It is NOT a replacement for backups!

I've yet to find a reliable 'backup' routine! I've safely save most of my data each time, but always lose a few isolated files each time. :(

You have to create a backup plan. Determine what you are 'willing to loose' since that sets the timing for how often you need to backup. Most commonly used is daily backups from which you keep the last 7 days. Then a (full) backup each week or month that you keep for a longer period of time. You should preserve the monthly backups 6 months to a year. The time to keep old backups and the frequency of new backups differs according to what is needed in a specific situation.
Remember the 3-2-1 rule of backups

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

The only reason I'm not jumping on the Linux bandwagon is because Linux offers even fewer features than Windows is, rather than more!

I challenge you to name one. Apart from gaming and Adobe programs I dare to say that Linux offer more features and does it faster (GIMP is a very good alternative for Photoshop and free). It might not look as spiffy as Windows by default but nowadays you can make it look anyway you want. Try that with Windows.
The only reason Linux isn't adopted is because it has too many choices to start with. With Windows you get the one UI (user interface) as it is. With Linux you have the choice between numerous, all with their different look, feel, and features. And still you can add features if they are not present by default. And the most beautiful thing? Say you want a tool to extract text or images from a pdf. On Windows you have to find what programs are available, most of the time you have to buy it, register for it or find cracks to make it work. Dangerous and cumbersome. With Linux you go to the repository manager and search for "pdf images" and you see what's available in the repository. Put a mark before "pdftools", click Apply and you have it installed in seconds. Everything from the repository is safe and free. (Most Linux installs have the poppler pdf tools installed by default so it's just an example).
I could say a lot more but once you found out all the advantages you'll never go back. It takes some work and the will to adopt the different points of view between Window and Linux but it pays of in a big way.

Keet

@Michael Loucks

Once you go Mac you never go back! I ditched MS for Mac ages ago. I'm a Unix/Linux guy from way back, and to me Mac is the best desktop environment. All my servers are Linux. :-)

I know from other posts from you that you are very familiar with Linux. Explain to me why have Linux servers and all that Linux knowledge and still use Mac for a desktop? I could never image myself working with such a walled garden despite the very good hardware.

Dominions Son

@Keet

The only reason Linux isn't adopted is because it has too many choices to start with.


Actually, the main thing holding Linux back is corporate dislike of open source software. The people who control the corporate money don't understand the open source operating model and don't want to get involved with it. They see it as both a financial and a legal risk.

The majority of people who work in offices end up using the same kinds of systems at home that they are provided with at work.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Dominions Son

Actually, the main thing holding Linux back is corporate dislike of open source software. The people who control the corporate money don't understand the open source operating model and don't want to get involved with it. They see it as both a financial and a legal risk.

The majority of people who work in offices end up using the same kinds of systems at home that they are provided with at work.

That is partially true. More and more companies are switching to Red HAT or SuSe Linux, both with payed plans for maintenance and securities that companies require. Most servers are Linux, at least most of the web servers.
I was more referring to the customer market. Hardware suppliers can't make the choice for you so they put on Windows. (also because of the very aggressive pushing from MS). The few that do default to Ubuntu.
So it's up to the customer to install Linux because it's not available when they buy a desktop or laptop. That's too much for most customers, they just use what's on the machine when they buy it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Michael Loucks

@Keet

I know from other posts from you that you are very familiar with Linux. Explain to me why have Linux servers and all that Linux knowledge and still use Mac for a desktop? I could never image myself working with such a walled garden despite the very good hardware.


It wasn't for lack of trying in the late 90's and early 2000's, but getting Linux to run on a laptop with WiFi was a black art. Mac OSX, which was released 2001, had a UI which was light years ahead of Linux UI's of the time. It provided a full shell environment but was also usable by my young kids in a way that Linux wasn't. And WiFi (using an AirPort) was dead simple. I moved my family and many friends to Macs which were largely immune to most circulating viruses at the time, and my support calls from them dropped to near zero.

As for 'walled garden' - that may be true of certain things like the iPhone and iPad (and I live within those restrictions by choice), but on the Mac you can install just about any open source software you want through HomeBrew or MacPorts, or build them directly yourself. And since the switch to Intel, the games I play (when I play them) are usually available immediately on the Mac.

So, for me, it's the bet of both worlds - a Unix system with a great UI and access to commercial software when I need it, plus the ability to run all the open source code I need when I need it. Dual booting is a snap with Bootcamp, if I need a pure Windows environment (rarely; mostly I use VMware).

As for Windows, I remember when I bought my son's first iBook (the 'snow' model with a G3) during the summer of 2001. I was running Windows 2000 on my desktops. When you installed the Microsoft Mouse on Windows 2000 you had to install a driver to get it to be recognized. When you plugged it into the Mac, it just worked. Told me everything I needed to know! :-)

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Michael Loucks

It wasn't for lack of trying in the late 90's and early 2000's, but getting Linux to run on a laptop with WiFi was a black art. Mac OSX, which was released 2001, had a UI which was light years ahead of Linux UI's of the time.

Thank you for that explanation. I agree that back then Linux was only usable by the hard core geeks, nothing like it is today. I also didn't know that Max OSX was so much more open then the iPhone and iPad.
Great if it works for you, I myself stick to all Linux, I like the control and reliability. I use plain Debian with a Mate, XFCE, or Gnome desktop on all my machines. I'm in the process of switching from VMware to KVM. That will take some time because I found once again that the Linux way of KVM offers me more possibilities then I thought which means I have to learn a lot more.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I have one now. I cannot find how to make MS Word stop displaying recorded changes, and show just the revised text instead.

Sorry, I didn't read this correctly the first time through. I'm pretty sure this isn't what you're looking for, but Awnlee is correct, for what you're describing, you simply 'accept all changes' to convert the various edits into standard text.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I wanted an SSHD on my new laptop and bought one second-hand with 250GB in Malaysia for about USD$400. It came pre-installed with Windows 7 and MS Word. I'm happy with it.

P.S. For the same price now, you could buy a 2gb SSD on Amazon with money left over, though the shipping to Malaysia would probably eat through the change pretty quickly.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I don't know what's the failure rate of SSDs on Windows, but on the Mac, I've yet to see it happen. I've had SSD as the main drive for my Macs since 2010. I've had my current Mac since 2013 and it has a 500 GB SSD for a boot drive, not a hiccup.

If you don't mind my asking, which brand product are you using? Maybe my problem isn't with SSDs in general, but with the 'discount' products I'm purchasing in order to afford larger capacities?

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

There should never be a reason to recover. Recovery is a last try option if you failed to have a good backup policy and acted upon it.

Yeah, my 'problem' is the difference between purchasing an additional RAID array, and not saving particular files on a 'real time' basis when I do lose a drive. Each time, I maintain the majority of my files, but there's always a few I either didn't backup, or I lose files between backups. If I could afford both the RAID array and the faster SSDs, it wouldn't be a problem. :(

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I challenge you to name one. Apart from gaming and Adobe programs I dare to say that Linux offer more features and does it faster (GIMP is a very good alternative for Photoshop and free).

We're both arguing the same point. I agree that Windows no longer offers the range of products it once did, and that both Apple and Linux have limited offerings as well. My main contention is that, Apple is at least moving towards a solution (while they're not there yet, in allowing both Mac and iOS apps to run concurrently (rather than having Windows programs run as pseudo-smartphone apps with useless 'touchscreen' functionality which no one uses on a desktop, which has been Windows ONLY policy for the past several years).

I agree with you, for the money, Linux is a much better alternative to Windows, but since I have a few extra bucks to invest in the future, I see greater rewards in paying more for Apple products than I do for spending less on Linus machines. Buying future MS machines is in neither of our plans.

By the way, since you asked, the Mac has a superior product that does exactly what Adobe products do, but only costs $35, with fewer inefficiencies like chewing up memory it never surrenders, rather then $700 or the more recent monthly subscription fees Adobe is now charging. Once again, Apple is planning ahead (though they aren't n Apple products).

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

but Awnlee is correct


Thanks.

FWIW I didn't know what I was talking about so I could easily have been wrong. When I'm editing stories for other writers, I use a more luddite approach than Word's changes system.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

I moved my family and many friends to Macs which were largely immune to most circulating viruses at the time, and my support calls from them dropped to near zero.

I love when techies describe 'helping their kids out' as 'support calls'! They're your damn kids, not an expense to be justified in your corporate budget!

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

In the end, when we're discussing OSs, I agree that Linux is the best buy, but I'm willing to invest in the overpriced Macs, because I trust Apple to continue innovating and providing superior products (though Apple's record under Tim Cook has been less than stellar!) :(

P.S. What the hell do Linux/Windows/Mac arguments have to do with 'writing and uploading stories'? Why didn't someone spin this off into a separate thread rather than burying the original discussion in irrelevant details? I understand thread drift, but there's a time and a place to post new questions.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Sorry, I didn't read this correctly the first time through.

No. You read right and when I looked in the right place - next to the 'Track Changes' button, Oops! - I found what I needed.

In my defense, I looked up the Help information. It was not helpful.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

For the same price now

The USD$400 price tag was for a recent-model, ready-to-use laptop, with a 250Mb SSD.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

In my defense, I looked up the Help information. It was not helpful.

No, Windows Help has always been less than useful. Frankly, both Google Search and youtube offer much better advice than MS Help does!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The USD$400 price tag was for a recent-model, ready-to-use laptop, with a 250Mb SSD.

Ah, then you're right, that was a Steal! Kudos. I'd thought you'd paid that much for the SSD alone.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Ah, then you're right, that was a Steal!

It was second-hard and only came with a 60-day guarantee from a repair shop, but it had components with the grunt I wanted, and has worked out well.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Frankly, both Google Search and youtube offer much better advice than MS Help does!


Given the number of articles Google found on the issue, a hell of a lot of microsoft customers feel the same way :(

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Yeah, my 'problem' is the difference between purchasing an additional RAID array, and not saving particular files on a 'real time' basis when I do lose a drive. Each time, I maintain the majority of my files, but there's always a few I either didn't backup, or I lose files between backups. If I could afford both the RAID array and the faster SSDs, it wouldn't be a problem. :(

Maybe you should rethink your RAID idea since for consumer use a RAID setup usually is way over the top.
There's a tool called rsync with which you can sync files or a directory to another drive. That way every time you save a document it can sync it and you would loose just minutes if your working drive crashes. It's a good way to have instant backups while working.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

The 2013 Mac that I use for development has an original Apple supplied SSD.

For the Mac minis, I bought Crucial drives to replace their HDDs.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

I love when techies describe 'helping their kids out' as 'support calls'! They're your damn kids, not an expense to be justified in your corporate budget!


I suppose I'm the only person who ever sent a 'notice of downtime' to his family when he was going to take the WiFi down for an extended period to replace the base stations and renumber the network.

As for helping my kids, I am. I just happen to call fixing their computers 'support calls' because that is what they are! I don't charge them nor do I justify the time to anyone, including myself! :-)

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

Explain to me why have Linux servers and all that Linux knowledge and still use Mac for a desktop?


I know a few people like this, and the reason for them is the same reason a few others stay with Windows - - there's a particular piece of software they use a lot that doesn't have a comparable open source version for use on Linux available to them. Well, that's what they tell me, and I tell them they're just too lazy to learn how it can be done in other software.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

I know a few people like this, and the reason for them is the same reason a few others stay with Windows - - there's a particular piece of software they use a lot that doesn't have a comparable open source version for use on Linux available to them. Well, that's what they tell me, and I tell them they're just too lazy to learn how it can be done in other software.

I wouldn't say lazy. If you're comfortable with some software there's nothing wrong with sticking to it. Personally I don't want to use anything then Linux because of the restrictions and propriety of other systems. I might try a BSD distribution but never Apple or Windows.

Keet

@Michael Loucks

I suppose I'm the only person who ever sent a 'notice of downtime' to his family when he was going to take the WiFi down for an extended period to replace the base stations and renumber the network.

As for helping my kids, I am. I just happen to call fixing their computers 'support calls' because that is what they are! I don't charge them nor do I justify the time to anyone, including myself! :-)

I don't know how old your kids are but you better train them fast so you can make the support calls to them ;)

Michael Loucks

@Keet

I don't know how old your kids are but you better train them fast so you can make the support calls to them ;)


Exactly zero of my children (all adults) have any interest in computers except as tools. I'll be supporting them in one way or another until the end... :-)

Dominions Son

@Keet

More and more companies are switching to Red HAT or SuSe Linux, both with payed plans for maintenance and securities that companies require.


Technically true, but:

1. It's mostly for Unix servers. SCO went bankrupt trying to sue IBM over Linux, so there isn't any source for non-open-source Unix anymore.

2. For user desktops/laptops/workstations, it's still single digit market share percentage for corporate IT infrastructure.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I love when techies describe 'helping their kids out' as 'support calls'! They're your damn kids, not an expense to be justified in your corporate budget!


You have that bass ackwards, the family support calls are mostly the techie's parent's and grandparents, not their kids.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
StarFleet Carl

@Keet

Maybe you should rethink your RAID idea since for consumer use a RAID setup usually is way over the top.


On my home network, I have one PC that simply sits in the corner as a file server. We don't run anything on it, it just has three 1TB hard drives in it with downloaded movies and back-ups for the documents folders and saved data from our other three computers.

Replies:   Keet
Michael Loucks

@Keet

Maybe you should rethink your RAID idea since for consumer use a RAID setup usually is way over the top.
There's a tool called rsync with which you can sync files or a directory to another drive. That way every time you save a document it can sync it and you would loose just minutes if your working drive crashes. It's a good way to have instant backups while working.


I have two drobo units and a synology unit. The value of the RAID is basically a bunch of mismatched disks that are presented as a single disk, but any single disk can fail and I can replace it without worrying about restoring.

I use rsync on my Mac Mini to backup my main media library (about 9GB of movies and music from one Drobo to the other. The Synology provides remote disk for TimeMachine, etc.

And it's all pretty simple to use and setup.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

Maybe you should rethink your RAID idea since for consumer use a RAID setup usually is way over the top.


One of the best home RAID set ups I've seen uses a 9 place USB strip with 9 USB drives as the RAID devices. It struck me as an easy to use and cheap RAID set up.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Michael Loucks

I have two drobo units and a synology unit. The value of the RAID is basically a bunch of mismatched disks that are presented as a single disk, but any single disk can fail and I can replace it without worrying about restoring.

Agreed. If you use something like Synology it's all setup when you buy it. That's the biggest problem for home users when they want to use a RAID setup, you have to know how to do it and a pre-setup like Synology solves that. I just wanted to point out the difference between a RAID setup to keep you running and that it's not a replacement for backups. A lot of users don't see that difference.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

One of the best home RAID set ups I've seen uses a 9 place USB strip with 9 USB drives as the RAID devices. It struck me as an easy to use and cheap RAID set up.

Keep in mind that the reliability and life time of a USB stick is just a fraction of a SSD or HDD. A USB stick is meant for portable storage, and not fit to be a working drive.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@StarFleet Carl

On my home network, I have one PC that simply sits in the corner as a file server. We don't run anything on it, it just has three 1TB hard drives in it with downloaded movies and back-ups for the documents folders and saved data from our other three computers.

Perfect for storage, just make sure you have off-site backups for everything you never want to loose. I have servers at three different locations so if my house burns down I won't loose any data. You could say I have a "RAID" setup over three separate locations ;)

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@Keet

Perfect for storage, just make sure you have off-site backups for everything you never want to loose. I have servers at three different locations so if my house burns down I won't loose any data. You could say I have a "RAID" setup over three separate locations ;)


And if anyone is using cloud storage for their offsite backups (they are being encrypted, aren't they?), then you want at least two offsite copies. You never know when some cloud service provider is going to fold or go "tits up" as my British friends say.

My strategy is one local, two remote, and those remotes are on separate cloud services, fully encrypted.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Given the number of articles Google found on the issue, a hell of a lot of microsoft customers feel the same way :(

MS's help (including their online help, their older manuals and their help desks) have NEVER been terribly helpful! Helping people was simply never a big MS corporate priority.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

The 2013 Mac that I use for development has an original Apple supplied SSD.

For the Mac minis, I bought Crucial drives to replace their HDDs.

Thanks. While it doesn't answer why I've had so many failures, it answers another question, as I've always wondered whether paying top dollar for the premium SSD models (despite their not have any faster access or larger capacity) was worth the added expense. Apparently not!

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Maybe you should rethink your RAID idea since for consumer use a RAID setup usually is way over the top.
There's a tool called rsync with which you can sync files or a directory to another drive. That way every time you save a document it can sync it and you would loose just minutes if your working drive crashes. It's a good way to have instant backups while working.

Yeah, that was the reason why I gave up on RAID, despite giving it a try years back. However, to compensate, I spread my data across multiple disks, and duplicate each and still back up frequently to other disks manually rather than automate the entire enterprise (and then I wonder why I keep missing select little-used files).

I'll have to try rsync, but I'll need to consolidate all of my files onto a single drive which I can then automatically back up frequently. (My multi-disk strategy is largely based on always separating my data files from my OS/system files, so that if my computer fries, I'll still retain ALL my data. Thus as my graphics work (book covers and internal graphics) increased, I found I needed a separate and larger disk dedicated to just those images.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

MS's help (including their online help, their older manuals and their help desks) have NEVER been terribly helpful! Helping people was simply never a big MS corporate priority.

But Microsoft has very good documentation and references for developers. The C# documentation is the only thing I sometimes use from Microsoft, especially where it concerns differences between framework versions.

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

As for helping my kids, I am. I just happen to call fixing their computers 'support calls' because that is what they are! I don't charge them nor do I justify the time to anyone, including myself! :-)

No, I understood perfectly. I was teasing, as I think it's funny, and it's understandable you'd have fun with your kids the same way. But, when you do, you've gotta expect fellow authors, who's job it is playing with words, to pick up on it and give you grief. 'D

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I know a few people like this, and the reason for them is the same reason a few others stay with Windows - - there's a particular piece of software they use a lot that doesn't have a comparable open source version for use on Linux available to them. Well, that's what they tell me, and I tell them they're just too lazy to learn how it can be done in other software.

The secondary reason, as I argued earlier, is Linux offers the same features, for a LOT less money. However, for personal (or business) computers, most hold out with the bigger established firms in the hopes they'll finally deliver a clear advantage sometime in the future. Thus they're willing to invest money in a blind gamble, while they won't when it comes time to machines running the 'back office' operations.

In my case, I'm happy to pay the exhorbiant rates for Mac computers, even though they offer no more selection of software, because I'm willing to gamble they manage to port the many iOS software over (and their hardware is much more reliable. But if you're looking for cheap alternatives to do the same as you're doing now, Linux is clearly the BEST alternative (i.e. there's little need gambling on a nebulous future development).

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I don't know how old your kids are but you better train them fast so you can make the support calls to them ;)

Despite my being out of the industry for 30 - 40 years, and my kids having attended special advanced 'technology schools' when young, they've never caught up to me, despite my continually falling farther and farther behind the latest technology.

Some of us are gear-head, some aren't, but the days of the 'nerd kings' (where so many of us flourished for so long) are long past. Now your tech job is only valid as long as the technology/tools you're currently using are still valid. Once they're abandoned, you'll have to start over (with technical training) all over again.

I enjoyed the opportunities the 80s and 90s provided, but I realize just how lucky I was to have been born (and been and been young enough to take advantage of it) when I did.

If it wasn't for that slim niche for non-conformists like me, I'd likely never have had any career at all.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

You have that bass ackwards, the family support calls are mostly the techie's parent's and grandparents, not their kids.

Normally, except for the narrow 'nerd culture' warriors from the 70s/80s and 90s who managed to carve a living out of being geeks. For us, we'll always be 'tech support', regardless of how far behind the times we are. The very fact we did support our families tech support, is the very reason our kids didn't feel any need to learn it! (It's the same with my kids, except now, rather than asking me, they just turn their older devices in for the newer generation like most people do!)

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

I use rsync on my Mac Mini to backup my main media library (about 9GB of movies and music from one Drobo to the other. The Synology provides remote disk for TimeMachine, etc.

Don't get me started on Apple's TimeMachine! It's effectively the ONLY viable backup option for Macs, but despite hearing about it's problems for years, I kept using it. But the very first time I lost something (only a single file/directory) it utterly failed and I was unable to restore ANYTHING on the entire backup, despite there being NO problems with either the disk, the backup or TimeMachine!

At this point, I'd LOVE put put a larger SSD in my older Mac laptop, but I'm terrified that, if I do, I stand to lose EVERYTHING (i.e. all my legally purchased software, plus all the data) if I simply hit a simple glitch and it says "Sorry, upgrade didn't work, Try again."!!!

TimeMachine, for as promising and seemless as it seems, it utterly worthless, as you never know WHEN it'll fail. There's NO question it will, it's just a question about when it will.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Agreed. If you use something like Synology it's all setup when you buy it. That's the biggest problem for home users when they want to use a RAID setup, you have to know how to do it and a pre-setup like Synology solves that. I just wanted to point out the difference between a RAID setup to keep you running and that it's not a replacement for backups. A lot of users don't see that difference.

That was my problem. When I did try to set up a RAID array, I was adept enough to know how to set up the entire thing on my own. Only I realized that, for me at least, it was only saving every single corrupted file,, so it was effectively useless for me as an individual.

At that point I simply gave up on the technology, and have been backing everything up semi-religiously on a manual basis ever since. It works, but every time a drive fails, I discover I didn't back up a couple of random files which I rarely modify. :(

No great loss, really, but it takes longer trying to duplicated lost changes that it did to change it in the first place! :(

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Keep in mind that the reliability and life time of a USB stick is just a fraction of a SSD or HDD. A USB stick is meant for portable storage, and not fit to be a working drive.

My many, many USB sticks, dating back to the first introduction of them, is many times more reliable than my expensive SSDs. While I've had multiple SSD failures over the years, I've only lost one, maybe two USBs. Instead, I typically toss the USB sticks/disks, when I move up to a larger size. After all, who needs a crappy 16mb stick when I can get a portable 2GB drive? (Though, technically, the 2gb drive is actually SSD, rather than a traditional USB stick technology.)

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

You never know when some cloud service provider is going to fold or go "tits up" as my British friends say.

Or more realistically, 'sell out' to Google or someone else so they can 'market' your data trove by selling it to anyone interested. Or simply 'get hacked' so your data is available for sale on the Dark Web!!!

Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

No, I understood perfectly. I was teasing, as I think it's funny, and it's understandable you'd have fun with your kids the same way. But, when you do, you've gotta expect fellow authors, who's job it is playing with words, to pick up on it and give you grief. 'D


Quite so!

StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

(Though, technically, the 2gb drive is actually SSD, rather than a traditional USB stick technology.)


Is that what those are now? I didn't know that. I use two different 8GB USB sticks for file transport.

What makes me feel sick is realizing that my first computer had a whopping 4,096 bytes of storage. Not MB, just 4K. Vic-20. Had the tape drive for it, spent a lot of money for the 16K memory expansion, and finally when I got my C64, I got the floppy drive and a one hole paper punch. (Since you could punch a hole in floppy drive cover and record on the back of the disk as well.)

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

(Though, technically, the 2gb drive is actually SSD, rather than a traditional USB stick technology.)


From the research I've done the chips in the SSD is developed from the USB chips under the same technology and the same chips are used in both with the only differences being the casing they're in the controller operating the system.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

From the research I've done the chips in the SSD is developed from the USB chips under the same technology and the same chips are used in both with the only differences being the casing they're in the controller operating the system.

Actually SSD is quite old. The first one goes back to 1978(!). The chips used between USB sticks and SSD's vary so you can't say that the same are used although lately the 2 come closer together because the size of chips keeps decreasing and it makes more sense to use the same chips. Still the software controller in an SSD is very different from the one in an USB stick so unless your USB stick IS an SSD don't make the mistake of comparing reliabilities. The fact that you regularly changed to bigger USB sticks made it that you replaced them before they could fail. In short, so far you were lucky.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Despite my being out of the industry for 30 - 40 years, and my kids having attended special advanced 'technology schools' when young, they've never caught up to me, despite my continually falling farther and farther behind the latest technology.

There's a very simple explanations for that. When we started the whole IT fields was so small that we were able to oversee everything that went around in it. We learned the very basics that most youth today gave no idea about. When you fiddled around with a little programming you learned the difference between stack and heap. Today even a lot of programmers have no idea what those are because they work with a fancy development environment and don't have to calculate memory usage to make it work. Up until recently the programmers for embedded software still had to do that but even there the availability of more memory and storage makes it less difficult for the 'lesser' programmers. In a way it's sad that a lot of that basic knowledge is preserved among less and less people.

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