More notes on software

The more I use Microsoft OneNote 2007, the more I like it. Right now I’m using it to collect parts of pages I find on the internet. Before I used the Scrapbook extension to Firefox to save interesting stuff, but its advantage—that it quickly saves a local copy of an entire internet page—is also its disadvantage. Often I don’t want the whole page. And very often I would like to gather bits and pieces from multiple pages onto a single page, which I can then annotate. OneNote makes this very easy. I just select portions of a webpage, copy and then paste into OneNote; the stuff is inserted, along with a link back to the original page.

Now, if I could only past a live spreadsheet table I’d be content.

I like the new look and organization of Word 2007 a lot. It took me awhile to discover that all the menubar stuff had been moved to a single new menu, and I wondered if that would annoy me. Not at all, because it makes room for the new tabbed toolbars, which are a major improvement.

I mentioned earlier that we used the open source Zen Cart shopping cart system to build our new webstore. I recommend it to anyone who needs such a thing.

I may also have mentioned that, as much as I like open source software, using it is not for the faint of heart because it is rarely as well documented as a commercial package. It took me a good deal of time reading scattered manuals, FAQs, user forums, and the code itself to find out what I needed to know to make the customizations I wanted.

But if I had waited a month I could have saved most of that by buying this new manual. It tells me everything I needed to know about Zen Cart, and much more. You’ll note that it is self-published through Lulu, which lets anyone submit a book which they will then print individually and sell as orders come in; this seems like a good option for small-time writers to consider. The book itself may seem expensive, but it’s pretty easy for a software manual to save me enough time to justify a $50 expense. I bought it, have read through some of it, and recommend it.


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