Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Geek'd Out!

"Away to Me" went into Draft 4 mode last week... I'm hoping this is the LAST time it moves up a notch draft wise before I start sending it out for rejections in the new year. G has mentioned a few suggestions for edits and yes, I am doing those now, in between different things and having fun with something.

The "something" I'm having fun with is new software.

A couple of weeks ago, my computer decided it was "time" to "upgrade" to Windows 8.1... This resulted in a HUGE download - over 2 gigs worth - and the computer telling me I "had" to restart it and it would be another hour or so because it had to set things up for me in the new OS.

Okay, I can deal with that. I decided that I may as well do some housework while the computer was going through its rigmarole.

I had to redo a few things - like redo some of my settings - and set up some things in the start menu but for the most part, I'm liking 8.1, a lot better than I liked 8.

Something I had to get used to again was having the Start Menu button on the task bar. I haven't seen that since the last time I used Vista, over a year ago, and I was so used to putting the mouse pointer into the right hand corners that it took me a while to start remembering I don't have to do that all the time now.

I do love how you can shrink the start menu buttons down to ultra small... It saves a lot of room. I also love some of the new applications like the Alarms are able to be implemented on certain days only. I have four set up, all for bus times as of right now, but that may change. School gets out at 12:15 every other Wednesday so I'm now trying to figure out how to get it to go like that.... Meh, I'll get it sometime. lol

Another thing that came with 8.1 - and 8 - was MS Office 2013... Since I have XP Pro - which includes Access AND Photo Editor as well as Front Page - I decided that activating the new one wasn't worth the expense or the effort. It was working fine for me as a writer - Word is my favorite word processor after all, and I'd prefer not to mess with something I'm used to and love already - so updating things never occurred to me.

Until recently... A few authors I know mentioned something - Pro Writing Aid - and it got me thinking... It is NOT compatible with Word XP Pro, XP Pro is too darn old to work with it.

So this past Monday, I finally got around to activating Office 2013. I've played in Excel a couple of times, but have been having a lot of fun trying to figure out things in Word. I've been playing with Twelve in it and although it takes a LOT of getting used to after using something like XP Pro for years, it's not bad. I see the PW protection is STILL there, thank heavens - can't have the little guy getting into things he should NOT be seeing! - and a lot of other features I loved from XP Pro.

One problem: NO blue background, white font feature on this one. DRAT!!!! So I'm going to have to take it really easy sometimes with the eye strain and whatnot. At least I can turn down the contrast and brightness on the monitor.

The zoom is easier to access, huge help. So is the "word count" feature in the bottom frame, near the left hand side of the taskbar. THAT is a feature I am going to really appreciate in time... I will still keep track of word count in Excel like I normally do, BUT it will be so much easier for me to just glance at the number, minus the "Chapter X" breaks and have a word count within seconds instead of it taking a few minutes by doing it the old fashioned way.

According to Word 2013, Twelve has 17 389 words but ten of those are chapter breaks and there are about 200 words at the start which are my notes on it. So technically it has about 17K words right now.

Including the synopsis, "Away to Me" is about 73250.

Cool.

Both "Away to Me" and Twelve's main file are now converted over to Word 2013... I'm going to be slowly converting things over to the new software as needed, with all stuff related to those two stories' current drafts first, and everything else on a "need to convert" basis.

Any new stories or new documents will be in 2013 from the get go.

I hate to say it but it is finally time to retire XP Pro. It was great software for its time, but it no longer owes me anything and it is time to let the newer versions of it have their time on my computer too. Besides, 2013 is better for 8.1 anyway... XP Pro is for XP or Vista, neither of which I no longer have.

I have been working on Twelve on and off between things... And managed to get a very intense area written up last week, one short and one long scene. It turned out a lot better than I expected... Although I'm expecting the beta readers to tell me to COMPRESS THE DAMN THING a lot when they finally see it.

I will if I have to... Hell, I'll keep rewriting this one until I get it perfected.

Or as perfect as I can get it.

Have a great Wednesday everyone. :)

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