Wednesday 17 March 2010

Can't open Word docx ?

Hello. I get hit with this type of question on an alarmingly regular basis. It's normally something along the lines of "I've been sent this Word document but I can't open it?"

To solve this annoying problem, there are a few options available:

  1. Download OpenOffice, an alternative to Microsoft Office
  2. Send the document to me and I will convert it for you from docx to doc format
  3. Buy Microsoft Office 2007 - not recommended unless you have a fat wallet.

It all stems from Microsoft's decision to change the default document type in Office 2007 when saving a Word document as .docx format. It used to be .doc format e.g. Shopping_list.doc but would now be saved as Shopping_list.docx. Since most of the world and his dog use versions of Microsoft Office 2003 or earlier, you won't be able to open it. Ridiculous logic but then that's Microsoft.

My recommendation would be to use the open source product OpenOffice. This suite of applications is able to open the new file formats (XML based) such as .xlsx (Excel) and .pptx (Powerpoint). You can then save the document in .doc/.xls/.ppt format. Personally, I use both Office 2003 and OpenOffice. That way, I am able to open any of the newer file formats and still be able to use (in my view) the infinitely superior Office 2003 suite - compared to the nasty Microsoft Office 2007 suite.

Tuesday 2 March 2010

PS3 now working again after Feb29th date bug fiasco

My old fat PS3 didn’t work properly all day yesterday, and the only games I could successfully play were Colin McRae ‘DiRT’ and one of my old WipEout 2097 games. All the others failed to start with some trophy/copyright error. I’d tried setting the clock manually beforehand to see if it would ‘fix’ things but it didn’t.
Switched it on at 12:20 am this morning (minus RJ45 network connection) and without contacting the internet or doing anything else, my PS3 was then back to complete normality.
2 things.
1) Sony appear to have let 24 hours pass to let the bug fix itself.
2) More worrying is that my system wouldn’t let me play more than 90% of my games.
A poor show Sony, and the lack of updates was inexcusable. I’m currently on the 5th PS3 (initial 60Gb launch model) so you could say I’m more patient and loyal than some ;-)
Give it a couple of days and there will probably be a new firmware update, applicable to just those old ‘phat’ PS3 owners.