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Mysteriously Moving Margins in Word

In Microsoft Word 2008 (and older versions), if you put your cursor in a paragraph and then move a tab or indent marker in the ruler, the change applies to just that paragraph. If your markers are closely spaced, you may have trouble grabbing the right one, and inadvertently work with tabs when you want to work with indents, or vice-versa. The solution is to hover your mouse over the marker until a yellow tooltip confirms which element you're about to drag.

I recently came to appreciate the importance of waiting for those tooltips: a document mysteriously reset its margins several times while I was under deadline pressure, causing a variety of problems. After several hours of puzzlement, I had my "doh!" moment: I had been dragging a margin marker when I thought I was dragging an indent marker.

When it comes to moving markers in the Word ruler, the moral of the story is always to hover, read, and only then drag.

 
 

Why I'm Buying an iPod touch

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Does a lack of mobility in lifestyle lead to a lack of mobility in trying new technologies, such as the iPod touch?

I posed that question to myself over the past weekend, reflecting on how my lifestyle choice to work at home has caused a lack of mobility in more ways than eliminating commuting.

Since I work at home, I am usually home, so I don't have much use for a mobile phone. Also, I don't have mobile-phone connectivity at home, here in the hills of upstate New York. Sounds fine, perhaps, but it led to trouble. It led to me not much using instant messaging on a mobile phone, thus causing me to conflate the fact that younger people are more likely to use instant messaging with the idea that I don't often use instant messaging because I'm in my late 30s. At home, my life was fine - why complicate things by trying new technology that didn't seem to apply to people like me?

In fact, after several months of complaining about how civilization was ending if anyone thought that Twitter was a cool idea, and after spending a few weeks actually using Twitter (see my previous blog post), I now believe that younger people use instant messaging not because their wacky fashion sense has messed with their intelligence, but because it is an excellent way to quickly communicate key information. The best thing about Twitter is the 140-character limit, which puts a strong check on pomposity and wordiness.

Going forward, I'm going stop being cranky about mobile-lifestyle "young-person," technology, since I believe that it has the answers to problems faced by many people in my generation: too much email, too many commitments, not enough time spent outdoors. And, how else can I justify buying the oh-so-cool iPod touch? I can't wait to see where I can go with it, what I can do with it, and how much fun it is to pinch it.

 

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