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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.

 
 

Gasseé Says Apple Played Chicken with MobileMe Launch

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Former Apple product guru Jean-Louis Gasseé pins the responsibility tail on the MobileMe donkey in a long blog post in which he describes the machismo that leads to playing chicken with launches. Gasseé writes, "No one had enough brains and guts to risk humiliation, to raise a hand and say: Chief, we're not ready here, let's stop everything. As a result, MobileMe badly crashed on launch."

He goes on to explain why sync is hard, and why it's easy - despite Apple's many years in providing a kind of semi-working sync that I had many problems with - to underestimate the complexities of live reconciliation and coordination. Gasseé believes that Apple didn't eat other people's dog food: they didn't learn why BlackBerry is called Crackberry, and how Research in Motion (RIM) developed a reliable system that's used so broadly. RIM spent a decade tuning the system to where it's at today.

Gasseé was a critical figure at Apple in the late 1980s, and he had a heavy influence on the firm's product development. Through the 1990s, he ran Be, which developed an operating system that had many admirers (although few users) and some influence on Apple.

 

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