Philwelch wrote:You didn't have whiteboards in your classrooms? Or overhead projectors?
But it can also be used improperly, and the latter use is far more common ... PowerPoint (or any other slideshow system) will try and force into a cognitively useless format.
There are some things for which whiteboards are just woefully insufficient. I specifically remember my graphics theory class. That professor made very good use of PowerPoint and it was a class where the use of PowerPoint really enriched the material presented.
I agree that PowerPoint is abused by lots of people. But what would really benefit the majority of these people is a general course on how to present information effectively. Given any presentation program, slide-based or otherwise, I'm confident they'd fuck it up. I'm not really sure to what extent you can blame PowerPoint for this.
At my workplace, we put everything (including Word documents) into version control anyway. If you want a version-controlled rich text document repository, you're much better off with a wiki or some other integrated server-client solution than to scatter Word files around everywhere anyway.
That's what we do too. But then, we work in tech and we're savvy. The problem with the wiki is that now you need someone to administer it and set it up and train people to use it. The Word system is easier, even if it subjects them to vendor lock-in. It's quite a bit more pleasant to work with also as you can see diffs in-line with the text as you edit it, comment on specific changes without affecting the content of the document, all seamlessly. It's just easier. And what's easy is usually what businesses go with, especially small businesses.
phillipsjk wrote:I don't agree with this. The "Document History" and "Information Rights Management" can never work effectively. It is like the recovery console requiring the Administrative Password before fixing a windows installation. The restrictions are only guaranteed to be enforced by the Microsoft tool. Even then, the Microsoft tool may have unexpected exploits.
Well of course they're only enforced by the MS tool. If you're editing these docs in something other than what they were created in then you're doing it wrong. The real WTF is someone supplying the documents in this format expecting everyone to have a copy of Word.
And that's really the biggest problem. People who don't know anything about anything try to treat Office as if it's a standard. They expect everyone to have Office and furthermore they expect everyone to have the exact same version as them.
phillipsjk wrote:We can still dream can't we? (I figure the "two wrongs don't make a right" is cliche)
I was just pointing out that this type of behavior isn't specific to MS. I'm sure most people here understand that. But, I have met people who seem to think that every other software company on the planet is all about freedom and empowering users and whatever other rainbows and unicorns bullshit they believe in. And that MS is the only company out there that operates like this, when it's really just systemic to the entire industry.