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OpenOffice is horrible (and iTunes, too)

January 1, 2012

I hate having to jump through hoops just to configure software.  I hate having to jump through hoops just to make the software work the way the built-in options claim to configure it.  I just spent 2 hours fixing two programs today.  It is as if modern program developers have forgotten the basic tenet of “keep it simple, you fucking assholes.”

OpenOffice (Calc)

I’m using OpenOffice Calc to create a spreadsheet.  Here’s what I enter in:

Time 2:00
ID# 013

And this is what OpenOffice turns that into:


2:00:00 AM



What happened to the days when software did what you told it to instead of doing what it thinks you want it to do?  There is a reason why I entered the numbers in the way I did… because that’s how I want them.  No, if I want the numbers to come out the way I want, I have to enter them in using some special formatting.  Why should I have to enter ‘2:00 to get 2:00?  Furthermore, why does it turn 2:00 into 2:00:00 AM; how does it know to use a 24-hour format instead of 12-hour?

What rubs me the wrong way about this is that there is no option to turn this bullshit off.  There is nothing that lets me say, “hey, I know what I want to enter, so don’t make me jump through hoops just to keep my data clean.”  No, OpenOffice is designed to assume that I am a moron, and that anyone who isn’t a moron should have to put up with this bullshit formatting.

What’s worse is that OpenOffice can not do formatting.  Let’s say I’m dealing with time calculations.  I have a set of data (whole numbers, nice and clean) and some formulas.  One formulas crunches some numbers and gives me 120 seconds.  What I want to do is format that into minutes (mm:ss); the final value should be 2:00.

Here’s where OpenOffice fails: I cannot specify that these are seconds.  If I use a time format for the cell, it will take that 120 and turn it into 2880:00:00, because it assumes that what it is being given is days.  How does it make sense to use days instead of seconds?  It doesn’t, but I can’t do anything to change that.

To get 120 to be turned into 2:00 using formulas… it’s just not possible.  There is no way to concatenate numbers and strings (text, like a colon), there is no way to concatenate numbers with a delimiter (like a colon).  There is no way to take 120 and transform it into 2:00.  What I can do is take that number, get the number of minutes, and then get the number of seconds, and then dump those values into two different cells.

My solution?  Use two formulas to output the minutes and remainder seconds into two cells, and then just manually combine the values in a third cell, using that bullshit formatting of ‘2:00.


I installed the new version of iTunes today, version 10.5, updating from version 10.1; what the fuck, Apple?  Every time it loads up, it asks me to log-in to my store account so it can automatically download.  Download what?  There is nothing in the store that I want downloaded automatically.  So, I go to preferences to turn this automatic download nonsense off.  What I find is that it’s already disabled.  Huh?

I closed iTunes and loaded it again, but it asks me for my password again.  Twice, as if it’s confirming that I really don’t want to automatically download this session.  iTunes sees that I’m using my store account (as listed on the Store app menu).  So, I visit the store, decide to check my previous purchases.  A funny thing happened: I was asked for my password again.

This doesn’t make any sense. iTunes knows my account, which I obviously had to sign-in with at some point for that happen, but it’s asking me to log-in anyway?

The solution?  I have to log out of my account if I want to turn automatic downloading off.  Apparently having three different options for it in the Preferences menu wasn’t enough.

I also have a media keyboard, so when I press a “Media Player” key, it loads up iTunes.  Previous updates to iTunes wouldn’t change that.  Going from 10.1 to 10.5 disabled the Media Player key on my keyboard.  To be more specific, updating the program changed the default media player to nothing.  What I had to do to fix yet another problem was go to Windows’ default programs and set iTunes to be the default.

2 hours of fixing software problems (or not, in the case of OpenOffice), and I’m just now getting back to working on that spreadsheet.


From → Rants

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