Hacking, not writing

I thought I might, after dinner, take a swing at writing a post.

Then I remembered I hadn’t printed some handouts for a conference session I’m leading tomorrow.

When I sat at the computer, I realized I hadn’t generated my speaker’s notes.

As I opened up each slide deck (I’m leading three different sessions), I decided I wanted a backup playable copy — I haven’t gotten the formatted versions yet, and by “yet” I mean “9:02pm the evening before the conference begins at 9:00am.”

I don’t have the official font on my PC, which makes my display wonky. Not good enough for a backup playable copy. So I just use the app’s utility to swap a font I do have for the official one. Come to find out that, because I’m fussy about my ‘e-accent-aigu’ on resumé, the font-swap utility chokes hard and refuses. Not to be outdone by my system, I track down the following process:

  • save deck into an XML format (like HTML, but for any document)
  • open XML in bare-bones MSNotepad
  • track down the name of the official font+style…you didn’t think about that Omnes_GirlScout Regular and Omnes_GirlScout Semibold are two different fonts, did you?
  • replace Omnes_GirlScout Regular with Arial—I finally can use something automated-ish, hurray search-and-replace!
  • repeat process for all varieties of Omnes_something SomethingOrOther
  • save and close Notepad
  • open XML in Powerpoint
  • verify success
  • save as a Show (backup playable copy)

I went to test each of the 3 decks on the laptop I’m using, only to realize that the open-source presentation program wants to display the Show: VERY BAD since each different application feels compelled to chew up the work done by its predecessor. Fortunately (?), Microsoft offers a Powerpoint Viewer…which now needs to be installed.

Powerpoint Viewer installed, decks test smoothly (except for that one image I go back and fix),

all is at last ready for my conference day.

I swear to goodness, my life is one episode of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie after another.

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