Last Sinday, I posted 4 articles, all of which had been started in America Online, then finished on Word 4.0(what can I say, I'm lazy AND busy), then transfered to alt.slack by the medium of my new PPP access with the Newswatcher program. And lo and behold, as Rev. Duchez pointed out early this morning, THEY CAME OUT STUPID LOOKING! Sometimes the apostrophes and quotation marks were fine. In other places, they were scrambled. "Bob" was either MailBobSaveAs, or 3Bob2. (Certain odd writings I'd seen suddenly made sense, of sorts.)
This was sort of embarrassing to me, as the articles in question included a lot of bragging about how I had ceased to be a dumbass and learned my new system.
It seems the ONE GOOD THING about AOL besides its kindergarten uses (which I needed at first) is that it filters out those "smart quotes" or curly quotes that we PRO-fessional type writers use. (We fancy things up that way because we're expecting some of it to be published, and we want to save ourselves -- or the poor layout drone who works with the disc (me usually, in my case) -- a painstaking stage of typesetting.) For it seems that when a "curly quote" -- not standard ASCII -- pumps through the Net and lands in other systems, it comes out looking CRAZY. And Curly Apostrophes disappear completely, or turn into 9s. If we could turn them into DOBBSHEAD, it might be worth it.
This new PPP access doesn't do filter 'em down to normal quotes like AOL. No filters. No lag. My machine is plugged ALMOST DIRECTLY into the next SubGenius's PPP-joined machine. Your email gets here in NO TIME. BUT!! I can't use them damn curly-boys.
No problem, you say. Just switch off the smart quotes preference in Word. YEAH, that's fine from now on (until layout time), but what about the REVELATION X OUT-TAKES, HOUR OF SLACK RANT SCRIPTS, OLD STARK FIST RANTS, and Goom only knows what else, that I want to pour into this disgusting vat, but which ONLY exist as smart-quoted laser-ready two-column safety copies?? Using SAVE AS and configuring everything to TEXT ONLY doesn't cut it. The CURLIES STAY. Selecting everything and holding down the space bar to make everything "NORMAL" doesn't cut it. You get rid of the damn bold face and italics and indentations and font-size changes, and font changes, BUT THE FUCKING SMART QUOTES REMAIN!!!
And NOBODY wants to replace all those quotes and apostrophes even with FIND & CHANGE auto-commands!! WE USE TOO MUCH OF THAT PUNCTUATION.
I spent all day messing with this stupid problem, a day I really needed to spend doing SOMETHING besides MORE SYSTEM DIDDLING, and I finally discovered the way to quick-change those ULTRAFANCY documents into the DRAB CRAP that Usenet devices can handle.
You take the highly formatted Word article. You save it as an MS-DOS document. Not that your Mac can do a GOD DAMNED THING with that, but when it converts it back to Word in frustration, the quotes are GONE!! But you still can't just drop that thing in alt.slack. Newswatcher can't READ any kind of formatted Word file. So you have to SAVE AS again, making it this time a TEXT ONLY jobbie. (IF ONLY that got rid of the smart quote curly-hairs -- but IT DOESN'T!!) Now you have something stupid and simple enough for Newswatcher to comprehend and which won't change any more after bouncing all over the Net.
Gosh, this is SO FUCKING FUN!!!
And when Vreedeez gets back from drawing Freak Brothers in Paris with Rev. Shelton, and finally gets online, and runs into this problem, I'll know just what to tell him, and he'll think I'm some HOT SHIT. For once. (Palmer Vreedeez (who, when he gets here finally, will rival NENSLO in Hate-Truth Lies Power) is a Mac user like me. The editing and layout of Revelation X involved discs and artwork being MAILED back and forth. In a way, I'm DAMN GLAD that I didn't try to learn all this Net crap while we were doing that work. It actually would have made things even MORE complicated.)
OK OK SLACK SLACK!! Why I posted this here, I'm not sure, but at least I warned you at the beginning, and I can hope that some other wretch down the line will benefit from this miserable experience.
Now watch me get a letter that says, "STANG YOU FOOL! Just flip the clomaglootchy in the EDIT mode in WORD and it's ALL DONE FOR YOU!!! DIDN'T YOU SEE THE WINDOW-X WINDOW???"
But yet... none is for naught. I keep telling myself that.
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Original file name: Stang's Test Results
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