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AbiWord Just Ate a Full Days Worth of Work

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A simple warning to anyone using -- or thinking about using -- AbiWord as their primary word processor: don't. I've run it on my laptop before because it's a rather ancient piece of hardware. AbiWord is light weight, so it fits. I use OpenOffice Writer on my desktop because it's the best word processor out there, but it's just absolutely bloated and slow. I've been trying to avoid putting it on the laptop because of CPU, hard drive space, and memory issues, but now I simply have no choice, because it's finally crossed the line from simplistically annoying to full out just-cost-me-actual-work.

I'm doing a script consultation which means more or less writing a crap load of notes pointing out everything I think is wrong or bad, and how to fix it. While I was reading this script, I was writing notes by hand in a notebook so I could get through it faster. Now I have to transfer those notes into a word processor document so I can expand on them, fact check them, and categorize them. Then I can create yet another document that's more of a novella or sorts on everything that's wrong with the script. I'm in the middle of that process, with the script on my desktop PC monitor for fact checking, AbiWord on the laptop for digitizing the notes (5 pages handwritten), and of course the notes off to the side where I can read them.

I had the first two pages of notes already converted over to AbiWord along with four paragraphs of generalized notes and thoughts not directly related to any single error, and as I sat down tonight to resume the work, I find well over half that material just up and vanished from my document. When I start AbiWord, it asks me if I want to revert to a saved copy. I'm confused as to why it would even ask me, it's not like the program crashed the last time I was working on it, and I had just told it to open an already existing document.

I click no, shut up and just open the document, and it happily opens a document missing about half the text it had when I closed the program last. So I sit here wondering. When I closed the program last, there were what looked to be about an entire screens worth (1024x768) of temp documents that AbiWord had created on the desktop itself. I deleted them, because: (A) the desktop is the last place that crap should ever be; (B) They were unnecessary since I've been saving that document regularly.

Well, looks like I lost that round, and all those retarded backups on the desktop actually had my work, and not the document I had been saving to all this time.

I am uninstalling AbiWord as soon as this OpenOffice download is finished, and then I am putting OO Writer on here. It doesn't matter if it takes five minutes to open, at least I'll know that my work will never be put in jeopardy by such an amateur piece of garbage program again.

Quick update: I got a second look at the document waiting for the download to finish, and I was wrong. I lost everything I did during my last writing session. I lost it all. This document only has the stuff I wrote when I first started the document on my desktop. You see, I started transcribing my notes on the desktop because I could use OpenOffice there, but having to alt-tab back and forth between two OpenOffice instances (one for the script for fact checking, one for the document I'm writing) really started slowing me down. I was often tabbing to the script, jumping 4 or 5 pages, then tabbing back only to see that I have to go back to the script and jump another 4 or 5 pages to find what I wanted. It was just easier to write on the laptop and keep the desktop as a dedicated reader. So when I made the switch, it was after only having not even the first full page of hand written notes converted over, and that is seemingly all I now I have left after last night.

Oddly enough, OpenOffice's installer just informed me that I had 666.3MB of free space left before it went about it's job. Maybe I should be carving this stuff in stone instead...

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.