Yikes, November. Good time for an end-of-the-year resolution: more

diligent blogging. Yessiree, I popped the clutch on this blog and I

think I’ve got it rolling again.

I’m having one of those spells where you know the universe hates

you, or at least, its machinery does: I have a failing main circuit

breaker, so my power keeps cutting off on this chilly morning. My phone

lines are out, thanks to some careless excavation up the road. (And

yes, I use a dial-up modem because that’s the price of living out in

the wilderness.) So I’m battery-driven and offline as I write this,

although if you’re reading it, the situation must have improved. I even

have a leaking water supply valve, but so far that doesn’t seem to be

affecting my ability to use a computer or connect to the Internet. Give

it time though.

And speaking of leaks (great, great segue): Microsoft’s Office team

has apparently sprung a leak of its own. A prerelease version of Office

12 has surfaced, although it’s reportedly so shaky that it’s probably a

good idea to observe it from a distance rather than compromise your

system by attempting to run it. The latest issue of Office Watch

reports that the version is available on ‘various ‘underground’ but

commonly used Internet services like warez sites and peer-to-peer

sharing services.’ That issue offers an excellent overview of what’s

discernable so far from this early release. Check the OW archives for a helpful series of articles previewing Office 12 features, too.Other resources of note: