To use Quickbooks payroll, I had to buy Quickbooks 2007. To use Quickbooks 2007, I had to buy Microsoft Office 2007. Now that I have Microsoft Office 2007, I have to buy Quickbooks payroll.
And so it goes. Since Friday, I have mostly been relearning computer programs that I had used without problems for 10 years. In Word 97, for example, I used to close files by clicking on an x in the top right corner. In Word 2007, I have to click on a logo in the top left corner, then click on the Close command.
In Word 97, headers and footers were under the View menu. Not a terribly logical place to put them, but nevertheless I found them and learned how to use them. In Word 2007, headers and footers are under the Insert menu. Not a terribly logical place to put them, and I had to learn to find them all over again.
And, of course, the mail merge interface between Quickbooks and Word no longer works the same way and often doesn't work at all. I spent about three hours on Friday writing subscription renewal letters, a job that normally takes a half-hour or less. I finally got it to work by ignoring the instructions, which were worse than worthless because they provided not just unhelpful information but quite self-evidently bad information that reduced the chances of getting the program to work. One of the bright spots of Quickbooks used to be the thorough and easy-to-follow instructions. That's long gone, and Microsoft instructions retain their perfect record: Never once, in 10 years of using Word, have I ever found a useful piece of information in the Help section. The Help appears to have been designed for some totally unrelated program.
So I am out several hundred bucks, and many hours of lost productivity, paying for stuff I already owned and relearning stuff I already had learned. At the same time, we are still fiddling with the new website, which actually is shaping up a little every day and now can carry breaking news. I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning adding links to the link section. The links are far from complete, and suggestions are welcome.