Do you program against Excel, Word or Powerpoint?

About a month ago Microsoft anounced that a future version of office (code name office12) would support open XML based formats for Word, Excel and Powerpoint. If you currently use these formats then this could be a big deal for you.

Our document production module at Redline Software makes extensive use of the Word object model but has hit a performance brick wall which we have solved by using lots of servers to render documents. The announcement that MS intend to open up the .doc format means that we will be able to manipulate Word files as text (XML) which should be much faster and give us greater control over the output and remove this brick wall.

Brian Jones is on the Microsoft Office team and keeps a blog here, both he and Jean Paoli have asked for feedback from developers about the new format specifications. If you think you will make extensive use of these it may pay dividends to check them out whilst they are still in development and give the office team your feedback when they can incorporate it.

Moving your WinXP Boot Disk

So I decided to move my boot disk off the onboard controller on my Shuttle and on to a Sillicon Image sil3112a Sata RAID controller card. Before doing this I installed the drivers for the card, but when I tried rebooting I got as far as the windows logo boot screen and then the pc restarted itself.

I reconnected the drive to the onboard controller ran Sysprep then shutdown, connected the drive to the sil3112a and restarted and bingo, all I had to do was re-enter the product key and setup a user account and I was up and running.

This was done on a Windows XP SP2 build pre activation, so it might involve a call to MS if you have already activated.

I have just ordered a second drive and I’m going to attempt to create a mirror on the sil3112a so that if one of my drives blows a gasket I won’t have to rebuild my machine from scratch.