We’ve kept the beta e-mail list for Word 2004 open so that we can stay in touch with any lingering issues that people have been running into. This was particularly helpful when working on SP1.
Last week, a message arrived under the subject “Who is Responsible!” With a subject like that, one tends to leave the message sitting in one’s inbox until such time as you clear away more pressing items—which is exactly what most of us did. Well, I opened the e-mail, and this is what it actually said (“[…]” text removed at the request of the author):
Because I want to give them a great big Thank You!
Word Notebook just saved my bacon
Yesterday I went (with a bunch of others) to a design review meeting looking at the prototype for an […] we have the contract to design & build. We were severely criticised for omitting certain criteria on the type of adhesives we had used. They were talking about rejecting the prototype, have us make a new one and hitting us with liquidated damages for the delay. Total cost probably in the region of £150k.
Now, I knew that we had been given instruction that those particular criteria did not apply. I could remember the meeting where it was said. However, it did not appear in any official minutes anywhere.
Then, I turned to my notes of that particular meeting in Word. Taken down in NoteBook view, with voice recording on, in a conference room with about 15 people present. The meeting had lasted from 8:30am to 5:00pm, with a short break for lunch. The size of the file was a little over 60Mb.
I skipped through my notes, found my note of the comment and jumped straight to the audio. Imagine the silence & red faces round the table (and the smile on mine) when I played the recording of a recognisable chief designer clearly stating “That spec does not apply because […] We don’t need those properties…”
It was beautiful
Without the voice record I would have been dead in the water.
So, whoever was responsible for thinking of audio notes, and whoever was responsible for implementing them in such an easy and robust way…
That kind of stuff tends to make your day.