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Bug Microsoft Technology

Office 2003 Bug Locks Owners Out 247

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A Microsoft Office 2003 bug is locking people out of their own files, specifically those protected with Microsoft's Rights Management Service. Microsoft has a TechNet bulletin on the issue with a fix. It looks like they screwed up and let a certificate expire. There's no information on when the replacement certificate will expire, though, or what will happen when it does."
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Office 2003 Bug Locks Owners Out

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  • by Afforess ( 1310263 ) <> on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:25AM (#30428654) Journal
    I know a LOT of people still using MS Office 2003. Some people dislike the Ribbon System with '07's version. Some people are too cheap to upgrade when the old copy still "works". Now, Microsoft isn't making any money from all those old copies of 2003, so what's stop them from "Programming Obsolescence" into their software?

    It sounds a bit sinister, yes; but it's not technically illegal. It might even be in the oft-skimmed EULA. Or maybe it's just similar to the way HP printers always fail a week after the warranty expires.
  • Locks OUT!? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AndGodSed ( 968378 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:28AM (#30428666) Homepage Journal

    I was about to type out a long post extolling the virtues of... erm... something... and then I blinked back to my screen and realised I had just envisaged what a mistake like this from an upstream supplier (in this case Microsoft) would have on my work day.

    I am in IT and I would have had hundreds of phonecalls for this by now, and it is only 09:24... sheesh to apply a hotfix like this to all my clients...

    woops there I went again imagining what this would mean for my workday... I can't actually say that any of our clients use the RMS service on their office documents.

    Wowee, dodged a bullet there.

    Good luck to all the IT grunts out there in the trenches trying to get this fixed right now...

  • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:27AM (#30428934) Journal
    What did I do today? Well, I didn't like the ribbon bar in the new OpenOffice, so I forked the project.

    Wow, that's crazy. Why did you bother going to all that trouble when IBM's [] already done it for you?

    If you don't like Symphony, there's plenty more choices. That's the great thing about being open and having competition, right?

  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @05:37AM (#30429166) Homepage Journal

    I like Gnumeric too.

    Abiword is a good lightweight word-processor, but not as feature rich as OpenOffice.

    What exactly is your problem with Latex? If the learning curve is too much, you use Lyx.

  • Re:Unexpected error? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlgorithMan ( 937244 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @06:20AM (#30429326) Homepage
    this is simple. Error handling basically works like this

    try {
    catch(DiskFullError E) {
    messagebox("not enough free disk space\n"+E.ExtendedInformations()); // this is an expected error
    catch(NoWritePermissionError E) {
    messagebox("you don\'t have write permission in that directory\n"+E.ExtendedInformations()); // this is an expected error
    catch(DirDoesntExistError E) {
    messagebox("the directory you chose doesn\'t exist\n"+E.ExtendedInfo()); // this is an expected error
    catch(...) {
    messagebox("an unexpected error occured"); // this is where the unexpected errors are handled

    you try to do some stuff and if something goes bad, the codes throw an exception, which can be caught by the error-handlers. and if there is no error handler for the error, then this is an unexpected error. this would crash the program, unless you do catch(...), which can also catch unknown exception types
    well, in redmond it goes more like this (see MSDN)

    if(!command1) {
    switch(ERRNO) {
    case 1: messagebox("Error code 1, contact your vendor"); break;
    case 2: messagebox("Error code 2"); break;
    default: messagebox("unexpected error");
    }else {
    if(!command2) {
    switch(ERRNO) {
    case 2: messagebox("Error code 2"); break;
    case 3: messagebox("Error code 3, press F1 to see some useless hexadecimal bytes"); break;
    default: messagebox("unexpected error");
    } else {
    if(!command3) {
    case 1: messagebox("Error code 1, contact your vendor"); break;
    case 4: messagebox("Error code 4, why don\'t you switch to linux?"); break;
    default: messagebox("unexpected error");
    } else {
    // wohoo, nothing went bad!

    if something goes bad, a global variable (ERRNO) is set to some error code and the functions return false. the default case takes all the values of ERRNO, that are not handled explicitly Yes, this is prehistoric and non-thread-safe error handling, but what do you expect from the masters of disaster?

  • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:30AM (#30430146)

    Only if the WYSIWYG tool is capable of doing things right without messing them up, which is the main problem with MS Word btw, the output just ends up being a bit wrong, still good enough that most people who are just printing out office memos don't care or notice but anyone who gives their document a second look (and isn't just looking for typos) will notice that it's not looking right compared to some "professional" documents they've seen in their lives.

    Also, if your number one issue is "I don't want to write markup, never never never!" then there's always LyX.


  • by toddestan ( 632714 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:14AM (#30440234)

    Why not? The next version of Office for the PC was Office 2000, and that came out around the same time as Windows ME - so if you were running Windows 98 you were probably running Office 97. At the least, I would expect MS to patch Office 97 if it had problems running in Windows 98.

All seems condemned in the long run to approximate a state akin to Gaussian noise. -- James Martin