I'm starting to understand how application crackers feel. I received an MS Word *.doc file that apparently has some sort of macro that 1.) Makes the Mac version of Word explode and 2.) Even on Windows won't let you print a subset of the whole document. I kept trying to print pages 8-26 only and no print job ever got created. Weird.

So for the Mac, I opened in AbiWord and, long story short, translated from .doc to .abw and back to .doc. It opened in Word now and I could print however I wanted from AbiWord, but some of the formatting was busted.

On the PC, I saved out a few different ways, first to Word 97 format, which had issue formats, and as .rtf, etc. Either it kept the printing restriction or the formatting (mostly some bullets and extended char set members) would screw up.

It was nearly getting personal. There was nothing in the license for the file saying I couldn't print part of the chapter that was in the Word doc and, more annoying, I'd printed out seven pages before my ink cart ran out so all I really wanted to do was not print those seven over again.

So, finally, a bright idea hit me. Why not just delete the first seven pages from the doc? That worked, I renumbered the pages to fit (it'd moved everything back seven pages b/c the footer was starting with the same number, no matter what), and printed "the whole thing". Voila!

Seriously though, I eventually entered the mindset, "I'm going to skin this cat whether you like it or not. It's just a matter of time." It's not unlike wanting your opponent to concede checkmate when there are technically 5-10 moves left in the match. If your opponent has any class, s/he concedes early once beaten. Boy, I just wish the makers of this doc had done the same and saved me 10-12 minutes of my life.

So, as I started, I wonder if this isn't how crackers feel? They're still EVIL (c) 2006, but at least I sympathize now.