My Week Ending 2022-09-18

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.


You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Below are a selected few, with commentary, from the past week. They’re posted to the blog daily under the title OTR Links.


  • How can you lose if you do a Cinnabon wedding?
  • I’ll be honest; I always thought that “frosh” was an American term. I’ve never used it personally but some find it offensive


  • I’m a real fan of cartoonists and here’s a wonderful collection of the Queen depicted in cartoons
  • Brain fog is a reality around here. Here’s maybe why


  • At least, the DDSB is tracking kids who are sick from Covic. Every one should
  • It only makes sense that our Windsor pays tribute to the Queen – here’s what’s happening


  • I’m on the waiting list to try this new functionality from Canva
  • More functionality comes to Microsoft Windows PowerToys – a tool that every Windows user should have.


  • An interesting theory about why Atlantic provinces get a holiday on Monday and Ontario doesn’t
  • A bit of satire inspiration for those who don’t get a holiday in Ontario on Monday


  • Absolutely guaranteed to start an argument but here’s one person attempt at naming the most Canadian of Canadian lakes
  • A report on the number of emergency rooms that were closed this summer in Ontario


  • Fact-checking things surrounding the Queen’s death
  • This was my submission to songs that you’d heard the cover long before hearing the origin and like it better.

Blog Posts on
doug — off the record

My daily contributions to this blog are linked below. If you’re looking for a week in review for doug–off the record, you came to the right place.

#FollowFriday – September 16, 2022

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

voicEd Radio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs is a blog post/show/podcast that features great writing from Ontario Edubloggers. Stephen Hurley and I use their writing as the basis for a conversation.

Featured Bloggers:

  • Cameron Steltman – @MrSteltman
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Alexandra Woods – @XanWoods
  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • David Garlick – @dgarlick13
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio

This week’s voicEd Radio show:

Technology Troubleshooting

We finally got a chance to take a break from babysitting and dogsitting to get away for a weekend so we went to Goderich. Our goal was to find something that we didn’t know about since we both lived just minutes from there. Sadly, the Goderich Tourish kiosk was closed but they did have great resources online so thanks for that.

I also wanted to listen to local radio and was pleasantly surprised that Cool Radio had a station in Wingham. So, I was streaming it here and listening to the advertisements and great music. We do have a local affiliate here but bizarrely, the signal doesn’t reach far enough for a good signal when out in the car.

Now, here comes the troubleshooting part. The Chatham affiliate does reach here so we can listen to it while on the road. Both Windsor and Chatham appear to broadcast the same shows.

Look what I made

With all the Wordle craze, I of course blogged about it earlier but also created a Wakelet of all the Wordle clones I could find. Once created, I’ve been adding to it daily, it seems. I guess it’s presumptuous to think I could do it all in one session. It certainly has taken the online world by storm.

My collection is available here:

Update – July 31: Up to 72 entries.

Video of the Week

I really do like this cover of the Dr Hook song.

Photo of the Week

Our local bookstore has an octopus or something in its top floor.

Thanks for reading.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. I honestly and truthfully appreciate your few moments reading my thoughts. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.


This blog post was originally posted at:


Whatever happened to …

… Microsoft Works?

Those that follow me on Twitter or Facebook know that I can be kind of noisy from 5-6 in the morning. I have a blog post scheduled to go live at 5am and then I have the rec room to myself to do some reading. I’m of the mentality that if it’s interesting to me that it might be interesting to others and so do share quite a bit. I read some of the stories right away and others I’ll tuck away when I can give them a bit more attention.

This morning, I read this article:

How to Open WPS (Works) Documents in Windows 10 & 11

I felt pretty good when it was indicated that LibreOffice Writer was able to open .WPS files. I checked it and, sure enough, that was one of the file types that it recognized. Why would that matter? Well, if you know me, I don’t throw anything digital away. I just buy a bigger hard drive in the future and I looked and sure enough, there were all kinds of these files. A bit of a history of Microsoft Works can be read here.


I have a long history with the software. It was one of the first DOS applications that you could run on the Icon computer with the DOS emulators. It was text-based but that was OK; we didn’t know any better and had a cursor that you could control with the trackball. It was a block cursor but a cursor all the same.

It was also unique that it came with a printed manual. Teachers, at the time, loved printed manuals because you could sit and read or point to the manual when a student had a question – go look it up. The “Help” menu wasn’t the fountain of wisdom then like it is today.

When we moved to purchasing IBM computers for the classroom, Microsoft Works was part of the suite. The integrated Word Processing and Spreadsheets really inspired people to do great things. With each upgrade, Works became more graphically oriented and contained more features to make it work like its big brother Word.

It wasn’t without its detractors though. The senior Business classes felt that they need to “train” their students on Microsoft Word and Excel. None of this kiddie stuff for them. It did make sense, particularly for those who were going out on co-op placement. I had many a discussion with the IT Department and their desire for “industry standard” and explained that a child in Grade 3 typing the Great Canadian novel didn’t need to navigate through a maze of menus just to get their work done!

I tried the pedagogy approach that we taught kids, not software. I finally won the argument when I costed out how much it would cost to put Office on every computer in the system and that it would have to come from their budget. My software budget relied on great licensing from OSAPAC.

At the time, Microsoft Works was everywhere except on Apple computers where the equivalent Appleworks was present. We managed to get our vendor to bundle copies for teachers with our employee purchase plans.

During these times, I thought it was so impressive to have this sort of integrated suite and, quite frankly, while I had Microsoft Word on my computer to support Business educators, I used Microsoft Works because it was fast, bug-free, and I could integrate tables from the spreadsheet into the word processor so easily.

As with most things in computer land, Microsoft Works eventually bit the dust. Interestingly, the move wasn’t towards the full Office Suite everywhere but to the cloud where Google and Microsoft were setting the world on fire.

For a Sunday, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • did you ever use Microsoft Works? On what computer?
  • what word processor, spreadsheet, or database applications do you have installed on your computer right now?
  • none is a good answer in 2022. What cloud-based applications do you use?
  • do you hang on to old digital content far longer than you need to just in case you might use it someday like I do?
  • if I had to rank my computer suite skills from best to least, it definitely would be word processor then spreadsheet then database. How about you?
  • how do you handle moving files from computer to computer? Do you look for a file format that is easily readable?
  • some of the versions of Microsoft Works had advertising that would be displayed periodically. How do you feel about advertising in your working environment?
  • when was the last time you purchased software that came in a series of diskettes or on CD-ROM?

As always, I’d love to read your thoughts. Please share them in the comments below.

This is a regular Sunday feature at doug — off the record. You can read them all here.

OTR Links 09/18/2022

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.