Saturday, October 07, 2006

What I get for Drinking Microsoft Cool-Aid

So Alvis is taking a mandatory class in Computer Literacy at her Junior High school. (What's up with that class title?)

Among the skills she is developing in her class is how to type (frustrating to her), how to identify various Microsoft operating systems (didn't get taught about Vista, I asked), and how to work in Microsoft Office products--Word, Excel, Powerpoint.

Linux? Alvis says not brought up--even though her own pc is Linux-based.

Hmmm. Closed educational shop?

Although Lavie and I both use Office XP Pro or Office 2003 Pro at work, at home, our legal home copy of MS Office is 97. Works great. Does the job. Why want more on the home pc?

Well....Alvis can't practice her Office 2003 skills learned at school here at home, that's why.


So after a family meeting, I picked up a copy of Microsoft Office "Student and Teacher Edition" 2003. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook. (I didn't install Outlook). $150. Not a bad price. Our box says I can install it on up to three computers in our home. Nice.

I did a custom install so I could keep Access 97 on the pc. Went to the Microsoft Office site and installed all my patches and updates like a good user.

Then I had to activate it.

It won't activate. Almost locks up the pc, trying.

Yes, it is a legitimate product, thank you very much.

Seems the activation feature cannot connect to the Microsoft activation servers. I have Net connection. I turned my firewall off. All is well. The activation wizard just cannot connect--not after something like 25 attempts. Grrr.

I'm too tired to call by telephone tonight, good-old Plan B.

I will try tomorrow one more time, then will just call the Borg ship myself if I must. Wonder what might happen if they can't access the activation servers either.

Two Words: OpenOffice.

Why-oh-why can't our school district use this instead? Sounds like a parent-teacher conference is about to happen between a miffed systems administrator and the Junior High school's comp-lit teacher.

Can't wait to see what will happen with mandatory Vista activation attempts in the coming months....



Anonymous said...

I cannot get my version of Office 2003 to activate either. Quit after three tries.
Checking the phone activation option is even worse: nothing but the hour glass.
Is this a common problem? What does it take to solve it?

Anonymous said...


Here is what I did to finally get my copy working.

Two very "Comic" Solutions!

In that followup post, take a look at the first section titled "Volume 1 - The Cool-Aid Stays Down"

Basically what I ended up doing was to enable the web-toolbar in the newly installed Office (Word) application. Then I clicked my homepage icon on that tool. The web-page eventually displayed in Word.

Then I reran the activation tool and it worked right away.

I don't know for certain, but I think that somehow doing this allowed Word (MS Office) to configure itself to plug into my Internet (Explorer?) settings, then the activation tool of Office was able to get to the net and call come to activate.

See if it works for you!