The quirks of Quark are endless

Right now I am sitting in the Mac Weekly office in the basement of 30 Mac as the first issue of the semester slowly comes together.

This semester I am the co-editor of the Opinion section, which is a nice break from scurrying about and covering campus events. Instead, editing other people's screeds and contributing to the paper's editorials fills my time.

I am getting pissed off rapidly by our page layout software, the excrement-based Quark Xpress 6, which seems to have stalled its evolution in about 1996. It does not anti-alias text very much and its object manipulation is incredibly awkward, especially when compared with the new version of Adobe InDesign. I suggested that we switch to InDesign a few times, but these kids fear the learning curve. I would say that InDesign works like you think that Quark should work, but doesn't.

But then again, I've been partial to InDesign since it evolved out of Adobe PageMaker, which used to be Aldus PageMaker. Ah, for the long-lost days of yore when I would visit my dad's little office on Cleveland Ave. & I-94, and he'd lay out pages of the Disc Golfer newsletter on a Radius full-page display. So in other words, I was exposed to page layout when I was about 5, and hence always favored the much superior PageMaker lineage of software. Really, Pagemaker circa 1988 probably would get our stuff done, minus the color, better than Quark 6.

I will say that I think Quark hates its customers and takes them for granted. For example, look at the user comments on VersionTracker about this new version of Quark. NO ONE likes it.

Ok, ok, this is a boring, you say. And you are correct. But don't underestimate what a pain in the ass it is to get text to wrap around a little box in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, nor how incredibly long it takes to actually finish anything.

MOVING ON. I am settling into my classes, but I'm sad that I think I lost my Spanish textbook sometime in the last year and a half, which is going to cost me some exorbitant sum like $80. So I have to finish my foreign-language requirement this semester.

Other than that, I am taking Global Political Economy, which is one of those world systems/globalization gigs with Prof. Blaney. Also taking Rhetoric of Campaigns and Elections with Adrienne Christiansen, and there will be a lot of guest speakers. In that class we are supposed to either do 30 hours of volunteer work on a campaign, or take a final exam. I opt for the volunteering, especially now that I'm no longer a staff writer at the Weekly. However, that whole thing has not started yet.

I'm also taking American History since 1945 with Norm Rosenberg, and words fail me when trying to encapsulate how brilliant and weird that one is going so far.

On Sunday, the Minnesota College Democrats had a kickoff event here at Macalester, featuring Congresswoman Betty McCollum, State Representative and Mac alum Matt Entenza, but the headliners were Dennis Kucinich and Garrison Keillor, who both offered top-notch speeches to fire us up. It's really a treat to hear Garrison give a true partisan talk, definitely aural chicken soup to the Minnesotan soul. My favorite line was when he described himself as a "museum-quality Minnesota liberal."

In the room adjacent to the Mac Weekly office, right now they are laying out the schedule for Macalester's radio station, 91.7 WMCN. I applied for a radio show, and right now it looks like it will be on Sunday evenings. Very exciting! I haven't had a radio show since sophomore year, which was "As the Tables Turn" on Wednesday at noon. That was a good time, and this one should be even better. Cheers to that.

Commenting on this Story is closed.

Tags for The quirks of Quark are endless