Sunday, September 26, 2010

Coming Up for Air after My First PowerPoint Production

Not very fun weekend, as I have just finished (hopefully) my first PowerPoint for presentation, on Tuesday…on a webcast. It’s in ugly black-and-white—except the tables, which the software automatically colored my tables and I couldn’t figure out how to turn that function off. Two days, in fact, which brings the hourly rate for the speaking fee to… wait, I’m not going to let the thought spoil my after-work hours, when I’m getting my drink on and then breaking off to cook dinner. In fact, I’ll probably won’t even be going back to my most recent posts until after I’ve made the presentation; there’s other work when the weekday dawns too.

That said, I can’t help mentioning how godawful the Kan administration’s response to the Senkaku Islands crisis was. No, I couldn’t have done any better—I am the last person that you want to turn to for crisis management (just ask my old METI friends)—but would you believe me, I actually foresaw a similar issue there and featured it in a piece of work that I was doing some time back? And you’d think that the government would have had a crisis management plan in place for such contingencies, don’t you?

Never mind, let’s see if an emboldened Chinese government sees fit to actively challenge Japan’s effective control over the islands. I think that this has emerged as a real, if still small, possibility.

I’m signing off for the day. I generally check my email, even when I’m dead drunk, so that’s where to find me if you’re in a hurry, okay?

8 comments:

Janne Morén said...

Don't use Powerpoint to do tables. Use Powerpoint itself only for the actual presentation (which it is pretty good at).

Use some other piece of software to generate all your content other than text (Excel, for instance), and export as an image or drawing that you paste into your presentation. That's the way to keep control over how your presentation will look.

Another option I haven't used myself, but that I see a lot of people do, is to make their presentation as a PDF document. PDF readers (including Acrobat) usually have a presentation mode with every function you need to run the slides as a presentation.

Happy Drinking!

Climate Morio said...

This is absolutely the single coolest post about Japanese politics, ever.

On graphs: I am pretty geeky and i hate Excel - the colours it offers suck, the degree of control you have over the way your graphs look is laughable and generally it feels like a very blunt instrument. Unfortunately, the only recommendation that i can give is overkill in the other direction: use a ray-tracing program with command-line based input, essentially _coding_ an image. Warning: Highly addictive in tinker-prone individuals.

And then getting things to actually MOVE on screen, why, that is enough to get THIS grown man weep. When all is said and done, i tend to have this type of reaction:

http://design-newyork.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/its-beautiful.jpg

Janne Morén said...

Excel is better than doing it in Powerpoint. My preferred spreadsheet solution is to use Gnumeric (another spreadsheet) for an initial plot that I export as an svg file that I then edit to my liking using Inkscape, to get the colors and stuff I want.

For non-tabular data I tend to use either Octave or Gnuplot directly. I don't realistically expect the social science field to convert to Gnuplot en masse of course.

Climate Morio said...

Janne: This gnuplot thingummie looks grand. I know you said you do not use it for tabular data, but can it be made to use it? And, since i surmise you are a Linux-y person, can you perhaps go into how its license differs from the regular GNU license? Just curious.

Jun Okumura said...

Janne, CM, please, have mercy on me; I’m old enough to remember what I was doing when I heard the news that President Kennedy had been shot. Look, “use a ray-tracing program with command-line based input, essentially _coding_ an image” is Klingon to me.

Oh, fuggidaboutit.

Jun Okumura said...

Janne, CM, please, have mercy on me; I’m old enough to remember what I was doing when I heard the news that President Kennedy had been shot. Look, “use a ray-tracing program with command-line based input, essentially _coding_ an image” is Klingon to me.

Oh, fuggidaboutit.

And thanks for the compliment, CM. It’s my personalized silver lining on a big East Asian cloud.

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