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Well, I made a mistake in the mail I sent earlier: the name of the project planning software from AEC Software is Fast Track Scheduler (http://www.aecsoft.com/), not Inspiration--which, if one were to search AEC Software's Website extensively, one would readily deduce. Inspiration is the name of a very good mind-mapping/outlining/thought organizer from Inspiration Software (http://www.inspiration.com). My apologies for any irritation I caused.
As far as my chice of the word "efficient" in discussing why asking Microsoft Project users to save a file as .mpx instead of as a native MS Project file is a bad thing, perhaps "disjunctive," "unworkable," "unrealistic," or "too much of a time waster" would be better terms.
Here's the real deal: you who use non-Microsoft products and yet want to work on projects with a horde of MS users must heed this warning: they ain't gonna save a file as .mpx or .rtf or tab-delimited text...even if they want to. The MS users will have to track two versions of files--the .mpx and the .mpp (so very sorry that I made a typo in my original e-mail) files. At some point in the project, the person using MS Project will send you an .mpp file...which you can't open...so you call or e-mail 'em to resend the file as .mpx...after a few iterations of that, the MS user will ask, "So why don't you just use Project?" To which you'll reply, "But it doesn't work on <fill in platform of choice name, be it BeOS, MacOS, Linux, Unix, Solaris, AS/400, Amiga, NewtonOS, or whatthe*@(!ever>!" To which the MS user will ask, "So why don't you just use a platform that'll allow you to work on this project and get the job done?"
Not trying to start platform wars (they end...never)--instead, I'm just pointing out the problems in project management--and the fact that, no matter how platform-independent we would like to work, the fact is that we have to consider our total work environment...and this includes the ability to cooperate with all stakeholders in the project.
Anyway, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it...
Our fears are like dragons, guarding our most precious treasures.
___Rainer Marie Rilke