Since MS Office 2003 turns into a pumpkin in April 2014 or so, I decided maybe it’s time to start looking at alternatives. I’ve looked at Open Office off and on over the years but its sluggish performance always turned me off. But I thought I’d give Libre Office, the successor, a look.
And now that I’ve lived with Office 2010, I don’t find Libre Office 3.6 all that bad.
It’s still a couple of weeks off, but we already know two retailers will be offering sub-$200 laptops on the day the United States gorges itself on bargains.
The question is, what do you get for your $200 on these minimalist laptops? I’ll answer those questions, then you can decide whether they’re worth $200 and braving the crowds, the weird hours, and likely the cold. (Yes, there are costs beyond the money you spend.)Read More »What to make of this Black Friday’s sub-$200 laptops
Yesterday I wrote about the importance of encrypting documents before you send them via e-mail. But what if you don’t have a PDF creator, other than Microsoft Office or Open/Libre Office?
It turns out you can encrypt PDF documents, including those you create with office software, for free–with caveats.
I recently edited a long document whose original author capitalized way too many words. I needed to fix it. To speed up the process, I needed a way to find capitalized words in Word–all of them, and automatically. Then I could make a decision whether the capitalization was appropriate.
Another time you would need to find capitalized words in Word would be when you’re creating an index. I’m sure there are others.
It’s easier than it sounds.
Read More »How to find all the capitalized words in a Word document
I’ve mentioned several times that I hadn’t seen Office 2010 yet, so I couldn’t comment on it, and would reserve judgment until I’ve seen it. I’ve been working for companies that were a bit behind the times on that.
I’ve been working with it for a week now. I won’t be buying it for my own use at home.
I’m playing catch-up a bit. This weekend, Lifehacker ran a guide about living with a computer that’s past its prime.
I’ve made a career of that. One of my desktop PCs at work (arguably the more important one) is old enough that I ought to be preparing to send it off to second grade. And for a few years I administered a server farm that was in a similar state. They finally started upgrading the hardware as I was walking out the door. (I might have stayed longer if they’d done that sooner.) And at home, I ran with out-of-date computer equipment for about a decade, just this summer buying something current. Buying something current is very nice, but not always practical.
So of course I’ll comment on a few of Lifehacker’s points.
Libre Office 3.5 is out. I need to look at it. My big beef with Open Office all along was that it made current hardware, whatever it was, feel like Office 97 running on a 486. Or perhaps a Pentium-75.
They’re saying all the right things now. Lots of new eyes looking at the code, reviewing the code, dropping obsolete code, streamlining it and making general improvements. Netscape 4.5 was a bloated mess too, but once the Mozilla team got some fresh eyes looking at it, the situation improved. Eventually they had to break the browser out into what became Firefox, but they had the freedom to do that.
And in the meantime, I suppose if it’s too slow, you could throw hardware at the problem. 8 GB of RAM costs $40 or less right now. Carve out a ramdisk of 1-2 GB and install Libre Office in that, and it’ll load pretty fast. It’ll eliminate any I/O-bound bottlenecks.