Not your father’s Celeron

I picked up a Celeron G1610 CPU last week and I’m using it to build a Linux box. Yeah, it’s a Celeron. But it performs like a 2011-vintage Core i3 or a 2010-vintage Core i5, consumes less power than either, and costs less than $50. It’s hard to go wrong with that. Read more

Libre Office and Open Office both grow up a bit–together

Both Libre Office and Open Office released new versions this week, and the changelog indicates a good amount of shared code between the two, at least in this go-round. The animosity between the two—Libre Office is a fork of Open Office, dating to before the time Oracle spun the project off to Apache—may thus be overstated. Read more

A skeptic looks at Libre Office

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.

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How to find all the capitalized words in a Word document

How to find all the capitalized words in a Word document

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.
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Office 2010, early impressions

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.

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Living with a past-its-prime computer

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.

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Libre Office grows up some more

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.

PC Magazine’s sub-$200 PC

PC Magazine has reprised its sub-$200 PC. I think it’s a good guide, and a savvy shopper can potentially do a little bit better with some care and some luck. At that price, it’s running Linux, but it also serves as a good guide for upgraders looking to upgrade an existing PC inexpensively. If you have a case and hard drive you can reuse, you can either buy better parts, or just pocket the savings.

Here’s my take on their selections.

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Google jumps into the e-reader game

On July 17, Google and Target are introducing the Iriver Story HD, a $139 e-reader. And the more I think about it, the more I think Google is really serious about being a player in this space. The analysts who are dismissing it as a me-too, too-late product miss one key thing.

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Removing the Windows XP Repair scareware

Windows XP Repair is a fake system optimization and repair tool. It takes over the computer almost completely, and it’s a pain to remove. Worse yet, there’s at least one version floating around right now that standard no antivirus/antimalware tool I threw at it recognized.

Here’s how I removed it for someone.

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