Monday, June 09, 2008

OpenOffice for Windows

All of my Linux and BSD boxes are undergoing maintenance and upgrades at the moment, therefore I'm using my little Windows system for my day to day activities. Yesterday I found myself in need of a word processor, with a little more punch than Wordpad. I immediately thought of trying OpenOffice for Windows. I've using OpenOffice countless times in Ubuntu, and on my FreeBSD desktops, but never before on Windows.

After a quick web search I found the download link at Download The Download was a 127MB .exe file. After virus scanning the file I began the install. First it verified the download, which was nice to see. Then it said it needed to unpack and copy the installation files to my hard drive. I allowed it to copy the files to the default location, which was my desktop (You can delete these files after installation is complete). I followed the instructions through the install process, choosing a complete install, it was very simple.

I'm really impressed with the polished work which has been put into the Windows build of OpenOffice. It's lovely to use, it has all of the basic functionality of Microsoft Office, and it didn't cost me $600+ AU. I'm enjoying using it, it feels really nice.

The complete installation gave me the following components:

OpenOffice Base :: BASE is a fully featured desktop database management system

OpenOffice Calc :: CALC is a complete spreadsheet program.

OpenOffice Draw :: DRAW is an imaging program, which gives you the ability to create graphics and diagrams.

OpenOffice Impress :: IMPRESS is a tool to create multimedia presentations, similar to PowerPoint presentations.

OpenOffice Math :: MATH is's component for mathematical equations. It is most commonly used as an equation editor for text documents, but it can also be used with other types of documents or stand-alone.

OpenOffice Writer :: WRITER is a fully equipped word processor or desktop publisher.

Each part integrates very nicely, allowing you to move your data from one component to another. OpenOffice is really easy to use, especially if you have used similar products in the past.

You can integrate all of your old files into it, allowing you to save or edit files in many formats. E.g. PowerPoint presentations, or Word documents can be edited or saved, allowing you to share and communicate with others easily.

OpenOffice is a very professional and complete suite. I'm impressed with the work which has been put into it. It's awesome to see a free product out there giving so much to it's users.

For more information please see:
OpenOffice Wiki Support

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lost in Space

Hi everyone, thank you to those who have sent me emails over the past six months inquiring of my whereabouts and my well being, it's been awhile.
I'd rather not say where I've been, or whats been happening, none of it is relative to this blog anyway.

A couple of hours ago I logged into all of my email accounts, for the first time in around 6 months. My private accounts contained nothing but spam, no real mail.
Then I logged into my Geekybits email address to discover emails from people all over the world. People asking questions, making comments, wondering were I was, urging me to help them, or to continue writing.
I was amazed, stunned...

Then I started thinking, wow there are more people here who care about me then in real life. So if any of these people knew me in real life how would they treat me?
Would they be like everyone else that I know?
Would they treat me like a badly dressed, unemployed, geek, that sits on her computer all day?
Chances are yes...
In reality I can't get a job, I struggle pay the bills, and I'm not exactly the most social person you'll ever meet. The only good thing in my life, is my wonderful loving husband.

However here, lost in the anonymity of the internet, I'm treated as an authority, as someone who knows their subject and writes clearly about it. Someone worth listening to and asking advice from. It amazes me to think that a few words online can change people perspective.
I'd like to think that I'm learning everyday, that the information that I proved is accurate and correct to the best of my knowledge, yet I had no idea that people actually listened and want to read more. That people respected my opinion and my knowledge. Thank you!

If I'd continued not to write, Geekybits would have faded, another forgotten blog, which no one writes or reads anymore. Irrelevant and unimportant in this fast moving, constantly changing world.
If a blog author was to die would anyone even notice?
Would those post just be suspended in time, lost in the data floating around the net?

This made me think of Donald Crowdis, María Amelia and Olive Riley, three of the worldest oldest bloggers, and if anyone would notice their passing. Perhapes we would notice the passing of Olive as her friend Mike posts for her, yet what of the others? I've read Dons blog many many times, and yet he hasn't written since the 8th of March 2007, I hope sincerely that he is OK, but how would I ever know?

I would like to try to start writing again, no promises on heaps of articles. I think that I have more to share, and more help to give, so stay tuned, Geekybits lives again...