Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bagpipes And Bargains

At the last Celtic Festival The Woman I Love and I attended [a birthday gift from The Woman], a member of one of the pipe and drum corps in attendance opined that I was actually Scotch-Irish, instead of Irish, as I had always believed [his theory had something to do with the way my last name is spelled, and need not be repeated here. For that matter, my family has lived in America for at least a century-and-a-half, so why my ancestry is entering into all this is beyond me. Oh wait, now I remember. It's setting up an explanation in the next line or two]. Anyway, his opinion made me think. I don't consider myself "tight" by any means, but if I can get something useful for nothing, I'm certainly not against that. If you're like that also, this article may be for you.

Microsoft Office(R), in its various versions, has become known as the "standard" in office software [of course, just about anyone can use word processing, spreadsheets, and drawing programs, as well as other nifty features. But Office (R) is pricey. What to do? Well, the most popular answer nowadays, and one that puts absolutely no drain on the bank account is Open Office.Org. Its URL is [you guessed it]: Its story is intriguing.

Back at the turn of the century, a company known as Sun Microsystems bought a software package called StarOffice from a German company. No huge news, right? Wrong. StarOffice was developed in open-code, meaning it could be used by most operating systems with small modifications. Sun was using a lot of open-source programs [still does], and their operating platform of choice was Unix, also open-source. In an attempt to stem the tidal wave that was Office(R), Sun put StarOffice on the market. For free. Ever since, they've shaped the open-source community's development of Open Office . org [hereafter, at least occasionally, OO.o. Neat abbreviation, huh?].

Open calls them by different names, but matches Office (R) feature for feature. Indeed, if work computers use Office (R), you can almost always assimilate those documents into OO.o [At the moment, the only fly in the ointment seems to be the Mac's OS/X; OO.o 'doesn't play well" with it, although improvements along this line are said to be imminent. Stay tuned...]

Next time, some more freebies to help you use your computer like a pro for less [free, actually, but who's telling? Not me...].

-Mike Riley

1 comment: said...

Hi, was wondering if you'd like to exchange links with me?
If yes, please leave your blog url as a comment at:
I'll link to you first, then when you have time link back k?
Thanks, Michael
BTW--I'm michaelwong38 on digg. If ever you want something dugg, just send me a shout anytime.