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Old 12-12-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
mrpatfarrell
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Questions about Ubuntu netbook w/MS exchange server


I'm considering a netbook(maybe a Dell Mini-9)for work to lighten my travel load. Basic Specs: 1 GB DDR2 @533mhz, 32GB SSD.

I know nothing about Ubuntu 8.04.1. but have read as much as I can find about Ubuntu and Open Office. I need some confirmation that I will be able to do the following without Windows XP and that Ubuntu would be the right choice for a netbook and my criteria:

(in order of importance)

1)Send and receive my work email via Microsoft Outlook Exchange Server 2003.
2)Email MS word, MS excel, and pdf docs (many could be stored on flash drive or SDHD memory card). Storing some regularly used docs on the hard drive would be optimal.
3)Generate new or modify existing (minimal) word processing docs, Generate new or modify existing (very minimal) spreadsheets.
These must be compatible with MS Word and Excel.
4)Send/receive e-fax docs
5)Keep a contact database and calendar that can be synched to my Blackberry. I currently use Outlook and I'm not sure if I can synch
a BB Curve 8330 with Ubuntu, Open Office, or a 3rd party software for my contacts and calendar.

Any input on my questions, Ubuntu vs XP in general and netbook comments/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Pat
 
Old 12-13-2008, 12:51 AM   #2
jstephens84
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Welcome Pat,

for starters I think Ubuntu can do somethings.

1. Evolution will connect to exchange as long as your IT staff has RPC over HTTP enabled.

2. Openoffice will work really well. I was filling in my morning reports using openoffice and all my formulas worked perfectly with excel and calc

3. Same goes for docs.

4. Not so sure here.

5. I think that can be done. But may require you to roll up your sleeves and get your hands a little dirty.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 12:53 AM   #3
jstephens84
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Sync BB with Ubuntu here is a great post on the Ubuntu forums about syncing your black berry.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 01:27 PM   #4
mrpatfarrell
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Thanks for the reply... a few clarifications.

Thanks for the quick reply. A few clarifications from a Linux rookie if thats ok...

So is Evolution part of the Ubuntu 8.04.1? What exactly is Evolution?

I certainly don't expect the netbook to replace my full size laptop and my use of word processing and/or spreadsheets would be minimal on the mini. Just to confirm... if someone emails me a ms word or ms excel doc I could use open office to modify those? If I sent the modified doc back they would be able to use ms word/excel to work with the doc?

Also- if I generate a new doc on open office (either word processing or spreadsheet) I can email this to a ms word/excel user and they can view/modify/etc... that doc seamlessly?

If its not asking too much can you give me your opinion on why Ubuntu is a better choice than XP. I just know very little about Ubuntu but it seems like with the limitations of a netbook (memory, processor, SSD drive, lack of CD drive) many say it boots and runs smoother on these small machines. I'm a bit nervous because I work in a typical ms dominiated corp. The mini would be just for travel but I need it to interface with the other ms folks.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply and I will check out that synchronization website.

Pat
 
Old 12-13-2008, 01:44 PM   #5
jmite
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Evolution is an email program, it's part of the GNOME desktop environment.

Open office works very well with .doc files and other Word formats. Basically, yes it will work *mostly* seamlessly with word, you can create, edit, open word files and exchange with ms users.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 02:28 PM   #6
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpatfarrell View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. A few clarifications from a Linux rookie if thats ok...

So is Evolution part of the Ubuntu 8.04.1? What exactly is Evolution?

I certainly don't expect the netbook to replace my full size laptop and my use of word processing and/or spreadsheets would be minimal on the mini. Just to confirm... if someone emails me a ms word or ms excel doc I could use open office to modify those? If I sent the modified doc back they would be able to use ms word/excel to work with the doc?

Also- if I generate a new doc on open office (either word processing or spreadsheet) I can email this to a ms word/excel user and they can view/modify/etc... that doc seamlessly?

If its not asking too much can you give me your opinion on why Ubuntu is a better choice than XP. I just know very little about Ubuntu but it seems like with the limitations of a netbook (memory, processor, SSD drive, lack of CD drive) many say it boots and runs smoother on these small machines. I'm a bit nervous because I work in a typical ms dominiated corp. The mini would be just for travel but I need it to interface with the other ms folks.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply and I will check out that synchronization website.

Pat
Well it is hard to say if Linux is better. It all depends on what you are looking for and expecting out of linux. Further investigation on this site will show you some people are extremely happy with Linx (This is where I am) and others who are really unhappy with linux. It all depends on how much you want to put in when things don't work. But some of the highlights of linux would include

really great file management, less viruses, faster system due to tweaking or just some distro's architecture. With the history of how some microsoft products being resource hogs Linux probably will give you better performance.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 04:01 PM   #7
Hangdog42
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I've been using a Dell Mini 9 running Ubuntu for about a month now and other than a couple of annoying keys, it has been perfectly fine for taking notes while travelling.

Quote:
if someone emails me a ms word or ms excel doc I could use open office to modify those? If I sent the modified doc back they would be able to use ms word/excel to work with the doc?
In general, the answer is yes. My company has been using OpenOffice for about three years and for the most part there are only minor problems with documents. The more complex a document or spreadsheet is, the more likely that there will be problems, and macros are right out. However, I'd say that problems with documents has been <1% of the time. Just be sure to save things in .doc format, otherwise you'll confuse the daylights out of the Microsoft users.

Quote:
Also- if I generate a new doc on open office (either word processing or spreadsheet) I can email this to a ms word/excel user and they can view/modify/etc... that doc seamlessly?
Microsoft can't deal with OpenOffice's native format, but OO can easily save as a .doc file. You just have to be sure to save stuff that way.
Quote:
If its not asking too much can you give me your opinion on why Ubuntu is a better choice than XP. I just know very little about Ubuntu but it seems like with the limitations of a netbook (memory, processor, SSD drive, lack of CD drive) many say it boots and runs smoother on these small machines. I'm a bit nervous because I work in a typical ms dominiated corp. The mini would be just for travel but I need it to interface with the other ms folks.
I've recently had a chance to do some side by side comparisons of the Mini running Ubuntu and XP (a relative used mine and liked it so much she ordered one and had me set it up). In general, Ubuntu is noticeably snappier than XP. However, if you're company is a Windows shop, you may be in for trouble. They are unlikely to know how to help you connect to the company infrastructure. The trickiest part is definitely going to be connecting to Exchange.
 
Old 12-14-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
mrpatfarrell
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Thanks to all for their replies

Thanks jstephens84, jmite, and Hangdog42. I truly appreciate the input.

Regards,
Pat
 
Old 12-14-2008, 01:17 PM   #9
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpatfarrell View Post
Thanks jstephens84, jmite, and Hangdog42. I truly appreciate the input.

Regards,
Pat
No problem. Just be sure to ask if your exchange server has RPC over HTTP setup. If it does then evolution mail client will connect. If it doesn't then you may have some problems. Unless it supports pop. You will be able to get your email but not share your calendar or contacts.
 
  


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