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Old 01-04-2014, 09:40 PM   #31
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I don't use windows but would using office 365 be cheaper than buying MS Office Suite if the company goes that route?

Last edited by schizophrenia; 01-04-2014 at 09:42 PM.
Old 01-04-2014, 10:02 PM   #32
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Debian. :)
Old 01-05-2014, 06:36 AM   #33
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The past few months I have been working in a company which was strictly Windows. Compatibility between their MSOffice 2010 and my LibreOffice 3.0 (running in Debian Wheezy) was terrible. Many of their Excel spreadsheets would not even open in LO Calc. Don't say they did something strange. Calc could not open an Excel sheet. Period.

The other way around, when I prepared text documents in LO Writer, they hardly ever opened correctly in Office. Unformatted text, yes. But as soon as tables, headings and pictures were included it was a mess. Often I received Writer documents back as being 'unreadable' or with blocks of duplicated text which could not be deleted.

Old 01-05-2014, 09:29 AM   #34
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I haven't tried Open Office Calc for several year. When I did try it, it was such a memory hog and so slow, it was completely useless.

I depend on a lot of big complicated xls files in Excel 2003. On my old XP64 system, almost all operations are near instant on those files. On a much faster Windows 7 system with newer Excel, the same operations on the same files are annoyingly slow. But in Calc, those operations were far past annoyingly slow. Operations that might take a quarter second in Excel 2003 could be 2 seconds in newer Excel and 2 minutes in Calc.

This machine (that has Excel 2003) must transition soon from XP to Centos. But I can't imagine my use of Excel 2003 transitioning. One of the hundreds of items on my todo list for transitioning this machine is figuring out how to continue using the installed Excel 2003 through wine in Centos.

When I did try Calc, I was impressed with the compatibility. Formatting compatibility (what the sheet looked like on screen) was terrible, but feature compatibility was impressive. I imagine someone with a tiny spreadsheet might be quite happy overall. I don't have many tiny spreadsheets. Calc's internal design must be insanely wasteful in data structure size. It uses an enormous multiple more ram to work on the same spreadsheet compared to Excel 2003. Even though I have enough ram, excess use of ram translates into continuous L2 cache misses and dismal performance.

Edit: Maybe not quite as hopeless as I remembered (or this computer old XP system is better hardware than the last computer I compared on):
I opened up the xls I work with most often, in Excel 2003 XP64. It opened instantly and took 15.2MB. I did some of the common operations that touch most of the contents. The operations were instant (less than half a second) and memory use grew to 16.7MB.
I booted Centos (same machine) and opened the same file in LibreOffice Calc. It took 12 seconds to open and 1120MB. I did the same operations, which took 1 or 2 seconds each and memory use grew to 1177MB. From past experience, I was expecting 400 times slower than Excel. This might be ten times slower.

Last edited by johnsfine; 01-05-2014 at 03:26 PM.
Old 01-05-2014, 06:04 PM   #35
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The problem with Microsoft, is that they changed their document standards in order to break compatibility with anything else. Eventually Open Office/Libre Office will be able to handle Microsoft Office 2010 documents. It's possible the latest versions already do. I haven't used Open Office beyond 3.4.


One of my biggest computer pet peeves is software bloat, since the days of the Pentium 1. I find software bloat to be wasteful as it forces people to get rid of perfectly good hardware in favor of faster hardware so the latest software will run. With that out of the way, what hardware did you try open Office on originally? Pentium 1's are definately out and Pentium 2's (at least the classical ones anyway) are probably not recommended. Pentium 3's and up are needed to run Open Office. I run Open Office on an old business laptop. A Dell Latitude D400 with a Pentium M Dothan 745 processor under both XP Pro and Slackware 13.37.
Old 01-05-2014, 06:26 PM   #36
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You can try to see if crossover office meets your requirements.
Old 01-09-2014, 08:31 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
Centos 5.9 is painfully slow on that home system compared to obsolete Mepis (both running KDE 3). Centos 6 (tried both KDE 4 and Gnome) is beyond painfully slow. It is pretty much hopeless. I'm used to really rotten performance like that being the result of too little ram, but 16GB is plenty. I'm guessing (maybe hoping) the rotten performance is caused by the motherboard graphics (maybe newer versions of X have become too dependent on the graphics card doing all the work, compared to older versions). I'm just doing ordinary desktop activities (not viewing videos nor playing games, etc. that need extra graphics power). I hope the slightly faster CPU and graphics cards at work would make Centos 6 fast enough to use. Otherwise I breaking more new ground than I have time to learn.
Geez now I have to install Centos to witness for myself how it can possibly be so slow on your hardware. Maybe I'm spoiled by custom building tickless, realtime, low-latency kernels.

Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
Meanwhile, I still find KDE 4 totally incomprehensible. I have always hated Gnome and preferred KDE 3. Figuring out what to replace my work XP system with is proving even harder than expected.
Two years ago I couldn't have possibly agreed with you more. KDE3 seemed to be near perfection and then Bam! KDE4 comes out and by no means in anything remotely resembling ready-for-prime-time condition. It wasn't only that it was a huge memory and cpu hog but it seemed some of the best base components had been randomly tossed out with no decent replacement and in some cases, no replacement at all. I hated it.

However, I joined the KDE forums, originally to keep up with the ongoing (but now defunct) kde3 project, and to see just what had caused such a deep upheaval. I learned that KDE was trying to stretch, to begin a longterm change to integrate many functions in one database making it ultimately more of "the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing" conscious, especially suited for business contacts and apps, but decent for many desktop/soho users as well.

Today I can say that KDE was right to make such a fundamental change. Sure the first login takes time to build the initial database structure, but that's over in a few minutes, never to be repeated again at that level. The new Plasma interface is unbelievably powerful and configurable. In any KDE4 session, just rt. clk. and select "run" and when the dialog box pops up, clk on the little wrench icon to see all this wolf in sheeps clothing can do. It's rather amazing actually. Then clk on the desktop and select "add plasmoid" and explore all that can be instantly on the desktop, even stdin/stdout! not to mention all the obvious little utilities like weather, time, etc. I have nothing to do with KDE financially so I won't spend any more space extolling it's virtues beyond saying it sucked when it came out, but it's worth a 2nd look now.

That said, when I want to do something intense where I need maximum resources, I logout of KDE and login to XFCE4. In the startup settings one can select via checkbox to load kde libraries or gnome libraries or both upon startup. It isn't required but it does make it a bit snappier if you use lots of either's apps from within XFCE. It also behaves a bit like KDE3, or can be made to get closer if one is so determined.

Originally Posted by johnsfine (paraphrased)
I hate all Linux text editors
I was at first mad that KDE4 dropped Kedit, but Kwrite is OK. However for the real muscle, what a real text editor should be capable of for deep level work, I use "vi", "vim" to be specific. It's like magic. Next I will link a youtube video about advanced usage of "vi" and it isn't just a quip, but a few minutes worth of a public demonstration. It is well worth anyone's time who wishes to get a few clues as to what is possible in a serious text editor to spend 5 minutes or so and view this. Just don't clk it if you're in a hurry. Wait till you have a few minutes to see something great.

VI Awsomeness

Ahh looks like the iso is down so I will checkout Centos tonight.

Oh get back specifically on-topic, it seems to me that it will take decades if ever to unseat windows from workstations. Equally unlikely is Windows penetrating the enterprise server market any deeper than they already have. Presently they are barely on a par with Linux as for deployment numbers and Ubuntu Server and Debian are out in front of Linux now, having unseated RHEL, and Ubuntu Server is adding some hundreds of new deployments every day!

So, while corporations are somewhat rightly reticent to retrain or directly replace old admins (let alone, workstation users) to replace something that works (at least from the level of their understanding, and "where's the cost/benefit ratio?") they seem to be able to convinced to simply add a layer on top and that can most easily be done to benefit with Linux. It may take another 10 years for Linux to even gain a par relationship with AIX, but it is possible.... maybe even likely.
Old 01-09-2014, 08:44 PM   #38
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A story about a migration fron XP to Linux.


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