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Old 03-23-2008, 06:26 AM   #1
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
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Smile Ubuntu desktop with Open Office user for a few months.

In the non-profit sector - my quest is to convert everyone at the organization I'm working for from MS Office running on XP to OpenO ffice running on Ubuntu (or whichever Linux environment seems best for them) and that's my dilemma. I don't use Microsoft at home anymore and am "almost" (it's painful) surviving without Word and Excel (which started out on Macintosh and have enjoyed the sophistication coming from 24 years of amazing programmer input -from pre MS days -Xerox Palo Alta to today) which Open Office still -unfortunately- has a way to go to catch up to... As a Microsoft Office power user, it is painful to give up the sophisticated formatting of the MS versions of Office software - mainly Word and Excel. I haven't attempted to get into the OO versions of PowerPoint and Database apps yet - and I'm a bit scared of what that will mean. But the freedom from viruses and other malware - has certainly been worth the losses at home. No more lost evenings and weekends redoing the computer. Linux works and is unfriendly to viruses and other nasty stuff.

I started out with AES/MICOM/WANG/XEROX/COMPUCORP - used the Sinclair, loved the Atari drawing program, sold Apples, used early Mac's which I loved and then business got in the way and I have been mired for many unhappy years in the MS (read mess) bog - starting many moons ago. Sold and installed the first Windows products (unhappily watching a coldhearted empty box with a Charlie Chaplin identity and no software displace Apple II with its highly developed (for then) software application base and disrupt the introduction of the Apple III which had been recalled to repair bugs. Microsoft never recalled anything to fix bugs - they just released it and it was the buyers who alerted them to all the bugs - the first buyers were forced to function as unpaid and unwilling beta testers. Up until Win 95 (when Microsoft finally bought the real code from the "barely still there" Apple Co) MS Windows was an industry joke. When someone purchased a pc from you (which came with MS Windows) once you installed the software they wanted you installed a tiny freeware application called Main Menu, linked all the apps to it, and that was the best way to work. Windows was very very slow and took up space and the windows were ugly and difficult to manipulate. So, from about 1985 Microsoft Windows was something you paid for but if you really wanted to get serious work done you just didn't use it at all. Finally with Win95 it made sense to use it because now it worked similarly to the first Mac desktop in 1984. Nine years in beta provided by users.

I installed early NetWare networks (when we had to first go through the arduous process requiring the creation of 20 or more 5.25" diskettes and installing the network software from these onto the server (and sometimes had to test the hardrive for 72 hours before knowing whether it would accept the NetWare or not -obviously something that predisposed one to buying pretested servers from Novell- when installing small networks in the 80s. Created company wide databases using MDBS SQL relational database - before this type of microcomputer application became popular here in Montreal.

Anyway - all this to say - I've been around for awhile. However, with Linux I'm a babe in arms). I really want to get the small pc network (two locations) with microsoft environment - functioning properly (currently just the microsoft are on a primitive network and online over a router) and get it into a Linux based intranet. Also to avoid having either of this struggling non-profit (helps single moms) org -or me- get into trouble by using any unlicensed software - and to get the whole gang really converted to using Linux. I will need some real help because my experience is all Microsoft based (for most of the last 10 years) so I'm really pinning my hopes on this forum.

Finances decree that we have no budget to hire a recently trained person - and this is not my primary function at the organization - everything I'm doing on the technology end is voluntary and unpaid.

Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself.

Last edited by arclight; 03-23-2008 at 06:47 AM.
Old 03-23-2008, 09:54 PM   #2
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