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Old 10-23-2004, 09:10 PM   #1
Kye
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Saving *.doc & *.XML files on old computers


Hello there,

I've recently been given a job to supervise a computer recycling project, we canvas businesses for unused computer hardware, so as you can guess the donations are of very old computers eg 16 megs ram p75 cpu's etc most aren't that old but not far from it.

Our first problem was finding a free operating system for the old computers that would run on most of them, we went for mandrake 8, we have mandrake on a few of them already but we really need a word processor that can handle *.doc files so the end user can save the doc files from their Mandrake machine to a floppy then take it to their local library etc which is more then likely going to have microsoft word etc on their computers and be able to print out their work, edit or make a new doc file etc and have the ability to bring their new doc files made else where home to their mandrake machine and continue their work.

We are all total novices when it comes to linux at our project, this is the first time most of us has had anything to do with linux software, please keep that in mind, we started installing gnome gui but couldn't seem to get to any of the fixed drives to install new software once the OS was on, we finally worked out that KDE gui made its own Cd rom and floppy disk icons on the desktop, we tryed putting on a free version of star office 5.2 which didn't seem to save a *.doc file in its word processor or *.XML in its spreadsheet program, I noticed open office 1.0 was asking for 64 megs of ram in its read me file which is way to much for our ancient computers so we couldn't use that.

If anyone has any suggestions for other software that can save and read *.doc and *.XML files it would help out our project considerably.

We are giving these computers away for free to the local community so we aren't making a cent its part of a government project.
Thank you in advance for any help offered.

Last edited by Kye; 10-23-2004 at 09:14 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2004, 09:13 PM   #2
opjose
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Have you tried ABIWORD?

It should do the job in far less memory.
 
Old 10-23-2004, 09:16 PM   #3
Kye
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I was reading a review site that said ABIWORD would mess up the formatting when transfering from a linux machine to a microsoft machine and loading it back into MS Word, have you found this to be the case?

Last edited by Kye; 10-23-2004 at 09:20 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2004, 09:28 PM   #4
opjose
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It depends upon how you do the xfer.

NOTHING is perfect including OpenOffice, short of using Word itself under Linux with Crossover. (which BTW Works, but you at least more memory and may faster systems...)

So you can forget about being able to continually go back and forth without an intermediate step.

If you want to preserve formatting saving the document in a not so Microsoft centric format is a better option, such as RTF, etc.

With ABIWord and OpenOffice, they can READ or WRITE Word documents, but assume that each operation will be one way. That is if you continue editing a document in Word and ABI/Open you'll end up corrupting it.


OpenOffice and Abiword cannot handle the more advanced features of Word (yet), but these are rarely used anyway, hence the problem.


On the other hand if the documents are saved in Word9x format from within Word, and you tell users to continue to save things this way, then you'll have far better back and forth transportability.

However this requires either setting newer versions of word to utilize the slightly older document save format by default or active diligence on the part of the end user so that they always remember to do this.
 
  


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