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Happy 3rd Birthday To 269

Milo Fungus writes " is three years old today. The birthday page links to interviews and information about's push to schools, which is led by Ian Lynch of the Marketing Project. As a happy and satisfied user, I say 'Happy Birthday' with vigor and gusto." Gift idea: give a copy of to your boss tomorrow.
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Happy 3rd Birthday To

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  • by trippinonbsd ( 689462 ) < minus physicist> on Monday October 13, 2003 @08:20PM (#7203671) Homepage
    They should wish to lose some weight this year...
    • by Doomrat ( 615771 ) on Monday October 13, 2003 @08:24PM (#7203706) Homepage

      They should wish to lose some weight this year...

      Happy Girthday.

    • > They should wish to lose some weight this year...

      Forget that. Memory is cheap. I'm wishing for an early native OS X build. Maybe a little help from the CinePaint [] project could make it happen?

      • Memory is cheap

        And loading is slow...

        • it's getting so much better though. on my P3 933/512 running RH9, 1.0.X loaded in about 15 seconds. now 1.1 loads in about half that time. that is without preloading anything. if they preloaded some things, it'd be much faster. it'd be nice if we could say, hey, get it to load in 10 seconds on a pentium 120 with 32mb ram, but you know what, hardware IS cheap, and even a refurb'd dell on ebay can run it great. evrything has a cost. you want features, you gotta pay for them somehow. i'd say, all in al
        • There it is. It's the sluggish performance that keeps OpenOffice from being "all that it can be".

          But I'm impressed with how far it has come. I wish for increased performance and an OS X native build.

          • In other words, you want Sun to tell the OOo team how they got StarOffice 7 so damn fast, right? (BTW, my Celery 466 with 256MB RAM couldn't handle OOo 1.1RC3, but SO7 works GREAT)
            • Probably the same way that Netscape 7 outperformed Mozilla. They turned off debugging and turned on optimizations. Like Mozilla, OOo is happy if they get a debug build. A release build takes FOREVER (I know, I've tried). What Sun does, is they tweak the code and compiler settings, throw some serious Sun hardware at it (16 procs, 8 gigs of RAM maybe?), and get it compiled before the cows come home. The OOo guys are busy developing and don't really have time to do this (yet, anyway).

              Another difference may
      • For once I wish people would keep things efficent. Just because we can make things bloated with everything under the sun doesn't mean we should.

        On a bigger note, they have made a lot of improvements in the past 3 years from Star Office to 1.1 today. Its well on its way and usable, but still there are some things that can be worked on, like getting it to load faster.

        • I'd still rather get a port to OS X first. The loading time doesn't bother me much. I just leave it up if I need it.
      • Forget that. Memory is cheap.

        Yeah, well, memory is cheap. My time isn't. I opened OO Write on an older Debian-running computer and it used just over a minute to open. Hate to say it, but Word used round 20 seconds when Windows was installed. Once running, everything is snappy though.

        The sad thing is that it contributes to a bad image of the whole suite. I know that it is a very good suite, but my friend doesn't and the long load time makes him believe it isn't.

        • Pre-load it. At least on Windows, you can run the little OpenOffice starter program that keeps it in memory. I run it on my Windows box to keep my wife happy (she gave up on M$ Office after it crashed for the umpteenth time). As far as she's aware, there's no difference in speed. I'm sure you could get the soffice executable doing *something* non-obtrusive on a Linux box. Besides, if it was loaded once, it should load faster the next time due to the libraries being in memory.

        • Re:Birthday Wish (Score:3, Informative)

          by 13Echo ( 209846 )
          OO.o loads in 4 seconds on my Athlon 1400 on Slackware 9. If you haven't tried version 1.l yet, it's highly suggested. There are so many improvements to it, it's hard to believe it's the same program. Not only is it *much* faster, but there are lots of enhancements to features and such. I love the new "Export to PDF" feature (no worries about someone viewing a file intact). The UI is faster. Everything has improved greatly.

          If OO.o keeps on getting this much better with each release, it
      • And it has improved! I don't even have to recompile my kernel any more to build the FreeBSD port like I had for 1.0, because compiling an Office suite obviously requires some more radical settings than the vanilla kernel, perfectly suitable for huge database or file servers running stable under high load while staying responsive for interactive use, can provide.

        They could at least get rid of the useless splash screen that makes /all/ of your virtual desktops unusable while that piece of "enterprise quali

    • >They should wish to lose some weight this year...

      Actually they've lost tons of weight.

      My first experiences with OO were with a single "master app" that took quite a while to load and used plenty of RAM. I recently had time to play with 1.1 and found that they've finally seperated the apps a la MS office and the boot times are within a very acceptable range, even on a modest system.

      Here's to the OO diet. I heard it killed Atkins.
  • Get your boss to an pitch party -- "if they are innundated by advertisements, they will come!"
  • by SargeZT ( 609463 )
    It's nice to have a realistic alternative to MS Office. I've tried many OSS Office Alternatives, and this is by far the best of them all. Happy Birthday!
    • I know that OpenOffice is an whole suite, but as far a word processing goes, I think Abiword 2.0 is not worse than OO. I recently had to open up a .doc file and edit it, and I found Abiword 2.0's menu items much, much easier to find (like overstrike, for instance) compared to OO's which were hard as hell to locate. Also, Abiword 2.0 rendered the file more correctly than OO. By the way, I use the latest versions of each. Lastly, Abiword's UI is prettier. However, I do realize that the point of OO is to

      • I recently had to open up a .doc file and edit it, and I found Abiword 2.0's menu items much, much easier to find (like overstrike, for instance) compared to OO's which were hard as hell to locate.

        I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but OO didn't purchase their SCO license which means any program written that calls main() will not function properly. If you act now however, I will gladly send you a SCO license formatted as an mp3 document via p2p to po the RIAA for the introductory low price of 3 joon

  • It was quite a change for our school to completely move to Open/StarOffice two years ago, but I'm glad we did it now.

    Happy Birthday and best wishes!

  • Ok... if *anyone* used the phrase "vigor and gusto", how long would it take to get marked as a troll?

    To stay on topic, to get 90% of Microsoft Office features and usability in just three years *is* pretty amazing. Or maybe M$ just sucks and OO serves as proof positive that Microsoft Office has always been a scam first and a productivity package second.
    • By Vigor, I first thought he was talking about clippy - then I remember that was for vi.
    • Obviously you weren't using computers routinely before Office came out. The entire idea of using COM to link the distinct parts of the Office "suite" together was quite inventive and REALLY improves some peoples productivity (being able to retrieve data from the DB into the spreadsheet, manipulate the data and output the results into a wordprocessing doc was the only thing that made my job triaging helpdesk tickets possible). Beyond that it was a huge profit win for MS because they could convince companies
      • I understand your point but I don't see how it is "obvious" that I allegedly wasn't using computers before office came out. I'm not sure how you interpreted that.

        Anyway... Microsoft Office hasn't been knocked off my system the way IE has. There's too many annoying things about OO that keep me from completely converting. For example:

        When you copy text out of OO and paste it into an editor like EditPad or Notepad, it converts ordinary double quotes into single quotes. That REALLY sucks if you had any ki
      • "the power users who use Office's cross-app features are probably only 30-40%"

        *cough* 5% *cough*

        You seriously overrate the average office user. Most of them are still struggling with the mouse. And very rare indeed is the user who knows keystroke commands, that alone I'd say is far less than your 30-40% mark. Actually moving data between the office apps (beyond cut and paste) is WAAAY beyond 95% of office users easily.

        P.S. You can import/export to/from most types of databases from OO. Just not MS Acce
    • They didn't implement it in three years. A german company called Star Division started it in the mid 80's. It was purchased by Sun in 1999 and released open source three years ago.

      So while the open source comunity has done a ton to improve it since then, it - like mozilla - is in large part a gift to the community, which we gladly embraced.
  • As a happy and satisfied user, I say 'Happy Birthday' with vigor and gusto.

    Has someone ported Vigor [] to OpenOffice now? I thought it was only available on vi ports.
  • On a related note, StarOffice 7 comes out tomorrow. It's a free download for educational use.
  • by bigberk ( 547360 ) <> on Monday October 13, 2003 @08:42PM (#7203851)
    Since students and academic folk are poor anyway, and nobody wants to steal from Microsoft, tell others at your school or university about

    I've convinced a couple professors to link to the projects from their web page. Hell, I learned about OpenOffice from school myself. It's a great place to spread awareness of this Office alternative.
    • nobody wants to steal from Microsoft

      Well, not their shitty software, but i wouldn't mind absconding with a chunk of that $41B they've got lying around in the bank from extorting customers.

    • This is a wonderful idea. Our ACM chapter used to have a linux day every year, where we would set up demonstrations of the cool stuff you could do with linux, give out linux CD's and even install linux on the first X people to bring their computer down.

      But this would be applicable to all the students on campus, not just the adventurous. Handing out CD's with Mozilla and OpenOffice to incomming freshman would be a great way to get word out about freedomware. In addition, helping people with their computers
    • I did. I work at universities as a project manager. Last project was a quicky, 1 month. The university is all MS, but I decided tot use OOo instead, since waiting for the IT dept. to get me MS Office (as I should have according to them) would have taken the whole month. After a month, I handed in a cd containing teh pdf's of all my finished work, .doc/.xls files to satisfy my boss, and .sxw and .sxc files as the original files. I included the OOo 1.1 install + spelllcheck so people could edit those. My bo
  • Three cheers for (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Monday October 13, 2003 @08:45PM (#7203871) Homepage
    Three cheers to SUN for being one of the few companies to "get" Free Software licensing. I think it was the then CEO, at a gnome confernce:
    "I have three letters to describe our licensing scheme: G - P - L!" [to much applause]

    Here's the original announcment [].

    Ciaran O'Riordan
  • Gift idea? (Score:3, Funny)

    by PissingInTheWind ( 573929 ) on Monday October 13, 2003 @08:50PM (#7203899)
    Gift idea: give a copy of to your boss tomorrow.

    Yeah, I'll just burn the web site on a cdrom.
  • So three years ago was founded from the released ashes of StarOffice5.2.

    Now three years later, with OO1.1/SO7.0, we have the first broadly acceptable product fit for the general public. It feels like three years of hell, but really that's pretty impressive.

    Congrats OO, and keep moving forward!
  • was asking for a crack for MS Office, because his trial version was about to run out (I didn't even know MS Office had trial versions), so I sent him a link to Today he came in and was extremely happy. He said it installed with no problems, let him open all of his existing .doc files, and the look and feel was easy to get used to. I work for a Cable ISP, and my Supervisor is one of those guys who gets nervous when you say IP address, so he's not very technically inclined... He was very impre
  • Both my girlfriend and I are poor, starving college students. I'm C.S. Major who switches between Windows and Red Hat on a pretty constant basis, so I use to avoid conflicts in file types (like using Office XP) for projects/papers/assignments. She, on the other hand, doesn't even have Office 97 and is very involved with clubs and groups, as well as taking 18 credits this semester. I gave her a copy of v.1.1 (I think it was rc3) about a month ago, and WHAM! She's hooked. She abs
    • Re:People like it! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Daengbo ( 523424 )
      Yeah, we just started distributing Windows versions of two Thai OO.o derivatives and Mozilla Firebird on the CD we give out free for our Gimp classes. The response was pretty good.
  • Abiword and Gnumeric are faster (MUCH faster) and better looking with native Gnome2 integration.
    • As recently as last weekend, I emerged abiword 2.0 (on my gentoo desktop), and tried to open my resume (in .doc format) that I've constantly been updating over the years.

      Go to open it.. crash.

      In addition, I was getting strange refresh issues with Abiword (had to scroll up and down the page to get it to properly display edited text - ie, deleted words werent getting deleted from the screen).

      Yes Abiword is attractive-looking (way less visual clutter than alternative office suites), but because of the issue
  • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Monday October 13, 2003 @11:42PM (#7205428) Journal,4149,1331169, p

    "Addressing several thousand attendees at the Worldwide Partner Conference, he took a swipe at Linux, open source and StarOffice, saying, "they simply accept the view that what they have is good enough. That view does not foster innovation. Being where we were with Office 1997 is not good enough for us," he said."

    Microsoft admitting that OO is already equal to something they spent millions and millions on and also happens to be much more widely used than Office XP is the best thing they could have said.

    I mean that. Office 97 is still very popular. One of the biggest challenges MS has is moving people off that since many businesses find that Office 97 is all they need. The fact they think OO has met the quality level that most of world thinks is "good enough" is excellent news.

    Congrats to the team and thanks to Microsoft for the marketing material.
    • Office 97 is still very popular.

      While this is definitely due to it being good enough for most people (and for me, too), we also have to consider the timing relative to the economy. Office 97 and Office 2000 were probably purchases in massive quantities during the climb up towards the 2001 peak, and Office XP simply came too late. Now, not only does Microsoft have to battle the current sluggish economy, but they are also battling the amazing economy of four years ago. This is the perfect opportunity for
  • by alfredo ( 18243 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @12:48AM (#7205851)
    You know I love them, I'm on a dial up connection.
  • I would really like OO to displace MS Office, but my experience is that there are too many glitches when sharing *.doc and *.ppt files for OO to be a realistic alternative to MS Office. Sometimes what I get is wildly off (e.g. a 6 page OO doc becomes a 9 page Word doc; tables disappear; deleted text reappears, etc.)

    My reality is that many people send me MS office files, and the translation back and forth must be perfect for me to abandon MS Office. If I didn't work with MS files, and I could use OO exclusi
    • I would really like OO to displace MS Office, but my experience is that there are too many glitches when sharing *.doc and *.ppt files for OO to be a realistic alternative to MS Office.

      Unfortunately, that is the situation I am in as well. My resume is based on the simple Word 97 template and it doesn't display properly in OO Writer. I tried updating my resume 6 months ago in OO but then it didn't look right in Word. :(

      Thankfully this is the only document I have to pass around, so I do use OOo for many
  • As an academic economist that uses MS Excel and Maple on a regular basis for number crunching and data presentation, I'd say that Excel might be the only reason why I haven't either switched to [Free/Net/Open]BSD or to a Mac yet. Excel is an amazingly powerful tool for both business automation and statistical/econometric work. Have any among you switched from heavy Excel use to heavy OpenOffice work? How good is its set of readymade tools for statistic work (specifically, crunching up histograms from lists

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors