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Microsoft It's funny.  Laugh.

Linux and OpenOffice save Microsoft Presentation 447

EvilGrinUK writes "A presentation about Shared Source (SSI) by the head of Microsoft Ukraine was almost ruined when the Windows machine (a Tablet PC) linked to the projector developed problems. The solution was to adopt 1.1.2 and ALT Linux Compact 2.3, which was already running on the presenter's laptop (an IBM Thinkpad). Here's a picture."
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Linux and OpenOffice save Microsoft Presentation

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  • Ha-Ha! (Score:5, Funny)

    by SeanTobin ( 138474 ) * <`moc.liamtoh' `ta' `rtnuhdryb'> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:20PM (#12625003)
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
    <voice>Nelson Muntz</voice>
    <voiceArtist>Nancy Cartwright</voiceArtist>
    • Why should we be surprised. A MSFT exec already told us that runningRunning Linux is Microsoft's competitive advantage. []
      "Hilf is the director of Microsoft's platform technology strategy group....

      Linux running at Microsoft? Isn't that sacrilege? Think of it <b>more as a competitive advantage</b>, said Hilf."
      • Hmm... Circa 1997 80%+ of country MSFT ops ran their webservers on Linux or Solaris. The moment Netcraft published this and they became a laughing stock it was all migrated to IIS within 2 weeks. Similarly, I do not really believe in such posturing. MSFT is a marketing driven organisation and if their marketing decides that a specific instance of running Linux is bad for the current marketing campaigns there will be a big crater in its place in less then 5 seconds.
  • by OlivierB ( 709839 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:20PM (#12625010)
    The original link is fster than the cache 544.sized.jpg []
    • Was... (Score:2, Funny)

      by Erik_ ( 183203 )
      That was the case... now 4 mins later the /. effect looms :-)
    • Pictures, huh?

      Yep. I can use Photoshop, too. Er, I mean GIMP, you sensitive! ; )

    • by gvy ( 886616 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:24PM (#12625762) Homepage
      Thanks for the direct link, cache lags indeed as I can see; there's a story page [] there too (thrown together after the first wave of pre-slashdot effect hit our gallery; and yes, the fact is just as this, there is one more independent photo link there).

      The bottleneck ATM is the shaper, we enjoy sponsored colocation and hardware (by WNet [] ISP) and current outbound traffic is around 512Kbps.

      Otherwise, our ALT Linux server that's serving you now is perfectly OK, given it's 4-way Xeon with a meg cache per CPU with a gig of RAM and SmartArray. So load average is more like: 0.19, 0.14, 0.12.

      Here's a postcard from Apache (no nginx on top of it even ;-) -- 167 requests currently being processed, 8 idle servers (I've upped MaxClients from 150 to 250, hope it's enough for some time -- seen 180+ max today).

      and here's top's top:

      CPU0 states: 1.1% user, 4.4% system, 0.0% nice, 0.0% iowait, 93.3% idle
      CPU1 states: 0.2% user, 0.2% system, 0.0% nice, 0.0% iowait, 99.1% idle
      CPU2 states: 0.3% user, 0.0% system, 0.0% nice, 0.0% iowait, 99.2% idle
      CPU3 states: 0.0% user, 0.1% system, 0.0% nice, 0.0% iowait, 99.4% idle
      Mem: 1033300k av, 680024k used, 353276k free, 0k shrd, 4168k buff
      346864k active, 246712k inactive
      Swap: 522072k av, 2240k used, 519832k free 482032k cached

      PS: we'll be doing 4th conference like that this October, feel free to contact me during next weeks if you're eager to travel to Kiev and roll a speech on Free Software!

  • Is it true? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sebisor ( 311819 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:20PM (#12625012) Homepage
    Can somebody verify that the info is accurate?
    • Re:Is it true? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by archen ( 447353 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:26PM (#12625088)
      I believe this isn't the first time someone associated with MS has done this. I've heard of a similar incident happening in Europe. Really I don't think this is newsworthy information. All of us know that you can end up with a bad office install, or office will end up with corrupted documents. Many of us also know that you can open such documents with Open Office just fine. I recommend this to uses on our own network every so often, so this is old hat. Another nice trick is to open MS office documents with Open Office, then save them with OO (to the MS format) and watch the file size decrease up to 30% at times and be able to open them JUST FINE in MS office.
      • I do think having to use OpenOffice had to be somewhat embarassing.
      • A similar thing happed to me recently. I was on my way on a business trip where I had to do a presentation using powerpoint. I was on the airplane cleaning off my laptop trying to free up a little disk space. I have no idea what I did but somehow I totally hosed my MS office app. Thank god I had OO installed. Worked like a charm. Three cheers for OO.
      • by Dread Pirate Shanks ( 860203 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:03PM (#12625510)
        OO.o doesn't always open .ppt documents fine; my physics lecture notes are always PowerPoint presentations, but can sometimes misinterpret the symbols. Nothing's worse than studying for an exam and wondering why the derivative of airplane over star equals hand.
        • by LilMikey ( 615759 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:30PM (#12625833) Homepage
          OO.o doesn't always open .ppt documents fine; my physics lecture notes are always PowerPoint presentations, but can sometimes misinterpret the symbols. Nothing's worse than studying for an exam and wondering why the derivative of airplane over star equals hand.

          Maybe you need to turn off the improbability drive of your laptop.
    • Re:Is it true? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:43PM (#12625302)
      It's a true story. There was a message in Russian LUG about that from a conference participant: ber/012275.html []

      PS: yes, I read Russian.
    • by Anonymous Monkey ( 795756 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:43PM (#12625305)
      I can't confirm this story but I've had a very similar experience.

      I was working at an almost all MS office as a bookkeeper. Most of the accounting was done with Exel, good backups were kept, and the server had UPS. Still, one day a major spreadsheet got corrupted, as did all it's back ups. All the office was in freak out mode, except for me, I downloaded and installed Open Office (I think it was ver 1.0.1) and opened the corrupted spreadsheet. Cut the data out, pasted it into a new Excel spreadsheet and saved the day!

      Ironically I was spoken to about installing non approved software...

      • Re:Is it true? (Score:5, Informative)

        by DavidD_CA ( 750156 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:06PM (#12626241) Homepage
        Many times, you can retrieve corrupted Excel documents by using a little Excel trick.

        Open a brand new spreadsheet and link cell A1 to the A1 in your corrupted sheet (you'll have to type the formula in manually). Then drag that A1 to all corners of the spreadsheet, and more often than not you'll get your data back -- sans formatting.
  • Oh! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Heliologue ( 883808 )
    The irony is delicious!
  • by Nytewynd ( 829901 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:21PM (#12625017)
    It looks like Open Office didn't open the presentation properly. Look at all of those crazy symbols.
  • Let's just hope they [MSFT] don't get all miffy about it, eh?

  • by mjpaci ( 33725 ) * on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:21PM (#12625024) Homepage Journal
    ...and at the same time embarassed Microsoft. Maybe now the mighty Goliath can be slain!

    How many Slashdotters now have to change their shorts?

  • Big deal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 1155 ( 538047 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:21PM (#12625025) Homepage
    What's the big deal here? Right tool for the job. The other laptop wasn't working during crunch time, so why not?
    • Re:Big deal? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Space Coyote ( 413320 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:24PM (#12625061) Homepage
      What's the big deal here? Right tool for the job. The other laptop wasn't working during crunch time, so why not?

      Microsoft demonstrating that Linux and OO.o can be the right tool for such a job? That is a big deal.

      • Linux. . . (Score:2, Insightful)

        by kfg ( 145172 )
        . . .for when our shit don't work. It'll save your butterfly's arse. What would you like to boot that actually runs today?

      • Linux and OO.o can be the right tool for such a job? That is a big deal.

        For running some stupid PPT presentation that probably could have been authored by any high school or ollege student? Not realy a big deal in my eyes.
      • Re:Big deal? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by brkello ( 642429 )
        No, it isn't a big deal and your statement that it is is fairly rediculous. If Linus presents the benefits of Linux over Windows and something goes wrong with his Linux laptop, would he be advocating the power of Windows over Linux if the only other thing available to present was a Windows machine? Of course not. So linux can be used to present power point slides...holy crap! I better switch everything to Linux now...Windows is useless! Moron. It just shows the near retarded level of bias on this site
    • What's the big deal here? Right tool for the job.

      I doubt Microsoft wants to show people that OpenOffice is 'the right tool for the job' that much.
    • Re:Big deal? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gregbaker ( 22648 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:42PM (#12625292) Homepage
      What's the big deal here? Right tool for the job.
      I suspect this has a lot more to do with Windows video drivers than anything.

      I spend a good chunk of time dealing with laptops and projectors and I can tell you wil certainty that display drivers are getting harder and harder to get working with projectors.

      There was a time when you could press fn-F4 and flip to the external display. Now, there's a control panel on the system dock (or whatever that thing with all the icons is called). You might get an extended desktop, you might have to go through four dialogs to find a setting, you might never find it. Mercy on your soul if you have a wide-screen display.

      My new tablet refuses to drive the external display at resolution >800x600, even though the built-in display and projector both have a native resolution of 1024x768. Even that takes multiple-clicks to get turned on. It works exactly right under Linux (fn-F4 and Bob's your uncle at 1024x768), but the Windows drivers get in the way.

      My guess is the presenter had a new laptop with such a display driver. OO-guy had an older laptop, or had this stuff stored out already.

  • uh oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aweiland ( 237773 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:21PM (#12625027)
    He is so fired
  • Hahahaha (Score:5, Funny)

    by anderm7 ( 68050 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:21PM (#12625028) Homepage
    Be careful, Microsoft might think this counts as a Shared Source Initiative.
  • Will this appear in ANYWHERE but slashdot? I mean, will common people know about it? And more important... will they even care?
  • Powerpoint Crash (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:22PM (#12625033)
    This reminds me of a time in college during a MS presentation when the MS powerpoint crashed into an Apple desktop. Oh well, its business, you do what you need to do. Microsoft is relativly pragmatic these days.
  • Pardon? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ogleslurp ( 631509 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:22PM (#12625036)
    This story seems a little skinny on details. Does anyone have any more information?
  • by Adult film producer ( 866485 ) <> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:22PM (#12625038)
    ahh the irony.. "shared source initiative"..... :D

    what is it with slashdot running all these captchas lately ? "To confirm you're not a script, please type the text shown in this image:" I did this yesterday, shouldn't there be a period of grace for logged in users ?
    • >shouldn't there be a period of grace for logged
      >in users

      um... let's see. how hard is it to copy the cookie from your browser's cache and then fake the user agent ? really really simple? ok. so the answer to your question is no.
    • by ubuntu ( 876029 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:39PM (#12625252) Journal
      what is it with slashdot running all these captchas lately ? "To confirm you're not a script, please type the text shown in this image:"

      Apparently, the Slashdot editors think our comments are so stupid that we HAVE to be bots. Sorry, Taco, we really are that stupid. At least I am. No wait. I mean, my posts are. I mean, I'm not a bot. I'm sure I'm smarter than a bot, even though I keep typing the captcha thing wrong. Maybe it's an IQ test, like a minimum height requirement on a Roller Coaster. I got it on my third try. What I'm trying to say is... uh, I forgot.

      Dammit IQ Captcha, what are you trying to tell me!?!?!?

      Slashdot User Ubuntu, Your IQ = 86

      Some famous celebrities with your IQ are:
      Paris Hilton
      George Bush
      the cast of Friends

      The computer we recommend for you is:
      Apple Macintosh with One-Button Mouse
  • Remember we thought Gates was lying when he said he wanted Interoperable software []

    Perhaps he was being sincere - with interoperable software the bugs in windows are more tollerable.

  • Intersting. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Atzanteol ( 99067 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:23PM (#12625054) Homepage
    And not one story about all the presentations given at Linux World that were done using Power Point on Windows.
    • by bman08 ( 239376 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:43PM (#12625307)
      This is like going on a porn site and complaining that they show a lot of chicks making out and no dudes. It's not what we're here for.
    • Re:Intersting. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 )
      "And not one story about all the presentations given at Linux World that were done using Power Point on Windows. "

      Funny thing is, it probably wasn't anything special about Linux or OO that 'saved the day', but rather that was what happened to be handy.

      I'm normally a Diet Coke drinker, but I was really really thirsty and Diet Pepsi is what I have available to me. If somebody described that as Diet Pepsi saving my day, I'd roll my eyes.
  • by DaedalusLogic ( 449896 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:24PM (#12625065)
    Can we see a schedule for this conference and where it took place? All we have is links to organization web sites and this photo at the moment.

    If this is supposed to be proof of something, I want confirmation. Then I'll really start laughing.

    Because honestly, who is to ay it wasn't just one guy putting up a slide and snapping a photo?
  • Embarassing... (Score:5, Informative)

    by bobbis.u ( 703273 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:24PM (#12625067)
    That's almost on an par with the infamous Windows 98 crash []video!
  • I don't think the picture makes it too easy to see that this is 1.1.2 and ALT Linux Compact 2.3 (unless you can read Romanian?), but here is an alternate link [] to the picture (the other link isn't working for me...).
    • I don't think the picture makes it too easy to see that this is 1.1.2 and ALT Linux Compact 2.3

      It's pretty clear that it's OO1.1.2. the upper left icon on the window reminds me of TWM -- not sure about that, but it's almost certainly not Windows.
      The image zoom extension to Firefox definitely helps.

  • Better Photograph (Score:3, Informative)

    by CypherXero ( 798440 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:28PM (#12625109) Homepage
    I cleaned the photograph up in Photoshop, and I made it MUCH better looking, so you can actually SEE what's going on in the image. d.jpg []
  • soviet ukraine (Score:2, Insightful)

    by phoenix42 ( 263805 )
    in soviet ukraine, microsoft uses linux?

  • Oh, so you want it to work! Well... (whips out openoffice) Tada! --microsofty

  • by Leif_Bloomquist ( 311286 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:33PM (#12625189) Homepage
    Come on, let's be honest here. How many times has Windows saved the day for a Linux application, or even install?

    i.e. For myself, back when trying to install Red Hat 8.0 on my machine at home, I had to constantly reboot back into Win2K to download patches/rpms, or read up about bugs and errata, get network drivers, configuration minutae, etc.

    It's stable now, but having a working (out of the box) Win2K install to fall back on was crucial to "save" my Linux installation.

    Let's not be too smug here, would this have been news if they'd been bailed out by a different Windows version?
  • That's rich (Score:5, Funny)

    by g0bshiTe ( 596213 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:34PM (#12625194)
    [MSFT-Tablet]"Damn, I am crapping out."
    [lin-laptop]"I can save the day."
    [MSFT-Tablet]"I will never be saved by riff-raff the likes of you. You are open source and therefore evil. I was created using millions of dollars in r&d capitol. You were made from donations, and other open source contributors, and are therefore an inferior product."
    [lin-laptop]"Yeah, but I can do something you can't right now."
    [MSFT-Tablet]"What's that?"
    [lin-laptop]"Run your presentation."
  • I'm sorry, but this just seems a bit too contrived. Forget for a second that this story would be all too easily faked (a couple of snapshots of a slideshow, and links to MS websites do not prove a story for me). The presenter just happened to have a live boot disk with him that had OO installed. And he just happened to be able to recover the doc from the Windows PC that was "experiencing trouble". I know if the tables were turned, no one on Slashdot would give a second thought to discrediting this story
    • Where did you get boot disk and the sort from?

      It says a Linux Laptop ... nothing about "linux running off a USB dongle on a laptop" ...

  • by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:37PM (#12625231)
    I devoted long hours to a PowerPoint presentation. In about hour 12 or 13, PowerPoint 2002 kept crashing whenever I tried to open the file. Unfortunately I did not have any previous revisions before the save which messed things up.

    I thought I was hosed, but I tried opening it in OpenOffice and it worked fine. Then a friend suggested I run "Office Update". Once I did this, PowerPoint opened the file without problems.

    Did this dude bother to update his PowerPoint?

  • by aardwolf204 ( 630780 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:39PM (#12625254)
    I'm the sysadmin of a company of about 100. The other day I was in the CEO's office waiting to give him a presentation on the latest version of the Intranet. The boss came in very upset, he had been having some problems with his laptop and hadn't been able to boot into windows all morning. There was a very important document on his drive that he just had to have for a meeting later that afternoon. I turned off the projector and started to attempt to recover his documents.

    First I tried Bart PE, a Windows XP bootable CD. It allowed me to see the hard drive, but the file sizes were all wrong. I tried to connect it to the network but it wouldn't recognize the network card. I tried plugging in a USB flash drive but it wouldn't recognize that either.

    DOS was out of the question as the drive was NTFS. Then it hit me, I had a copy of Knoppix 3.8 on me. I booted it up and it saw the network and thumbdrive instantly. I saved the boss's files and he was very impressed. While I was setting him up on a spare notebook he was playing with the menus in KDE and we made small talk about governments and businesses saving tons of cash by switching to Linux, Open Office, and other free software.

    So Linux saved the day for his poor broken Windows box, just a little ironic. Now this sysadmin is never leaving without a copy of Knoppix again.
  • old story, but still (Score:5, Informative)

    by lheal ( 86013 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {9991laehl}> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:39PM (#12625258) Journal
    ... it's clearly an operating system problem on the tablet, not a hardware problem. Linux to the rescue!

    From the README on the site:
    1. This is old news: the event happened on October 9, 2004.
    2. Microsoft rep in Ukraine had to use free software to get on with a presentation on a free software conference since his munition failed to cooperate with projector.
    3. See below (also posted to the places I could track down).
    As for the facts:

    * it was not Master but ALT Linux Compact 2.3 (page|ISO|ML)
    * it was Third Ukrainian Free Software Developers' and Users' Conference
    * it was sponsored by IBM, Novell and EMT (yeah, I work for; another funny thing is that Microsoft proposed to sponsor the conference too but we decided to politely decline the generous offer)
    * it is the head of Microsoft Ukraine, Mr. Valery Lanovenko
    * it is the Tablet PC which failed to feed the projector on the secondary head properly to blame
    * and indeed it's on our Linux/ThinkPad running their PowerPoint presentation ;-)
    * IMG_0395 has Mr. Lanovenko's personal comment -- he tries to make an impression that it was PDF (we as the conference staff recommended to keep those at hand) but all of us know OOo doesn't display PDFs ;-)
    Michael Shigorin
    mike at osdn dot org dot ua
    EMT.Com.UA * OSDN.Org.UA * Linux.Kiev.UA * ALTLinux.ORG
  • I make this post every time we talk about Microsoft and Linux.

    The next generation of Windows after Longhorn will have a Linux kernel (or other UNIX-like kernel). Expect it by 2015.

  • "It just doesn't work" seems more accurate now.
  • Reminds me of IBM using Amigas running the SCALA presentation program at. That was rather funny to us Amiga users when certain people told us about the superior nature of the IBM-compatible and how sub-standard our Amigas were.

    "Eating your own dog food" -- using your own products internally, is a commendable policy, but it should not become the "not-invented-here"-syndrome -- rejecting better solutions just because they're from a competitor. IBM was just using the best product for the job. I doubt they've
  • by Neopoleon ( 874543 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:47PM (#12625344) Homepage
    I figured the comments would be full of negative little "ha ha" moments.

    But, if you've ever given a presenation, then you *know* how tough it can be. Demos and talks which have been working fine for days, weeks, and months have a way of suddenly breaking down when you need them most. Don't know why this is.

    So, this guy (if this is true) did what he had to so that the presentation could continue.

    Is that really something worth laughing at?

    Plus, it just goes to show that not everybody at Microsoft feels the same way about certain... "other" technologies. Yeah, it might be a fine "ha ha" for other people at the company, but those of you who are pushing the OSS agenda should really be congratulating this guy for sticking his neck out.

    And, had this been a presentation on some Linux subject and something had gone wrong with the presentation machine (Linux machines *do* crash, too, you know), then what would the presenter have done?

    People are laughing, but many of us on the Windows side of things have no problem firing up an alternative operating system. We have our loyalties, but it doesn't mean we're all totally pig-headed.
    • by team99parody ( 880782 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:02PM (#12625495) Homepage
      But, if you've ever given a presenation, then you *know* how tough it can be. Demos and talks which have been working fine for days, weeks, and months have a way of suddenly breaking down when you need them most. Don't know why this is.

      There's something seriously wrong with your infrastructure (OS, application, hardware, etc) for that to be happening.

      I really hope you never work on medical equipment or airlines or weapons systems or anything else that matters if you tolerate the attitude that "[anything] which has been working for days, weeks, and months [could] have a way of suddenly breaking down whhen you need it most".

      It's fine if he's demoing a pre-release-prototype or something; but this was a supposedly "released" non-beta product that was screwing up whatever he was trying to accomplish.

      Yes, I've given many many presentations before. What would I have done? Had a backup of the presentation on a CD or USB device so regardless of what failed in my laptop, I could have given it successfully by borrowing someone else's laptop.

  • It's F9 baby (Score:3, Informative)

    by magi ( 91730 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:51PM (#12625376) Homepage Journal
    This isn't the first OpenOffice Impress slide show I see people running in non-full-screen windowed mode. So, remember, F9 starts the slide show in full screen.

    In Acroread, it's Ctrl+L. I learned this only after a two-hour presentation in windowed mode.

    Disappointinly, you apparently can't get full screen mode at all in xpdf nor gv. I've seen a lecturer do his entire course with windowed xpdf under Linux.
  • The original article was at PCLinuxOnline and contains a lot more information. []
  • Ok, not quite. But I've been doing my part to promote OOo by installing it on every machine in my extended family (more than I'd care to count at the moment), but I don't remove the usual MS Office apps. And I don't proslytise about OOo. I just tell them: "When Word or Excel explodes or does something really weird, just save what you have and open it up in OpenOffice. It'll work every time, and it doesn't do weird stuff without letting you know what's happening." I gotta say, more than half come back a
  • I don't remember the exact problem we were having in my lab, but someone was preparing to give a presentation which they made in PowerPoint on one of our PowerMacs. They took it over to a Windows box because the room for the presentation only had that available, and the damned presentation wouldn't load.

    You can imagine the amount of cussing that ensued.

    I don't have MS Office on my Windows laptop, but I do have OO.o, and lo and behold, I was able to open my labmate's presentation. But the real kicker is
  • by Hobart ( 32767 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:17PM (#12625681) Homepage Journal
    Someone actually used Coral Cache in a direct image link from a slashdot story?!?

    World... ending... pigs flying ... dogs and cats living together ... mass hysteria...

    (-1: Silly)

"Here's something to think about: How come you never see a headline like `Psychic Wins Lottery.'" -- Comedian Jay Leno