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Comment Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (Score 1) 480

Tools --> Options screen isn't quite set up the same way

True, although I prefer OOo's version (just a personal preference, most likely). And I particularly like Format -> Page instead of File -> Page Setup (in 2003) or Round Orby Thing -> Prepare (if you're getting rid of menus in favor of ribbons, why keep one unlabeled menu?!?).

Doing cell borders is a pain in OOo but very easy in Excel.

Really? I use both (Office 2007 and OOo 3.2) on a daily basis, and I've not noticed any difference in border management ease of use. What I actually notice more is cell shading - 2007 keeps my color selection when I click on another cell, making shading disjointed cells easier than in OOo. 2007 also has better style management IMHO, although bizarrely they don't use the same palate as 2003, which makes switching between them an exercise in frustration (some of the conference rooms at work are still at 2003).

The big purple lightbulb box

Die, die, die! (I turned it off, of course.)

Asking me every single time

You must be right-clicking to Delete Contents..., or pressing the Delete key? The purpose of that is to ask you every single time what to delete (it's a feature). Try hitting the key on your keyboard marked "Backspace". It just deletes the contents, no dialogs. I hadn't really noticed this before - I've always used Backspace to clear a cell (on 2003, 2007 and OOo), and I've always used a right-click menu to bring up a dialog. Interesting.

Really, unless you're a math power user who needs obscure functions or Excel plugins, the differences between the two seem to come down to preferences. I like the customization of OOo more than 2007 (which has little - 2003's was better than either). I LOVE the consistency across the suite in OOo, which is lacking in 2007 and 2003. Overall, I feel comparably productive in 2003 or OOo, and a bit stymied in 2007 because of the ribbon - but I've only been using the ribbon 18 months. Fans keep telling me I'll get used to it...

Comment Re:Proper link (Score 1) 382

I cut my teeth on Mandrake, and have used Mandriva as recently as 5 months ago. Mandriva is better at KDE, but Ubuntu is better at Gnome IMHO. Since I have a mild preference for Gnome, I have a mild preference for Ubuntu. (I also tried Linux Mint for 6 months about a year ago, and thought is was nice but not compelling enough for a permanent switch. Frankly, I missed the Applications / Places / System menus. I haven't tried Mepis for a significant period of time, so no comment there.)

I have no idea why you think that big repos don't matter much to the average user. Aren't the ones who can't build apps from source also the ones who will most value the Ubuntu Software Center? Or am I mis-reading your point?

Comment Re:Nothing happens to N8 (Score 1) 184

Yes, Symbian owns the lion's share of the world smartphone market, and will for several years yet. Nokia's grand strategy to move the Symbian development world to QT 4 is good for Symbian, but even better for MeeGo - QT-based Symbian apps can also be delivered to MeeGo with a simple recompile, and MeeGo's 30+ corporate partners will help mature the next generation platform while Symbian continues to bring in the cash for Nokia.

Good strategy.

Not to discount iOS and Android, both with very visible and strong market momentum, but Nokia's approach has a pretty good shot at maintaining the volume sales crown for years while providing a very long and smooth transition to a mainstream and source-compatible successor to Symbian. Profitability from the low end over the long run is the bigger challenge, IMHO.

Time will tell.

Comment Re:So, by next year.... (Score 1) 184

First, N900 has 256 MB RAM and 768 MB swap - not 128 MB RAM as the grandposter (melikamp) stated.

To your (alvinrod's) point, Nokia's response to the Reuters article was laughter - see Nokia doesn't disclose sales figures, but the N900 has sold "well in excess" of 100,000.

But also far, far short of the Android tsunami. Granted.

Nokia has clearly stated since 2007 that they were on a 5 step plan to develop a revolutionary new phone. N770, N800, N810 and N900... that's 4. The next phone is the first in the Maemo / MeeGo line actually intended by Nokia for the masses. We'll see.

Of course, iPhans would say Apple jumped straight to step 5 in 2007... and I really can't argue that point, either. I'm just not a walled garden kind of guy.

(Full disclosure: I own an N900, my wife an Android-based Cliq, and several close friends own iPhones. They're all nice phones; pick what works best for you. I won't ridicule you. Promise. ;-)

Comment Re:I love and use mandriva (Score 1) 167

Having used Mandrake 7.2 as my very first Linux distro back in 2000, I recently tried out a modern version of Mandriva. The KDE4 desktop ran rings around Kunbuntu (IMHO), and would be my first choice if I used that desktop, but I'm still a bit partial to Ubuntu's Gnome implementation.

I think what Mandriva lacks more than anything else is a rich space-faring billionaire benefactor who owes his success to Linux and just wants to give back to the community. Where do we find more of those? :-D

Comment Re:cost of acquisition is everything, huh? (Score 1) 531

Having to find and download "free" software to do stuff MS users get with their machines, and then finding out it isn't quite the same, is a cost.

Things included with Windows generally come installed in Ubuntu.

The opposite is not true, however:

  • Ubuntu comes with a browser, email client, multi-protocol instant messenger, office suite, graphics suite, screenshot program, scanner software, torrent software, and optical media burning software.
  • Windows 7 comes with... a web browser. And a third of all Windows users actually replace that with Firefox et. al.

Not only is Ubuntu significantly easier to install than Windows, it's also ready to go for the most common use cases. Windows 7 requires a *lot* of extra configuration and installation to be useful for even basic functions.

Here's a summary, and here are the gory details.

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1) 234

"Since CP has their own Debian distro, people won't have to wonder if their are Linux drivers for the hardware found in the system."

What a bizarre thing to say. Do you really think that if you buy an Ubuntu netbook from Dell, System76, or Zareason, that they won't include drivers for the hardware? Seriously??

Comment Wow. Just Wow. (Score 1) 267

I've used Linux for about 10 years now, starting with Mandrake (the original Mandriva) back in the "RPM Hell" dark ages. For the past several years I've used Ubuntu (since 6.06, I think) with Gnome, but have watch KDE 4 mature with some interest. Having recently started playing with Virtual Box, this story gave me the motivation to compare Kubuntu 9.10 to Mandriva 2010 from my own personal Gnome-tainted perspective, since KDE 4 enthusiasts keep posting that Kunbuntu doesn't do KDE 4 justice next to a "real" KDE distribution like Mandriva. This was a highly biased, what-I-care-about perspective. Your mileage will most *definitely* vary.

I installed Kubuntu first, and was underwhelmed (to be polite). Just finished playing with Mandriva 2010, and ... wow. *Huge* difference.

Kubuntu was *much* easier to install, very similar to the trademark ease of Ubuntu. Mandriva was what I remembered from many years ago - scores of screens asking me the most trivial details ("How should we display time?" Well, pick something and if I really hate it I'll change it! Geesh! "Do you have any other repositories?" I have no earthly idea. "Which desktop would you like - KDE, Gnome, or other?" Other? Really? And didn't this used to have a "Both" entry?).

Once installed, however, Kubuntu left me cold. No Firefox (I launched the Konquerer thing, and it crashed on my second tab and took me to Bugzilla, which listed more "similar" Konquerer bug reports than I had heart to even skim). Few tools pre-installed. No games at all. And a weird sliding K-Menu thingy that took four clicks just to launch an application. I was left with a sinking "*now* what do I do?" kind of feeling, which is unusual in my experience in the rich world of free software.

Mandriva looked great on first boot (though it really wanted me to complete a detailed questionnaire, which I started and then abandoned). I didn't like having to log in (if someone I don't trust is accessing my console, I have a much bigger problem than computer security - like, how did this person get in my *house*!), but once in, the menu was pre-populated with all the comforting old favorites - FireFox,, GIMP, Aramok, Okular, Scribus (hadn't looked that one in a few years!), and on and on - and so many games they had to have sub-categories to fit them all on the comfortingly normal menu. And a "starter quick launch bar" in the lower left, next to the Mandriva Star that acted like a K-Menu. I have no idea what a "Diff Check" is (a notice keeps popping up in the lower right to assure me that nobody has tampered with my computer - is this a common problem???), but thus far it all seems... comfortable.

Not sure I'll be switching to KDE 4 any time soon, but certainly Mandriva presents a very convincing case that it's ready to this Gnome-oriented user. Kubuntu doesn't seem to quite be there yet, but since Ubuntu is so nicely polished, I'm sure given some time they'll produce something I like. But now I see what KDE enthusiasts mean when they complain that Kubuntu unfairly tarnishes their reputation.

Just my $0.02, and a "Well done, Mandriva!" to the nice folks on the continent. I fondly miss you guys. :-)

Posted from my Mandriva VM...

Comment Re:Holy awful summary, Batman! (Score 1) 853

closeminded traditionalists without understanding of relevant issues keep their mouths shut when those issues are being discussed.

So you're willing to discuss how you want to change the constitution, as long as those who disagree with you aren't allowed to talk? I don't think it's the constitution that's the problem here...

Comment Re:Fooled again? (Score 1) 853

Seriously? So how did Rush and Hannity and such keep their jobs? They were merciless in criticizing Bush over a long list of lunacy, including the Medicare expansion, the attempt to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants (*again*), and the idiotic 700 *billion* dollar TARP spending bill (inadvertently labeled a "stimulus plan", as if any country can spend its way into prosperity).

Or do you only listen to people with whom you agree?

Comment Re:Standards!!! (Score 1) 633

Y'know, this got me thinking. I'm a digital pack rat, so I looked for the oldest file on my computer. It's COSMIC.WP from 1989, the rules for a game my friends and I created in college, in WordPerfect 4.2 for DOS format.

Just to watch the meltdown, I double-clicked the file. opened it without a problem. Even the ASCII-formatted tables look right.


Comment Re:When I was a freshman in the early 1970s (Score 1) 383

I'm of your generation, apparently, as I related to almost everything you wrote (and well-written it was, too).

But "Slide rules were frequently used by engineers and scientists to perform addition, subtraction,..."?? Since when did slide rules do addition and subtraction? And I say that while looking at my old slide rule... ;-)

Comment Re: (Score 2, Funny) 383

I was a UM Freshman in 1992... We learned binary by drawing 8x8 grids, writing "256 | 128 | 64 | 32 | 16 | 8 | 4 | 2 | 1" over them

I was a Mississippi State freshman in 1979, and we still could only fit "128 | 64 | 32 | 16 | 8 | 4 | 2 | 1" above an 8x8 grid. I hope to God that your UM was Ole Miss!

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