Re: Working Within the System

From: Martin Ling (
Date: Sun Apr 30 2000 - 12:17:07 MDT

On Sun, Apr 30, 2000 at 01:19:55PM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:

> > Sun have produced StarOffice, which is fully compatible with MS Office
> > and free for personal non-commercial use. It's distributed with several
> > of the Linux distributions.
> Yeah, but its not fully comparable, feature for feature. It only has
> file format compatibility.

For one thing, I don't see why it should have to be feature for feature
comparable. I said it was fully compatible, by which I mean it can read
and write files in MS Office's formats such that users can use either
with no hassle.

One of my gripes with MS Office (I'm not saying MS shouldn't be allowed
to do this, it just annoys me) is the continual new versions. The vast
majority of users never use 90% of the features (hence why StarOffice is
a viable alternative for many - not that it's particularly lacking in
features itself). As soon as businesses start to upgrade, files start
circulating in the new formats,

> > (I would add Corel to that list, but their distribution is currently a
> > little quirky - I look forward to the next version).
> The 'quirky' comment I've heard elsewhere, mostly because the header
> normally found in Debian is not present. It can be put back in with no
> problem, but the point of the Corel implementation was to make it easily
> installable by a newbie on an average desktop machine.

And this it does very well. Let me say that when I first saw a Corel
system running I was *very* impressed - they had obviously put a great
deal of work into making the interface consistent and easy to use,
including writing a lot of their own software.

However, when I obtained a copy and tried the install, it had problems
on quite a few machines, including some with quite basic common

I'm not someone who spreads rumours, and I'm not someone who acts with
prejudice. Any comments I make are based on my own experience and

> There are issues with SCSI drivers, which is typical with many linux
> installs.

Yes, true. SCSI is problematic for any OS installation because it is
often not directly BIOS supported, and because of the vast number of
different SCSI adapters available. Linux does indeed have problems here
at the moment, because automatic hardware detection isn't yet as
effective as that on Windows, and not every kernel driver can be

> My impression that the 'quirky' comment is just a rumor spread around by
> die hard command line junkies who are offended that a linux install
> should be so easy.

Oh, give me a break. Yes, there are a lot of sad little twits who think
they're so el33t for using Linux and don't want it to get into
mainstream use because then they might have to go learn something else
so they can still be k3wl. If you're unlucky enough to have had contact
with them, I'm sorry. But please don't confuse them with the people
who are actually contributing helpfully to Linux.

My comment that I use a custom-built system was intended to be
informative in case you were wondering as to my choice of distribution.


| Martin J. Ling              Tel: +44 (0)20 8863 2948   |
|      Fax: +44 (0)20 8248 4025   |
|  Mobile: +44 (0)7940 482675 |

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