Windows free at last!

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Windows free at last!

Barry Drake
Hi there ...  A couple of weeks ago, I did a BIOS (UEFI) update as
requested after reporting a bug.  The result was that an installation of
Windows 7 which I had on a removable drive died completely and I lost
it.  How unstable Windows can be at times like this!

When I looked at my very rare need for Windows, I found that I only have
occasional need to use Microsoft Word to open a docx file which is
heavily formatted and shows complete garbage in Libreoffice, and for the
very occasional publisher file I am sent.  I have now successfully
installed Word and Publisher under Wine and assume I will never need to
boot Windows again.  Oh, thank you!!!!

Barry Drake.

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Re: Windows free at last!

J Fernyhough
On 29 January 2014 21:03, Barry Drake <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi there ...  A couple of weeks ago, I did a BIOS (UEFI) update as requested after reporting a bug.  The result was that an installation of Windows 7 which I had on a removable drive died completely and I lost it.  How unstable Windows can be at times like this!

When I looked at my very rare need for Windows, I found that I only have occasional need to use Microsoft Word to open a docx file which is heavily formatted and shows complete garbage in Libreoffice, and for the very occasional publisher file I am sent.  I have now successfully installed Word and Publisher under Wine and assume I will never need to boot Windows again.  Oh, thank you!!!!

Barry Drake.

"Free at last, free at last, we are Windows-free at last."

You might also want to check out Kingsoft Office Linux. It's not as fully-featured as Word or Libreoffice yet, but it opens and edits Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents pretty much flawlessly (though it doesn't do stuff like conditional formatting yet). It's a good backup when LibreOffice chokes.

http://wps-community.org/



Jonathon

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Re: Windows free at last!

alan c-2
In reply to this post by Barry Drake
On 29/01/14 21:03, Barry Drake wrote:

> Hi there ...  A couple of weeks ago, I did a BIOS (UEFI) update as
> requested after reporting a bug.  The result was that an installation of
> Windows 7 which I had on a removable drive died completely and I lost
> it.  How unstable Windows can be at times like this!
>
> When I looked at my very rare need for Windows, I found that I only have
> occasional need to use Microsoft Word to open a docx file which is
> heavily formatted and shows complete garbage in Libreoffice, and for the
> very occasional publisher file I am sent.  I have now successfully
> installed Word and Publisher under Wine and assume I will never need to
> boot Windows again.  Oh, thank you!!!!
>
> Barry Drake.

Congratulations Barry! I am surprised you could hold out so long! I
said good bye to Windows years ago now and I actually think my health
improved! Yes, really.

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Re: Windows free at last!

Barry Drake
On 30/01/14 11:20, alan c wrote:
> Congratulations Barry! I am surprised you could hold out so long! I
> said good bye to Windows years ago now and I actually think my health
> improved! Yes, really.

Hi Alan ......  One thing I have to use a Windows program for is to
visit my local e-library.  I have to have Adobe Digital Editions to
download the e-books.  Fortunately, Wine does a great job with ADE, and
now I know it works with MSWord and MSPub as well I can get rid of the
extreme annoyance of waiting an hour for Windows to update before I can
get back into Ubuntu.  Wine seems to be a lot more versatile than it
used to be.

I've also been looking at the Open Documents thread.  I think it was the
last time we met, at a government consultation about this issue.  
Government grinds very slowly ....   Schools are still teaching
Microsoft ....  BUT with kids using Android tablets things are going to
have to change in that area.  I suspect that Kingsoft Office will be the
main contender as it is compatible with MS file formats.  I'm delighted
with the way in which the IT world is changing.

Regards,        Barry.

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Re: Windows free at last!

Gordon Burgess-Parker-5

On 30/01/14 16:07, Barry Drake wrote:
> I've also been looking at the Open Documents thread.  I think it was
> the last time we met, at a government consultation about this issue.
> Government grinds very slowly ....   Schools are still teaching
> Microsoft ....  BUT with kids using Android tablets things are going
> to have to change in that area.  I suspect that Kingsoft Office will
> be the main contender as it is compatible with MS file formats.  I'm
> delighted with the way in which the IT world is changing.
>
>

Unfortunately there is still no Android version of Libre/Open Office -
there is one for Ipad, which is odd, and there's an ODF viewer, but
Kingsoft Office can't open ODF documents....

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Re: Windows free at last!

J Fernyhough
In reply to this post by Barry Drake


On 30 Jan 2014 16:07, "Barry Drake" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Schools are still teaching Microsoft ....  

This is changing. Slowly, but it's changing.

J


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Re: Windows free at last!

Bea Groves
In reply to this post by Gordon Burgess-Parker-5
Hi!

Y'know the comical thing is: when I read the subject line I had a sudden
vision of Microsoft finally giving in and going open-source! ;-)

On 30/01/14 16:15, Gordon Burgess-Parker wrote:

>
> On 30/01/14 16:07, Barry Drake wrote:
>> I've also been looking at the Open Documents thread.  I think it was
>> the last time we met, at a government consultation about this issue.
>> Government grinds very slowly ....   Schools are still teaching
>> Microsoft ....  BUT with kids using Android tablets things are going
>> to have to change in that area.  I suspect that Kingsoft Office will
>> be the main contender as it is compatible with MS file formats.  I'm
>> delighted with the way in which the IT world is changing.
>>
>>
>
> Unfortunately there is still no Android version of Libre/Open Office -
> there is one for Ipad, which is odd, and there's an ODF viewer, but
> Kingsoft Office can't open ODF documents....
>

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Re: Windows free at last!

John Oliver
In reply to this post by Barry Drake
Within schools I think it is important to remember that Microsoft has
been outdoing itself to bring educational establishments into migrating
to Office365, which when you have Office 2013 and Windows 7 and above is
great. It's just not so good with everything else (as the IMAP thread on
this list goes to show).

Within Office365 you get all exchange email, "skydrive" (aka Sharepoint
w/ a document library) and directory services for the organisation via
EWS. Plus you don't need to worry about dealing with it yourself because
it's all outsourced, as opposed to before where Exchange took an entire
HP Blade server, using 16GB of RAM and still running a bit slowly!

Some part of migration is the UI - LibreOffice 4.2 has just come out and
the screenshots at OMG! Ubuntu look pretty nice. I think the slickness
of the application is important. I myself maintain a Windows 7
installation on another partition, but only use it sometimes, basically
just to redeem iTunes vouchers I get given. As for comparing LibreOffice
to MS Office, I think MS Office, with the obvious aside of not being
free in either sense, is a superior product (I just don't regularly need
all its advanced features like References). I read somewhere that IBM?
are producing a font that is compatible with Calibri, which will be very
useful when trying to make sense of documents sent to me!

I would also suggest that it is important to remain familiar with
different operating systems, such as Ubuntu, Windows or Mac OS because
you could need to use them at some point. I know from my own experience
that I prefer Ubuntu, but that doesn't mean that Win7 isn't a great OS
too! (Gone are the crashes of Windows XP and Vista for now!)

To go back to iTunes, I do need to keep Windows just for that at the
moment, though I will likely find some other reason to eventually. Apple
aren't going to support iTunes for Linux any time soon, and I think it's
them who are less resistant to change than Microsoft. Despite what we've
heard from Microsoft in the past (ie >7 years ago), more recently they
have started to not only acknowledge but actively support Linux users,
particularly with web products (compare OWA 2007 with OWA 2010 and
2013). Apple still maintains a furious pretence worthy of the Dursleys
that Linux is unimportant and/or doesn't exist.

Schools are coming round to install software that isn't necessarily
Microsoft or "the de facto (£600+ per user) software). To give an
example, whilst I was still in secondary school I persuaded the Music
department to install Musescore 1.1 alongside Sibelius 4. Musescore
crashed less with the old Sibelius 4, but the school could not at that
time afford to update to Sibelius 6 (which was latest at that time).
They have now installed Sibelius 7 alongside MuseScore, so students
still have the choice. Those going on to study A-level music will most
likely already have Sibelius at home so use it (and why not!), but at
GCSE level MuseScore was proved and should continue to be proved useful
so students can experiment at home without forking out for a Sibelius
license (currently £459.95). So in that way, as students switch at home
and let people know about it at school, if the staff in the department
can be persuaded to like it, then they can go up to IT Support and
insist upon it being installed. (Incidentally, I myself introduced the
Technology department to FreeMind when I did my GCSE Electronics and
they got that installed in their department because they saw how useful
it was).

What I wouldn't encourage is what I'm told happened a few years ago, is
some students went round installing Ubuntu over workstations. Obviously
that just wastes time for IT Support who are usually too busy anyway
without having to deal with jokers.

I think I've said enough here; I may need a hardback book if I'm to
carry on - sorry if my ramblings are a bit disjointed but I think I've
covered everything.

Kind Regards,
John Oliver

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Re: Windows free at last!

Barry Drake
In reply to this post by Bea Groves
On 30/01/14 16:34, Bea Groves wrote:
> Y'know the comical thing is: when I read the subject line I had a
> sudden vision of Microsoft finally giving in and going open-source! ;-)

Nice one!  Oh, but if they do that folk might find out that bits of
their code are tortuous and outdated ....   Although I'm sure that
couldn't be true ...

Regards,        Barry.

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Re: Windows free at last!

Gibbs
In reply to this post by Barry Drake

On 29/01/14 21:03, Barry Drake wrote:
When I looked at my very rare need for Windows, I found that I only have occasional need to use Microsoft Word to open a docx file which is heavily formatted and shows complete garbage in Libreoffice, and for the very occasional publisher file I am sent.  I have now successfully installed Word and Publisher under Wine and assume I will never need to boot Windows again.  Oh, thank you!!!!

I had this impression at work. I *tried* to get along with Windows but about 3-4 years ago I got fed up and knew Ubuntu 10.04 LTS would be a much more efficient work environment (which it was).

The only files I've ever encountered which I couldn't handle were a few Microsoft Publisher .pub and complex Photoshop files. I send them back or at worst get someone in the office to deal with them.

I've noticed a lot more people using Libre Office, including big companies like British Gas, which makes life easier for everyone.

Gibbs

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Re: Windows free at last!

Barry Drake
On 30/01/14 21:04, Gibbs wrote:
> I've noticed a lot more people using Libre Office, including big
> companies like British Gas, which makes life easier for /everyone/.

Now that is interesting!  Not so many years back, there was a deep
suspicion of open source programs.  It is excellent complex systems like
Libreoffice that have paved the way towards widespread acceptance of
open source.  Also, it is becoming recognised that ODF is a certified
ISO standard, whereas the de facto Microsoft file formats are less
reliable and non-portable.  I am sure that Microsoft's adoption of the  
x file formats (docx etc) has in the long term done the corporation a
lot of harm.  Microsoft has been forced into supporting ODF and is
clearly very annoyed by this.  A little humility and listening to
ordinary folk might have gone a long way.

Regards,        Barry Drake.

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Re: Windows free at last!

andres


On 30 de enero de 2014 21:21:18 GMT, Barry Drake <[hidden email]> wrote:

>On 30/01/14 21:04, Gibbs wrote:
>> I've noticed a lot more people using Libre Office, including big
>> companies like British Gas, which makes life easier for /everyone/.
>
>Now that is interesting!  Not so many years back, there was a deep
>suspicion of open source programs.  It is excellent complex systems
>like
>Libreoffice that have paved the way towards widespread acceptance of
>open source.  Also, it is becoming recognised that ODF is a certified
>ISO standard, whereas the de facto Microsoft file formats are less
>reliable and non-portable.  I am sure that Microsoft's adoption of the
>
>x file formats (docx etc) has in the long term done the corporation a
>lot of harm.  Microsoft has been forced into supporting ODF and is
>clearly very annoyed by this.  A little humility and listening to
>ordinary folk might have gone a long way.
>
>Regards,        Barry Drake.

What would be nice if calc was as good as gnumeric. Last papers I checked /recalled gnumeric was a better at the math. [1] maybe some of you have more up to date reviews?


[1] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1198/tas.2011.09076#.UurIgbgWWKA

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Re: Windows free at last!

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Bea Groves
On 30 January 2014 16:34, Bea Groves <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Y'know the comical thing is: when I read the subject line I had a sudden
> vision of Microsoft finally giving in and going open-source! ;-)

Well, quite.

It should have said "Windows-free at last!" The missing hyphen changes
the meaning.

With a hyphen: "Someone or something is finally free of Windows"
Without a hyphen: "Windows is finally free!"

But nobody respects punctuation any more... :-(

I was misled by the subject line because there is some debate that,
following Apple's recent lead (and the late Sun's earlier move, before
its hostile acquisition by Oracle) of making their OSes small-f free -
as in, free of charge, gratis - that MICROS~1 might do the same with
Windows 9.


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Re: Windows free at last!

Gordon Burgess-Parker-5
In reply to this post by Gibbs
On 30/01/14 21:04, Gibbs wrote:

The only files I've ever encountered which I couldn't handle were a few Microsoft Publisher .pub

Pub files are a right pain in the neck. I had a colleague once who did EVERYTHING in Publisher - and as we all know, the ONLY app that will open pub files is Publisher! Grrrrrrrr....

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Re: Windows free at last!

Barry Titterton-3
In reply to this post by Barry Drake
On 30/01/14 21:21, Barry Drake wrote:
Microsoft has been forced into supporting ODF and is clearly very annoyed by this.  A little humility and listening to ordinary folk might have gone a long way.


Humility seems to be in short supply in Redmond; here is a quote about ODF standards from a moderator on an official MS support site:-

.odt is the old open standard file format that was used before the current Office Open XML standard was implemented. Microsoft began adopting the standard in 2003, but in Office 2007 and Office 2008 adopted the Office Open XML file format as the default format. 


Ironically, most forks of OpenOffice do not support the current Office Open XML standard format. They cling to the decades old standard and refuse to abandon it. However, there is one fork of OpenOffice thatdoes support the current standard. It is called LibreOffice. LibreOffice is the only fork of OpenOffice that should be used. Have the person who sent that ancient file to you update to the current version of LibreOffice so they can make files in standard format. In LibreOffice preferences there is a setting that tells LibreOffice to use the Office Open XML file format as the default. This setting should be enabled.


Once your correspondent joins the 21st century and gets rid of their ancient software, he or she will be able to share files with the  rest of the world. Wikipedia misleadingly labels the Office Open XML format a "Microsoft format." The format is an international standard proposed by Microsoft and then adopted by a standards body representing many interests


http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macoffice2008-macword/can-word-open-a-odt-file/0b76ee36-a236-4a45-ace4-b145a5b2026f

This is clearly the latest form of FUD for the fight against open source. The moderator repeatedly talks of OOXML "replacing" ODF as the international standard. Thankfully someone at the Cabinet Office has seen through this.

There is also the point that trying to open an ODT file in MS Office prompts a message suggesting that file may be corrupt or contain unreadable elements. This cleverly plants the idea in the MS user's mind that ODF files are in some way dodgy or of dubious quality. This is clever, but dirty, marketing tactics. MS are in business to make profits, not to encourage, or co-operate with, the opposition. They are not going to give up without a fight.

Regards,

Barry T

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Re: Windows free at last!

andres



>
>There is also the point that trying to open an ODT file in MS Office
>prompts a message suggesting that file may be corrupt or contain
>unreadable elements. This cleverly plants the idea in the MS user's
>mind
>that ODF files are in some way dodgy or of dubious quality. This is
>clever, but dirty, marketing tactics.

This bit annoys me so much because it defaults to not open the file. Every time I check that odf files opens with mso2010 send it and I get the message back saying 'it won't open it' . This is because people don't read the warning or just click cancel to everything (because that is what windows users are used to error messages).

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