Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 24th Nov 2012 17:52 UTC
Editorial Do you depend on your computer for your living? If so, I'm sure you've thought long and hard about which hardware and software to use. I'd like to explain why I use generic "white boxes" running open source software. These give me a platform I rely on for 100% availability. They also provide a low-cost solution with excellent security and privacy.
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RE[3]: Alas...
by tony on Mon 26th Nov 2012 05:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Alas..."
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>When inter-operating between MS Office and O/L Office, many little formatting issues would crop up here and there

They also crop here and there even when inter-operating between MS Office and MS Office. I remember one day when colleague brought me MSO document typed in the same version of MS Word as I had, and there were formatting issues here and there.

The main problem is how the documents are really formatted. If the user uses several pre-defined style templates, the document will be rendered and printed correctly even in OOo. Or it will be very easy to fix it just by changing style a bit.

But much more frequent case is: text and pictures are formatted using tabs+spaces combination until they are properly aligned in this particular instance of text editor. Some pictures are inserted in presentation using absolute/relative values inappropriately.

And if you presented something in PowerPoint format, you may easily remember that you should triple-check your presentation on the same computer where you present it, otherwise, some magic can happen.

After all, at our faculty (where Windows prevale a bit) there is even the recommendation to publish presentation to PDFs for the defence of dissertations instead of PowerPoint, because otherwise some formulas are unreadable or improperly displayed, or there could be encoding problems, or someone would bring PowerPoint 2003 presentation to display in PowerPoint 2007 and have a lot of fun, etc.

It is the same for all WYSIWYG software, that if improperly used, WYG on another machine is not the same as WYS on current machine.

I've seen an issue here and there between MS Office versions, but they're incredibly rare. Issues between L/Oo and MS, however, are the norm. Usually just little issues, but they're enough to drive one mad.

Usually when sending documents to other parties, they're sent to be reviewed and edited, comments added, etc. PDFs would work in maybe 15% of the situations, tops. And even then, it's extra work, and it's just plain a hassle because it's not a working format, just an output.

Like I said, if you value your time even a little bit, it quickly makes sense to pay the MS tax, as loathsome as I find it.

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