Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Mar 2008 23:02 UTC
Features, Office Version 2.4 of the OpenOffice productivity suite was released on Thursday, boasting enhancements to all its core components. Possibly the most significant alteration in the new version of the free suite is in the description of file types. The 'OpenDocument' description has been replaced by 'ODF', which stands for 'OpenDocument Format' and is becoming a well-known acronym thanks to rivalry with Microsoft's controversial OOXML format.
Thread beginning with comment 307253
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[4]: New features
by sbergman27 on Sun 30th Mar 2008 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: New features"
Member since:

So the question that really needs to be answered is whether the switch to MS office will increase productivity enough to justify the price of a license?

Don't forget the additional administrative costs and consulting fees. In our case, OO.o is centrally hosted on our XDMCP/NX server, and all management is centralized. The 60-70 (complete) desktops that we run require relatively little time to support and administer. A one-off MSO installation on Windows has to be maintained separately, and has a very real per user cost that, over time, exceeds any initial licensing fees. Especially when it is at a branch office which is 220 miles from my location.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: New features
by stestagg on Sun 30th Mar 2008 18:28 in reply to "RE[4]: New features"
stestagg Member since:

You provide office desktops as NX sessions over the internet?

What company do you work for? I need to know what to avoid.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: New features
by sbergman27 on Sun 30th Mar 2008 19:47 in reply to "RE[5]: New features"
sbergman27 Member since:

You provide office desktops as NX sessions over the internet?

Yes. And we have been doing this for several years now. I would not have continued approval from the owner and management if the strategy were not effective. I'm going to guess that your objections involve latency, which is a valid concern. We operate over bonded T1's so we have about 3mbit/sec to work with, and it works quite well. It is best to use the same ISP for all locations to mininize latency. I'm not sure if you have actually used NX or not, but if you are thinking that it is similar to VNC, please don't. It is in a completely different class. It is possible, depending upon what you are actually doing of course, for a full desktop to be quite usable even over a 56k dialup connection. (I would not recommend that configuration for general use by office personnel.) But NX can do some pretty amazing things. I'm a big believer in eating my own dog food, and would not implement things for my users that I would not be willing to use myself. All of my development work for this client is done on an NX desktop on server at the same location. And I spend a fair amount of time on my desktop on their main server, as well. It's easy to forget, sometimes, that I am not on my local workstation, which runs the same distro, and I often have to catch myself when I start to do things on the remote desktop that I really mean to do locally.

The other tricky bit about thin client desktops over the wan is printing. To that end, I have a few bits of advice, if anyone is interested:

1. Use postscript. Discourage the use of PCL printers. PCL jobs require more processing time by the spooler. But the real cost operating over a WAN is the much larger file sizes involved, and the fact that PCL is not nearly as compressible as postscript.

2. Take advantage of the gzip print stream compression available in cups 1.2+. Even rather large postscript jobs, gzip compressed, print about as fast as they would locally.

Did you have some other concern that you would like me to address? I'm probably a pretty good person to ask, since I have probably encountered and overcome most of the "gotchas" involved in this topology. And have also enjoyed the benefits that it brings.

The general manager commented to me the other day that he liked the fact that wherever he logged in, in any branch office, he always had his desktop close by.

Edited 2008-03-30 19:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5