Tag: Microsoft Office

StarOffice late to the Mac game – the rest are pulling punches

I used StarOffice quite a bit when I worked on the Windows platform. When I moved to Mac, I kept a copy of OpenOffice close at hand, cumbersome as the interface might have been. Then came NeoOffice, which essentially got rid of the menu headaches. So the announcement that StarOffice now has native Mac support is non-news to me.

Ask me what I even use NeoOffice for and I’ll tell you. In fact, don’t ask, because I’m going to tell you anyway. Microsoft Office sticks to its guns with outbound file formats, and I do a lot of database work. Getting a file into MySQL, etc. using MS Office’s version of the .csv file is like swimming the English Channel with a couple of concrete blocks tied to your feet – you can separate fields on export with commas, but you’d better make sure your actual data is free of commas first. Data integrity be damned – if you must separate with pipes, etc. you are shit out of luck because MS Office won’t let you change delimiters (albeit on Windows you can change regional settings for list separators, but that’s both a pain in the behind and of no use to the rest of us).

So that’s what I use NeoOffice for – exporting text files with custom delimiters. 375 megabytes of program on my machine because Microsoft can’t add this one simple feature.

CORRECTION: Office 2008 for Mac also fails (temporarily I hope) in the statistics realm – the powers that be failed to include the Data Analysis Tools so many of us dummies used regularly. I’m presently hobbling with a combination of function tumbling and oatbran, and avoiding mention of correlation coefficients whenever possible.

Is “Free” A Danger?

Most internet business models are advertising supported. I find it amusing – Alex Isgold thinks it’s downright dangerous. Could be. Read the whole thing.

One point of contention

Alex noted…“Of course, we all prefer the light Google Docs to Microsoft’s heavy desktop software.” I am not sure who “we” is – most of the folks I interact with say: 1) Google Docs, with particular emphasis on the spreadsheet, is useless beyond adding a column of numbers which they can do just as readily with a desktop calculator; and 2) that their initial impression ensures that they will never try using the apps again. I tend to agree on both accounts.

Another example worth pondering

Fred Wilson calls the concept of creating a Facebook widget, the sole purpose of which is to garner a user base for other Facebook widgets, a valid business model. An incredulous software engineer calls it a pyramid scheme. Which is it?

Opinion Roundup – Online Office Suites

Buzz of the week, mind you.

They’re dead – rest in peace.

No, they’re just unknown (and they won’t be getting much more attention as a result of this post either).

Actually, their demise is greatly exaggerated

They know how to fly!

Still, using them might be a competitive advantage for those who don’t.

Aww to hell with productivity applications – you’ll soon find fame and fortune as a Twitter star.

Zombies flying with Jet Engines

You can keep automated updates on, install Service Pack 2, and refuse to surf the net, but you still are unsafe from zombiefying your Windows computer.

A major flaw was reported in the Microsoft Jet Database Engine, which is used by Microsoft Office. Virus writers can exploit the weakness with an email attachment disquised as an Access file. Next thing you know (or should I say, don’t know), you are subject to outbound spam or other zombie-like performances.

With zombies already clogging ISPs networks from the inside out, I wonder how long it will be until entire companies internal networks are stopped up as a result of employees just doing their work.

Nice thing is, Microsoft has known about this for months.