Open Office to the Rescue

Case #1:I was just working with Vista booted on my laptop (running one of the few remaining programs I have that requires Vista), when I got a call from one of our service technicians. A customer needed some information, urgently (of course), and the easiest way to get it to them was to send a screen dump of one of our programs - the alternative was a tedious reading off of a whole lot of numbers, with the accompanying potential for errors.

Case #1:

I was just working with Vista booted on my laptop (running one of the few remaining programs I have that requires Vista), when I got a call from one of our service technicians. A customer needed some information, urgently (of course), and the easiest way to get it to them was to send a screen dump of one of our programs - the alternative was a tedious reading off of a whole lot of numbers, with the accompanying potential for errors.

Because I don't work with Windows much any more, the last time I loaded Vista on this laptop I didn't bother loading most of the tools and utilities that I am accustomed to using. But never mind, I have OpenOffice.org loaded! Hit Alt-PrintScreen in the window, paste that into an OpenOffice document, hit "Save directly to PDF", and it's ready to go! No worries about graphic file formats, no fooling around with pseudo-printers to do the PDF conversion. Very nice.

Case #2:

My partner had a meeting with a couple of work colleagues last night, and wanted to use a laptop to take notes and write up a letter. I gave them the Lifebook S2110, running Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org, and they worked perfectly happily on it all evening. I'm not even sure that any of them noticed that it wasn't Windows and MS Office they were using! When they were done they wanted to mail out a copy of the letter to a number of other people for review; once again, no problem. Hit "Save to PDF" and it's ready to go. No muss, no fuss, it worked just fine and the result looked great.

This stuff is really, really good.

jw 26/9/2008

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