SHCC WYSIWYG Article from October 2005

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the October 2005 WYSIWYG newsletter.

OpenOffice.Org

by Don VanSyckel

I've loaded OpenOffice.Org (pronounced Open Office dot Org) on both my laptop and desktop. What's that? OpenOffice.Org is an open source software package that's available for free from www.OpenOffice.org. Open source software is written by volunteers, many with a passion to make it happen. The source code of open source software if available for free if you want it. Most open source projects make a runnable version available so we all don't have to learn how to make a runnable program from source code; this runnable version is also free. As you might guess OpenOffice.Org offers office applications for word processing (MS Word), spreadsheet (MS Excel), and presentations (MS PowerPoint). These packages do not 'clone' the MS packages in all ways. What they do offer is most of the functionality of the MS packages, all of the commonly used functionality. The OpenOffice.Org software will choose to read and write their own formats but can read and write MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, WordPerfect file types, and others.

Why should you be interested in OpenOffice.Org?
1)The price is right!! Free!! All you have to do is download it. If you own MS software you no longer have to buy upgrades. If your MS software is less than legal, you can now have a clear conscience.
2)In some ways this software can be simpler to use than the MS software because there isn't as many options to trip over.
3)There are Linux versions available. This means if you choose to switch to Linux in the future, not only can you take all your data files with you without any conversion, you will have the same program with the same look and feel available to you. Or does any of your friends or family use Linux, this will make it possible to easily exchange data with them and still maintain compatibility with Windows programs.
4)If you are in another club, church, or organization and need to exchange data files, those people without the MS programs will not be faced with buy it or steal it; neither of which is a good option to an honest person on a budget. Everyone in the group needing to exchange data can simply load OpenOffice.Org and do work in it. Everyone can afford the price and be honest.
Loading OpenOffice.Org couldn't be simpler.
1)Download it.
2)Double click on the downloaded file.
3)Answer a couple of question like you do in every install.
4)Done, start using it.

End of Article

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