41-Son of the “Listen” page, OpenOffice, etc.

From “The Circle of Art” CD material:

The “booklet” in the Circle of Art’s CD case is actually a large folded up poster. The image below links to a PDF of it. (If you just click on it, it may come up replacing this window so you might want to use the right click command and open it in a new window or tab.)The Circle of Art insert poster inside

About OpenOffice

Background: With the basic free wordpress blog, you can include .doc, .pdf, .odt (OpenDoc) and .ppt (PowerPoint) files. You can’t include audio or video files directly without the space upgrade. That’s sort of a drag. You can get around this limitation, to a degree, by just renaming a file you want to upload with one of those acceptable extensions, but that seems a bit crufty.

So, what’s this strange “.odt” file type then?

A little research revealed yet another document format called “Open Document.” Well, that has a nice ring to it. I had heard about this swirling around in the background for some time, but I hadn’t had the time or inclincation to follow it up. But a couple things happened that made it more interesting.

As mentioned above, one of the formats that WordPress.com can accept for upload is .odt. So what’s that? It’s the OpenOffice equivalent of Microsoft’s ubiquitous, but proprietary, Word document format .doc. (There is also .ods corresponding to .xls, and so on.)

OpenOffice is a pretty awesome idea. Essentially it’s a free, open source software suite intended as a replacement for the functionality offered by Microsoft Office. You can get all the information about it you need at (not surprisingly) OpenOffice.org. At this writing (12 Jan 2012) it’s version is 3.3.0.

My particular frustration came from needing a moderately capable drawing program like Illustrator or Corel Draw that my company wouldn’t spring for. Well, it would but it was on single “public” computer that was a pain to access and incredibly slow. So I thought, what’s the harm in looking into OpenOffice Draw? Well, as it turns out it’s quite an excellent tool. I highly recommend you give it at least a look.

So here I am, using Firefox or Chrome as my browser, running WordPress.com, and recommending OpenOffice. I didn’t really intend to become an Open Source advocate, but the software is getting good enough, at least for those tools, that there’s no reason not to recommend them.

(Update in April 09: I’ve been using OpenOffice’s Writer, Calc and Draw modules a fair amount, and so far I am very happy with their feature richness and stability.)

If you really want to get OpenSource crazy, you can enter the wild world of Linux. In the sound and music arena, there’s Csound, more about which elsewhere. Mainly http://csounds.com or possibly http://csound.wordpress.com

Page#41 / last edited 2012 01 12

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