Saturday, January 14, 2006

Geekery Updates

I know many of you Spec-Monkeys are on a budget, so let me recommend OpenOffice for PC and the version I'm using when I cheat on my PC with my sexy Powerbook, NeoOffice.

I know this is very, very old news for the hipsters in my reading crowd, but that's kind of my job: acting as geek translator for my creative brethren. These programs are open-source replacements for the several-hundred dollar Microsoft Office Suites (you should still send them some coin when you can, as I did once I tried it and was happy). The thing I'm loving about the NeoOffice Text Editor is not what it does, but what it doesn't do: treat me like a goddam moron and keep trying to Autoformat my paragraphs for me. All the formatting options are right there, clearly visible, the Spreadsheet works on plain-language equations ... anyway, just go and grab it and try it. For 99% of you, this does everything you want Office to do.

Oh, and I too often skip by something, never to touch on it again, so let me reiterate: the Backpack program I tried, I am now officially in love with it. In. Love. I don't need their heavier-duty program Basecamp, but I can think of a few independent publishers who would thrive on it. In theory, it'd be perfect for running a TV show, too.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

You might want to check out a free web service called "Writerly". It's an AJAX web-based word processor, and it saves to Word or OpenOffice (or so they claim). It doesn't have anything like the features of OpenOffice (or Word), but it is pretty cool. No need to download anything, available from anywhere with Internet access.

Sizemore said...

I also like NoteTab.

PB Wiki is probably worth another plug too and I don't even like peanut butter.

Ian said...

I'v been using NeoOffice ever since I got a Mac - it's great stuff.

Rogers said...

Yeah, I'm finding the linked Writerboards with the Backpack slightly more useful and intuitive trhan the PB Wiki, actually.

Sean said...

Hi John, I checked out Backpack on your original post and didn't think I would find it useful. A second look last night had me building lists and pages like a madman! It'll be interesting to see if it grows with me or withers on the vine. Thanks for posting this stuff!

ColScott said...

Backpack is the way to go
oh yeah

Anonymous said...

I hadn't tried Backpack. Pretty cool. I was more used to Basecamp previously. Have any of you guys tried www.near-time.net, www.jot.com, or www.centraldesktop.com? What do you think?

coltrane said...

Uh, I haven't paid for software in like AGES. If you don't know how to get stuff for free using the internet and a CD-DVD burner, then you're either not trying very hard, or have moral qualms about it.

Rogers said...

moral qualms. I live off copyright.

SpyScribe said...

Thanks, John.

Popped up a writeboard to coordinate lodging and out of town arrivals for a gang of college friends invading next month. I've gotten more useful information from people in the last 48-hours than in the last three months.

So glad we aren't doing this through the mailing list anymore.

Battlepanda said...

Hey, KF Monkey
May the gods bless you geek translators. Despite spending most of my desposable time on a computer, i am very timid with technology.

Also, it's nice to see somebody whose got a foot both in the mac and PC camp. people are usually so one or the other. I heart my ibook, but once I settle I'll probably get an el-cheapo windows desktop for the programs that just don't wanna run on mac. Oh, I'll be able to play minesweeper again!

Davy said...

I tried Basecamp (well, backpack, anyway) - You might consider giving StreetSmart a try too - it's an office intranet product, but it has a zillion features, not just lists and pages. www.infostreet.com the first 30 days is free.

Weboffice has a similar, but more expensive product, but it has the advantage of real-time web-meetings. If you were looking to run a show, that might be worth the investment.

Dwight Williams said...

I'd like to use NeoOffice more often, but that annoying feature of trying to autocomplete nearly half the words I type for me is driving me slightly nuts. I can see how it was meant to make life easier by cutting down the number of keystrokes and slowing down the RSI pain frequency for users, but nonetheless...

Solutions, anyone?

Rogers said...

dwight, autocomplete can be flipped off pretty easily. I don;t have the program in front of me right now, but jump to preferences, and I htink it's in there.

Dwight said...

Thanks, John. I'll be seeing if it works out soon enough...

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Obat Sakit Kelamin De Nature
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