Monday, November 27, 2006


Mailbox, a Dying Breed; ChiComms Start Blogging; Major US Newspaper Sings 'O, Canada!'; Just Say No to MSFT... It Can Be Done

Street corner mailboxes are a casualty of the Internet age, or so the USPS claims. They're also a casualty of electronic funds transfer, credit cards, cell phones, telephones, and a whole host of other things.

China's Communist party... starts blogging!

Long rumored, the SF Chronicle has now agreed to outsourcing its printing to Transcontinental starting in 2009
Editor & Publisher

No wonder did not want to sell an e-book reader-- they will be selling their own!

The $100 laptop emerges in Thailand

Marketting trends to watch for consumers, business, the media

Remember I mentioned I was using the latest version of the Ubuntu Linux operating system? There's an interview with the man behind it at

Finally, I got to finishing Tony Bove’s fascinating book “Just Say No To Microsoft.” In it, he details numerous reasons and ways to avoid Microsoft software. This is not the rant of a software conspiracy theorist, of which geekdom has too many. Nor is it against proprietary software, as many computer enthusiasts and users are (even my beloved new toy, Ubuntu operating system based on Linux, but I find that I need a few small proprietary products to make it really sing... until those products go open source).

As he started the review of problems with Microsoft software, especially Word, I found myself nodding to almost every single one of them. I had suffered every problem... the crashes, misbehaving formatting, etc., he described. Since I have used every office suite, even the most obscure, and have now settled on OpenOffice for the bulk of my work, the lack of problems in my writing tasks has been noticeable. Every version of Word past 2000, for example, crashes on startup because of my Logitech mouse. No other word processing program does. Just this past weekend, I had to load Outlook because I purchased a Dell Axim PDA that runs Windows MobilePC. The mere loading changed my default e-mail settings from Eudora to Outlook and from AvantBrowser to Internet Explorer. I had to load the software three times, as a matter of fact. Ugh! ...and my Handspring Visor worked straight out of the box six years ago! I should have stuck with Palm!

He documents a calculation error in Excel that I was able to duplicate, which should make one very wary of any logical tests that are in an Excel sheet. Even the extremely basic Google spreadsheet gets the calculation correctly. I've posted the file at; it'll be there until 12/10/06.

Here’s the book
Here’s his blog

With all that is going on in software and connectivity, I firmly believe that Office2007 will be the last substantial release of the product line from Microsoft. Too much is changing, and they know it: in emerging markets, open source software is growing as the best solution to piracy. The old desire that the network should be the computer is being pushed by Google, especially, and will become commonplace in other services as well. Desktops and notebooks are in trend to become very thin clients, with connectivity and basic programs and some data storage, with heavy lifting of data to be done by networks. Just think of how e-mail has destroyed word processing: who sends letters anymore? We’re all sending plain text files to each other and no longer care about margins, hyphenation, spacing, and other aspects of what used to be core parts of a secretarial school curriculum. Who would have thought that of all things, Powerpoint, would become the primary reason to have an office suite. There are many substitutions for word processing and spreadsheets, but there are very few good substitutes for Powerpoint, and none, other than OpenOffice Impress, are on the horizon.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Get legal. Get