[K12OSN] OpenOffice vs. Microsoft Office

Doug Simpson simpsond at leopards.k12.ar.us
Tue May 3 13:15:07 UTC 2005

My daughter, a 10th grader here, does 90% of her homework at home (reports 
and like that) on OpenOffice and saves them in M$ format for turning in at 

Funny thing, too. . .  Her computer at home has winders98 and the winders 
version of OpenOffice on it, but she has a VNC session icon that runs a 
thin-client terminal from FC3 and she chooses to run the OpenOffice from 
there instead of natively from her W98 version.  She says it don't crash 
as much in the middle of her work, etc. . .

Here at work, every user has a home directory that is available to them as 
an H: drive under winders and /home/<username> under FC3 Terminal 
Services.  The H: drives are served out via samba to W98, WXP and W2K 
workstations seamlessly and if the user chooses to use terminal services, 
they have their own /home which is exactly the same files as their winders 
H: drive.
The differences between OOo and M$O are slight, and if you wish the files 
to be readable by M$, just set the deafult document type in OOo to MS 
Word, MS Excel, and MS Powerpoint and then they will always be 

$.02. . . and worth both pennies!

Doug Simpson
Technology Specialist
DeQueen Public Schools
DeQueen, AR 71832
simpsond at leopards.k12.ar.us
Tux for President!

On Tue, 3 May 2005, Rob Owens wrote:

> I'm not sure if I understand your question.
> If you're asking for the K12LTSP system to have access
> to files that were saved in Windows, this can be done
> as long as those files are saved on a
> network-accessible drive.  You will use Samba to
> "mount" that network drive and read the files.
> If you're asking about actually running MS Office on
> the K12LTSP system, I believe this can be done too. 
> You will need either Wine (free of charge) or
> Crossover Office (costs money).  These programs allow
> you to run certain Windows-based programs in Linux. 
> If you decide to try Wine, try using Winetools to set
> it up.  Winetools helps you configure Wine and has a
> little menu item that helps you install MS Office.
> However, you really ought to try to get everybody
> using OpenOffice.  It works for me, though I'm not a
> big user of "bells and whistles".  What's great about
> it is that it is freely available for Linux, Windows,
> and Mac, so when you create a file in OpenOffice it
> can be read by basically anybody who owns a modern
> computer.  It also can read and save Microsoft
> formats, if you need that.  It does this perfectly
> most of the time, but I have seen some
> excessively-formatted Word docs that when opened in
> OpenOffice, the formatting was not exactly the same.
> So I just re-read your question and I think maybe you
> are interested in having the students save their Linux
> work and be able to open it later with Windows
> programs.  This can be done, too.  Use Samba to
> "export" the directory in which the students save
> their work.  It will be accessible over the network by
> Windows machines.  If the files are in a format that
> your Windows software can read, then they will open. 
> (Note that you can use OpenOffice and save in *.doc,
> *.xls, and *.ppt formats).
> If clipart is all you're really looking for, I suppose
> you could use MS clipart in an OpenOffice document,
> presentation, etc.  You just have to find it. 
> Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
> -Rob
> --- hoffmann at fidnet.com wrote:
> > I would like to try a test classroom with K12LTSP,
> > but I want the students
> > to be able to open their files on Windows machines
> > (to add the 'bells and
> > whistles' to presentations, etc.).  I've been told
> > that this will really
> > slow down the server.  Is this true?  I know the
> > students (and teachers)
> > won't be happy with OpenOffice by itself.
> > 
> > Thanks,
> > Karen Hoffmann
> > 
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