Day 2 & 3 with Linux at MPOW: Do I really need Office?

I apologize for the lack of update yesterday, but it is a good sign that I am getting used to Linux at MPOW. I didn’t run into any issues with my linux desktop so far, and I even found a few new tricks today that I didn’t even realize was possible with Linux at this point. One thing I realized using Linux these two days is that I don’t rely on MS Office as much as I thought I would. I didn’t even think about using an Office program until I decided to start working on a presentation for a conference next week.

Open Office 3.0

My biggest worry with Office in general was the new MS Office 2007 format (docx, ppts, xlsx, etc.) and if I would be able to open these files on my Linux workstation. My previous experience using Mac OS X involved downloading a converter to convert the files to the older format, and later I ended up getting the newest version of MS Office for the Mac to handle the new file format. To my surprise, Open Office 3.0 that came with the Linux Mint was able to open up docx files right away. The only drawback was that I could only view the docx documents, and not make any changes, but if I needed to, I could easily “Save As…” a format that I could use. It is still a pain, but until more programs adopt the new MS Office format, this will always be a problem unless I stick to MS Office. This brings me to my new discovery of the wonderful world of Wine and Wine-Doors (no not the drinking kind).

Wine and Wine-Doors

Linux Mint comes with a program called Wine-Doors which is actually a program that runs with another program Wine which allows Windows programs to work on a linux platform. Usually Wine requires some tweaking before it can run a Windows program, but Wine-Doors simplifies the process allowing you to download popular Windows programs to be installed. Some programs include Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and World of Warcraft. One of the pleasant surprises was Internet Explorer, which lets me access the NYLA content management system, which was Internet Explorer only. I have to take a closer look at Wine to see what’s possible, but this means that many of the popular Windows program can probably be used on a linux machine.

That’s all for now.

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