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Corrupted Unicorn
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« on: June 04, 2023 @830.89 »

Hi, I'm back with another discussion topic (I swear I'm not trying to make this a series  :ohdear: but I wouldn't mind it it turned out to be one  :ha: ). This is not necessarily web-based but programs intended for use to write documents, spreadsheets, presentations and many more are such an important part for those who work on the computer, our main point of connection with the digital world  :pc:

What are your favourite programs? Any lesser-known one you just can't wait to talk about? Any recommendations beyond Microsoft's assortment? Any particular nostalgic memories attached to them?

I can reply to that last one!  :ozwomp: When I was a kid without internet, I loved to hang out on Microsoft Word mostly to play around with WordArt and Clippy!  :ozwomp: I always found that little guy cute, and I never understood the hatred for him, all he wants to do is to help! Although I really didn't need help - I mostly had him hanging around while I typed nonsense - I remember well one day where I simulated I was having a chat with none other than John Arbuckle from the Garfield comics (it's incredible what a young mind without the influence of the vast expanses of the internet can do) and I liked making him (Clippy, not John!) do animations to amuse me. They were my favourite part, to see him shapeshift and transform (and now I have a character who also shapeshifts and transforms... is Clippy their father?!)

Now it's your turn! Time to give these programs some attention!
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2023 @51.02 »

I remember even as newer and newer versions of MS Office and Windows kept releasing, I still stuck with Office 2000. Eventually, in college, they just gave us Office 365 during our time there, so I used that. And my workplace has it too, so... yeah. Despite this, though, I admit that outside of work, I still have memories of Office 2000, and I admit, I'm actually considering making it my "standard" for any office suites I have.

Besides this, I also use WordPerfect Office X9. A Humble Bundle I bought one time had it, admittedly. Surprisingly, one can make it easily look like the MS Office of yore, even if it doesn't 100% act like it. Unfortunately, it does NOT cooperate with WindowBlinds, and seems to crash if I so much as launch it while I have a WindowBlinds theme applied! (Might try to run it on WINE on Linux one day too...)

As for free ones... while LibreOffice does look and act like the Office of yore, it's unfortunately just as heavy as modern MS Office. SoftMaker FreeOffice seems fine, but it's closed-source, sadly...
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2023 @320.05 »

MS Word always had, always will have some flaws.

But I think, all problems can be circumvented, but it really takes lots of time to get behind those details.

For example seperating pages with CTRL+Enter instead of relying on MS Word to break the page by itself, when the page it's full.

I'm currently continuing a project in Word 97, which is now over 100 pages with lots of text, tables and photos. A document that extensive is only possible to edit on the Windows 98 machine, because the photos have been scaled down in advance and don't use their full resolution.

I'd prefer LibreOffice over every new MS Office after 2007. But it's also very inefficent and ressource heavy. And in my humble opinon, those new programs aren't that much more capable than the old ones to justify the additional power they need. So going back to an earlier LibreOffice version can solve performance problems.

AbiWord messed up my tables very badly, so I didn't like it and went to OpenOffice on weak Linux machines. OpenOffice, by the way, is essentially an old LibreOffice, so much more efficent.
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2023 @739.81 »

In reality I use Pages and Word - although they both INTENSELY annoy me for many reasons (Mostly related to how they handle multiple pages and images)

However, I wanted to give some love to BEAN, because its called BEAN and some dude (Mr Hoover) keeps it updated even though Im not actually sure who actually uses bean  :innocent:  https://bean-osx.com/Bean.html Bean is a very cute lil program though and its useful if you just want a super minimal word processor that's more like a 90s program than a modern one!

AS FOR 90s ones! Of course, ClarisWorks is my long-lost love, the one who got away and my missing ideal  :tongue:
https://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/bob/clarisworks.php <- History of ClarisWorks
I did what you did @Gans - precompressing modern images and importing them to a retro Mac to write a college assignment in Calais! It was a fun if vaguely annoying experience - I think Im spoiled by the speed I expect modern computers to run at.
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2023 @271.78 »

@Melooon: Interesting case, but without a doubt Word 97 on that old Windows 98 machine is equally fast as a modern computer. If it would been for a Windows 95 machine, I'd look for the older Word version which is called 6.0, which from a superficial glance looked like it's as capabale as Word 97, just with more round edges, but also as a 16-bit program. So it has to be even more efficent. Sure, Image capabilities weren't as good on those very old machines, but if you even convert them to 256 colours as a GIF, you should experience some nice working with the old dog.

So as a rule of thumb, working gets smooth with a program that's a couple of years older than the computer itself.

Recommending installing ClarisWorks for the additional fonts it comes with.
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starbreaker
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2023 @825.28 »

Hi, I'm back with another discussion topic (I swear I'm not trying to make this a series  :ohdear: but I wouldn't mind it it turned out to be one  :ha: ). This is not necessarily web-based but programs intended for use to write documents, spreadsheets, presentations and many more are such an important part for those who work on the computer, our main point of connection with the digital world  :pc:

To be honest I've only ever used an office suite outside of my day job when I was publishing through a small press and they insisted on having MS Word format so they could use track changes. Since I was running GNU/Linux full-time at home Word wasn't an option, so I'd use LibreOffice. It's close enough to late 1990s-vintage MS office that when I set up computers for neighbors or my wife's friends, I install it for them along with Firefox and Thunderbird for web and email.

The app I prefer to use for writing, building websites, coding, etc. is a text editor called GNU Emacs. (Yes, Richard Stallman is kind of a dick.)

Actually, it isn't really a text editor. It's a virual Lisp machine disguised as a text editor. It's janky as hell by default, even today, and it was even jankier 25 years ago. I first got exposed to it in college and while I'm not a guru I have it configured to suit my needs and I'm used to its particular brand of jank. It's generally rock solid, runs on just about every operating system in common use and a bunch that aren't, and plain text is the little black dress of computing; it never goes out of style.

I generally write text with Markdown or Org mode, and if I need to generate docx files for other people that's what pandoc is for. (I also use pandoc to build my web pages.)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2023 @827.28 by starbreaker » Logged


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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2023 @811.72 »

My free Microsoft Office ran out because I recently graduated from college, so now I'm using LibreOffice which I found on alternativeto.net. It already seems to do everything I need & best of all it's FOSS :)

Why oh why is.docx the industry standard, but you also have to pay up for expensive proprietary software to create, edit, and read them? :innocent: Oh yeah. :drat:

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I have an older friend and he accidentally refers to Word, as Word Perfect  :cheesy:
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2023 @360.96 »

I have an older friend and he accidentally refers to Word, as Word Perfect  :cheesy:
Ah, an old lad who remembers the days when there was serious competition for Office Suites! Then MS Word became sort of the standard and pushed all the other programs aside. How long will there be standalone versions of MS Office? I think sooner or later, they will switch their new versions to subscribe-only. Hopefully this step will shuffle the market a bit, because then more people might switch to LibreOffice instead of swallowing the pill of paying monthly.

I'll keep the old programs running and nobody will stop this (not even the hardware failing, VMs are out there). A big project was finished in Word 97 last month. And this is the feasible limit of what Word 97 can do on this particular Pentium 3 computer of 2000: A 40 MB document with 138 pages, approx. 230 images (half of them photos), 387.000 letters (with spaces). The loading times are too much now to work nicely with it. And speaking of the reason, it's not the odd Word 97, it's the old P3 single-core, as the same document loads much faster on a newer Windows XP machine.


* word97.GIF (81.98 kB, 1024x736 - viewed 29 times.)
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di
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2023 @915.19 »

Ah, an old lad who remembers the days when there was serious competition for Office Suites! Then MS Word became sort of the standard and pushed all the other programs aside.

Funniest thing is, he's not a tech guy, just oblivious. He thought Word and Word Perfect were the same thing. :cheesy:

Come to think of it, I don't know how I, as a person in my 20s, even know what Word Perfect is. I thought Lazy Game Reviews must have made a video about it, but... no. Huh. :ohdear:

Speaking of age, Google Docs and Google Drive are the popular go-tos for the vast majority of people in my generation. Or at least among collage-age people in the U.S.
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