viernes, 9 de agosto de 2013

Those unexpected regressions...

A while ago, I read Ken Stark's delicious rant because of a kernel regression.

Ah, those regressions can be real bothersome in the world of FLOSS.  Even so, I had never experienced one.  Therefore, the whole thing remained pretty much an abstraction to me... until two days ago, when I found my original thesis presentation and understood the frustration of those regressions.

Let me explain.  When I was a student, computers were not as popular as they are today, let alone laptops.  Thus, delivering a presentation meant that you had to  borrow somebody else's laptop.

Those were my Windows days.  Although I had a desktop computer, my Microsoft Office version did not include PowerPoint.

Fortunately, my brother had won a set of CDs with a collection of programs that included some free software and demos.  In one of them, there was StarOffice, which allowed me to create my presentation.  When finished, I saved it both as an .sdd file and a converted .ppt file.

That was a long time ago.  I thought I had lost the presentation forever, but I found an old CD containing only the original .sdd thesis presentation.  Logically, I wanted to see it.

I had seen LibreOffice deal with .sdd files before, so, when I got the dialog asking me for a program to open the ancient presentation, I knew that something was wrong.

There was simply no way to open it.

I browsed the web and found that LibreOffice dropped .sdd files support since version 4.

So, there I was, with a document that I was dying to see and no software that could perform the magic to open it.

To make matters worse, it seems that OpenOffice can deal with the files, but I cannot install it without having an office suite dog fight on my modern Linux systems.  It seems that the days in which I could keep OpenOffice and LibreOffice side by side are gone (last time I could do that was with Mandriva 2010.2).

Luckily, my wife's Asus Eee PC 901 is still operational and it comes with Xandros Linux and StarOffice!  I used it to convert the file to .ppt and later to .odp.

Who would have thought that the tiny netbook was going to save the day?

2 comentarios:

  1. Netbooks were always undervalued. In spite of what some may say, these little systems can be extremely powerful...especially if they run Linux.