office posts on CNET - Page 89


Cubicles that crush the soul

And you thought your dark, cramped, dusty workspace was depressing. Have a look at the winners of the Wired News Saddest-Cubicle Contest, and get ready to appreciate your own scrappy little cube anew.

After all, it doesn't get too much worse than David Gunnells' cubicle (or does it?). The first-place winner of the contest, an IT guy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, spends his days in a windowless conference room, his desk hemmed in by heavily used filing cabinets. He sits near a poorly ventilated bathroom and shares a wall with a parking garage. His mother-in-law was … Read more

Microsoft upgrades its Office for Mac upgrade offer

Correction 2:10 p.m. PDT: This blog initially misstated the savings for buyers of Office 2004 for Mac Student and Teacher edition if they choose to upgrade to the 2008 Special Media Edition. The savings would be $350.

Microsoft has improved on an earlier offer to those who buy Office 2004 for Mac before the new version of Office is released in January.

In September, the company said it would offer buyers of Office 2004 an upgrade to the comparable version of Office 2008 for the cost of shipping and handling.

Now, those who purchase Office 2004 for Mac … Read more

Dwight Schrute gets a 'Second Life,' still needs a first one

On Thursday night's episode of The Office on NBC, dweeby Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson) revealed himself to be a Second Life addict--something that doesn't require any suspension of disbelief.

The Second Life banter began when Dwight's notably less nerdy co-worker, Jim (played by John Krasinski), asked Dwight if he was "playing that game again."

"Second Life is not a game," Dwight replied authoritatively. "It is a multi-user virtual environment. It doesn't have points or scores; it doesn't have winners or losers."

With all the deadpan wit that'… Read more

Sun promoting OpenOffice through pop-up ads

I guess it works for V1@gr@ and security software, so why shouldn't Sun advertise OpenOffice through obnoxious pop-up ads? Install Java, get...spam?

Seems like a used car salesman approach to pitching open-source software. How the mighty have fallen.

I can see Sun's next ploy now:

Dear Sir/M, I am Mr.David Mark. an Auditor of a BANK OF THE NORTH INTERNATIONAL,ABUJA (FCT). I have the courage to Crave indulgence for this important business of OpenOffice(!!!) believing that you will never let me down either now or in the future. Some years ago, an American Mining consultant/ contractor with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, made a numbered time (fixed)deposit for twelve calendar months of 12 million copies of OpenOffice, valued $0M.USD (ZILCH US DOLLARS) in an account. … Read more

U.S. Army orders more PackBots

The company that ate the robot market, iRobot, has just received an order from the U.S. Army for 40 more PackBots, which means that will soon be more than 1,000 of these robots on active duty around the world.

Units ordered include some equipped with the ICx Fido Explosives Detector. Fido allows an operator to detect explosive vapors and particulates from munitions or IEDs from a safe distance using a game-style controller.

The 510 model was also included. It can lift 30 pounds and scoot around at almost 6 mph, climbs stairs, roll over rubble, rocks, mud and … Read more

Mac Office 2008 adds Excel templates, supports Exchange

Microsoft is revealing more details about new features in its Office for Mac 2008 suite, due for a release early next year.

Excel 2008 for Mac will offer worksheet templates with baked-in calculations designed to make it easier to balance household finances, manage inventory and other common tasks. The new Ledger Sheets features will include a gallery of elements, shifting formulas to the background.

In addition, the Entourage e-mail client will offer more support for Microsoft Exchange, which traditionally has enabled non-Mac PC users to make appointments and share notes and files with each other.

Each version of Office for … Read more

OpenOffice's apparent mission creep

Apparently, OpenOffice 3.0 is intent on picking a fight with Microsoft Outlook. Bonne chance, mes amis. I don't mean to imply that it can't be done, but am rather suggesting that this is not the right way to go about it. Zimbra, sure. Or Mozilla's Thunderbird (standalone), sure. But bundled into OpenOffice? I'm not seeing it.

This arises from a presentation delivered earlier this year at the OpenOffice conference:

One thing that really caught my attention was (a) reference to including a Personal Information Manager (PIM) (in OpenOffice). More specifically the presentation mentions bundling Thunderbird with their Office Suite, and refers to it as an "Outlook replacement."

Bundling a runner-up PIM/e-mail suite with a runner-up Office replacement? Not likely. Disruption is the way to go, and the combination is not disruptive.… Read more

Sun opens up OpenOffice

Jim Parkinson of Sun has been listening to critiques of OpenOffice's governance policies and responds with a post that suggests that Sun plans to address the problems. Specifically, Sun will be using the Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA) for code contributed to OpenOffice (which ensures that any code contributed to Sun will also be licensed under an OSI-approved license); it may change the tools used to develop OpenOffice to meet community demand; and it will be forming a new Community Advisory Group and has invited people from outside Sun to participate.

All good news, and all welcome.

But I particularly like the aims of the new Advisory Board:… Read more

Weak communities and strong forks

Proprietary vendors sometimes point to the possibility of open-source fragmentation as one of its great weaknesses believing, as they do, that the vendor should always control its own destiny. What such vendors fail to see is that a community's right to fork a project is actually its greatest strength. The fork is the community's most valuable tool for ensuring the ongoing health of the project. is feeling this now, as a cumbersome community process has led prominent members of the OpenOffice community to lay down the law (er...the fork) and declare independence, as Kohei Yoshida does:

If Sun insists on rewriting all the work I've already done just to ensure that they own all the code in OO.o, even though it is legally permissible to integrate my code under a pure LGPL license as an external component, then perhaps I need to re-think my relationship with the project.… Read more

Office of the future?

For most everyone working in the U.S. corporate world, Microsoft Office is a must: Outlook for e-mail/calendar; Word for word processing; Excel for spreadsheets; and PowerPoint for presentations. The 2007 release has been covered extensively on CNET Reviews.

However, a recent rise in free office suites has given end users much more choice in productivity software than they've had in many years. Just two weeks ago, IBM announced a free version of Lotus Symphony. Though it's still in beta release, the freeware includes serviceable word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software, all of which support Microsoft Office … Read more