WordPerfect Office 2000 Deluxe
Manufacturer: Corel Corporation
Price: $159 US
Reviewer: Jon Valesh
Some ideas are so widely held, so reasonable, so attractive, so ... right, that they worm their way into your brain and are just about impossible to fight off. You hear someone talking and, without even needing to think about what they have said, you know they are talking truth. Linux is awesome. True. Microsoft is a monopoly. True. The patent office has gone insane. True. Linux will never be taken seriously by the computer industry as a whole until mainstream office software becomes available. True.
But are these truths really true? In the case of Linux, Microsoft and the patent office, of course they are! What about Linux needing mainstream office software to be accepted by mainstream users? Widely believed? Yes, but...truth, in a warm wash of golden light and trumpeting trumpets? Linux needs applications, that is true. But we need applications that are unique to Linux, applications that will force users through Linux's doors, and not provide them with another excuse for walking past.
There have always been excuses, and there will always be excuses. From “not pretty enough” to “hard to use” to “no commercial support” to, well, I've never heard anyone cite their fear of penguins, but somewhere on this planet, someone is avoiding Linux because the penguin reminds them of Big Bird-inspired nightmares they had when they were four.
Excuses or not, there are some sizable reasons why full-featured office software may be a long time coming from the GNU world. First amongst them is the nature of office-software users. Unlike development tools and Internet servers, word processors and spreadsheets are generally used by non-technical people with non-technical problems. The users don't necessarily have the skills to write their own word processor the way a programmer can write their own compiler. They don't need those skills. The second big reason is the lack of standards. There are no ANSI-standard word processor files, no central body dictates spreadsheet interfaces, no RFC explains existing file formats. In fact, it is just the opposite: the interfaces and file formats have been used as an anti-competitive trump card so many times that even mainstream office applications can have difficulty reading older versions of their own files.
Would-be office software developers can't even go their own way and ignore existing office products, because users need file compatibility and interface familiarity.
So, the options can be reduced to one: commercial software. Here, the requirements shift. You still need file compatibility and an easy interface, but you also need a company that will stand behind their product. Ideally, they will also have a name that draws users. Unlike most GNU software, commercial applications must compete not only for users but also for user money. They must be able to stand feature-to-feature against the best products from the biggest companies. In office software, that means standing against Microsoft. [Although with the recent DoJ ruling, this may change. Someday. Perhaps. —Ed]
Fighting Microsoft in the commercial world means being a company with the money and staff to go one-on-one with the richest and most aggressive corporation in the industry—and not get bought up or buried. Unlike GNU/Linux, a temporary setback isn't just a matter of spending more time coding and waiting for the next opportunity to arrive. It means angry shareholders, lawsuits, layoffs, shattered dreams and all the nasty stuff that happens when people lose their shirts.
You need a company with not only the will but the strength to fight.
Corel has uniquely positioned themselves to fill that need. While most of us sat on the sidelines and grumbled about Microsoft's tactics, Corel decided to play the game, fighting Microsoft head-on using Microsoft's own tricks. Corel and Microsoft have always had similar business strategies. Both grew from humble beginnings, in part, by augmenting their product development resources through purchasing companies and products to combine with their own development efforts—shepherding the best they could build and buy toward commercial success. Corel's office suite, containing mostly bought goods, is no different. Each of the major applications started life as another company's brainchild, but Corel has added several of their own applications and given them all a consistent look and feel.
The key word, when defining either company's strategy, has always been “opportunistic”. However, a few years ago, Corel decided to take the gloves off and face Microsoft on Microsoft's home turf. The size difference is undeniable, the strategy bold. So far, the going has been rough for Corel, but the future looks very bright if Corel's latest moves are right.
And what is their goal? To capture the business desktop. Their strategy? Do it any way they can. Sell an office suite head-to-head with Microsoft Office. Sell a desktop operating system head-to-head with Windows. Make their software multi-platform. Remove barriers to leaving Microsoft, and provide alternatives with a good mix of features and price.
Oh, and sell Linux. Corel saw Linux and realized exactly what each of us did when we encountered the Penguin: here is something truly great and truly threatening to Microsoft. Corel quickly committed themselves to providing Linux versions of their application software, developing their own Linux distribution, even making a try at Linux-based thin-network clients and other Linux-centric products—and they have shown some remarkably good judgment in the process. The Corel LinuxOS distribution is based on Debian GNU/Linux, one of the oldest and most respected distributions around. Their approach to porting their applications was equally practical. Since supporting multiple source code bases or spending the necessary time on a massive inter-OS port would take too long, they spent their time making their applications run under WINE, the GNU free Windows emulator for Linux. The bulk of the Linux-specific software in WordPerfect Office 2000 is actually in the installation program.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide