Manufacturer: Sun Microsystems
Price: Free download (shipping and handling for media)
Reviewer: Stephanie Black
The need for business applications that run on Linux is well documented. We all want something that will further diminish the hold of the Redmond Contingent on the corporate market. We want to be able to cheer on anyone bold enough, brash enough and bright enough to create a successful rival to Microsoft Office 2000. “Successful” is the key word here.
This certainly is an office suite. The manual says you can do everything administrative from “one place”. It's described as “intuitive”. The first claim assumes that the user has no temporal requirements with respect to those administrative tasks: it can take a while just to find the required administrative task. The second claim assumes that the user has been doing this sort of work for far too long, only under one other operating system. “Star” quality is elusive.
Granted, it doesn't cost a few hundred units of your local currency, even if you want the media. It installs without a hitch. It no longer requires every iota of available memory to run, unlike its predecessors. It's not a “special” or “millennium” edition. It's available for several different platforms. It doesn't crash when you open it. Technically, all the pieces are there in nearly the exact order as described in the manual. It apparently works as a word processor, presentation tool and Swiss Army Knife clone. And, I have to admit, the technical support available for it really is superb.
The problem is, someone decided StarOffice should follow St. Paul's dictates, to wit: to be all things to all people. StarOffice is not, and will never be, all things to all people. If it manages to be a simple suite of office software that is clean, original, functional and comprehensible, it will be enough for thousands. Especially if running it on 64MB of RAM makes for a quick initialization, as opposed to one during which you can talk with your lawyer, editor, mother-in-law and local bill collectors and still have time to get a cup of Starbucks Special before the software is ready to actually use.
Hint: there's a Start button at the bottom left of the application window, and it's labeled that way. The butterfly pixmap makes no difference to the functioning of the software. Really.
You will not necessarily require a whole Gig of either hard drive space or RAM to install StarOffice. Both, admittedly, might be helpful if you're going to use really large databases, but they're not necessary. I chose a custom installation of about 250MB running on SuSE 6.4. You can choose parts of packages, if you don't want the full allotment of graphics, templates, effects and backgrounds, but wish for only a selection of those gallery items that suit your purposes. This applies to other components of StarOffice as well. For this review, Draw, Image, Basic and Calc were omitted.
Note: StarOffice includes a kind of BASIC for macro and script creation. This would have usable applications under Windows but under Linux seems rather misplaced, given that C is the mother tongue of Penguinese and Bash.
It is cause for concern that, by default, the “Integrated Desktop” option is enabled in StarOffice. A splash screen is something common enough with applications run in a GUI environment. A suite of applications taking over the desktop without the user's knowledge (or choice) is something else entirely. However, deselection of View --> Integrated Desktop (or Ctrl-Shift-l) will allow you to keep your chosen desktop and reduce the desktop to an application-size window.
To get started, you will need to look for a vertical grey arrow on the left-hand border of the desktop window. By opening Click & Go (see Figure 2) you will see a list of choices of what you can do.
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.
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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