Archive for July, 2007

July

19

by Kaj Kandler

I currently happen to be with my Laptop in Barcelona, Spain. However, my PC is set up en_US with US time zone, etc. Now for Google I seem to have become a Spaniard now. When I type in www.google.com I get redirected to www.google.es, when I search something in the Firefox searchbar I get results from www.google.es. When I go to websites that serve Google AdSense, I get served Spanish advertisements.

This is nuts, because I do not speak Spanish and I can’t read it and my browser is set to the languages en, en_US, ge and pt. So no Spanish. And the site I visit, the business network LinkedIn is only available in English. So why is Google serving me like I’m a native, just because my IP address is currently in Spain?

Can anybody tell me how this is useful for me (do NO evil) or for the advertisers (do NO evil)?

In my book this is evil. It breaks the HTTP protocol, because that says the browser does determine what languages it prefers to accept and not Google or its misguided idea of localization. If they want to show me advertisement that are local to my location, fine. But please in a language that I do understand. Otherwise Google is waisting its ad space.

July

13

by Kaj Kandler

Based on a tip from the Ubuntu Community I developed this guide how to improve Open Office performance and more responsive.

Set the Open Office memory options for improved performance as follows:

  • Reduce the undo stack from the default 100 to less than 50. Keep in mind your own work style. If you are experimenting a lot, a value too small might let you run out of “Undo” operations pretty fast. If you are a slow typist, a single “Undo” might just be a single character typed.
  • Increase the graphics cache to  ~10% of your main memory, but no more than 256 MB. Consider how often you use graphics. Heavy use of Impress or Draw will require more.
  • Set memory per object to between 10MB and 20MB. Again this depends on what you are doing. If you are using embedded Active-X controls or large images/graphics this should be larger.
  • Set the number of objects to ~20.
  • Enable the OpenOffice.org Quickstarter if you use OOo more often. For occasional use it will only block memory that you could use better for other applications.

Watch a screencast of these these tips here.

July

12

by Kaj Kandler

I’m curious if anybody of my readers can point me to non Microsoft OO-XML implementations?

I stumbled today over Linspire’s press release with this rather controversial paragraph.

The Open XML format is an open standard file format for office applications that can be freely implemented by multiple applications on multiple platforms. The Open XML format was standardized by Ecma International on December 7, 2006 and is also being implemented by multiple applications on multiple platforms. It is now under consideration for ratification by ISO/IEC JTC1. Open XML is the default format for the recently released Microsoft Office 2007. The Open XML format is also available through free updates to past Microsoft Office versions.

It claims that OOXML is open and can be implemented by anybody. However there is a raging discussion in the ISO standardization community and the open source community at large, that MS-OOXML is neither open nor worthy a standard, due to various contradictions and secretive parts.

I wonder if I’m just misinformed, or if there are more than some beta attempts from Novel, that so far are limited and buggy.

July

11

by Kaj Kandler

The Linux distributer TurboLinux has announced it will participate in the project to convert ODF files into MS Office 2007 compatible versions. TurboLinux will offer its expertise in Asian languages such as Chinese and Japanese for converting documents.

The ODF converter is a Microsoft sponsored open source project that wants to bridge the interoperability gap between the new ISO standard format ODF and the proprietary world of MS Office. Its development is behind the abilities of Sun’s MS Office plug-in, only supporting text documents at this time. However it supports Office 2007.

July

11

by Kaj Kandler

According to Erwin Tenhumberg and an article in the German Computerwoche, many schools in Germany consider switching to OpenOffice.org. While the majority of 1200 schools uses MS Office, 25% are thinking about the switch to Linux and/or OpenOffice.org

July

11

by Kaj Kandler

We reported recently on Dell’s move to reduce bloatware, the kinds of programs that are pre-installed trial versions with little value but high annoyance factor.

Chip Chick points out a nice donation ware tool to remove such bloatware from new and not so new computers. The tool is called PC Decrapifier and appears to worthy of a donation.

July

04

by Kaj Kandler

Sun Microsystems released a plug-in that allows MS Office to work with ODF (or ISO 26300) files. The plug-in supports text-documents, spreadsheets and presentations, corresponding to MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Powerpoint. The plug-in works with MS Office versions 2000, XP and 2003. It can be downloaded from Sun for free.

Why does it not support MS Office 2007? Malte Timmermann gives the answer and many more around the new ODF plug-in for MS Office.