Online Classes - Linux

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  1. Online Classes

    I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    material?

    Should I just move back to Windows? I got tired of the viruses on Windows
    but I knew then that whatever I wanted to do my computer would do what I
    need. Now, well, it seems a gamble. I want to stick with Ubuntu if I can.
    Any ideas?


  2. Re: Online Classes

    * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    > Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    > MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    > newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    > instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    > on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    > material?


    Ask them. They're responsible for their requirements. If you really
    need that particular outfit to get your online credits, then ask them
    how they handle it when a person cannot afford to purchase a copy of
    Word.

    Seems pretty suspect to me. The IEEE online courses, for example, use
    standard technology supported in Linux browsers.

    --
    A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.
    -- Ramsey Clark

  3. Re: Online Classes

    On 2008-07-24, Linonut wrote:
    > * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    >> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or


    This is of course all completely bogus. You could generate an RTF
    from office 4.2 and those profs would be none the wiser.

    This is a completely bogus requirement even from the point of view
    of a Windows user.

    >> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    >> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    >> material?

    >
    > Ask them. They're responsible for their requirements. If you really
    > need that particular outfit to get your online credits, then ask them
    > how they handle it when a person cannot afford to purchase a copy of
    > Word.
    >
    > Seems pretty suspect to me. The IEEE online courses, for example, use
    > standard technology supported in Linux browsers.
    >



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    |||
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  4. Re: Online Classes

    "JEDIDIAH" stated in post
    slrng8fohh.m48.jedi@nomad.mishnet on 7/23/08 7:00 PM:

    > On 2008-07-24, Linonut wrote:
    >> * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >>
    >>> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >>> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >>> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or

    >
    > This is of course all completely bogus. You could generate an RTF
    > from office 4.2 and those profs would be none the wiser.
    >
    > This is a completely bogus requirement even from the point of view
    > of a Windows user.


    You can call the requirements "bogus" all you want. The college still has
    the requirements.

    >>> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >>> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    >>> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    >>> material?

    >>
    >> Ask them. They're responsible for their requirements. If you really
    >> need that particular outfit to get your online credits, then ask them
    >> how they handle it when a person cannot afford to purchase a copy of
    >> Word.
    >>
    >> Seems pretty suspect to me. The IEEE online courses, for example, use
    >> standard technology supported in Linux browsers.
    >>

    >



  5. Re: Online Classes

    "Linonut" stated in post
    CZQhk.5606$US3.335@bignews2.bellsouth.net on 7/23/08 6:36 PM:

    > * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    >> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    >> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    >> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    >> material?

    >
    > Ask them. They're responsible for their requirements. If you really
    > need that particular outfit to get your online credits, then ask them
    > how they handle it when a person cannot afford to purchase a copy of
    > Word.
    >
    > Seems pretty suspect to me. The IEEE online courses, for example, use
    > standard technology supported in Linux browsers.


    Suspect? In what way? Do you deny that Universities have such
    requirements?


  6. Re: Online Classes

    In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Patrick Thorley

    wrote
    on Wed, 23 Jul 2008 18:08:21 -0700
    :
    > I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    > Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    > MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    > newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    > instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    > on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    > material?
    >
    > Should I just move back to Windows? I got tired of the viruses on Windows
    > but I knew then that whatever I wanted to do my computer would do what I
    > need. Now, well, it seems a gamble. I want to stick with Ubuntu if I can.
    > Any ideas?
    >


    The simplest method -- but it's a crutch -- is to use
    OpenOffice; it can read and write (most) Word files,
    and I would hope Word2003 is now among them.
    Since Word files are not standard files, one is taking
    a risk that the instructor may have troubles reading
    one's files.

    Of course the instructor may have problems anyway reading a
    student's files, especially if a student's computer caught
    something a little "extra" over the weekend or something.

    A more general, surer method, is to use PDF, XHTML,
    XML+XSL, or ODF. There are several issues with each
    format.

    Word:
    Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, most Windows systems
    can read Word.
    Cons: Not as readily editable by non-Windows systems, nonstandard
    format, irrelevant garbage may be left in the files under
    certain conditions. (This may be more an issue with Word
    than with the format proper.)

    PDF:
    Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, standard, most Windows
    systems can read PDF.
    Cons: Not readily editable.

    XHTML:
    Pros: Pictures and diagrams can be included, standard, readily editable,
    most Windows systems can read XHTML.
    Cons: Pictures and diagrams are separate files; one has
    to distribute the completed work as an archive or, in
    certain cases, using multipart/related in an email message.
    XHTML has some quirks that confuse IE but pass undetected
    in Firefox if one's not careful.

    XML:
    Pros: Standard, readily editable, most Windows systems can read XML
    if stylesheets are included, format can be tailored to application
    rather than HTML or XHTML presentation.
    Cons: XSL development can get complicated. Pictures and diagrams
    are separate files, much like XHTML, unless one gets clever
    with their XSL somehow. (Best I've done is use document()
    in the XSL to pick up another file; this allows for a very flexible
    system but has the drawback of requiring multiple files again.)

    ODF:
    Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, standard.
    Cons: AFAIK, no ODF plugin is yet available for Word, which
    means Prof might need additional machinery to read your work.
    There are minor issues between Gnumeric and oocalc (at least
    last I checked).

    You might discuss the issue with your instructor, if you feel
    comfortable broaching the issue.

    --
    #191, ewill3@earthlink.net
    Does anyone else remember the 1802?
    ** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **

  7. Re: Online Classes

    On 2008-07-24, Patrick Thorley wrote:
    > "JEDIDIAH" stated in post
    > slrng8fohh.m48.jedi@nomad.mishnet on 7/23/08 7:00 PM:
    >
    >> On 2008-07-24, Linonut wrote:
    >>> * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >>>
    >>>> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >>>> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >>>> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or

    >>
    >> This is of course all completely bogus. You could generate an RTF
    >> from office 4.2 and those profs would be none the wiser.
    >>
    >> This is a completely bogus requirement even from the point of view
    >> of a Windows user.

    >
    > You can call the requirements "bogus" all you want. The college still has
    > the requirements.


    What part of...

    THE IDIOTS MAKING THE RULES CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE

    did you not get?

    Don't be such a MORON. You're supposed to be in University.

    >
    >>>> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >>>> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    >>>> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    >>>> material?
    >>>
    >>> Ask them. They're responsible for their requirements. If you really
    >>> need that particular outfit to get your online credits, then ask them
    >>> how they handle it when a person cannot afford to purchase a copy of
    >>> Word.
    >>>
    >>> Seems pretty suspect to me. The IEEE online courses, for example, use
    >>> standard technology supported in Linux browsers.
    >>>

    >>

    >



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    ....as if the ability to run Cubase ever made or broke a platform.
    |||
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  8. Re: Online Classes

    On 2008-07-24, Patrick Thorley wrote:
    > "Linonut" stated in post
    > CZQhk.5606$US3.335@bignews2.bellsouth.net on 7/23/08 6:36 PM:
    >
    >> * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >>
    >>> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >>> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >>> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    >>> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >>> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    >>> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    >>> material?

    >>
    >> Ask them. They're responsible for their requirements. If you really
    >> need that particular outfit to get your online credits, then ask them
    >> how they handle it when a person cannot afford to purchase a copy of
    >> Word.
    >>
    >> Seems pretty suspect to me. The IEEE online courses, for example, use
    >> standard technology supported in Linux browsers.

    >
    > Suspect? In what way? Do you deny that Universities have such
    > requirements?


    ....complete lack of technical reasons?

    ....pretty much impossible to enforce or validate?

    You've given us absoultely no reason to believe that this alleged
    requirement exists anywhere outside of a petty beaurocrats mind.

    --
    ....as if the ability to run Cubase ever made or broke a platform.
    |||
    / | \

    Posted Via Usenet.com Premium Usenet Newsgroup Services
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.usenet.com

  9. Re: Online Classes

    "The Ghost In The Machine" stated in post
    vu5ll5-sko.ln1@sirius.tg00suus7038.net on 7/23/08 7:28 PM:

    > In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Patrick Thorley
    >
    > wrote
    > on Wed, 23 Jul 2008 18:08:21 -0700
    > :
    >> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    >> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    >> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    >> material?
    >>
    >> Should I just move back to Windows? I got tired of the viruses on Windows
    >> but I knew then that whatever I wanted to do my computer would do what I
    >> need. Now, well, it seems a gamble. I want to stick with Ubuntu if I can.
    >> Any ideas?
    >>

    >
    > The simplest method -- but it's a crutch -- is to use
    > OpenOffice; it can read and write (most) Word files,
    > and I would hope Word2003 is now among them.
    > Since Word files are not standard files, one is taking
    > a risk that the instructor may have troubles reading
    > one's files.
    >
    > Of course the instructor may have problems anyway reading a
    > student's files, especially if a student's computer caught
    > something a little "extra" over the weekend or something.


    Thank you.

    > A more general, surer method, is to use PDF, XHTML,
    > XML+XSL, or ODF. There are several issues with each
    > format.


    While this might work for some classes the stated requirement is to use MS
    Word format.

    > Word:
    > Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, most Windows systems
    > can read Word.
    > Cons: Not as readily editable by non-Windows systems, nonstandard
    > format, irrelevant garbage may be left in the files under
    > certain conditions. (This may be more an issue with Word
    > than with the format proper.)


    The cons do not apply to the situation.

    > PDF:
    > Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, standard, most Windows
    > systems can read PDF.
    > Cons: Not readily editable.
    >
    > XHTML:
    > Pros: Pictures and diagrams can be included, standard, readily editable,
    > most Windows systems can read XHTML.
    > Cons: Pictures and diagrams are separate files; one has
    > to distribute the completed work as an archive or, in
    > certain cases, using multipart/related in an email message.
    > XHTML has some quirks that confuse IE but pass undetected
    > in Firefox if one's not careful.
    >
    > XML:
    > Pros: Standard, readily editable, most Windows systems can read XML
    > if stylesheets are included, format can be tailored to application
    > rather than HTML or XHTML presentation.
    > Cons: XSL development can get complicated. Pictures and diagrams
    > are separate files, much like XHTML, unless one gets clever
    > with their XSL somehow. (Best I've done is use document()
    > in the XSL to pick up another file; this allows for a very flexible
    > system but has the drawback of requiring multiple files again.)
    >
    > ODF:
    > Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, standard.
    > Cons: AFAIK, no ODF plugin is yet available for Word, which
    > means Prof might need additional machinery to read your work.
    > There are minor issues between Gnumeric and oocalc (at least
    > last I checked).
    >
    > You might discuss the issue with your instructor, if you feel
    > comfortable broaching the issue.


    I do not want to have to do different things for each class. I will likely
    contact my advisor and see what she says. I was hoping there was MS Word
    for Ubuntu but I did not think there would be.


  10. Re: Online Classes

    "JEDIDIAH" stated in post
    slrng8fro5.9fn.jedi@nomad.mishnet on 7/23/08 7:55 PM:

    > On 2008-07-24, Patrick Thorley wrote:
    >> "JEDIDIAH" stated in post
    >> slrng8fohh.m48.jedi@nomad.mishnet on 7/23/08 7:00 PM:
    >>
    >>> On 2008-07-24, Linonut wrote:
    >>>> * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >>>>
    >>>>> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >>>>> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >>>>> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    >>>
    >>> This is of course all completely bogus. You could generate an RTF
    >>> from office 4.2 and those profs would be none the wiser.
    >>>
    >>> This is a completely bogus requirement even from the point of view
    >>> of a Windows user.

    >>
    >> You can call the requirements "bogus" all you want. The college still has
    >> the requirements.

    >
    > What part of...
    >
    > THE IDIOTS MAKING THE RULES CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE
    >
    > did you not get?
    >
    > Don't be such a MORON. You're supposed to be in University.


    RTF does not fit the requirement of being a standard Word document.


  11. Re: Online Classes

    "JEDIDIAH" stated in post
    slrng8frtq.9fn.jedi@nomad.mishnet on 7/23/08 7:58 PM:

    > On 2008-07-24, Patrick Thorley wrote:
    >> "Linonut" stated in post
    >> CZQhk.5606$US3.335@bignews2.bellsouth.net on 7/23/08 6:36 PM:
    >>
    >>> * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >>>
    >>>> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >>>> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >>>> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    >>>> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >>>> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    >>>> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    >>>> material?
    >>>
    >>> Ask them. They're responsible for their requirements. If you really
    >>> need that particular outfit to get your online credits, then ask them
    >>> how they handle it when a person cannot afford to purchase a copy of
    >>> Word.
    >>>
    >>> Seems pretty suspect to me. The IEEE online courses, for example, use
    >>> standard technology supported in Linux browsers.

    >>
    >> Suspect? In what way? Do you deny that Universities have such
    >> requirements?

    >
    > ...complete lack of technical reasons?
    >
    >
    > ...pretty much impossible to enforce or validate?
    >
    >
    > You've given us absoultely no reason to believe that this alleged
    > requirement exists anywhere outside of a petty beaurocrats mind.


    No reason to believe? Am I supposed to now convince you that the college I
    am going to be taking classes from has the requirements they claim? Your
    response is useless. Clearly you have no good answer. Fine with me but not
    do not play your games. I did not come here for a religious war.


  12. Re: Online Classes

    JEDIDIAH writes:

    > On 2008-07-24, Patrick Thorley wrote:
    >> "JEDIDIAH" stated in post
    >> slrng8fohh.m48.jedi@nomad.mishnet on 7/23/08 7:00 PM:
    >>
    >>> On 2008-07-24, Linonut wrote:
    >>>> * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >>>>
    >>>>> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >>>>> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >>>>> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    >>>
    >>> This is of course all completely bogus. You could generate an RTF
    >>> from office 4.2 and those profs would be none the wiser.
    >>>
    >>> This is a completely bogus requirement even from the point of view
    >>> of a Windows user.

    >>
    >> You can call the requirements "bogus" all you want. The college still has
    >> the requirements.

    >
    > What part of...
    >
    > THE IDIOTS MAKING THE RULES CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE
    >
    > did you not get?



    What part of "those idiots require ms word format" confuses you? I agree
    its not right. In fact I think it's outrageous. But then we dont make
    their rules.

  13. Re: Online Classes

    In article ,
    Patrick Thorley wrote:
    > I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    > Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    > MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    > newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    > instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    > on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    > material?


    OpenOffice will be fine. Don't worry about it. Its compatibility is
    good. Furthermore, you are helped by the direction you'll be going--you
    will be *writing* files for your instructors to read. If you don't go
    crazy and use obscure weird features of OO (or whatever other non-Word
    word processor you might use), they should have no trouble opening the
    files.

    If things were going the other way--the instructors were going to be
    giving you files to open, then you might have a little to worry about,
    as the instructors might use weird obscure Word features that OO might
    have trouble importing. (On the other hand, even if that were the case,
    the documents would probably be legible--just badly formatted for you.
    You could still get the information from them).

    Note also that it is safe to try. If, for some reason, your instructor
    can't open your first couple of files, it is unlikely they will do
    anything other than tell you there is some problem, and ask you to try
    again. There are so many ways someone can mess up saving a file and
    turning it in, that I'm sure they see failures all the time, even with
    people using exactly the software they recommend, so they aren't going
    to raise an eyebrow. Worst case, if you find out that you can't make it
    work, you arrange to run Windows somewhere (dual boot, virtual machine
    (see below)) and go get a copy of Word.

    If you do end up having to get Word, you want to wait until you are
    actually enrolled, so you can get a good deal (most schools have
    software available at great prices).

    > Should I just move back to Windows? I got tired of the viruses on Windows
    > but I knew then that whatever I wanted to do my computer would do what I
    > need. Now, well, it seems a gamble. I want to stick with Ubuntu if I can.
    > Any ideas?


    I'm inferring from this that you still have a Windows license? What I
    would do is get some kind of virtual machine software, and have a copy
    of Windows installed in a virtual machine on the Ubuntu box. Then, if
    you do encounter anything that either doesn't work, or that will take
    too much effort to get working, you can start your virtual Windows and
    use that. As long as you aren't doing serious gaming, virtual machine
    performance is excellent.

    --
    --Tim Smith

  14. Re: Online Classes

    "Hadron" stated in post
    g69127$khl$2@registered.motzarella.org on 7/23/08 9:39 PM:

    > JEDIDIAH writes:
    >
    >> On 2008-07-24, Patrick Thorley wrote:
    >>> "JEDIDIAH" stated in post
    >>> slrng8fohh.m48.jedi@nomad.mishnet on 7/23/08 7:00 PM:
    >>>
    >>>> On 2008-07-24, Linonut wrote:
    >>>>> * Patrick Thorley peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >>>>>> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version
    >>>>>> of
    >>>>>> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    >>>>
    >>>> This is of course all completely bogus. You could generate an RTF
    >>>> from office 4.2 and those profs would be none the wiser.
    >>>>
    >>>> This is a completely bogus requirement even from the point of view
    >>>> of a Windows user.
    >>>
    >>> You can call the requirements "bogus" all you want. The college still has
    >>> the requirements.

    >>
    >> What part of...
    >>
    >> THE IDIOTS MAKING THE RULES CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE
    >>
    >> did you not get?

    >
    >
    > What part of "those idiots require ms word format" confuses you? I agree
    > its not right. In fact I think it's outrageous. But then we dont make
    > their rules.


    I am glad you can understand this. Why could not Jedi? It is not worth it
    to me to risk my college degree on software that might or should or could
    work in such a way that my instructors would be unlikely to know. Doing so
    would be moronic unless there was no other option.

    I do have a Mac also and it has MS Office. I shall contact my advisor and
    see if that will work. They also require Acrobat Reader, Flash 9, Java and
    a web browser they support. I know all of these things are on a Mac. They
    might exist for Ubuntu but it seems like a lot of effort to find out now
    that I know Ubuntu will not surely work for MS Word files.

    I will continue to use Ubuntu for general web surfing when it works and for
    other basic things. It is good for that but it is not something I would use
    as an only machine. For that you need Windows or maybe a Mac.


  15. Re: Online Classes

    "Tim Smith" stated in post
    reply_in_group-955C2B.22083723072008@news.supernews.com on 7/23/08 10:08 PM:

    > In article ,
    > Patrick Thorley wrote:
    >> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version of
    >> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003 or
    >> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to focus
    >> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their online
    >> material?

    >
    > OpenOffice will be fine. Don't worry about it. Its compatibility is
    > good. Furthermore, you are helped by the direction you'll be going--you
    > will be *writing* files for your instructors to read. If you don't go
    > crazy and use obscure weird features of OO (or whatever other non-Word
    > word processor you might use), they should have no trouble opening the
    > files.


    So it is good enough to gamble my college degree on in your view. No
    thanks. I want to be sure technology quirks will not prevent me from
    getting a degree.

    > If things were going the other way--the instructors were going to be
    > giving you files to open, then you might have a little to worry about,
    > as the instructors might use weird obscure Word features that OO might
    > have trouble importing. (On the other hand, even if that were the case,
    > the documents would probably be legible--just badly formatted for you.
    > You could still get the information from them).


    The files, I am sure, will be going both ways. What if I am given a file to
    modify? And why risk struggling to read something if I do not have to. I
    can see where OpenOffice could be used as a last resort but by choice? No
    thanks. It simply is not worth the risk.

    > Note also that it is safe to try. If, for some reason, your instructor
    > can't open your first couple of files, it is unlikely they will do
    > anything other than tell you there is some problem, and ask you to try
    > again. There are so many ways someone can mess up saving a file and
    > turning it in, that I'm sure they see failures all the time, even with
    > people using exactly the software they recommend, so they aren't going
    > to raise an eyebrow. Worst case, if you find out that you can't make it
    > work, you arrange to run Windows somewhere (dual boot, virtual machine
    > (see below)) and go get a copy of Word.


    So use Ubuntu with the idea I will likely need to go to Windows or the Mac
    anyway? Why? I want to focus on my education and not on the technology.

    > If you do end up having to get Word, you want to wait until you are
    > actually enrolled, so you can get a good deal (most schools have
    > software available at great prices).


    That is an excellent idea. I think they do have discounts. I have an older
    copy for my Mac but I might want to get it for Windows and reinstall that.
    I am sure XP should work fine.

    >> Should I just move back to Windows? I got tired of the viruses on Windows
    >> but I knew then that whatever I wanted to do my computer would do what I
    >> need. Now, well, it seems a gamble. I want to stick with Ubuntu if I can.
    >> Any ideas?

    >
    > I'm inferring from this that you still have a Windows license? What I
    > would do is get some kind of virtual machine software, and have a copy
    > of Windows installed in a virtual machine on the Ubuntu box. Then, if
    > you do encounter anything that either doesn't work, or that will take
    > too much effort to get working, you can start your virtual Windows and
    > use that. As long as you aren't doing serious gaming, virtual machine
    > performance is excellent.


    I tried that for a while but ran into networking problems. I do not know if
    it was Windows or the software on Ubuntu (I forget what it was called).
    Decided doing it that way added a ring of complexity I did not want to
    hassle with. Maybe for a person who is really into computers this is fine.
    I am not against people doing what they want and do not want to come across
    as being against Ubuntu.


  16. Re: Online Classes

    In article ,
    Patrick Thorley wrote:
    > > OpenOffice will be fine. Don't worry about it. Its compatibility is
    > > good. Furthermore, you are helped by the direction you'll be going--you
    > > will be *writing* files for your instructors to read. If you don't go
    > > crazy and use obscure weird features of OO (or whatever other non-Word
    > > word processor you might use), they should have no trouble opening the
    > > files.

    >
    > So it is good enough to gamble my college degree on in your view. No
    > thanks. I want to be sure technology quirks will not prevent me from
    > getting a degree.
    >
    > > If things were going the other way--the instructors were going to be
    > > giving you files to open, then you might have a little to worry about,
    > > as the instructors might use weird obscure Word features that OO might
    > > have trouble importing. (On the other hand, even if that were the case,
    > > the documents would probably be legible--just badly formatted for you.
    > > You could still get the information from them).

    >
    > The files, I am sure, will be going both ways. What if I am given a file to
    > modify? And why risk struggling to read something if I do not have to. I
    > can see where OpenOffice could be used as a last resort but by choice? No
    > thanks. It simply is not worth the risk.
    >
    > > Note also that it is safe to try. If, for some reason, your instructor
    > > can't open your first couple of files, it is unlikely they will do
    > > anything other than tell you there is some problem, and ask you to try
    > > again. There are so many ways someone can mess up saving a file and
    > > turning it in, that I'm sure they see failures all the time, even with
    > > people using exactly the software they recommend, so they aren't going
    > > to raise an eyebrow. Worst case, if you find out that you can't make it
    > > work, you arrange to run Windows somewhere (dual boot, virtual machine
    > > (see below)) and go get a copy of Word.

    >
    > So use Ubuntu with the idea I will likely need to go to Windows or the Mac
    > anyway? Why? I want to focus on my education and not on the technology.


    You told us you dropped Windows for Ubuntu. I infer that you have been
    happy with Ubuntu, or you would not be here asking if you can keep using
    it for school.

    Hence, my point, which is that it is very safe to go ahead and try to
    use Ubuntu. There's a good chance it will work. I base this on your
    description of the institute you are attending as a university, and so
    am assuming that you are in some kind of academic program, and the focus
    is on that, not on the computer technology used to write your papers.
    It seems highly likely that the professors, if they send you files, will
    not be sending files that use the most obscure and advanced Word
    features. Those just aren't needed in most academic settings.

    And if it doesn't work, you'll find out fast enough to switch easily.
    So, almost no risk, and a chance that you can keep using what you want.

    On the other hand, if you liked Windows and your only problem was
    viruses, and you really just want to concentrate on school, with no
    distractions, then maybe just switching back to Windows is the way to
    go. But if you have virus problems again, that is probably going to be
    as much of a distraction from your academic work as you fear dealing
    with OO will be--except with viruses, it won't be on your terms.

    That said, there is nothing that REQUIRES you to get viruses when you
    run Windows. Use Firefox instead of IE for general browsing, stay away
    from questionable sites, run behind a NAT router with no ports forwarded
    in to your machine, and it is not hard to avoid malware. (In the last
    15 years, I've had one Windows worm and one Linux worm, both my fault).

    > > If you do end up having to get Word, you want to wait until you are
    > > actually enrolled, so you can get a good deal (most schools have
    > > software available at great prices).

    >
    > That is an excellent idea. I think they do have discounts. I have an older
    > copy for my Mac but I might want to get it for Windows and reinstall that.
    > I am sure XP should work fine.


    Wait...you also have a Mac? Why can't you use that for school? Word
    2004 for Mac is newer than Word 2003 for Windows. Have you asked the
    school if they are OK with Macs? Apple popularity has been exploding at
    schools, so it's worth asking--even if they aren't listed on whatever
    material they sent you, it's likely many other students have asked, and
    so they may have updated their policy since

    Word 2008 is even newer, of course, but Word 2004 is more compatible.
    With Office 2008, Microsoft dropped support for VBA in the Mac products,
    and it is also noticeably slower than 2004.

    --
    --Tim Smith

  17. Re: Online Classes

    "Tim Smith" stated in post
    reply_in_group-A72CF7.22550323072008@news.supernews.com on 7/23/08 10:55 PM:

    > In article ,
    > Patrick Thorley wrote:
    >>> OpenOffice will be fine. Don't worry about it. Its compatibility is
    >>> good. Furthermore, you are helped by the direction you'll be going--you
    >>> will be *writing* files for your instructors to read. If you don't go
    >>> crazy and use obscure weird features of OO (or whatever other non-Word
    >>> word processor you might use), they should have no trouble opening the
    >>> files.

    >>
    >> So it is good enough to gamble my college degree on in your view. No
    >> thanks. I want to be sure technology quirks will not prevent me from
    >> getting a degree.
    >>
    >>> If things were going the other way--the instructors were going to be
    >>> giving you files to open, then you might have a little to worry about,
    >>> as the instructors might use weird obscure Word features that OO might
    >>> have trouble importing. (On the other hand, even if that were the case,
    >>> the documents would probably be legible--just badly formatted for you.
    >>> You could still get the information from them).

    >>
    >> The files, I am sure, will be going both ways. What if I am given a file to
    >> modify? And why risk struggling to read something if I do not have to. I
    >> can see where OpenOffice could be used as a last resort but by choice? No
    >> thanks. It simply is not worth the risk.
    >>
    >>> Note also that it is safe to try. If, for some reason, your instructor
    >>> can't open your first couple of files, it is unlikely they will do
    >>> anything other than tell you there is some problem, and ask you to try
    >>> again. There are so many ways someone can mess up saving a file and
    >>> turning it in, that I'm sure they see failures all the time, even with
    >>> people using exactly the software they recommend, so they aren't going
    >>> to raise an eyebrow. Worst case, if you find out that you can't make it
    >>> work, you arrange to run Windows somewhere (dual boot, virtual machine
    >>> (see below)) and go get a copy of Word.

    >>
    >> So use Ubuntu with the idea I will likely need to go to Windows or the Mac
    >> anyway? Why? I want to focus on my education and not on the technology.

    >
    > You told us you dropped Windows for Ubuntu. I infer that you have been
    > happy with Ubuntu, or you would not be here asking if you can keep using
    > it for school.


    I am happy with it for the basic needs I currently have. It surfs the web
    fine and does email just dandy. I do have a Mac to use if I need something
    more demanding. I do not usually use MS Word on my Mac and did not think to
    ask if the Mac version would work.

    > Hence, my point, which is that it is very safe to go ahead and try to
    > use Ubuntu. There's a good chance it will work. I base this on your
    > description of the institute you are attending as a university, and so
    > am assuming that you are in some kind of academic program, and the focus
    > is on that, not on the computer technology used to write your papers.
    > It seems highly likely that the professors, if they send you files, will
    > not be sending files that use the most obscure and advanced Word
    > features. Those just aren't needed in most academic settings.


    What features do you consider obscure?

    > And if it doesn't work, you'll find out fast enough to switch easily.
    > So, almost no risk, and a chance that you can keep using what you want.


    Once classes begin I want to focus on classes and not on technology or
    online forums.

    > On the other hand, if you liked Windows and your only problem was
    > viruses, and you really just want to concentrate on school, with no
    > distractions, then maybe just switching back to Windows is the way to
    > go. But if you have virus problems again, that is probably going to be
    > as much of a distraction from your academic work as you fear dealing
    > with OO will be--except with viruses, it won't be on your terms.


    I am concerned about viruses. I allowed my Norton to lapse and will not do
    so again.

    > That said, there is nothing that REQUIRES you to get viruses when you
    > run Windows. Use Firefox instead of IE for general browsing, stay away
    > from questionable sites, run behind a NAT router with no ports forwarded
    > in to your machine, and it is not hard to avoid malware. (In the last
    > 15 years, I've had one Windows worm and one Linux worm, both my fault).
    >
    >>> If you do end up having to get Word, you want to wait until you are
    >>> actually enrolled, so you can get a good deal (most schools have
    >>> software available at great prices).

    >>
    >> That is an excellent idea. I think they do have discounts. I have an older
    >> copy for my Mac but I might want to get it for Windows and reinstall that.
    >> I am sure XP should work fine.

    >
    > Wait...you also have a Mac? Why can't you use that for school? Word
    > 2004 for Mac is newer than Word 2003 for Windows. Have you asked the
    > school if they are OK with Macs? Apple popularity has been exploding at
    > schools, so it's worth asking--even if they aren't listed on whatever
    > material they sent you, it's likely many other students have asked, and
    > so they may have updated their policy since


    I posted elsewhere that I forgot to ask about the Mac version. My mistake
    and I will ask about it. I suspect my Mac will work for me better than my
    Ubuntu machine.

    > Word 2008 is even newer, of course, but Word 2004 is more compatible.
    > With Office 2008, Microsoft dropped support for VBA in the Mac products,
    > and it is also noticeably slower than 2004.


    What is VBA?


  18. Re: Online Classes

    In article ,
    Patrick Thorley wrote:
    > > Word 2008 is even newer, of course, but Word 2004 is more compatible.
    > > With Office 2008, Microsoft dropped support for VBA in the Mac products,
    > > and it is also noticeably slower than 2004.

    >
    > What is VBA?


    "Visual Basic for Applications". It is the language Office on Windows,
    and Office on Mac up to 2004 used for automation and macros. Office
    2008 has dropped VBA.

    Thus, if someone sends you a document that includes macros, you'll have
    a much better chance of using the document on Office 2004 on the Mac
    than on Office 2008. Macros are generally discouraged, because it is
    possible to do malware based on macros, but in a controlled environment,
    such as within a company or a school, they are sometimes used.

    The place it mostly matters, though, is Excel. There's a thing called
    the Analysis Pack (I forget the exact name), which is an add on for
    Excel that provides lots of nifty functionality, including lots of
    things useful in science and engineering. It makes heavy use of VBA.

    --
    --Tim Smith

  19. Re: Online Classes

    "Tim Smith" stated in post
    reply_in_group-0A9269.23202023072008@news.supernews.com on 7/23/08 11:20 PM:

    > In article ,
    > Patrick Thorley wrote:
    >>> Word 2008 is even newer, of course, but Word 2004 is more compatible.
    >>> With Office 2008, Microsoft dropped support for VBA in the Mac products,
    >>> and it is also noticeably slower than 2004.

    >>
    >> What is VBA?

    >
    > "Visual Basic for Applications". It is the language Office on Windows,
    > and Office on Mac up to 2004 used for automation and macros. Office
    > 2008 has dropped VBA.
    >
    > Thus, if someone sends you a document that includes macros, you'll have
    > a much better chance of using the document on Office 2004 on the Mac
    > than on Office 2008. Macros are generally discouraged, because it is
    > possible to do malware based on macros, but in a controlled environment,
    > such as within a company or a school, they are sometimes used.
    >
    > The place it mostly matters, though, is Excel. There's a thing called
    > the Analysis Pack (I forget the exact name), which is an add on for
    > Excel that provides lots of nifty functionality, including lots of
    > things useful in science and engineering. It makes heavy use of VBA.


    No offense but I have no clue what you are talking about.


  20. Re: Online Classes

    Patrick Thorley wrote:

    > "The Ghost In The Machine" stated in post
    > vu5ll5-sko.ln1@sirius.tg00suus7038.net on 7/23/08 7:28 PM:
    >
    >> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Patrick Thorley
    >>
    >> wrote
    >> on Wed, 23 Jul 2008 18:08:21 -0700
    >> :
    >>> I will soon be taking online classes from a University. They require MS
    >>> Word but I have been using Ubuntu for a while and cannot find a version
    >>> of
    >>> MS Word for it. Does it exist? They are very clear that MS Word 2003
    >>> or
    >>> newer is required. Will OpenOffice or some other hack work or will the
    >>> instructors know and will that risk my success. I really just want to
    >>> focus
    >>> on my work. Also, will I be able to use Ubuntu to use all of their
    >>> online material?
    >>>
    >>> Should I just move back to Windows? I got tired of the viruses on
    >>> Windows but I knew then that whatever I wanted to do my computer would
    >>> do what I
    >>> need. Now, well, it seems a gamble. I want to stick with Ubuntu if I
    >>> can. Any ideas?
    >>>

    >>
    >> The simplest method -- but it's a crutch -- is to use
    >> OpenOffice; it can read and write (most) Word files,
    >> and I would hope Word2003 is now among them.
    >> Since Word files are not standard files, one is taking
    >> a risk that the instructor may have troubles reading
    >> one's files.
    >>
    >> Of course the instructor may have problems anyway reading a
    >> student's files, especially if a student's computer caught
    >> something a little "extra" over the weekend or something.

    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    >> A more general, surer method, is to use PDF, XHTML,
    >> XML+XSL, or ODF. There are several issues with each
    >> format.

    >
    > While this might work for some classes the stated requirement is to use MS
    > Word format.
    >
    >> Word:
    >> Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, most Windows systems
    >> can read Word.
    >> Cons: Not as readily editable by non-Windows systems, nonstandard
    >> format, irrelevant garbage may be left in the files under
    >> certain conditions. (This may be more an issue with Word
    >> than with the format proper.)

    >
    > The cons do not apply to the situation.
    >
    >> PDF:
    >> Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, standard, most Windows
    >> systems can read PDF.
    >> Cons: Not readily editable.
    >>
    >> XHTML:
    >> Pros: Pictures and diagrams can be included, standard, readily editable,
    >> most Windows systems can read XHTML.
    >> Cons: Pictures and diagrams are separate files; one has
    >> to distribute the completed work as an archive or, in
    >> certain cases, using multipart/related in an email message.
    >> XHTML has some quirks that confuse IE but pass undetected
    >> in Firefox if one's not careful.
    >>
    >> XML:
    >> Pros: Standard, readily editable, most Windows systems can read XML
    >> if stylesheets are included, format can be tailored to application
    >> rather than HTML or XHTML presentation.
    >> Cons: XSL development can get complicated. Pictures and diagrams
    >> are separate files, much like XHTML, unless one gets clever
    >> with their XSL somehow. (Best I've done is use document()
    >> in the XSL to pick up another file; this allows for a very flexible
    >> system but has the drawback of requiring multiple files again.)
    >>
    >> ODF:
    >> Pros: Pictures and diagrams are included, standard.
    >> Cons: AFAIK, no ODF plugin is yet available for Word, which
    >> means Prof might need additional machinery to read your work.
    >> There are minor issues between Gnumeric and oocalc (at least
    >> last I checked).
    >>
    >> You might discuss the issue with your instructor, if you feel
    >> comfortable broaching the issue.

    >
    > I do not want to have to do different things for each class. I will
    > likely
    > contact my advisor and see what she says. I was hoping there was MS Word
    > for Ubuntu but I did not think there would be.


    I know that the Open University here in the UK accepts Word .doc and .rtf
    formats, encourages students to use Open Source software on Windows and
    also has made great progress with students who use Linux exclusively. Not
    every academic establishment is that progressive though. Pity.

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