Microsoft Office 2007 SP2: So Much for ODF Compatibility

May 5, 2009

Rob Weir did some tests of the new Microsoft Office 2007 SP2, which is supposed to provide support for the Open Document Format, ODF, out of the box. From his tests of an ODF spreadsheet, ODF files created by Office 2007 SP2 can be interpreted only by Office 2007 SP2 and no other application that supports ODF. And Office 2007 SP2 cannot read/interpret ODF files created by any other application. And we’re talking about a large number of applications here: OpenOffice, Google Docs, KSpread, IBM Symphony, Sun’s ODF Plugin, and the CleverAge ODF plugin.

Interestingly, all the other applications are able to create ODF spreadsheets that are readable by each other, except in the case of the old version of KSpread, which the reviewer used for reasons given in the article. So it’s not the case that the ODF format does not give enough details for spreadsheet formulas to be properly interpreted. Everybody else managed to implement it correctly.

Is this a case of Microsoft paying lip service to standards, so that they can gain inroads into governments’ procurement systems that demand open standard document support? If so, it means that they think all government officials are suckers and idiots.

If that’s not the case, then you’ll have to blame the Microsoft developers: are they so imcompetent that they cannot implement an open standard when everyone else and their grandmother has implemented it correctly? And it’s not as though they cannot see how the others have implemented it: OpenOffice is open source after all. Perhaps they will say ODF is not clear where spreadsheet formulas are concerned. Then how is it every other application is able to implement it correctly?

Filed in Outraged, Opinon, News, Software, Windows.


It’s Official: Next Version of Windows to be Called Windows 7

October 14, 2008

It’s official. Microsoft has announced that the next version of Windows, currently codenamed ‘Windows 7’, is to be named… wait for it, drums roll… ‘Windows 7’.

Hopefully it will be a much better OS than the disaster known as Vista. I think Vista has eclipse the horrors of Windows ME in my mind.

My other posts on Vista:

Filed in Windows, News.


Opera 9.6 released

October 9, 2008

Opera 9.6 has been released. Hopefully it’s more stable than the crash-prone 9.52. It’s a recommended upgrade, because it contains security fixes.

Filed in Browsers, News, Software.


Results of Survey of Bloggers

September 26, 2008

TechCrunch points to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere report, reporting many interesting aspects about bloggers and their blogs.

Did you know, for example, that bloggers rate the success of their blogs primarily on the following, with the most important items listed first and the least important items listed last?

  1. Personal satisfaction
  2. Number of posts or comments on the blog
  3. Number of unique visitors
  4. Number of links to the blog from other sites
  5. Number of RSS subscribers
  6. Your Technical authority and/or rank number
  7. Accolades from other media
  8. Number of people who are ‘favoriting’ you
  9. Revenue
  10. Number and quality of new business leads

How did they read my mind? And are we all really so alike? The above more or less reflects how I feel about my blogs too. How could it be so accurate? I didn’t take any survey.

And like the other bloggers, revenue is low on my list. Of course, on wordpress.com, revenue is non-existent since we can’t put ads. But then, I didn’t start this blog to make money.

The report has other points too. Those who post more frequently are more likely to be top blogs. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The top blogs can afford to pay staff to blog. Bloggers like me blog for fun. There’s no way I’m going to bind myself to a schedule of posting 3-4 times a day.

Filed in News, Web Design.


Why Blu-Ray is in Decline

September 23, 2008

There’s a report that Blu-Ray is in decline, and the Blu-Ray backers are trying to boost its market share by giving away free Blu-Ray discs.

I have my personal computer-centric theory about why Blu-Ray can’t take off the way DVDs do. The software for Blu-Ray drives only work on Vista and not on XP. Look at the web statistics from all the sites. 2 or more years after Vista’s release, XP is still going strong and Vista is still bumping along the bottom of the barrel. This is in spite of the fact that Vista is installed on all new machines.

I’m personally not going to buy a Blu-Ray disc because I can only play it in a special Blu-Ray player attached to my TV. I can’t play it on my computer where I’m logged in most of the time. I don’t use Vista. Maybe there’re a lot of people out there like me.

Maybe they should take away the DRM from Blu-Ray so that the drives can work on XP and Linux. Then all the geeks and new computer owners will start buying Blu-Ray. And when the geeks start using something, you know they’ll influence the people around them.

Look what happened to Vista. Do you think it’s the computer n00bs that pan Vista? They don’t know any better. It’s the geeks that pan Vista. And that has a tremendous effect. Vista now has a horrendously bad reputation that Microsoft is struggling to undo. The geeks are the information guardians and movers in the modern Internet world.

You need the geeks.

And geeks don’t like DRM. And if they can’t run their free software to play Blu-Ray discs on their free OS like Linux or favorite OS like XP, they aren’t going to be buying Blu-Ray discs. And neither are those whom they influence.

Filed in News, Opinion, Entertainment.


RIAA Fears the Truth Coming Out

September 19, 2008

Most people following the questionable RIAA tactics will have heard of Ray Beckerman’s blog Recording Industry vs The People where he exposes the RIAA for what they really are. Ars Technica tells of a recent filing by RIAA accusing Ray of “vexatious litigation” saying that this is like the pot calling the kettle black. They quote EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann as saying “I find it a little perplexing that the recording industry would be complaining about Ray giving the other side of the story.”

But doesn’t that just show the flaws in RIAA’s case? If they were wholly operating aboveboard, they will have nothing to fear from other people given their side of the story. But when someone’s modus operandi is questionable, exposure is something they are afraid of. Their actions speak louder than words.

Other Posts on RIAA:

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, News, Entertainment.


CERN Large Hadron Collider Starts Up Today: Is It the Beginning of the End?

September 10, 2008

As previously mentioned, the CERN Large Hadron Collider will start up today, Sep 10. The idea is to understand some of the conditions that were present at the start of the universe.

But not everyone believes the experiment is safe, including a commenter to my earlier post. There are concerns that microscopic black holes may be created that will ultimately lead to the end of the world.

Today’s start of the collider won’t do anything as yet. It will take months before the parts of the experiment that will allegedly cause black holes come to bear. And even then, as it is claimed, the black holes won’t immediately swallow the earth.

Actually I’m not too clear about both sides of the argument, not being a physicist and all. But it sounds both intriguing and potentially alarming.

Filed in Science, News.