OpenOffice.org and StarOffice instructor with a passion for showing how the software makes things easier.
I've used StarOffice and OpenOffice.org since 1999. As an instructor, author of three books and course developer, I think this open source office suite is a solid, reliable tool with enough features for at least 90% of the current Microsoft Office users.
I was working at Sun Educational Services when Sun bought StarOffice. My friend and colleague Floyd was daydreaming in a meeting one day and came up with the insane scheme that, outside of work hours, we write a book on StarOffice. We signed a contract with Prentice Hall and nine months and 1100 pages later, StarOffice Companion was born.
Since then, as StarOffice/OpenOffice.org have evolved and improved, I've discovered that I love to teach, and love to make unfamiliar or seemingly complex things simple. I love to let people know information they need, to spread around all the info that makes life so much easier but for whatever reason isn't available or clear.
In 2002 I started my own training and consulting business, GetOpenOffice.org, and have trained clients all over the US, in Canada, and in Norway. I've got a full set of workbooks that walk beginner or advanced students through the basic, complex, and downright cool features of StarOffice and OpenOffice.org, which I use in training and resell.
I've taught many different organizations how to use, and enjoy, OpenOffice.org and StarOffice. Last summer I was in Houston, teaching actual rocket scientists how to use StarOffice, as Katrina blew into New Orleans. I spent some time in Green River, Wyoming and Largo, Florida in January, and have braved the wintry December weather and enjoyed the kindly folks in Winnipeg at Manitoba Legal Aid. As always when teaching, I learn new tricks and approaches to using the features, and new tasks that users need to complete. I try to incorporate those solutions and tasks into my blog and/or workbooks whenever possible.
Here's the bottom line. If you're using Microsoft but not happy with the product/price/security issues, or if you're switching to OpenOffice.org and finding it confusing, I'm here to help. I think OpenOffice.org, for the most part, is by far the best choice for an office suite, and I want to help everyone else using it or considering using it to understand it. Whether you just want some nice simple documents, complex charts and calculations, technical illustrations, or some, frankly, fabulous graphic art, you can do it with OpenOffice.org.
Swing dancing, playing cards, hiking, skiing, and shoveling.