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May 30, 2006

Comments

Uh... yeah. I already use Oo.O on my home computer, because they made it easy to make .pdf's out of my writer documents. And I'd LOVE to switch to Base from Access... but, like, Access has all these little wizards and button-implementation-in-the-form doodads, and I don't have to know the coding (and that Access Switchboard Manager is the BOMB!).

Make Base that easy, and I'll switch. And I'll bet a lot of nonprofits (like the one where I'm assistant director) will, too.

The only way I have been successful at getting people to switch to OpenOffice.org is to simply refuse to (re)install Microsoft Office on their computers. Unfortunately most home users have either pirated copies of MS Office 2000, or it was pre-installed onto their computer when they purchased it and have since lost their CD. Once they know that I will not pirate anything for them they will try OpenOffice.org.

When I build computers I always give the option of using Linux at no additional cost, otherwise I force them to be legal and I charge extra to setup Windows, which ends up being about $150 more than a Linux setup. Also, if they do choose Windows I still setup their machine to dual-boot, which helps when they get a virus they can still access their documents.

So far I have probably setup 2 dozen dual-boot computers and have already installed 10 Linux only computers.

I agree with Mike...it's so easy for folks to ask, "Couldn't you just install Windows on that computer?" Now, I just say, "You can install Linux, and it comes with tons of programs. Give it a whirl. If you must have Windows, keep it for games but do the real work on Linux."

So nice to have "re-discovered" your blog, Solveig. I realized I was missing your voice in the conversation! So, I'm subscribed and you're in the Blogroll!

Take care,
Miguel Guhlin
http://www.mguhlin.net/blog

Hi Jim,

>> Uh... yeah. I already use Oo.O on my home computer, because they made it easy to make .pdf's out of my writer documents. And I'd LOVE to switch to Base from Access... but, like, Access has all these little wizards and button-implementation-in-the-form doodads...[snip] ... Make Base that easy, and I'll switch. And I'll bet a lot of nonprofits (like the one where I'm assistant director) will, too.

I agree, and unfortunately Base is just in its first rev. I wouldn't recommend Base much right now except for pleasant little mail merges and data entry. Reports are kind of limited. I'm actually not sure that OOo should go in that direction, there's so much work to do. I'm not up on my open source databases, but wouldn't a front end on Cloudscape or something be a better approach than the huge amount of work to get OOo Base up to Access ease of use? Just a thought.

Hi Mike,

>> The only way I have been successful at getting people to switch to OpenOffice.org is to simply refuse to (re)install Microsoft Office on their computers. ... When I build computers I always give the option of using Linux at no additional cost, otherwise I force them to be legal and I charge extra to setup Windows, which ends up being about $150 more than a Linux setup. Also, if they do choose Windows I still setup their machine to dual-boot, .... So far I have probably setup 2 dozen dual-boot computers and have already installed 10 Linux only computers.

I reallllly like your approach -- a little tough love, plus this approach is very much like the study mentioned in the blog, of just putting the info in people's hands or at least on their hard drives. And of course, make it very clear what the cost of MS Office/Windows is. I think I'll update my Migrating Groups to OpenOffice.org with some more emphasis on just not having MS Office available, and giving users the choice of how to spend the money.

Hi Miguel,

>> I agree with Mike...it's so easy for folks to ask, "Couldn't you just install Windows on that computer?" Now, I just say, "You can install Linux, and it comes with tons of programs. Give it a whirl. If you must have Windows, keep it for games but do the real work on Linux."

People really do need, and can benefit from, very simple stuff like having to try it. I mean me, too. In Linux (my easy Ubuntu install that I dreaded until I discovered how great it was) and just in general (how often do any of us go to the dentist? ;> ). Sometimes I think the wave of the future is to set up personal assistant/management businesses. Just sign up for $X a month to be told what to do and when to do it. ;>

Thanks for puttin' me in the Blogroll!

Solveig

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