[Techtalk] "I need to use Windows because ..."

Suzi Anvin suzi at anvin.org
Sat Aug 10 11:09:07 EST 2002

LOL having been the start of this thread on the aforementioned "other 
list"  I will bring over my "complaints"

1) Wordprocessing.  I swear I am cursed.  I cannot get Open Office to 
work on any machine in this office.  I hear it is what I need.  I tried 
to download an RPM and chickened out when it asked for a half a dozen 
new dependencies.  I then tried compiling from source overnight, it 
crashed.  I tried downloading RH 8.0 and installing it on another 
machine, OO wouldn't open. My latest OO bongle - I downloaded the tar 
for 1.0.1 from the OO site.  I did the multiuser install bit as root, no 
problems.  When I went to do the user install, it said it was unable to 
creat folders.  (yes, I've bug reported) *sigh*

I'm in the process of trying the latest abiword as it had a new version 
since I last gave up on Linux in February, back then it crashed on 
tables and wouldn't let me resize collumns.  This may solve this 
problem.  What I really really really want is for Corell's linux 
versions to actually work, WP 10 is what I used over on Windows, and it 
is 10X the office suite of anything MS puts out.  WP9 blows.  *sigh* 
I'd prefer an office suite to a plain word processor because I need some 
sort of slideshow/presentation maker program.

So I guess here the problem is, there are solutions but it is becomeing 
extremely painful to make them work.

2) Data analysis tools.  I needs an SPSS (Statistical Package for the 
social sciences) clone for linux.  Something that can do complex 
ANOVA's, correlations on a large number of variables, hierarchical 
regression equations, factor analysis, etc.  and spit out all the 
numbers into a pretty presentation ready forms.  (and pretty please add 
a scripting language that is actually useful for writing in equations 
the program doesn't have?  please?)  I've had people ask which *excell* 
functions I need a database program in  Linux to emulate (which means 
they don't even have that many functions?).  LOL.  Excell has a lot of 
stats, but it won't let you set enough parameters, and it doesn't do 
complex multivariate stuff.  I know many students over many fields, 
including some in mathematics and physics, that use this software to do 
data analysis, so while it may be specialized, it isn't rare.  EVERY 
university has a liscence for it, as far as I know.

I know this one is asking for something more specialized than the 
average user needs, but it is something I need.  :)  I'm thinking that 
GNUmeric looks wonderfully modular and could be used as the starting 
point to create this.  And I'm learning C as we speak...  But I would be 
so thrilled if it existed and I didn't even know it!

3) turbo tax clone.  I can't afford to pay for an accountant to actually 
write up the whole tax thingy for me, although our family taxes are 
complex enough that we often consult with someone on the details. 
Filing by hand would be unreasonable by now.  I know this would be a 
VERY difficult project, especially since it changes every year.

4) still struggling with general laptop peripheral issues.  Linux laptop 
and USB support sucks.  Sorry, it just does.  I am having trouble with 
scanner support, camera support (had trouble getting Gphoto2 to install, 
*sigh*), reading flash cards (it simply doesn't recognise them), CD 
drive support for things like rescue CD's (*big sigh*) and have yet to 
play with the palm pilot software but I worry about that too...  I can't 
leave my USB CD drive plugged in for the constant stream of packets it 
sends back and forth with the OS, which slows the machine to a crawl, etc.

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