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OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:50 am
by Maeve
(I'm new-ish to the forum; and yes, I've tried searching the forums first, & read the Survival Guide. Apologies if I get anything wrong here.)

I've an old Dell Inspiron 9400. OS is Lubuntu 14.04 (which a friend picked out, as he said it's a Ubuntu version that this good old clunker can handle.)
(Original OS that came with it is Windows XP, which is still functional, but I'm not using much.)

But I realize now that the "AbiWord" word processor isn't likely to be up to documents I need to work on:
like book manuscripts of 400+ pages, with some advanced formatting. (Including ebook master docs, heavily dependent on internal hyperlinks, styles, etc.)
Open Office Writer was recommended to me by Smashwords, as being fit to fulfill their ebook document file requirements.

So is there a particular version of OO / Writer that will be safe to use with this laptop, and won't ruin the formatting of a 400-page book?

(Could I get a newer computer, you ask? Perhaps sometime. But in financial downturn, this computer is a gift & only one available to me at the minute. Work that I need it for is urgent.)
Thanks so much for looking over this question. Hope I said everything alright.

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:58 am
by Villeroy
Open a terminal
Run
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
sudo apt-get install libreoffice

Enter your password and you get an equivalent office suite "LibreOffice" automatically downloaded and installed.
LibreOffice is an offspring of OpenOffice.

What you might have installed already is AbiWord for writing and the Gnumeric spreadsheet which are both excellent, fast and light weight.

P.S. You know all this already from your own topic https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/v ... hp?t=62509
Personally, I can not see any reason why one wants to install OpenOffice instead of LibreOffice on a Linux system. LibreOffice can do more. OpenOffice is no longer developed. The current OO version could be the last version.
If you are very new to your Linux system, you should abstain from installing anything that is not in the repositories.

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:08 am
by Maeve
Thanks so much for your quick reply.
Yes, AbiWord is in with the Lubuntu package. I just had doubts if it's built for all those complex tasks. Or if it's just like a "Wordpad" sort of thing.
You think it's just as good as Open Office Writer / LibreOffice?

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:17 am
by Villeroy

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:02 pm
by jrkrideau
Maeve wrote:You think it's just as good as Open Office Writer / LibreOffice?


For what you want, probably not. However, I am basing my assessment on a fairly limited trial run of Abiword so I easily could be wrong. I would not recommend it for complicated academic publishing but I may well be wrong.

For normal business correspondence use or for writing fiction which does not require complicated formatting it looks excellent and it probably is more than adequate for most undergraduate university writing needs.

I don't think you would have any problem running AOO or LO on your computer. I have it installed on an Inspiron| 600 m that a friend gave me. I keep it as a backup and loaner and have not used it in about a year but IIRC AOO was working fine under both XP and Win7 (I think with 4.1.x AOO) so either AOO or LO should be fine with Lubuntu

I'd install the current version of LO using Villeroy's code and see what happens. It's not that hard to purge it and downgrade to an earlier version if required. And the price is right :)

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:28 am
by esperantisto
Maeve wrote:So is there a particular version of OO / Writer that will be safe to use with this laptop, and won't ruin the formatting of a 400-page book?


I would stick to Apache OpenOffice 4.2.0 for such a task.

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:50 am
by RoryOF
Any change of word processor is liable to cause some change. major or minor as the case may be, in a preformatted text, so one must be prepared to rectify any such formatting changes after the change, but if one works using OO in .odt format they should then remain stable. I have used OpenOffice in its various editions for the past eight or so years, mostly running on Xubuntu, and it has handled all book projects I have given it, irrespective of size. My ad hoc test for a word processor is that it should be able to handle a text of the size of Tolstoy's "War and Peace", even if slowly.

I tried short experiments using AbiWord and Calligra but these were unable to handle to my satisfaction the preformatted texts I passed to them.

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:59 pm
by Maeve
Thanks so much everybody for all these helpful replies.

Yes, Villeroy, I was in a similar dilemma 3 years ago... But on a different, much newer computer (since gone to its reward) & different ubuntu version. Actually ended up installing OO on the Windows7 side. Learned a good deal since, thanks to you all. But that laptop is no more.

Hi Rory, ol Pooh Bear! and jrkrideau. Wow, yeh, lucky youse turned up. You know what I'm talkin about! I did give AbiWord a test run with the 400-pp doc & it crashed every time it tried to open it. Thanks for the observation, yes, changing word processors is liable to screw up formatting. The present doc I'm working on was created in Open Office. So it would be good to continue on that.
.
Clicked download AOO & the computer said "Open this file?" & I said OK. But hasn't done anything, & can't find it anywhere, in any folder. Where could it be hiding? (But perhaps that's a question for another thread.)
So I'm running the LO code to install that Villeroy provided above, & it seems to be installing away

I had a list of maddening bugs in LO which I never turned in to anyone. One of the worst is its tendency to insert page breaks at the end of every paragraph! (#@!!??//#) Without warning when a doc is re-opened (or printed.) AbiWord showing signs of the same bug. (What is it with that? Thought these things would have been worked out by now.)

esperantisto wrote:I would stick to Apache OpenOffice 4.2.0 for such a task.

Thanks esperantisto. But did you mean 4.1.0 ? I'm not seeing a 4.2.0

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:24 am
by Maeve
LO installed OK! Hooray!
AOO downloaded in bits (tgz file in two parts.) Maybe try again.

I'll try to mark this question resolved when I see how I do with working on the doc.
Thanks so much

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:03 am
by RoryOF
I don't run LibreOffice or Lubuntu. I use OpenOffice and Xubuntu on all my computers. There is a method of installing OO and LibreOffice alongside each other, which I have never tried and haven't looked up. When I wish to install OpenOffice, I find it easiest to remove all traces of LibreOffice first. This I do by starting a terminal and typing
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
sudo apt purge libreoffice*

note that the trailing * is important.

In this posting
https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=83094#p385310
I give detailed instructions for installing OO on Lubuntu (or any DEB using linux)

The latest OO is 4.1.2 (4.1.3 with minor fixes is in the pipeline)

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:33 am
by esperantisto
Maeve wrote:Thanks esperantisto. But did you mean 4.1.0 ? I'm not seeing a 4.2.0


I have Apache OpenOffice 4.2.0, that’s what the Help → About OpenOffice menu item says. Perhaps, it is a developer’s build, I don’t really remember as it has been quite a time since I had downloaded and installed it.

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:40 am
by Zizi64
I have Apache OpenOffice 4.2.0, that’s what the Help → About OpenOffice menu item says.


There is NOT AOO 4.2.0 today. Can you upload a screenshot about the "About" informations of your software?

The latest available stable version is the 4.1.2:
AboutAOO412.png

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:40 am
by RoryOF
It is a developer's build. Current is OO 4.1.2, with 4.1.3 approaching RC1 stage; initial planning is in place for 4.2.0 but any builds of this are not recommended for production work.

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:27 am
by esperantisto
aoo420.png
Apache OpenOffice 4.2.0 exists!
Zizi64 wrote:There is NOT AOO 4.2.0 today. Can you upload a screenshot about the "About" informations of your software?


There is. See attached, doubting Zizi64 :-)

RoryOF wrote:…4.2.0 but any builds of this are not recommended for production work.


This is a mere precaution. The build that I use works just fine (as you can see, it’s quite old dating back to 2015), much better that any official release of LibreOffice (not to mention micro$oft’s bag of bugs).

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:49 am
by Zizi64
There is not on the official download page:

AOOofficial_download_page.png


But there is a warning on the developer's page:

AOOofficial_download_page2.png

Re: OpenOffice work on old computer? (Dell Inspiron 9400)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:09 am
by Maeve
Hi everybody. So grateful for all your very informative replies.

Even disagreements like "is there such a thing as 4.2.0?" has helped. Cuz it tells me more about how OO develops. And I feel a little less dumb for being unsure of some things!

Pardon I've not yet added "Solved" to this question. I haven't forgotten. But I cannot yet report with confidence whether OO is going to work on this dear old clunker.

As noted above, most recent attempt to download OO was not successful.

I'll try excellent advice re removing LO & installing OO.

No doubt you so kindly volunteer your assistance because you may realize that many people out there struggle with inadequate technical means: whether knowledge, experience, equipment... Also limited net access / time to work on problems when they come up.

Apologies if my process here seems a bit retarded. ... It is! Albeit this problem is a huge priority. Sometimes the problem is how to get to problem number one on the list!