Shell's TechBlabber

…ShelLuser blogs about stuff ;)

Microsoft Word vs. LibreOffice Writer

You know what the biggest problem is with reviews? They’re written (or recorded) by people who have a certain bias either towards or against the product. Now there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that perse, but when it becomes obvious that this bias is also affecting the review then I think you got a bit of a problem because it will make the whole thing look out of place.

So before I continue I’d like to state that I am definitely biased towards Microsoft Office and that this blog post was even fully written within Word 2016 (I usually rely on Open Live Writer), so do with this as you want.

Fortunately for us the Document Foundation (= group behind the LibreOffice project) didn’t go here and instead set up an extensive feature comparison. However, the problem with that is that it becomes awkward if you see that some people apparently consider it an important feature that a product still supports obsolete standards. For example: when was the last time than you opened a PCX graphics file?

Therefor I figured I’d install LibreOffice and do a small comparison myself. And honestly? LibreOffice is an amazing and most definitely an impressive project. However… the saying that “you get what you pay for” still holds true today.

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April 28, 2019 Posted by | Editorial, Microsoft Office, TechBlabber | , , , , | Comments Off on Microsoft Word vs. LibreOffice Writer

Why I bought MS Office despite Libre & Open–Office being available?

office-365-icon-0When my PC crashed last year I had many administrative tasks on my todo list which were quite important to me. Fortunately I always kept the risk of my PC crashing in mind and maintained a KDE desktop on my FreeBSD server which included Libre Office and that seriously saved my hide. Well, apart from the ability to print, for some reason CUPS didn’t properly support my Samsung multi-function network printer even though it claimed to do so (the driver was even named after it).

Fast forward to the here and now; I got a new PC running Windows 10 and have less administrative tasks to perform. So surely Libre Office would be the perfect candidate, also considering that I’m quite familiar with it, right? Well… no. I ended up getting myself an Office 2016 pro license which only cost me around E 50,-. None of that 365 subscription nonsense: just a license and the desktop applications. And that made some of my friends wonder; why would you want to pay for an Office version when there’s free stuff available? And how did you get Office so cheap, doesn’t that normally cost hundreds of dollars?

Sounds like a good topic for my blog 😉

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March 4, 2019 Posted by | Microsoft Office, TechBlabber | , , , , , | Comments Off on Why I bought MS Office despite Libre & Open–Office being available?

Replacing NetBeans with Visual Studio Code

logoAlthough I’m not a fulltime programmer I’ve always been interested in software development, and during my time as Solaris systems administrator I quickly developed a fondness for Java.

Although it’s perfectly possible to write Java programs on a command line (which is even recommended as a learning experience) you’ll be more efficient when using an Integrated Development Environment, or IDE for short.

I quickly took a liking to the NetBeans IDE and have been using it ever since I got hold of version 4.1, now more than 12 years ago.

This week though it all came to an end.

And the most ironic part? I’m now using software which was designed and developed by none other than Microsoft, the competitor for Java if there ever was one. Am I slowly turning into a Microsoftie? 😉

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February 13, 2019 Posted by | Editorial, java, Software | , , , , | Comments Off on Replacing NetBeans with Visual Studio Code

Windows 10 is amazing!

win10_logoIn November last year my trusty Windows 7 32bit machine with a whooping 4Gb of memory (of which only 2,7Gb could be used due to the 32bit restrictions) crashed for reasons unknown (later examination hints that the power supply might have failed). And this left me with quite a problem because it was the only Windows machine I had. And to make matters worse: in an attempt at creating redundancy I had set up dynamic disks to mirrored those. The strategy was perfect, but unfortunately you can’t easily access dynamic disks on another PC.

Alas; I managed to cope, thanks to my FreeBSD backup desktop, and had set my mind on getting a new PC. I wanted to go high end and earlier in January this year the new machine finally arrived. As one could expect it ran Windows 10, the same OS I had been actively trying to avoid for a long time (I even applied registry changes and installed anti-upgrade software to ensure that my Windows 7 environment wouldn’t get hijacked).

Although I did consider a downgrade first, as always, I gave the new environment a fair chance. And honestly? I came to enjoy Windows 10 quite a bit, I think it’s actually pretty good!

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February 10, 2019 Posted by | Editorial, Software, Windows | , , , | Comments Off on Windows 10 is amazing!

How open are ‘open standards’ exactly?

VP_EAs you may (or may not) know I’m quite passionate about so called modeling languages; modeling standards which are often used within the field of software design. Some languages which I use on a regular basis are UML, BPMN, ERD and some diagrams which are specific for my modeling tool of choice: Visual Paradigm.

This week marks a bit of a milestone for me because quite recently I gained access to the Enterprise edition of Visual Paradigm which introduced me to Enterprise Architecture.

Although I was already roughly familiar with the concepts I never really followed up on those because I didn’t see the need. But now that I can get hands-on experience with Enterprise modeling languages and frameworks such as ArchiMate, TOGAF and BMM I figured I should do some research. ArchiMate for example is described as an “open and independant enterprise architecture modeling language”. It’s even developed by the ‘Open Group’ so surely this is as open and transparent as it gets, right? Well… maybe not.

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June 21, 2018 Posted by | Editorial, Visual Paradigm | , , , , , , | Comments Off on How open are ‘open standards’ exactly?

Looking at software design with Visual Paradigm

vp_logo

Visual Paradigm is a program which can very well change the way you approach software design. Its key goal is to provide an environment which gives you full access to the most commonly used standards in design modelling while also making sure that despite the complexity with some of those models you’ll always have the right tools at your fingertips.

Now, I need to get one thing out of the way: I am probably biased. I’ve been using Visual Paradigm for over 8 years now and I still seriously like this software.

But then again, I’ve also been using some design models, like UML, for a long time as well and I also continue to appreciate what those have to offer. So… Time to do a review on a software product which has seriously changed the way I approach software developing.

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April 22, 2017 Posted by | Editorial, TechBlabber, Visual Paradigm | , , , , | Comments Off on Looking at software design with Visual Paradigm