Copyright: 1996 - 2024
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed
formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit
design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images
and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.
My Hobby Website:
OpenOffice.org - What's in It for You?
OpenOffice.org - What's in It for You?
Solaris, MacOS, these are all operating systems that are supported by the
OpenOffice.org software suite
that is meant to compete with Microsoft's Office package. The price is certainly
right, too. Unlike the MS products, this effort from Sun Microsystems is free to
everybody. Since so many different major operating systems are supported, it means
that you can generate documents on your favorite OS and just about everybody in
the world can use them exactly as you created them.
The most recent version
of OpenOffice, as of the time of this writing, is 2.3. Not too long ago, I downloaded
and installed an earlier version and attempted to port my RF Cascade Workbook spreadsheet
to OpenOffice. Since my Excel spreadsheet has a large number of custom functions
written in the built-in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code, it did not import
well into OpenOffice. Re-writing the entire spreadsheet either without custom functions
(or creating new ones from scratch) or by placing full equations in each cell was
out of the question. I did not have the time or the will. The many people who have
contacted me over the years about making some of the RF Cafe spreadsheets available
for other operating systems would have to wait even longer.
Well, the waiting
is over - I think. OpenOffice v2.3 has thus far done an amazingly good job at importing
RF Cascade Workbook 2005, including all the VBA code. There are some minor incongruities,
but have been easy to resolve. Adjusting for a couple minor formatting and syntax
differences has rendered a spreadsheet that appears to be fully functional except
for the charts. I have not even begun looking into the chart usage, but based on
the success with the rest of the porting process, it will probably not be a problem.
As a result, sometime in the near future, RF Cascade Workbook 2005 will be offered
for use in the OpenOffice environment, finally giving the Microsoft haters ;-) a
venue for using this outstanding spreadsheet.
Unlike Sun Microsystems (JAVA), I cannot afford
to give RF Cascade Workbook away, so it will be priced at the same ridiculously
low price as the existing Excel version.
Something that I have not tried
yet is exporting the OpenOffice spreadsheet to an Excel file format to see whether
the resulting file can be opened in Excel without any modification. That would be
very nice, because it would mean that any future spreadsheets could be designed
in OpenOffice, and then simply exported for Excel users. It would be a
(that's a real word, by the way).
OpenOffice contains word processor, spreadsheet,
vector drawing, database, and presentation elements meant to compete directly with
Word, Excel, Visio, Access, and PowerPoint, respectively. Word documents that I
have tested appear to import perfectly, including all the formatting. With Excel
files, even the background fill patterns for charts are replicated correctly without
any adjustment. OpenOffice will not import a Visio file directly, but if you save
the Visio file in WMF or EMF format (vector), it does a reasonably good job of importing.
According to the OpenOffice website, Visio imports will eventually be supported.
I have not tried opening an Access file yet. The couple PowerPoint files I tested
imported correctly, including a large one (41 slides) with many graphics.
It definitely looks like OpenOffice 2.3 will give Microsoft Office a lot of
competition, provided that Sun can get the word out. This is my small contribution.