Posts Tagged ‘#openoffice’

Office Confusion

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 6th, 2011

One of the most confusing software ideas with our customers is WINDOWS vs OFFICE.  Lots of folks get the two confused, or don’t know the difference.  That’s no surprise, since they’re both Microsoft® products.  Windows™ is an Operating System; it’s the software that allows your PC to do all the cool stuff that it does, and to use all your hardware correctly.  Office, on the other hand, is a set of productivity programs that include (at least) Word, Excel, and Powerpoint… more if you shell out for the high end packages.  NOTE:  These DO NOT come with Windows!   But most PC’s lately are shipping with a trial version that you have to pay to activate.  There are several bundles to choose from, and a new version comes out every few years…the latest is Office 2010.  Here’s a chart that tells which is whichThese things are expensive, and if you buy them BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR PRODUCT KEY in a safe place.  If you ever want to transfer or reinstall the software, you’ll need it.  If you don’t want to buy it (or can’t afford it) there’s a great Open Source version of the suite called OpenOffice.  It can read and create Word files, Excel spreadsheets, and a whole lot more…and it’s FREE!  You can download it here.

Databases

Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis January 28th, 2011

What’s a database (DB)?  It’s a way to organize information so that it can easily be viewed, organized, and accessed.  It allows you to keep track of all the relationships between each piece of data (so they’re sometimes called RELATIONAL databases).  Most PC users are already using a “canned” DB of some type or another.  Financial software for your books or taxes are a common example.  But did you know you can create your own?  MS Access or OpenOffice Base are two database programs that allow you to create ANY kind of database you want, from Movie Collections to Recipes.  A lot of small businesses start by building Excel spreadsheets or Word templates for all their common documents (invoices, etc.) but this can quickly get out of hand once they have a lot of customers.  That’s a good time to change to a database.  They’re designed to handle HUGE amounts of data with minimum clutter and maximum tracking.  There are almost ALWAYS a pre-made, or canned, version of DB’s for any type of business or activity you can imagine, but if you have the time, or know a good tech, it’s better to build your own.  Then you get EXACTLY what you want/need instead of conforming to some programmer’s ideas.