My organization of the outline cards into some semblance of a coherent story continues. Because I wanted this to be my first non-windows book since I switched over from AmiPro, I went ahead and downloaded a Windows version of OpenOffice yesterday, since that’s what will be shipping with my version of Mandrake Linux, and installed it this morning while I was shuffling scene cards looking for the main thread. Mostly, OpenOffice not bad, though it was clearly designed for the needs of short-document writers. However, it has (unless I’m missing something huge) the one fault that makes it unusable for me. There appears to be no way to change the page view from white page with black letters to blue page (or green, or black — I don’t care) with white letters, which is so much easier on the eyes. I’m not talking about changing page color (which also changes the color of what prints) — I’m talking about page view, which prints default black on white while showing you white on blue. If one of you guys knows how to do this, please let me know.
Meanwhile, having realized that my eyes weren’t going to tolerate OpenOffice, I went looking for Windows emulators for Linux. And found WINE, a free open-source Windows-emulator that, from reading comments, doesn’t do to badly with many programs. You can browse the apps list and find out if the app you love in Windows is supported, and if so, how well or badly. Don’t think if you find the name of your program in there that it’s automatically supported. Rather, click on the link under Version, and take a look at user comments. Here are the comments on Word 97, for example.
I wasn’t too thrilled by the shaky support for Word — I DO use the advanced features, and heavily.
So then there’s Crossover Office, which looks like it will do exactly what I want it to do. It isn’t free — but then, I’m not looking for free. I’m looking for functional. I’m looking to get off of Windows, because 98 crashes all the time and I am ethically opposed to the invasion of my privacy that the use of WindowsXP would require. If I can get Mandrake running when it gets here, this is the route I will probably take.
Finally, if you’re a Windows user who has never considered switching to Linux or another operating system, Read this page on why running your Windows apps on a Linux box may be a good idea. It’s thought-provoking reading.
Back to work. I still haven’t found the one thread that will tie the whole book together, though I can almost taste it now…