I should acknowledge right from the beginning, it was my fault. I have nobody to blame but myself. But, what followed, was a very pleasant discovery.
My fault – I very seldom turn my computers off. I just close the lids and let them go to sleep. Doesn’t everyone? It’s just that they really should be rebooted from time to time just to have a fresh start. But, I’m bad and don’t until I get a crash or a Microsoft update that needs to reboot the computer so that the new updates can take effect.
So, having said all this, you know what happened. I was entering some marks for my class into LibreOffice, my spreadsheet of choice, when I guess I asked it to do something it didn’t like. I asked it to round off the calculations to one decimal place. Who knew that would cause such grief. Now, we all tell students “save early, save often”, but we never do it ourselves – right? At least not me.
So, LibreOffice crashed and I lost about half an hour’s work and I’m kicking myself for not saving. Of course, LibreOffice will restore from crashed memory upon restart but I wasn’t having of that. Earlier that morning, I had read about Kingsoft Office Suite. So, I figured; what the hey, I’ll use this as an opportunity to download it and kick the tires. After all, the folks at Cnet had given it a glowing review. The author had indicated that they had created a ribbon interface that rivalled Microsoft’s. So, I decided to give it a shot.
I was pleasantly surprised with the software. It was relatively small in size and gives a product that does word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Unlike the original article though, there was no ribbon interface on the free version. Instead, it was a throwback to Office 2003. But, it did a nice job and I got my work done. I played around with it for a while and was impressed with how nicely it worked and, importantly, how quickly it loaded. The other point of note is the discussion at the end of the Cnet article. Want to know thoughts about software developed off-shore, which came first Word or WordPerfect, some other free alternatives, – wade your way through the comments.
The one area that I enjoyed focusing on was the interface and I thought of the tools that I regularly use.
Word Web App
Microsoft Word Starter
and now, Kingsoft Office.
Each of the titles has its own benefits and drawbacks. One of the things that does bother me is how slow a wordprocessor is to start. It was there that the Kingsoft Office really excelled. I was up and running in no time. Of all of them, LibreOffice is the only product that has everything. Each of the others can always have more features once you present a credit card.
But, hey, it was fun. If you’re looking for a change of pace, take a look at Kingsoft Office. I’d be interested in your thoughts.