OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta : A complete Office Suite

The public beta release of OpenOffice.org 3.0 is now available for download. You can install it along with your existing OpenOffice.org 2.4 installation. You don’t need to uninstall 2.4 to give 3.0 beta a try. 3.0 Beta has got some cool interface. Other than that some noticable features are:

  • You get a desktop icon to launch OpenOffice.org 3.0
  • Once you start you will see a Start Centre where you can select what you want to do, new fresh looking icons and a new zoom control in the status bar.
  • View multiple pages in Writer.
  • OpenOffice.org 3.0 supports Microsoft Office 2007 file formats (*.docx, *.pptx, *.xlsx etc.)
  • Calc now has a linear optimization solver. It finds a set of values that maximize or minimize an objective function while satisfying a set of constraints.
  • At some places you will see new theme, kind of glass effect.
  • The most sought feature in Impress : native tables is now available with 3.0. You will get some cool table designs as in Office 2007.
  • Instead of only 256 columns, now it supports 1024 columns.
  • 3.0 supports for spreadsheet collaboration through workbook sharing.
  • Numerous chart enhancements.
  • Improved crop feature in Draw and Impress.
  • And a good news for Mac OS X users, OpenOffice.org 3.0 will run without X11 with the look and feel of any other aqua application.
  • Read here to know more about what is new in OpenOffice.org 3.0.

About OpenOffice.org 3.0

Start Centre

In nutshell, OpenOffice.org 3.0 is an excellent release. Considering the fact that it is still in Beta, we may expect couple of other enhancements going forward.
For the ones who haven’t tried it yet, OpenOffice.org is a complete Office suite of applications like Microsoft Office and is available free of cost. Ubuntu and other Linux users get this by default with their distro.

If you are not a big fan of MS Office and haven’t got a free copy, then OpenOffice is the way to go. It is FREE and at least will save some $200 for you. You can install it with any operating system, Windows, Linux (already installed) and Mac OS X.  If you don’t want to install the beta version, then you can download the stable version of OpenOffice.org 2.4 from here.

25 Reasons to use Ubuntu Linux instead of Windows

Lots of people argue why I should use Linux (any distro, I prefer Ubuntu) when I am currently using Windows or Mac. Given a chance to select your choice of operating system (OS), people may prefer to use Linux than anything else. The other thing which prevents users using Linux is the hardware support which is not that good currently for Linux. But that is because we have been living in a world where Windows is being forced to everyone when they buy PC. That’s why hardware manufacturers are also forced to support Windows first than any other thing. But this support has increased tremendously over last couple of years. At the same time Linux community has developed itself in making Linux (Ubuntu in particular) more user friendly.
Anyways that is an ongoing debate whether you should use Linux or Windows or Mac. And at some point it is a personal choice as well.
I thought of collating some reasons which might make you think twice while buying another Windows PC. And if you currently use Linux, then please add a comment to this post, why you use Linux and which distro you use so that others can get more information about it:

  1. Ubuntu is Free and so any other Linux distro. (Saved ~ $250)
  2. You don’t have to buy Office (Word, Power-point, Excel etc.) separately. It comes with OpenOffice preinstalled. (Saved ~ $200)
  3. You don’t have to buy costly hardwares for the basic need. (RAM. Processor, HDD etc.)
  4. Ubuntu is more stable.
  5. You are free from Viruses so you don’t have to buy another upgrade of Norton or any other Antivirus software. (Saved ~ $75)
  6. When you have installed Ubuntu, you don’t have to install anything else to get you started with your productivity.
  7. You don’t have to wait for years for the bugs to get fixed. You can track them down in Ubuntu.
  8. You can update everything on your system with just one update manager. No need to run separate Update manger for all the softwares you installed. (Saves your system resources.)
  9. Don’t get tired restarting your computer all the time. You do it almost never with Ubuntu.
  10. You are free from Pirated softwares. With Ubuntu you can share it with as many people as you want and it is LEGAL.
  11. Don’t have to bother searching the web for new softwares. Ubuntu gets a whole lot of software free of cost to you.
  12. Play hundreds of games for Free.
  13. Your PC won’t get slower day by day. It happens in Windows only.
  14. Use MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, Gtalk, Yahoo and many more with a single program. No need to install separate software for the same thing.
  15. Tired of managing multiple windows on your screen. You can use workspaces to manage your work.
  16. You old computer will get a second life. Because Ubuntu does not need those high resources as Windows.
  17. Jump into the next generation of desktop themes with Compiz fusion and all with lot less resources than Windows Vista.
  18. With Ubuntu, you are always free. Free as in Freedom and in Free Beer. Ubuntu is free and will always remain free. (Saves ~ $200 every 2 years when Microsoft releases a new version of its operating system and you have to buy it.
  19. All future upgrades of Ubuntu are provided free of cost. Upgrades are released every 6 months.
  20. Upgrades are installed automatically. You don’t have to bother about losing your data and redoing lots of personalization. *Edit* The updates are installed with your permission and only if you want them…not in the background without you knowing it. – Thanks freeber – A Ubuntu User
  21. You can tweak your desktop wallpaper or any other setting the way you want it. You can make it look like Windows or Mac (if you want.). You can even get the sidebar you were fascinated in Vista.
  22. You don’t have to defrag your hard disk every now and then to boost the performance. Ubuntu does it for you automatically.
  23. You don’t have to go to a shop to buy operating system. You can download it anytime you want it and burn it on a CD. You can even burn it on a re-writable CD to save some CDs.
  24. Thousand of user are there to help you with when you are stuck. Become a part of Ubuntuforums.
  25. You will get free and Long Term Support (LTS) for Ubuntu. Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop version also will get a LTS. (17 days to go for the release version.)

I think these many reason are enough to get you started with Ubuntu or any other Linux flavor. Keep visiting this blog for more information on Linux, Ubuntu in particular.  If you want to try it now you can download Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron (Beta) now and later it will be updated to the released version.

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Wi-fi in Sky on JetBlue Airways

As you might be already aware of that the low-cost airline JetBlue has equipped one of its Airbus A320 planes with an on board wireless network to give passengers access to the companies’ e-mail and instant messaging functions while in the air.

JetBlue

JetBlue is the first domestic carrier to test it with their new BetaBlue airplane. Passengers with WiFi-enabled laptops or Blackberry devices on the plane can connect for free to the on-board wireless network. Once connected, they can communicate with friends, family and colleagues on the ground using customized versions of both Yahoo! Messenger for the Web and Yahoo! Mail.

YMAfter signing into Yahoo! Messenger you will see which of your Yahoo! or Live Messenger friends are online. You can send them instant messages. Even if a friend isn’t online, you can use the built in SMS feature to send a text message right to their mobile phone. If they reply back, you get it right in Yahoo! Messenger.

A few special status messages that let your friends know you’re flying high with JetBlue. “Head in the clouds – seriously”, “Sleeping on the Plane” and “Ugh! Crying baby on flight” are just a few. Or choose “Custom Message…” and get creative.

When your status is set to one of the flight-specific messages, your friends will see your airborne status and be able to click on it, where they can view your flight location and status in real-time. (Credit : Yahoo!)

JetBlue’s BetaBlue plane is the first to offer these free services to its passengers. While you can’t specifically request the BetaBlue plane for your next JetBlue journey, be sure to keep your laptop handy the next you fly with them. You might just get a chance to try out Yahoo! Messenger from 30,000 feet in the air. Passengers won’t be able to surf the full Web. BlackBerry owners who have Wi-Fi-enabled handsets will be able to access their personal and corporate e-mail. BlackBerry models that have only cellular connections rather than Wi-Fi won’t be compatible.

Whether or not the airlines charge for WiFi, there is a cost, and that cost is likely to be passed onto consumers in one form or another. Well, I would love free WiFi on planes, but I think charging a small amount for those who choose to use it would be fair. Other problems which users faced were the power outlets, simultaneous wi-fi access and battery recharging. In the coming time hopefully those issues will get resolved.

Jaxtr : International Calls for FREE

Jaxtr

I got to know a very good service for bloggers. With this service bloggers can be in touch with their readers without even revealing their actual number. This new service is Jaxtr. Let us see how it works and what jaxtr is?

What is jaxtr?

 

  • Jaxtr links your regular phone to the web, so you can hear from any caller worldwide while keeping your existing phone number private. You can even control who calls you so that your regular phone is not always ringing. (If you are that popular.)
  • You don’t need another handset like Skype as it works with any phone you already use, including ordinary landline phones. Moreover, you don’t need to download anything and install on your computer.
  • Be happy, as Jaxtr is Free. So you can call friends and family overseas at the same cost and with the same convenience as calling a friend down the street. (Source: Jaxtr)

How to make it work for you?

 

  1. Register for jaxtr.
  2. Link your regular phone(s) where you want to receive/make calls.
  3. Create a widget for your blog or social network or email signature etc if you want.
  4. Invite your friends.
  5. Put this on your blog as you can see in my sidebar.
  6. You are all set.
  7. When you plan to call one of your friends, just create a number for them in your account. (Remember, you have to provide your number when it says, ‘Call me Free’, you don’t have to enter your friends’ phone number.)
  8. Jaxtr will assign a number for your friend so that you can call them anytime you want for free.
  9. Every month you get 100 free jax minutes.

Cool, hmm…. Enjoy another free service to be in touch with your friends.
Call anurag.aries from your phone!