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If they can do it, I believe Filipinos can, too!

Posted by rom on February 5, 2006

News of the French police force moving to Firefox from Microsoft Internet Explorer after moving from Microsoft Office to is a big win for the open source community. Can it be done in the Philippines? Of course! It only takes one Cabinet secretary to publicly declare support for open source applications over proprietary applications and I am sure that the rest will follow. The question is “who is brave enough to do it?

Government officials are being accused of favouring ICT solutions that will only guarantee that they get a chunk of the contract as well, i.e. commissions from the deal. You cannot blame people for thinking that way after decades of graft and corruption in the government. I am sure that there are honest government officials out there but are they brave enough? Now that is the question.

At least in UP, we have publicly declared support to Open Source. How about the rest? Cowards!


Posted in Firefox, Open Systems, | Leave a Comment »

Travelling light

Posted by rom on February 3, 2006

In a few weeks, I will be travelling down south for the JEDI Night party. Since I will only be spending one night there, I have decided not to bring my notebook and simply bring my iPod (for entertainment) and my digital camera.

Without my notebook, I may need to access the ‘net for email and news. I already have Cross-platform Portable Firefox on the iPod shuffle along with Portable 2.0.1. For some strange reason, however, I can’t copy Portable Adium – it spits out an error message. Apart from, all the other portable apps run on the Mac. Anything else I missed?

Posted in Apple, Firefox, Microsoft,, Tips and Tricks | Leave a Comment »

Writing with Writely

Posted by rom on January 2, 2006

As I am typing this, I have two sessions running on Writely – one is a document that needs to be submitted tomorrow and another is a small Java code that I am playing with. I’d say that I am impressed! At first I thought that I will automatically dismiss it but when I found out that it supports Open Document Format, I gave it another look. 😀

Now I cannot wait to see what Google will do with 😛

Posted in Apple, Firefox, | Leave a Comment »

What good can standards bring?

Posted by rom on December 15, 2005

One thing good about standards is that there are too many to choose from. 😀 This is probably what Microsoft has in mind. It is their effort in making sure that they keep their office productivity suite dominance. Unfortunately, more and more organizations are seeing the evil of their ways. Proprietary file formats is so passe! Open standards is the way to go.

The Open Document Format is what is being pushed by the likes of Sun, and IBM, among others. Microsoft is proposing an Open XML format. Why create another one and not just support ODF? What makes Open XML more superior if only Microsoft will support it? No sense in that, imho. Third-party companies will create filters to convert files between the two formats – isn’t this what is happening now even with Microsoft’s proprietary file formats? So it is the same banana – xml or not!
If Microsoft will not support ODF and only support Open XML, then get the best of both worlds by using an application that supports both, right? I am sure that open source developers will come up with native Open XML support in applications such as’s Office suite.

Sorry, I just do not see the logic behind the Open XML format. C’mon Microsoft, you cannot beat ’em, just join ’em and support ODF!

Posted in Microsoft, | Leave a Comment » 2.0 Easter Egg

Posted by rom on December 12, 2005

ON Calc, choose a cell and type =Game(“StarWars”) and press Enter. Check it out! Works on the Mac,too!

Posted in | Leave a Comment »

Serving two masters

Posted by rom on December 3, 2005

Apple now considers Linux as a threat. Am a Linux user first before a Mac user and I cannot simply abandon Linux in favor of the Mac even if I am such a Mac addict.

Linux is a solution for geeks who love to tinker with their machines. It is a solution for those who cannot afford to buy a Mac. There are still a lot of advantages of having Linux but I do admit that Mac OS X also comes with its own advantages.

Living with both is possible. I just hope that Apple does not completely abandon the open source community simply because it perceives it as a threat. I am still hoping that Apple will support the Open Document Format for compatibility with

iWork 2.0 with a spreadsheet built-in will make me not dependent on for my basic office suite needs. (I use LaTeX for my documents) However, it is also important that iWork interoperates with other applications and in my case, is much more important that MS Office! [hey, there is an MS Office suite for the Mac already anyway!]

Posted in Apple, Linux, | Leave a Comment »


Posted by rom on November 24, 2005

NeoOffice/J 1.2a is just released. This now uses the stable Apple Java Virtual Machine version 1.4.2 (although I wish that it uses Java 5.0 already since it is much faster, IMHO). It also supports the OpenDocument format – as an import filter. Unfortunately, ODT is not yet its standard file format.

I’ll stick with 2.0 with its X11 interface on my Mac until NeoOffice/J 2.0 is released – hope it is based on the 2.0 code base.

Posted in Apple, | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft hints of releasing Office XML-based file format

Posted by rom on November 23, 2005

A blog hints that Microsoft may release their proprietary XML-based Office file format for standardization. I think it is a way for Microsoft to combat the OASIS OpenDocument format, a format supported by the free and open source project, Office suite.

If this will indeed happen, users of and StarOffice and other products that support the OpenDocument format will benefit more. Why? It will allow the users to properly (read: 99.9% accuracy) convert Microsoft Office formats sent to them by microserfs. WE get the best of both worlds, not that the Office file format is better, of course.
Microsoft should join the bandwagon and support OpenDocument format instead. It will work to their advantage – specially when institutions and organizations follow the way of others like Massachusetts.

Posted in Microsoft, | Leave a Comment »