Thursday, June 10, 2004

Open Source/Shareware Word Processors for Mac OS X

So I spent some time the other day searching for a decent, inexpensive word processor for my Mac. Apple Works just doesn't cut it. We have a Linux machine too and have OpenOffice for that machine. OpenOffice is okay, but it's just so ugly. If I'm going to have to stare at something for long periods of time, it should look nice. Plus, it does weird things with my fonts.

So I downloaded a version of OpenOffice for Mac--NeoOffice/J. It's ugly, too. It's a java-based application that looks just like OpenOffice for Linux. Plus, I couldn't open a document. I could create a new one, but I was never able to open one--not good. Granted, it's beta, so you can't expect much, but still . . .

So then I downloaded a program called Mellel. It's actually very pretty and seems quite functional. It looks like Safari and has the formatting palette just like Microsoft Word. I haven't run this program through all of its paces, but I'm planning to in the next couple of days. This program seems to offer the most promise so far. It only costs $29, which is quite a bargain.

I have just downloaded Nisus Writer Express to see what it's like. It looks nice from the screen shots, but we'll see. I'd also heard about Mariner, but they offered no free trial, so I couldn't test it out.

I also looked into AbiWord, but it's only available for 10.3 and I haven't upgraded yet.

I must say I find this whole process frustrating, but I suppose there aren't too many options on a Windows machine either. You either go with Word, WordPerfect, or OpenOffice. I would really like a better alternative to Microsoft Word and I'm willing to pay for it, though I have limits.

Ultramookie has some good comments about all of these.

Tomorrow--some stuff about Multimedia.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Initial Musings

I'm coming off a week of training students in Web Design and Multimedia--five days, 8 hours a day. They're an interesting group of students, all with different talents and ideas. Although it is really intense to be helping seven students at once with a wide variety of questions--how do you do a rollover and what is a motion tween anyway--it's neat to see their progress.

To give you an idea of the kinds of things I do--with school out and all--here's what transpired today. I assigned a student to teach a professor how to edit video using iMovie; I helped a staff member scan a document to send to alums; I helped another staff member edit a web page and re-post it. Then I copied a DVD--homemade--for another professor. I also listened to 20 progress reports on the projects the above students were working on. All coming along--course it's only been a week.

Once things settle down a bit--next week--I hope to have some meatier musings.