Is FreeBSD simple enough for Novices, Will FreeBSD accept Office 98 + Publisher?

Garrett Cooper youshi10 at
Sat Apr 28 06:58:23 UTC 2007

Zhang Weiwu wrote:
> On Sat, 2007-04-28 at 14:30 +0800, Zhang Weiwu wrote:
>> Dear James
>> run Office 98.
>> However the OpenOffice office suit which by default installed in SuSE
>> and Ubuntu is superior than Office 98 in functionality, and can open
>> your old Office 98 documents just fine 
> I forgot to mention: using OpenOffice is completely free of charge, this
> software can also be used on MacOS. It's my everyday office life. And
> using OpenOffice you don't need to buy CrossOffice (65$) which is used
> to run Microsoft Office (which again is not free)
> If you have questions using OpenOffice, there are a lot of OpenOffice
> users there on the forum that are very willing to help. See
> I think both Ubuntu and Mac OS are your good choice! If you are
> interested in and have time on learning managing powerful system like
> FreeBSD it's also a good choice.

A few things:

Why are you stuck with Office 98? Arguably, there have been great 
advances from 98 to 2000, to XP, to 2003, and 2007. Don't think that 
using Office on OSX will be better than on Windows, because frankly 
given experience, it sucks. Having to have a compatibility checker to 
see if a given document is viewable on OSX as well as Windows, even in 
Mac Office 2004, is a horrible hack by Microsoft, and in my opinion the 
Mac Office devs should be taken out into the street and shot for this. 
I've had to do a lot of workarounds in documents with Windows users 
because of this.

OpenOffice in OSX still isn't that great either because there still 
isn't a native (Aqua) build. It's done through some pain in the arse 
steps with X11 (not standard with OSX; need to install XFree86, and then 
optionally move up to Xorg-x11 with Fink, Darwinports, or something 

As for running Windows binaries of Office on Wine / Crossoffice, this is 
tricky at best.. particularly with newer MS products (what with the 
validation mess MS has made). But even then with older products it's not 
easy in all cases (in particular with complex products like Office), 
because Wine does a lot of hacked up emulating in newer versions that 
tends to break Windows binaries. I gave up on Wine and use OpenSource 
producets after trying to use it because trying to make Windows binaries 
run on Unix typically took up 2-12 hours searching, testing, and 
validating that things work. And even then there are a large number of 
quirks in terms of how Wine does things, which breaks Windows apps..

If you really need Windows products and want FreeBSD stability, run them 
from a virtual machine like Qemu (runs well for most) or Xen (full 
support coming soon hopefully; runs better than Qemu on Linux from what 
I've read because of its design). All you need is a little bit of RAM, 
and possibly a bit more patience while stuff loads sometimes.


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