domingo, 6 de marzo de 2011

Another Real-life Open-Source Test: An Academic Presentation

Lately, I haven't been able to write much. The reason? I was busy finishing up some details for my thesis-advancement presentation that took place last Friday.

As an advocate of Open Source, I decided since I started this blog not to say anything good about Free Software if first I haven't used it myself. That's why whenever I say a newbie can use a distro, it is because I, being a newbie myself, have been able to use it.

Right now, I am test driving Mepis 11 Beta 2. Mepis originally came with OpenOffice, but its developer decided to use LibreOffice after the Beta release.

Some of the community members were a bit worried about the change for they thought LibreOffice was still beta, which is not true. The first release of LibreOffice has reached its final developmental stage already.

So, it was time for me to test LibreOffice. Again, I wanted a serious test, not something light and superficial. Since there are still some people who think Open Source office suites are "unprofessional," I set for something very serious and professional: my first thesis-advancement presentation.

To put it clearly, I was entrusting myself to a beta (that means unfinished!) release of my favorite Linux distribution and I was using an office suite I had never used before, even if it looks and behaves quite like Openoffice. Yes, it was a risky move: had Mepis or LibreOffice failed, it would have been a total embarrassment!

Oh, on top of that, I was using all that software on my little netbook that, by the way, is not among the most powerful in the market if we look at its modest hardware specs.

When I hooked my netbook to the projector, nothing happened. No screen issues, no special settings, no limitations...Nothing happened! Mepis did its thing and picked up the signal without any special input from my part, just as it should.

I set up my presentation on Desktop 2 while my two illustration videos went to desktops 3 and 4. KDE's Kwin and its rotating cube would help me use each file when I needed it without minimizing anything.

The tribunal members arrived and it was time to start my presentation...

What happened?

Again, nothing! LibreOffice worked beautifully. Impress and its OpenGL 3D transition effects worked seamlessly. In spite of my nervousness, I could say that everything went smoothly as planned: I wasted no time minimizing, looking for files or trying to solve anything. I need to thank Mechatotoro for helping me out with the video clips, by the way. (Yes! He made them using open source, too! I need to ask him to teach me that...)

At the end, the examining tribunal called me back to the auditorium and told me their decision: I had passed the examination.

Now, I have to finish the other half of my thesis and head to my dissertation. Needless to say, thanks to its dependability, I will use Open Source software for that, too.

3 comentarios:

  1. Congratulations on your passing and your successful experiment!

    I was embarrassed by PowerPoint during my thesis-advancement presentation: when it imported the presentation from StarOffice, PowerPoint decided to insert an unprofessional crashing sound in one of the slides!

    Your daring experiments show that many of the arguments about Linux, OpenOffice/Libre Office (or FLOSS in general) come from mindless vocal Windows advocates whose greatest problem is adaptation and wage a war of FUD.

    By the way, I made the clips with Avidemux ;-)

  2. Thank you.

    Part of the credit goes to you and to Avidemux.

    As you said, much of the "criticism" (I shouldn't call it that) against FLOSS is based on imaginary constructs coming from adaptation problems. Those people may hate it, but Free Software is here to stay.