[ubuntu-studio-users] Is Libre an acceptable substitute for MS office for college student? (long; sorry.)

Pete Wright pnwright at gmail.com
Thu Nov 7 22:17:45 UTC 2013

Thanks, Hazan, Laurent, Rob, Mike, Jimmy, and Craig,
You have been tremendously helpful.
Knowing that we should be able to make things work is important,
immediately and longer-range.
The insights into the thinking of educators are also helpful.
Moreover, I am now re-energized in the quest to get more educational tools
into the hands of those who need it most, including kids who don't get
encouraged at home and who may not even know they have potential.
So thank you for the specific assistance and for the example of people
taking the time to be helpful.
Warmest regards to all,
PS -- Imagine what might happen if people start thinking about what they
would do if they had a supercomputer of their very own that fit in a
pocket. Then compare the specs on modern smartphones -- the ones that will
sell for fifty bucks or less a couple of years from now -- with the specs
of the CRAY-1 ca2000.  Hope I can stick around for a few more years to see
what happens.

On Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 8:56 AM, ©raig ®au <craigerau at gmail.com> wrote:

> I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering using nothing
> but Open Source software. At the time it was still Open Office, but I used
> it flawlessly (Writer... Calc... Impress...) And I used SciLab instead of
> Matlab (although there was a Linux version of Matlab, not to mention
> Mathematica, Maple, Pro-E... etc.) The only thing Linux didn't have was a
> good alternative for Minitab.
> But I digress... Calc can do almost everything Excel can... Almost. And
> for the purpose of college it most certainly can.
> Hell, you should see some of the garbage graphs that Minitab produces and
> they are the industry standard in the real world.
> --
> ©raig ®au
> On Nov 6, 2013 3:23 PM, "Pete Wright" <pnwright at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  I know what the answer to that question should be, but I am old enough
>> to know how ignorant I am (plenty), so this is a legitimate serious
>> question, not troll-bait.
>> My 16-year-old high school junior is in a State of Washington program
>> (Running Start) that lets students start college early, which she is doing,
>> carrying a full load of college courses plus a couple of high school
>> classes.
>> She is bright and reasonably computer literate, but she has been writing
>> for years and when the rest of the computer environment doesn't let her
>> work as fast as a word processor does, she gets frustrated. She also has
>> some health issues, so just letting her sink or swim on her own is not the
>> best option; hence my effort to help her.
>> The most recent bump she has hit is a biology assignment to make graphs
>> out of data; the examples (samples) are provided as txt files and the
>> instructions are to use Excel. Our first attempts to do the job with Libre
>> calc and/or base failed.  Her instructor, via email, just says "use the
>> computers at school if you don't have Excel."
>> We don't own MS Office and because of her health and living more than am
>> hour away from campus, using the school's computers are not often a good
>> option.
>> So, should she be able to do in LIbre what she would be able to do in MS
>> Office? (I am assuming the college does not make much use of the fanciest
>> bells and whistles that probably differentiate the two suites.)
>> I can and do teach kids and adults how to use Gimp and Libre Writer
>> instead of their high-priced counterparts, but when it comes to
>> spreadsheets and such I barely know a range from an operator, so your
>> responses can be basic to the point of primitive without danger of
>> insulting me.
>> I am interested in broad general answers to the broad question in the
>> subject line, but would like to hear finer-grained answers about the
>> graph-generation issue, as well.
>> I tried a few years back to organize a local organization to persuade our
>> schools to use Open Source software instead of proprietary stuff, but the
>> teachers were all either Apple-only or totally computer illiterate. When
>> the others gave up, I did too, and the effort fizzled. But I remain
>> dedicated to using and proselytizing Open Source; just not very good at it.
>> Helplessly yours, Pete
>> --
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