Re: Uh Oh... Prof requires ms word format
I just looked on the upcoming syllubus for my CS class. The prof
requires ms word format zipped files for the assignments. What do I do
to do that on linux? I guess I HAVE to install X now. :(
Maybe I should get a different laptop? Is a 150 mhz machine with 2 gig
hd and 32 meg ram going to be able to do the job? I'm worried now.
There's nothing wrong with installing X. It's all Free, so use the best
tool for the job.
For many tasks I have nothing open but a single fullscreen terminal with
no window decorations, but it is an xterm. For me, text in an xterm is
faster, crisper, and at 1600x1200 is higher resolution than anything I
can get on the console with my video card.
I feel that I mentioned this a week or two ago when we were having a
similar conversation on the list, but even if you were to use
OpenOffice.org, whenever you need to turn in a .doc file converted from
OOo (rather than a printed document), you are going to want to preview
the .doc document on a machine running Windows, in genuine MS Word, and
preferably the same version your instructor will be running. Either you
will need to use a lab computer to do this, or use a friend's computer.
Because if something doesn't work right, there are no excuses. You had
access to a lab computer just like all the people who don't even have a
personal computer, and you had access to the prescribed tools on those
Which operating system you will be running is going to be the least of
your worries. You're _never_ going to get a higher grade because your
completed assignment went through n esoteric conversions and was keyed
in on a front panel. And if you have to worry about that, you are either
going to need to spend that much more time on the assignment than
everyone else, or you will be stressed and start to miss things.
It is almost never worth accepting a lower grade because you did not use
the prescribed tools for the job. CS has very little to do with learning
how to operate any particular operating system. You will find many
successful CS students who use only Windows, and the odds are that many
of them will be smarter and more successful in school than you. It just
doesn't matter that much. It really doesn't. Do something Linux or UNIX
related at the hobbyist level, in school IT employment, or in an internship.
I think you have 4 good options, which have already been covered:
- Ask the professor whether you can turn in completed assignments in PDF
format, and explain to him or her why you would prefer to.
- Compose documents with LaTeX and convert to rtf. Then go to a lab
machine and convert rtf to doc with MS Word, preview the doc file in MS
Word and cocrrect any formatting issues, zip it, and turn it in (see
packages latex2rtf and latex2rtf-doc).
- Buy a slightly faster machine and from your campus computer or book
store buy educational license copies of Windows 2000 and Office 2000 (or
- Use a lab computer, and keep your machine for tinkering and other
free-time pursuits, or for those assignments where it doesn't create
more problems than are worth hassling with.
Remember, even if you chose to buy a faster machine to run
OpenOffice.org, at risk of getting a lower grade when it fails to open
correctly or format just right, or display things in the right order,
you will still need to go to a lab machine and preview the converted
.doc file. And again, it is almost never worth taking that risk.