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Free Training Videos

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the one-less-reason-not-to-switch dept.

Software 128

Rollie Hawk writes "Having trouble converting your family and office mates into OpenOffice devotees? NewsForge (Owned by the same people that bring you Slashdot) can now help you convince the visual learners around you that they can do it. NewsForge is releasing a series of free video segments that demonstrate OpenOffice in action from installation to day-to-day use. According to the site, these clips will play on any browser on any operating system as long as Flash is available. One practical topic that should be particularly interesting to the would-be business converts is 'making a slide presentation in a hurry.'"

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Making a slide presentation in a hurry (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016168)

1. Fire up PowerPoint on Windows PC.
2. Quickly layout presentation using the unparalleled tools of PowerPoint.
3. Run out of office with completed presentation before OS zealots have completed building the bonfire to burn your witch ass.

Re:Making a slide presentation in a hurry (3, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016247)

> 1. Fire up PowerPoint on Windows PC.
> 2. Quickly layout presentation using the unparalleled tools of PowerPoint.

PowerPoint is nothing short of social malware.
I wish I had a nickel for every PowerPoint presentation I've suffered through that was created to cover the fact that the speaker had nothing of value to say.

Re:Making a slide presentation in a hurry (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016376)

"the speaker had nothing of value to say."

My sister once made a Corel Presentations slide show, and then showed it to me. It had nothing to say except that her favourite TV show "Boomtown" was on that night, and she wanted the TV at 9:00PM. But it had pretty cool special effects in it.

Re:Making a slide presentation in a hurry (1)

rasper99 (247555) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016777)

We had an administrative assistant to a second level manager who would send out a 2 megabyte, one slide Powerpoint to invite us to the department group meetings. One day I got one and a thought popped into my head:
"No amount of formatting can make up for your lack of content".

Re:Making a slide presentation in a hurry (1)

Toloran (858954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016884)

True to a degree. Its not powerpoint that is the problem it is that most people who end up making powerpoint presentations just have no taste. I have seen many quality PP presentations that were very useful/interesting and worked well with what the speaker was trying to say.

However, it is true that the majority that i have seen were far far worse.

Re:Making a slide presentation in a hurry (1)

Weh (219305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016931)

I had been using OO for a while, but recently decided to buy MS office 2003. I certainly don't use all the features MS office has to offer and lack of features was never really an issue in deciding to purchase office. The reason I purchased office was more because it is easier to exchange files with people that don't have OO.
The biggest surprise I had however was about MS-office's performance, where OO would easily take half a minute to start up on my old PIII-500, office apps start almost instant. I know that MS has an unfair advantage because lots of reasons but I didn't expect the difference to be so large.

My mom will be getting this link... (4, Funny) (579491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016171)

It doesn't matter how many times I've told her over the phone, how many times we've gone over it in person, how many times she's taken notes... my mom can't remember how to do even the most basic things. Opening and saving she has down... but copy and paste? Double space? Changing the font? Oof! Too difficult!

Hrm... but now that I think of it, she probably won't be able to figure out how to bookmark the site, and even if she does she probably won't remember how to find the bookmark.

Oh well... nevermind...

Re:My mom will be getting this link... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016257)

She won't care.
It's always easier to phone you - after all, you have moral obligation to respond to her every demand [/sarcasm]

And, likewise, no users will care. They have post-it all over monitor describing step-by-step how to do things in MS Office, anything different is worse, end of discussion :/

Re:My mom will be getting this link... (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017700)

Actually the office software is very viable for business converts. My accounting instructor for instance teaches MS Excel to the accounting majors (they know Excel far better than I really want to), why doesn't he like Cause, they don't have an accounting format for the spreadsheets. OOo has a currency format but, this is different than the accounting format that displays $0.00 dollars as a - and $1.00 as $ 1.00 now I can put in my own input mask and save it to get by in his class but, this is more than he wants to mess with. User guides are important but, until the software has the functionality people are going to look for, people will assume the guides and the software are crap. P.S. Accountanting would be a great proffessional sector to market (so long as it meets all of their needs).

sig (0)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016301)

Aside from the fuckin' fact that ifuckinhateyourhtml ( a table, fuckin' aaaaaargh!) I fuckin' find that fuckin' idea fuckin' cool. Fuckin' thumbs up :-P

Re:My mom will be getting this link... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016346)

I have a pretty cheap solution that could replace her entire desktop! It's called a pad of paper.

WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY KNOW??!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016578)

You fucking open source people!!?? What do you know??!! Why is smooth scrolling with firefox browser at least 20 times slower than with INTERNET EXPLORER that was released aboout 5 years ago??! Why can't you make use of today's 3D GFX adapters???!! You say Nvidia has drivers but why is X so fucking slow compared to Windows???!!! WHY???!!! ANYONE CARE TO EXPLAIN??!!


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016968)

I'll explain: You're a fucking retard.


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14017484)

Heh. I'll take the bait. I'm bored.

You fucking open source people!!??"

You fucking Windows sheeple!!!!

"Why is smooth scrolling with firefox browser at least 20 times slower than with INTERNET EXPLORER that was released aboout 5 years ago??!"

1) Are you comparing the modern Firefox to the IE browser of five years ago or the modern Firefox to the modern IE? Its not fair to have a "5 year" head start. But still, Firefox is kicking IE's ass.
2) Where the hell did you pull the number of "at least 20 times slower"? I'm using it right now, and its nice and speedy smooth.
3) Take into account that IE is for Windows only and takes advantage of Windows specific API's whereas Firefox is written to run on everything.
4) I don't see what Firefox has to do with OO.o

"Why can't you make use of today's 3D GFX adapters???!!"

WTF is that supposed to mean? Why would you need a 3d web browser? Or a 3d office suite? Oh. You're using Vista. *snicker*

"You say Nvidia has drivers but why is X so fucking slow compared to Windows???!!!"

1) Yes, nVidia does have drivers. There is also an open source version. So? Your point?
2) X isn't slow. If you're having problems with it, you set it up wrong.
3) Windows's GUI is integrated into the kernel for a minor speed boost, as opposed to running the GUI in userspace for security, stability, and flexibility.
4) My computer goes from cold to a full idling WM in twenty seconds (not counting time to type username and password) on five year old hardware. How long does it take a windows machine to start idling?


You're a Windows drone. You probably tried a linux distro a while ago and failed to set it up correctly. Your illusion of being 1337 was shattered and you came to the conclusion that nix's suck and big daddy Microsoft can do no wrong.

Re:My mom will be getting this link... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016612)

I am truly sorry to hear about your mother's lobotomy...

Re:My mom will be getting this link... (1)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016875)

I took a look at the "Installing OpenOffice" video, and I'm certain that most of the people that can't figure out how to install it on their own wouldn't be helped at all by this. Instead of sticking to the task at hand, the guy starts blabbing about how you should always go to " to get the latest and greatest" and starts clicking on things without telling or explaining what he's doing. I don't know what the other videos are like or if they're as bad, but it almost doesn't matter because the people that need these wouldn't get past the first one. Simplistic HOWTOs should *never* be designed by a techie unless they have the ability to actually communicate so that their intended audience will understand them.

Very useful, but... (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016173)

If the training videos are so great, why can't they put as much time into the application itself? It's a good program, and has way more features than any other – I'll be the first to tell you – but the stability is miserable with the latest 2.0 version, it kept crashing every couple minutes last night, and the program is a bit bloated.

Re:Very useful, but... slow? (4, Informative)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016186)

Open up OO.o 2 and go to:



Disable Java, and it will open about twice as fast. I hear it disables macros or something that most users will never use. Hopefully in 2.1 they'll disable Java by default, and load it up slowly in the background after the application is open and being used.

Re:Very useful, but... slow? (0, Redundant)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016252)

Well, I happen to like having the Java stuff, just because it's such a Java-intensive program. May just have to do that on my laptop though, since the thing is about eight years old and tends to run just a little bit slower than my 2.4GHz Celeron desktop... I still think it's horribly unstable though. The only reason it's even on my machine / in my Linux distro that I maintain is because it really doesn't have any decently acceptable (free) competition.

Re:Very useful, but... slow? (1)

guice (907163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016272)

Wow, thanks! That actually works. Took it from 30 seconds to under 5 when opening w/out the Quickstart initially opened.

Re:Very useful, but... slow? (1)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016446)

Nifty tip - thanks.

Re:Very useful, but... slow? (1)

hobdes (678049) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017762)

Watch out for "reload bias", though. The temptation is to load OO.o, time it, turn off Java, close and reload. But the second time it's loaded it's already faster even without disabling Java. My first load was 15s and the second was 5s. Turning off Java then did *not* reduce the load time from 5s for me.

Re:Very useful, but... (1)

sourabhkothari (847285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016261)

So what do you expect of the them, to wait till they fix it and then release it.
I'm sorry to say that doesn't happen. It's the way open source works.
Open source application development is an ongoing process where the whole community contributes and overtime we have a nice working version.
And by releasing the videos, even if they can get a small number of users. It'll be useful, it'll be useful for Open office, for the user and for the open source community.

Re:Very useful, but... (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016412)

I'm sorry to say that doesn't happen. It's the way open source works.

Yeah, I think that I should probably know [] . Again, I said that it would be nice to have a more reliable OOo or else an alternative. If the codebase wasn't such an ungodly mess, I'd fork it... oh well.

Besides, most other 15-year-olds probably wouldn't see a problem anyway :-)

Shame method (3, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016174)

If you're having trouble convincing someone to learn a new word processor, you can sometimes convince them using the "shame method".

I tell them that if my 85 year old, blind grandmother could learn to email, then can learn how to use Open Office. Sure she wasn't blind at the time, and was only 77 when she learned to use a computer, but some people just need to hear that someone older and frailer than they are, could do something they've never tried. It worked to convince my grandpa how to use the computer. My grandma learned first, and he got kind of jealous that she knew how to play cribbage on the machine and he didn't, so he put his mind to learning it too.

90% of teaching is convincing the person that they are capable of learning.

Re:Shame method (2, Funny)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016441)

using the "shame method".

You mean like I refer to my 8-year-old daughter? Who regularly reboots computers around the house into whatever live CD she currently likes, surfs the web with Firefox (customized to her preferences), tweaks the background and styles in both KDE and Gnome, knows how to navigate the interface in just about any window manager that runs on Linux (from Fluxbox and Window Maker to TWM.), has beaten half the games available for Linux and has figured out the level editors for all those that have one, and even occasionally pops open a console to play with Python one-liners? Yeah, that never fails to silence whichever troll I'm arguing with on /. about Linux being "too hard to learn" and Linux "not being a desktop system." But silencing is different from convincing, not that that's my problem.

Watching videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016176)

I will probably have more troubles having them watch a video, _about_ OpenOffice...

Good idea (4, Funny)

karvind (833059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016180)

Now I can watch the training video while the openoffice opens. It may take a while you know. No wait that is adobe acrobat reader. Sorry my bad.


Re:Good idea (2, Informative)

guice (907163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016251)

Acrobat Reader loads in a flash for me. It just takes a bit of Liposuction [] (Plug-in requirements slightly different for Acrobat7, but not by much).

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016870)

You can speed up open office by going to tools options choose memory and up the memory form teh default 19mb to 128mb if you have a gig or more of ram this is works fine If you have 512 to 256 you can try 64mb. If you have less thatn taht buy some memory. Hope this helps.

Re:Good idea (1)

linguae (763922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017503)

OpenOffice does take a minute to load...on my 266MHz Pentium II with 64MB RAM (that's how long it takes OpenOffice 1.1.4 to load on my laptop). However, once it is open, it is very responsive. I think I might upgrade the laptop to OpenOffice 2.0.

However, OpenOffice 2.0 loads in about 10-15 seconds on my 950MHz Duron box with 384MB RAM. Even though it takes longer to open OpenOffice than it is to open an individual program in MS Office, OpenOffice doesn't seem excruciatingly slow as long as you don't have an excruciatingly slow machine.

Missing the point (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016188)

Most people are lazy and if they are required to watch a series of training videos to get the hang of it widespread adoption of Open Office will never happen. It's more important that the program itself is made in such a commonsense way that there's no reading/videos required for the majority of stuff. Though personally I find version 2 pretty easy and straight forward to use anyway.

Must explain those 500 page MS Word books then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016921)

LOL! I remember people slogging through books the size of small tree trunks to learn Word (or whatever else.) I think video's are going to help OpenOffice far more.

YouTube (4, Interesting)

Life700MB (930032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016189)

They really should make use of tech like YouTube [] .

Thank you! (1, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016190)

Those videos look fantastic. They should really help out with getting people to convert to

Indeed, a massive Thanks! to everyone who has contributed to them.

Perhaps it is time for similar videos to be put out regarding the use of Firefox, Seamonkey, and other such open source projects. Ruby on Rails has some tutorial videos like that, and they're very helpful, too.

Re:Thank you! (1)

whitesaint (900065) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016214)

those are the lamest most dim witted videos i have ever seen.

Re:Thank you! (1)

trewornan (608722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016901)

I've got to agree with that. The idea is excellent - the execution appalling! It's obvious he's not run through what he wants to do beforehand, he makes mistakes, spends ages filling in random numbers and so on and on.

If OOo needs training videos they ought to be a lot better than this.

Re:Thank you! (0, Flamebait)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016683)

If they were made by the MS Office team, you'd come up with some complaint and get modded up for it, like here 13834663 []

but for anything Open Source, you post some content free praise like this and get modded up for that.

Well congratulations, but what's the point? Do you really anyone is going to switch to OSS because of your propaganda post on /.? Software is a tool made by engineers. It's not as if everything done by one group is bad, or that everything done by another group is good. Even worse, zealots like you actually make things worse for the stuff you hype.

Your attempt at defamation failed, Hal. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016964)

Good try, Hal. Notice that my post was not talking about the video itself. I think such videos are great, be them from Microsoft or anyone else.

In the post you linked to, it is clear that I have no problem with the video. I do not like the GUI that Microsoft has chosen for their latest release of Office. My complain is with the product that the video is showing, not with the video itself.

As for people switching, I just sent that link to several relatives. Some of them have already gotten back to me by saying that they're impressed by what they saw there, and are now going to give OpenOffice a try. I don't know if they'll stick with it, but at least they are now aware of its capabilities due to these videos, and will have given it a shot.

Re:Thank you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14017383)

No one "contributed" anything. This is 100% marketing ploy. Robin Miller made those videos so that he can use them to promote his next book, Point And Click OpenOffice. Coincidentally, he hired other people to write most of it for him. This whole thing is a publicity stunt for his book.

Hey Hemos, what do I have to do to get a job like Roblimo's? Apparently all I have to do is fuck around all day making it look like I'm working for OSTG, when all I'm actually doing is writing books for Prentice Hall. Then I abuse my Slashdot powers to promote it and make lots of money.

My brother refused to try (2, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016213)

until he started working for me. On his machine I did not give him a choice - for his office apps he can use or simply not work. Now that he's used it for a week he has discovered that he can do everything he needs in the OOo suite and is going to be installing it on his home PC. He hasn't run into performance issues with large files yet, but by the time he does I expect the OOo will have addressed at least some of those issues.

He was a Microsoft Office fan prior to this week (and to be fair, Microsoft Office IS an excellent product) but now sees that MS Office is not the only available option in the real world.

Re:My brother refused to try (-1, Flamebait)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016457)

My brother refused to try he started working for me. On his machine I did not give him a choice - for his office apps he can use or simply not work.

Tales of force and fraud within one's own family do not endear me to the Geek or make the move to "free and open source" more palatable.

Re:My brother refused to try (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016589)

Force and FRAUD?

Since when it is fraud?

Since when, as an _employee_ you get to dictate to your _employer_ what tools you will use?

Bad troll. No cookie.


Re:My brother refused to try (0)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017106)

No kidding, bmo.

I've been forced to run Windows 2000 at previous jobs, along with Dev Studio and Microsoft Office. I've also been forced to use SQA Robot rather than Silk for developing automated test suites until management FINALLY realized that resorting to (X,Y) addressing of GUI elements is NOT a good and portable way to test applications with custom controls. It wasn't until SQA messed up at a Big Corporation(tm)/Major Client(tm) and aforementioned Major Client(tm) told them to dump SQA Robot/BASIC for Silk and the virtues of Segue's extension kit that they FINALLY realized I was telling them the truth and not simply trying to spend money on geek toys. Uh, hullo, I was making do on a 166Mhz Pentium laptop and not begging for a new one, why the hell were they thinking I was trying to spend money for the sake of spending money? It was after that they started to actually take my recommendations (heck, they had IT run major purchases by me for my opinion after that)

So, to force my brother to use OpenOffice when 75% of the computers here are now running Linux (I am hoping to get that up to 95% by the end of the year - can't upgrade the last PC due to our need for Adobe CS2) and it's Just Easier(tm) to save everything to OpenDocument format is perfectly reasonable - and I'm saving my brother $400 on his next PC upgrade to boot, because now he's not going to buy Microsoft Office for his next PC. Instead he can use that money toward the high end NVidia gaming card and dual-core processors he's been drooling over.

i wish (1)

doyoulikegoatseeee (930088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016218)

the openoffice team would come up with some better icons. the program / file icons make the whole project seem amateurish

Stop complaining then... (1)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016493)

...and start creating. F/OSS such as is community-driven. Stop complaining and go help out with making new, more pretty, artwork then.

Re:i wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016569) should use stock icons from the GUI the user's running (GNOME, KDE, Windows, etc).

Isn't that something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016782)

A User who references goatce (login of "Doyoulikegoatseeee") is complaining about what icons look like?

Re:i wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016864)

You know what? I agree. OOo 2 icons are so ugly!!!

get a Free iPod! for real! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016229)

just follow this link, it works! []

This will have an immediate impact for me (2, Interesting)

viniosity (592905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016238)

I *just* went through a situation where this could have come in handy. We just completed a merger a month ago and some of the employees from the acquired company are now starting to relocate to the new HQ. On of the PHB absolutely freaked out when I told him we'd be installing OpenOffice. I've never seen a grown man go from mature manager to whining 4 year so quickly.

Sadly, we escalated the issue to a non-technical boss who decided that it was best to appease the other PHB and just buy MS Office instead. I'm hoping that these vids will make evangelizing the use of OSS easier for me and avoid it happening next time.

Yeah, I learned to be more proactive about educating everyone about OSS.. first demo/train and then install...

Lemme guess. (-1, Troll)

Musteval (817324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016241)

Minutes 0-20 of video: OpenOffice loads. Minute 21: OpenOffice crashes.

Do they show... (0, Redundant)

ltwally (313043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016243)

Do they show OO loading? Because that's a waste of a solid 60 seconds worth of video... ;)

Re:Do they show... (1)

guice (907163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016284)

Hogposh! OpenOffice takes under a second to load, with the 50meg memspace QuickStarter opened up! (/ducks)

Nice, but... (1)

NCraig (773500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016250)

Nice start, clearly styled after Microsoft's Office demos [] . However, these OpenOffice videos seem slightly unprofessional and cover the sort of topics that most users don't need help with. Clearly, for initiatives like the one in Massachusetts, a repository of advanced videos should be made available (see the variety and, more importantly, the relevance of the demos at the above link).

A few basic videos won't sway anyone.

But hey, maybe the whole state of Massachusetts will buy your book, right Roblimo?

Videos speak louder than text sometimes. (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016464)

I think the Mr. Miller did a great job. These videos lets the PHBs see that OOo isn't some evil totally different featureless thing, it does work similar to Word, Excel, PP and many other similar programs.

It being basic is a fine start, I think they would fit in for the novice and the experienced to get a feel for OOo. Around our office this is what most staff need to know.

I agree with another poster that if communities have access to the technique used to create thier own screenshot videos, we would see some really good and abundant open training videos (it would make a great college project kids!)

Shitty videos (5, Funny)

ClippySay (930525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016254)

/ Training people for free means we      \
| clippies are gonna lose our jobs! It's |
| untollerable! Clippies worldwide,      |
\ unite!                                 /
        \     ____
         \   / __ \
          \  O|  |O|
             ||  | |
             ||  | |
             ||    |

Google clippy says (5, Funny)

Wisgary (799898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016304)

/ Did you mean:  \
|    Untolerable  |
\    Intolerable /
        \     ____
         \   / __ \
          \  O|  |O|
             ||  | |
             ||  | |
             ||    |

Mod Parent Funny (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016333)

See, that right there is the number one reason to convert. The satisfaction of killing Clippy! I hate that little bum. I got him disabled, but the idea of him out on the street instead of in my harddrive space is a great reason to convert!! Not that I'm generally for booting people out of their houses, but in the case of Clippy and Dubya, I can make an exception.

Re:Shitty videos (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14017271)

/ This end goes up     \
\ Linux Trovalds' ass. /
      \      ____
       \    / __ \
        \   O|  |O|
         \  ||  | |
          \ ||  | |
            ||    |

Program to make those 'videos'? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016262)

Great thing to help users by recording this kind of videos :)

Do anybody knows what program was used to mae thos videos?
Might be some ViewletBuilder opensource/free replacement?


Sorry, buggy keyboard :D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016437)

It should be written this way:

    Does anybody know what program was used to make those videos?

Re:Program to make those 'videos'? (1)

jdeisenberg (37914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016513)

Yes, please! An article describing how these videos were constructed (I presume it was done using Linux tools) would be very greatly appreciated, and, undoubtedly generally useful. Oh pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease. [not too proud to beg]

Re:Program to make those 'videos'? (1)

robsmama (416178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016564)

"I presume it was done using Linux tools"
Then your presumption would be incorrect. It's a Macromedia file. It was built using Windows. Says something about Linux, doesn't it?


Re:Program to make those 'videos'? (1)

trewornan (608722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016843)

Says something about Linux, doesn't it

No, it just says that some people use OpenOffice on Windows.

Re:Program to make those 'videos'? (4, Informative)

seeken (10107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016562)

probably this vnc to swf recorder: []

Re:Program to make those 'videos'? (2, Informative)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017178)

There are several screen capture to SWF generators:

1) Captivate [] .
2) Viewletbuilder [] .
3) Wink [] .

Re:Program to make those 'videos'? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14017239)

Wink is open source and makes better looking videos than those shown. []

I have never tried using it with audio though. I always just go with a text note and a next button.

Re:Program to make those 'videos'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14017393)

These videos were recorded using Camtasia Studio from TechSmith : []

MPEG4, please! (3, Insightful)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016307)

There are people (like me) who refuse to install Flash (well, at least until GPLFlash is done and does not ruthlessly crash my browser on load any more ;)) on their systems, so an alternative download for (non-interactive, if applicable) MPEG4-encoded, via a free codec like XViD, for example, versions of the files would be highly appreciated, methinks.

Re:MPEG4, please! (2, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016384)

If you are so aware of things (and got mpeg4 codecs to play videos), you are obviously not the target group of those videos.

But they DO work nicely by just clicking on the link even in firefox (without the crap that embedded quicktime and wmv videos often pull), and thats the main point.
You can just send the link to somebody and it WILL work...

Re:MPEG4, please! (1)

Saeger (456549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016720)

Flash Movies "just work" for a lot of people, and especially for screencap videos they encode smaller than the fullmotion mpeg variants. e.g. most of CBT Nugget's stuff is flash video.

Re:MPEG4, please! (1)

Jinjuku (762364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016829)

We use Camtasia to produce Flash Videos for product training and demos, in 3 years we have NEVER had a customer call up and say that we crashed their browser by using flash. Nice try with the F.U.D. Must be reading the MS play book yourself.

I take it when you say "(like me)" you mean people that think they know it/ get it, but really don't.

Re:MPEG4, please! (1)

Klaruz (734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016881)

While the grandparent was a bit of a zealot about software freedom, you didn't read. He didn't complain about macromedia flash crashing his browser, it was the free alternative, gplflash.

Namecalling is no substitute for understanding. (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017065)

Funny how the grandparent poster was "a bit of a zealot" yet those who distribute the movies exclusively in formats that can't yet be read with free software merit no mention at all. Such one-sidedness in examining the issue effectively stigmatizes free software advocacy and endorses proprietary software without explicitly calling attention to the one-sidedness. Perhaps we should call refer to such files and programs as "freedom subtracted" or somesuch, and explicitly frame the debate along the lines of software freedom instead of letting proprietary software inducements pass as the uncommented norm.

RAM Installation (-1, Redundant)

Nezer (92629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016313)

Does it cover how to install more RAM and a faster CPU needed to power the beast?

Re:RAM Installation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016405)

Hey, the article is about Openoffice videos, not installing the new M$ OS!
Cool your jets Bucko.

Re:RAM Installation (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016431)

Maybe you could follow his lead and produce a video on how to troll and spread fud.

Redistribution? (1)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016317)

At work (a small college), we are concidering giving out OpenOffice to students who cant afford MS office Student/teacher since we dont have a campus agreement with MS, Training for end users is the only area where we see weakness in OOo, These videos could really help, can they be redistributed? A lot of students usde dial up so for us it would be better to put them on the CD or maybe have a DVD that they could borrow.

Re:Redistribution? (1)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016347)

If you RTFA, you would find that they're under a creative commons license.

Re:Redistribution? (1)

Dan_Bercell (826965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016773) [] Take a look at the Microsoft AA program, its a small price to pay for the school to provide a wealth of software for the students

I can't wait! (3, Funny)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016345)

I can't wait to watch these helpful videos! Now could somebody just point me to a free training video explaining how to play a video on Linux? Or if that doesn't exist, maybe somebody's written some documentation in OpenOffice format?

For the record. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016402)

They are flash. If you have a distro that is less than 3 years old, it has flash on it. As to the other media, that is also on distros that are less than 2 years old.

You can't educate the willfully ignorant... (2, Insightful)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016386)

Now, I'm not talking about the people who simply don't know Linux, but are willing to learn. But there is a sizable proportion of the users out there that I've learned to stop beating my head against a brick wall over. I call them "dittoheads" after the Rush Limbaugh term, because they caught an MS-sponsored meme early on and it lodged in their heads once and for all, preventing them from ever advancing in life. Expressions such as "Linux will never be viable on the desktop.", "Linux is too difficult to learn.", "Open Source isn't really free.", etc. join with "The Holocost never happened.", "We DID find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.", and "DRM is to protect the consumer." as some of history's greatest mind-stunting propaganda.

I said it would be like this at the beginning of "The Information Age" (or at least when the public at large first heard of the term): I said that the information age would propegate fiction as easily as truth, and thus computers would not make us smarter as a people. Computers only magnify human intellect, and if that intellect is rotten, the rotteness gets magnified a thousand-fold.

Anonymous cowards -> the line forms to the right.

Bob Ross' Geek Twin? (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016394)

"Default installation folder. I use it, never gone wrong with it." "Look at the license. I'm going to accept it, I think it's a nice license." "My name is already there on the computer. You don't have to put it in. Anyone who uses this computer, I'm going to share the program, not just for me, but you can install it any way you like." Hey man, this video is pretty relaxing. The guy reminds me of Bob Ross. Wonder if in the next episode he tells me how I can write whatever I like? Maybe I'll write about a squirrel who lives in a happy tree. And let's give him a little friend, Mr. Owl. In your document, you can write about anything you want. I just love writing about our furry friends.

Ruined by a proprietary format! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016448)

"They're released under a Creative Commons license,"

"and will play in any operating system,"

"in any Web browser"
Way to go!

"that has the Flash plugin (version 6 or higher) installed."
Duh! It started off so well and all is ruined by chosing a secret, proprietary format which is so closely guarded that any FOSS implementation is completely obstructed and CS implementations are severely hampered. (0)

Nic0le (930584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016521)

> NewsForge is releasing a series of free video segments that demonstrate OpenOffice in action from installation to day-to-day use. According to the site, these clips will play on any browser on any operating system as long as Flash is available. It's horse of another color:)) []

ugh.... (0, Troll)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016535)

man, thats one ugly guy inthe picture at the begining of those
But then again, he is training us on OpenOffice, what can u expect?

x-shockwave (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016563)

x-shockwave is not working on linux, so we can't see that.

The problem with OpenOffice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016590)

First off, a few words about myself. I use nothing but Linux (and BSDs), but I don't use OpenOffice. Nor would I want to push OpenOffice on neither friends nor family. The reason? OpenOffice, in my opinion, sucks. It's useful for reading the damned word/excel documents people keep sending me, but it's useless as an editor. It's too big, slow and bloated.

If I want to do some text editing, I either just fire up vi (or kate, if you don't have time to learn vi) if I just need to scribble something down. If it's something I'm giving to others, I use lyx and make a nice pdf of it which I send off - but most of the time I just print the damn thing and hand them the paper version. I prefer to read things on paper myself, so ..

When it comes to spreadsheets, I've never found anything that beats Gnumeric. It's a fantastic product, is lightning fast and a dream to use. I've been using gnumeric for 4 or 5 years now (if not more..), and it beats the competition in all cases imho. It loads quickly, it refreshes quickly even if the spreadsheet is large .. and so forth.

I've never seen the usefull aspects of powerpoint, so I don't know about any replacement software there. Most of the time I find powerpoint slides to be horrible to watch. I don't like that style of presentations. I prefer people having a whiteboard and some pens - and drawing while explaining. It's much easier to ask questions all the time that way. You may scribble, sketch, and the presenter has a much greater freedom. Especially if there are difficult questions that needs to be explained. Of course, a lot of people are obsessed with powerpoint. I can't recommend anything there.

When it comes to diagrams .. I know a lot of people love Visio on microsoft platforms. It seems to be a decent product. The best thing I've found for *nix in that case is 'dia'. That program needs more development, but it's a *great* program already - although there are some irritating bugs that really needs to be raked out. I look forward to new versions of dia.

OpenOffice is just slow and horrible. I don't use it. Ever. I don't recommend friends and family to use it neither, but my father has adopted it and seems to like it. Personally I don't see why.

eMachines? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016650)

If you pause the first video where Rob clicks on his start menu, you'll see an eMachines folder. Wow, whatever respect I might have had in the first place went completely down the toilet. You'd expect any geek to put together their own computer or, short of that, maybe grab a Dell machine if they're short on time. But eMachines? After seeing that, I was certain I'd find an AOL icon too.

Great effort! But... (1)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016861)

After playing with version 2 for a bit now I've really been considering migrating my organization from MS Office to OO. Of course the biggest hurdle, as usual, is getting users to accept the change.

These videos are great, but I do have a couple critcisms:

1) My users range from novice to intermediate when it comes to using MS Office, but these videos are almost geared towards someone who has never used this kind of software before. Spending a great deal of time explaining how to change fonts and correct spelling isn't that beneficial when OO works almost identically to MS Office in this regard. In this respect these videos aren't really "training" as much as they are an overview of features.

It would be great then if *more* features were covered in a shorter amount of time. It's things like working with numbered lists, program integration (using tables from a spreadsheet in a text document, etc), positioning of graphics and text, change tracking, headers & footers, formulas, advanced document layouts, creating charts, and so on that are often difficult but very important for users in an office environment. I can imagine my users watching these videos...the first thing they'll say will be something like, "that's great, but what about ."

Sometimes it takes people a great deal of time to figure out how to do something in a particular document, and the thought of having to figure out a new way to do it is very frightening....whatever those things may be, they won't be as trivial as changing font sizes or inserting pictures.

So the videos are great for grandma, but not meaty enough for people who work with these kinds of tools as part of their day-to-day job (which, in my experience, does not make them experts...these folks are often "memorizers").

2) I realize that these videos were improvised, and while that does give them a bit of charm, there were several times where he said the *exact opposite* of what he meant, or where he just didn't explain something very well. A pre-written script or at the very least better planning would have improved the educational value of these videos.

Anyhow, I hate to be overly critical because it's great when people take the time to do things like this.

Re:Great effort! But... (2, Informative)

Roblimo (357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017376)'re only looking at *some* videos from a CD that accompanies a book, Point & Click [] , that'll be in bookstores by mid-December. You only saw an excerpt of the complete work, which goes into lots more depth than what you've seen. Plus I'll be making and posting more videos soon. Email me (robin at roblimo dot com) with your suggestions. I'll (obviously) start with the ones for which I get the most requests.

Format choice side note: Like it or not, Flash offers the most bandwidth-efficient way to reach the most computer users, on the most platforms. Those who want to redistribute these videos in other file formats are welcome to do so as long as they preserve attribution and all that (Creative Commons License), although I'd suggest emailing me to get AVI or MPEG copies instead of trying to retrack the compressed Flash versions. This will give a better end result.

I'd also like to point out that these videos are primarily for Windows users, not for the slick Linux crowd that reads Slashdot, which is why they're relaxed and kind of fumbly (so they don't intimidate people who aren't comfortable with computers). This also explains the eMachine box. I needed something with Windows and it was on sale cheap. My "real" computers run Linux, just as you'd expect. :)

- Robin


Dick around (1)

myth_of_sisyphus (818378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016914)

I just watched the "Draw" video...thinking of entering some Fark Photoshops. The guy says " just have to dick around with it a little bit."

I think more training videos should contain slang. I'm going to go "fuck around" with my playstation now.

Re:Dick around (1)

myth_of_sisyphus (818378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017181)

N.B. He says "dick around" towards the end, when he's having trouble entering text over a picture.

heavy breathing (1)

YuriGherkin (870386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016992)

The guy doing the narration sounds like he's got a mouth full of cotton wool and he breathes heavy ...

Not addressing the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14017072)

Training videos will not make my company and thousands like us switch. Training and familiarity are simply not the problem. Any company that does a lot of documentation that needs to go to other people outside the company will not use OO because the compatability is just not there yet. Maybe if the open doc format gains widespread support (in like 5 years maybe) we will switch. Otherwise we have no choice but to *not* use open office.

If OO really wants to break in to the mainstream they need to put and end to posts like mine by fixing the import/export filters. Not so that they are 90% fine on simple docs but so that they work 99.9% of the time on any/all docs.

OpenOffice still lacks "normal view" (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017125)

This remains a show-stopper for me. The word processor has got to have a galley view ("Normal" in MicrosoftWord) for text editing.
Then again, 99% of the people I know can't understand that document layout is something you do only after completing the writing and editing process, so I suppose the lack of a galley view won't stop most folks from switching to OO.o .

Even the author is making mistakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14017126)

i looked at this video [] (spreadsheet calc) and the presentation author makes multiple wrong mistakes (which he does correct but still) with annecdotes hilighting his lack of knowledge

please if you are going to release a tutorial (especially video/swf), try and get the methods right before hitting record+upload, most unprofessional and i would be embarassed to show it to any of my co-workers "uhh ignore this bit, this is where the author makes a mistake and we have to wait for him to correct it. so just press enter, i mean tick the arrow, i mean drag , i mean, are you still following team ? Team?....TEAM....hellooo.."

The *ONLY* Office video to watch is.... (1)

HogynCymraeg (624823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14017631)

.....absolutely hillarious! []
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