Using Windows to Get Rid of Windows

By | May 28, 2011

It sounds like government logic, but that is the boat a lot of people and companies are in. With the industry wide move to Ubuntu and away from Legacy proprietary desktops like Windows XP and Windows Vista, a lot of companies are having to upgrade one sacrificial machine in order to save the others from viruses and other unexpected lockups.


There are only two nagging things I still need to be completely free of Windows. The first is a decent conversion of some books and documents I have in WordPerfect format to OpenOffice format. The second is very old expense data I created in DOS days with a product called DataBoss. I don’t “need” the DataBoss data, but I have it, therefore it must be converted before I reformat that partition to be storage for a more useful operating system. Many of my WordPerfect documents will open directly with OpenOffice since they are simple reports. The books, however, are too complex for the free stuff.


About a year ago, I got taken by the Corel marketing scam claiming:


Open, edit and save virtually any type of file with support for more than 60 formats, including Microsoft® Office 2007 and newer open standards, such as Open Document Format (ODF) and Office Open XML (OOXML).


In case you think I’m making that up, visit:


It was written with the intent to defraud customers of money they would not otherwise spend. Because of it, I ended up buying a new sacrificial notebook with Worsta Home Premium on it. I got rid of the previous sacrificial notebook which had XP on it. Thousands of dollars in software updates and purchases later, I still had these books which couldn’t be gotten into ODF. You see, X4 only reads ODF, it doesn’t save in that format. As soon as they do that, they vaporize with the rest of the Legacy Windows market.


Since I finished my last contract and have been busy getting the eBook version of my novel posted via the various retail channels, I took another stab at getting the conversion completed. I’m in the process of ceasing all business with Amazon, so need to get everything in OpenOffice format. My eBook conversion tools use that format as input to create Sony LRF, ePub, and Palm PDB. Once “The Minimum You Need to Know” series has been converted to these formats, I will pull the plug on MobiPocket for good.


The last couple of days have been squandered searching in vein for a viable OpenSource means of jumping this hurdle. Once it became apparent that I was going to be forced into using Windows to get rid of Windows, I gagged profusely. I have nearly exceeded both my 5Gig monthly DL limit from Verizon and my pathetic 300Meg per day DL limit from HughesNet. (If you haven’t bought satellite yet, check out Blue Yonder. If I had it all to do over again…)


Just a few minutes ago, I got around to trying one of the free trials I had downloaded yesterday. Able2Extract. Speed is not something this product dreams about. This tool doesn’t understand WordPerfect, but it does understand PDF files. HTML is simply not an option since you lose every last bit of your formatting. Trust me, I tried every “Save-As” format common between WordPerfect, MS Office 2007, OpenOffice, and Lotus Symphony. How do you think I spent my last couple of days? (You might have noticed the increase in Blog posts and that they seem to be formatted a little nicer. OpenOffice has a plug-in which allows you to edit locally then post directly to your blog. Check it out!)


The short answer is that I should have the Application Development book ready to send to Sony before Friday. The rest of the series should follow in another week. If you were thinking about getting an Amazon formatted version for your Kindle, you had best snap it up before Friday.


If you are well and truly cheap, they have a 30 day $35 license. I’m old enough to now that the longest path between any two points is a shortcut. Every time I try a short term license like that I get a phone call the next day which has me on-site at a client’s for the next N weeks. I paid the $150 for a full license and a CD mailed to my home. Why did I pay for the CD? Bad things happen. I mean we are talking about Windows here. I’m surprised I haven’t had to re-install already this month.




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About seasoned_geek

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.