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On about four different occasions, I have experimented with switching from Microsoft Office to a free office software called OpenOffice.org (yes, its name actually looks like a web site address). On each of those occasions, I quickly became frustrated with a few minor issues, and I switched back. And why not? Microsoft Office was made available to me, as a student of the University of Nebraska, for something like $5.

Now, however, the situation is a little bit different. For Christmas, I received a new laptop computer to replace the one I had been using for four years. I was thrilled with the computer, but I quickly realized that it had no office software, and Microsoft doesn't exactly encourage installing their software on multiple computers. So, I either shell out $100+ to get a word processor (the only thing I really use), or I take another stab at OpenOffice.org.

But, as Providence would have it, I ran across a book today when I was hanging out at the Hastings library: OpenOffice.org for Dummies. I'm going to try to read through the important stuff before I have to go back to Birmingham (I leave Saturday). Maybe my fifth time (with the help of a book with a demeaning title) will be the charm! We'll see how it goes...

In other news, I had tried to register for the class "Puritan Spirituality" for the January term, but I was only able to get on the waiting list. Yesterday, I got a phone call telling me that a bunch of people had defaulted on their seats in the class by not paying their bills, so I got in! I will be spending the next two weeks with Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor and John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Try not to become envious of me.

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Does OpenOffice.org have any characters from The Office on the front?

Well, mine didn't come in a box, because anyone can download it for ***free*** off of the internet. So, no, mine didn't have any characters on the front.

On a related note, though, I am forever indebted to you for reminding me to set the DVR timer for The Office tonight. Thanks!

I miss the DVR :( It's so weird having to sit through commercials any more. Well, I'm mainly just leaving a post so that you tell who I am.

Good luck on those books. The Reformed Pastor is a good way to scare you half to death about wanting to pursue the ministry; or at least it did when I read it.

Hope your semester goes well!

Glad to hear you're using OpenOffice.org! If you have questions, come to my blog; I've got a bunch of content there. The online help is also pretty helpful, primarily with reference topics like the formulas or what each field is for.

One of the great things about OpenOffice.org, that MS Office doesn't have, is the ability to create PDFs. Just choose File > Export to PDF or click the PDF icon on the toolbar.

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