Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Have your cake and eat it too

If you're building a PC right now, the AMD/Intel choice essentially comes down to two things - your budget and how often you would want to upgrade. I'm assuming here that you want the fastest processing power your budget can buy.

Until now, if speed was a real priority, you were going the Intel i7 route. If you wanted to be reasonably future proof, you'd go the AMD socket AM3 route and sacrifice a little speed for long term compatibility.

Phoronix have posted a series of benchmarks that say that an overclocked AMD Phenom II X3 710 is very similar in performance to an Intel Core i7 920. Further, the overlocking is easy - no hardcore stuff. You can get i7 performance out of an X3 710. The price difference between the two processors alone is about USD100. This is not counting the difference between motherboard costs. Suffice it to say that your budget will not be affected that much - you get the speed of an i7 with the longevity of the AM3 socket with some simple overclocking.

Now you tell me - isn't that cool?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Microsoft Office 2007's OpenOffice Support

In a word - destructive. Microsoft might claim that Office 2007 has support for OpenOffice documents. Here are the facts:
  1. MS Excel 2007 removes formulas from an OpenOffice spreadsheet
  2. Microsoft Office 2007 does not support password protected OpenOffice files.
  3. Microsoft Office 2007 does not support tracked changes in OpenOffice files.
If you're the type of person who, like me, believes in the details, here's a PDF for you. Here is the press release from the ODF Alliance about this issue.

So if you're about to buy Microsoft Office 2007 because you think it will allow you to edit both MS Office and OpenOffice documents perfectly, you know now better.

There was a suggestion on Slashdot not too long ago about the need for an ODF Acid Test. I think its right on the money and the sooner we have one, the better. The fact that Microsoft were even able to get away with it to date points to a problem. There is lack of a transparent mechanism to measure ODF standards compliance. The root of the problem needs to be addressed and an ODF Acid Test is the answer.