nathanrussell
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Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:42 am

Isn't 700 Mhz a bit small to run a word processor like openoffice?

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Gert van Loo
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:24 am

We found that 700 MHz was also a bit small to have four windows with Firefox open. But we found a solution for that: Don't open four windows with Firefox. :-)

But now on a more serious note: Everywhere you can read that the system con not be used to run to big, memory and CPU cycle consuming programs. You will find that all program which come with the distribution have been selected for minimum memory footprint and lowest CPU cycles. And the search is still on for better version of those. You paid ~$35 for a computer. Don't be surprise if it can't do some of the things others can.

And still it can do some of those things if you have patience. If you have neither patience nor money for a bigger computer I am afraid there is no solution out there.

nathanrussell
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:29 am

Gert van Loo wrote:We found that 700 MHz was also a bit small to have four windows with Firefox open. But we found a solution for that: Don't open four windows with Firefox. :-)

But now on a more serious note: Everywhere you can read that the system con not be used to run to big, memory and CPU cycle consuming programs. You will find that all program which come with the distribution have been selected for minimum memory footprint and lowest CPU cycles. And the search is still on for better version of those. You paid ~$35 for a computer. Don't be surprise if it can't do some of the things others can.

And still it can do some of those things if you have patience. If you have neither patience nor money for a bigger computer I am afraid there is no solution out there.
Well, thank you. So there is no chance of a word processor working with the raspberry pi?

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nick.mccloud
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:35 am

nathanrussell wrote:Isn't 700 Mhz a bit small to run a word processor like openoffice?
Works fine for me. Takes a few seconds to load but once it's there I can type just fine. Alternatively you can try AbiWord.

nathanrussell
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:37 am

nick.mccloud wrote:
nathanrussell wrote:Isn't 700 Mhz a bit small to run a word processor like openoffice?
Works fine for me. Takes a few seconds to load but once it's there I can type just fine. Alternatively you can try AbiWord.
Oh thank you, I don't actually have a raspberry pi yet, it just looked a little fishy on paper. It must be very resourceful then!

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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:56 am

Well, I ran a word processor (Ami Pro) on a 300Mhz Pentium without too much problem (and indeed on my BBC micro in 32KB ram at 2Mhz). Of course, WP's have becomes a bit more bloated since then, but there are still low requirement ones out there.
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nathanrussell
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:04 am

jamesh wrote:Well, I ran a word processor (Ami Pro) on a 300Mhz Pentium without too much problem (and indeed on my BBC micro in 32KB ram at 2Mhz). Of course, WP's have becomes a bit more bloated since then, but there are still low requirement ones out there.
Thank you, this has been really helpful!

tufty
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:31 am

Given that word processors are waaaay, waaay too heavy these days (even the lightweight ones), it might be time to learn to use a proper typesetting package.

LaTeX, for example.

No, it's not WYSIWYG (i.e. it looks like cack on screen, and that's what it's gonna look like on paper too), its WYSIWYM (what you say is what you mean). It's a bit more work, and has a bit of a learning curve, but it has a few major benefits:
  1. It typesets properly. Word can't typeset for toffee, and OpenOffice is, if anything, significantly worse. Output from LaTeX generally doesn't look like it came from a "word processor" (this can be a massive win for CVs, for example, where good typesetting can make your CV stand out from the pile)
  2. It's all done using plain text. You can use any editor to edit your content, standard tools will search your content, your content is easy to back up, restore, or transfer to another system.
  3. It typesets properly
  4. You can output to multiple formats. PDF is particularly useful.
  5. It typesets properly
  6. It's stable. Stable enough that there's a cash bounty for any bugs you find.
  7. Did I mention that it typesets properly?
Simon

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Chromatix
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:56 pm

Questions like this make me weep.

Twenty years ago, nearly every (home or office) computer had less than 100MHz in the CPU and at most 16MB of RAM. Hard disks were measured in hundreds of MB if you were lucky.

And what were they primarily used for? Word processing. Well, and spreadsheets and the occasional game too.

The inefficiency of today's leading office software is nothing short of staggering.
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nathanrussell
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:31 pm

Chromatix wrote:Questions like this make me weep.

Twenty years ago, nearly every (home or office) computer had less than 100MHz in the CPU and at most 16MB of RAM. Hard disks were measured in hundreds of MB if you were lucky.

And what were they primarily used for? Word processing. Well, and spreadsheets and the occasional game too.

The inefficiency of today's leading office software is nothing short of staggering.
Would it be a good idea to use the tools that the raspberry pi comes with to make a word processor?

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Jim Manley
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:13 pm

You spoiled whiners and your bloated, fancy-schmancy typesetting environments like LaTeX, which no one pronounces correctly unless thoroughly indoctrinated in typesetter reeducation concentration camp - damn you, Don Knuth! :) Calling them "programs" doesn't even begin to describe their breadth of capability. Why, when I was a young software engineer, everything meaningful started with a dot (period), as in nroff and troff in Unix, and Wordstar starting with early S-100 boat-anchor CP/M-based hobbyist computers. And we liked it that way ... we loved it! ;)

If we were meant to communicate via anything fancier than command-line interfaces or 140-character SMS blurbs, we would have been born with a trackpad in the palm of one hand, dad-gummit! :lol:
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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:31 pm

Jim Manley wrote:Why, when I was a young software engineer, everything meaningful started with a dot (period), as in nroff and troff in Unix...
But, of course, to use troff you needed a Cat-4 typesetter. It took ditroff to solve that issue. And you forgot eqn, tbl, and vroff.

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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:45 pm

tufty wrote:Given that word processors are waaaay, waaay too heavy these days (even the lightweight ones), it might be time to learn to use a proper typesetting package.

LaTeX, for example.

No, it's not WYSIWYG (i.e. it looks like cack on screen, and that's what it's gonna look like on paper too), its WYSIWYM (what you say is what you mean). It's a bit more work, and has a bit of a learning curve, but it has a few major benefits...
JMO/YMMV:
I used LaTeX a lot circa 1990, including two books and many articles. For a typesetting language, it's very good and having ASCII source code has its advantages. LaTeX does a great job with mathematical formulæ. However, nowadays I far prefer WYSIWYG and find that documents produced using it are fine for my purposes. I'd rather see immediately what my document is going to look like rather than running a batch program and poring over a listing later. Chacun a son goût.

Personally, I don't like the way LaTeX documents look when typeset using the default fonts. Yes, I know I can change them if I want to go to a bunch of trouble. But most people don't change them, and I find it tiresome that so many FLOSS documents I download are obviously LaTeX. IMO, a document should capture the æsthetic of its writer, and should not look like every other FLOSS document. "A trifling matter, and fussy of me, but we all have our little ways." [Eeyore]

I also like to be able to insert graphics in text lines and be able to edit figures in place. The last time I used LaTeX, graphics insertion was an afterthought. I hope it's gotten better since then, but now I'm spoiled with WYSIWYG. Maybe my preference stems from watching Flip Wilson at an impressionable age: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip_Wilso ... ar_culture.

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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:25 pm

Jim Manley wrote:You spoiled whiners and your bloated, fancy-schmancy typesetting environments like LaTeX, which no one pronounces correctly unless thoroughly indoctrinated in typesetter reeducation concentration camp - damn you, Don Knuth! :) Calling them "programs" doesn't even begin to describe their breadth of capability. Why, when I was a young software engineer, everything meaningful started with a dot (period), as in nroff and troff in Unix, and Wordstar starting with early S-100 boat-anchor CP/M-based hobbyist computers. And we liked it that way ... we loved it! ;)
Homebrew S-100, CP/M, Wordstar, BDS C, Tangerine Dream -- happy memories!

On WYSIWYG word processors on linux, looks like there are only a few (abiword, openoffice, Ted etc. Ted seems to have a smaller runtime footprint than abiword but I don't know about capabilities). WYSIWYG text editors have been around for about 30 years and it was until very late 90s when an average PC had more than 64MB so I don't understand where all the bloat comes from. There are lots of tiny javascript based in-browser editors or html editors.

I still use LaTeX for anything longer than a couple of pages. Much easier now with TeXworks. With a bit of work one can produce decent looking documents. See the Beauty of LaTeX page or this thesis for some nice examples. This hackernews thread is also worth reading.

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Re: Mhz

Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:36 pm

nathanrussell wrote:Well, thank you. So there is no chance of a word processor working with the raspberry pi?
First, lots of word processors work, including Open/Libre Office.
Second, Open/Libre office is about the most bloated piece of software there is. There are lighter alternatives whose feature set might be enough, depending on your usage. I saw one mentionned, but not sure about the name anymore. Abiword ?

nathanrussell
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Re: Mhz

Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:24 pm

obarthelemy wrote:
nathanrussell wrote:Well, thank you. So there is no chance of a word processor working with the raspberry pi?
First, lots of word processors work, including Open/Libre Office.
Second, Open/Libre office is about the most bloated piece of software there is. There are lighter alternatives whose feature set might be enough, depending on your usage. I saw one mentionned, but not sure about the name anymore. Abiword ?
Yes, I have heard of Abiword being used. I just wanted to make sure that I could write a few simple documents on the pi if needed. Thank you.

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Re: Mhz

Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:31 pm

nathanrussell wrote:
obarthelemy wrote:
nathanrussell wrote:Well, thank you. So there is no chance of a word processor working with the raspberry pi?
First, lots of word processors work, including Open/Libre Office.
Second, Open/Libre office is about the most bloated piece of software there is. There are lighter alternatives whose feature set might be enough, depending on your usage. I saw one mentionned, but not sure about the name anymore. Abiword ?
Yes, I have heard of Abiword being used. I just wanted to make sure that I could write a few simple documents on the pi if needed. Thank you.
If you just want to write a few simple documents, DON'T USE LaTeX. It will take you twenty times longer than you need to get it right. WYSIWYG (What you see if what you get) editors will be much better suited (and indeed are much better suited to 99% of wordprocessing tasks for the average user). As stated above - try Abiword.
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Re: Mhz

Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:40 pm

LaTeX? Bah! Surely you use plain TeX.

The_Saint
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Re: Mhz

Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:22 pm

I hope nobody is going to tell me that my £30 computer won't run Windows 7, I mean if it doesn't run Windows 7 its not even a computer, that's one of the things Alan Turing made clear right at the start of "On Computable Numbers".

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Mhz

Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:16 am

I would point out that Openoffice installs and runs just fine on Debian. There is no problem with the word processor and several of us built quite large spreadsheets to see how they performed. (several hundred cells all linked to each other)

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install openoffice.org

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Chromatix
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Re: Mhz

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:04 pm

I just installed Abiword on one of my other Linux machines (my R-Pi is a bit busy right now with bringing Gentoo up to date). It's part of the GNOME Office "suite" along with Gnumeric (spreadsheet), Evolution (email etc) and a few others.

No verdict yet on how lightweight it is - even my nettop is a lot bigger than the R-Pi - but it has enough features to lay out a basic document the way I like it, and it does so in a familiar, industry-standard way. And it installed very quickly, which is a good sign.

I dare say that a truly lightweight office suite could easily be built using the R-Pi, by someone who really knows what he's doing and has the time for it. There are plenty of ready-made components that can be tied together to make the job easier - font renderers, spelling checkers, maths libraries, etc. These are all things that had to be written longhand in the 1990s, but not any more.
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Re: Mhz

Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:14 am

Make it too "lightweight" though, and people won't use it due to lack of features :|

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Re: Mhz

Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:15 am

nathanrussell wrote:Isn't 700 Mhz a bit small to run a word processor like openoffice?
Well as no one seems to be pointing it out I suppose I will have to.

700MHz is a speed, you don't talk about a small speed you talk of a slow speed.
You talk about a small amount of memory which is what the Pi has but only by recent standards, it has quite a large amount.

As others have pointed out 700MHz is actually quite a fast speed for a processor. The Arduino runs at 16MHz and due to the lack of operating system can outperform the Pi at certain tasks. So speed like size is relative.

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Re: Mhz

Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:25 am

Grumpy Mike wrote:700MHz is a speed, you don't talk about a small speed you talk of a slow speed.
You talk about a small amount of memory which is what the Pi has but only by recent standards, it has quite a large amount.
700 MHz is a frequency. But first of all, 700 is a value and, when compared with another value, it can be smaller, bigger or equal.
Grumpy Mike wrote:As others have pointed out 700MHz is actually quite a fast speed for a processor. The Arduino runs at 16MHz and due to the lack of operating system can outperform the Pi at certain tasks. So speed like size is relative.
Yes it's relative. It's faster than an Arduino and can outperform it at certain tasks, but it could be outperformed by an Arduino at other tasks. Also, the lack of an OS could be a huge advantage for some tasks.

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Re: Mhz

Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:58 am

AndrewS wrote:Make it too "lightweight" though, and people won't use it due to lack of features :|
I don't think I use any WP features that were not available on AmiPro 15 years ago, running on my 300Mhz Pentium.
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