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StarOffice 5.2: How good?

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Star Office 5.2 comes in with an Image creator, viewer/editor, quite

similar to Microsoft Photo Editor, but much superior to MS Photo Editor

since it comes with filters for images, which even MS-Office Photo Editor

does not support. Files with the extensions of JPG, GIF and PNG can be

edited in this application. This is a fairly good photo editor. There are

only a few filters available for use and the basic functions like resize,

flip, gamma correction, brightness/contrast etc. This is no PhotoShop but

it does support quite a few file formats and allows you to save among the

various formats.

To create a Label in StarOffice 5.2, click on the start button, then on

Labels. After you have done this, a window appears where you can choose

your options for the label, add the text to it, and then start printing

them. The same procedure goes for creating Business cards too. The result

for both is quite good and one can take a print of the business cards

directly on an A4 card sheet on a good, high quality printer. We have an

Epson Stylus 670 here. The results on this printer were quite acceptable

with accurate color reproduction.

Verdict

The specs of the test machine for StarOffice 5.2 were, Intel Celeron 500

MHz, 64 Mb SDRAM with a 20 GB Seagate Ultra ATA hard drive, Matrox

Millennium G200 AGP 8 MB, running Mandrake 7.1. The performance on this

machine was quite bad. StarOffice takes a huge amount of time to load and

simply guzzles RAM once it starts up. More memory would help but why

should we need 128MB for Word Processing. This seems to be largely a

problem with StarOffice for Linux. StarOffice takes about 12 sec's to load

in the Windows Environment, while under Linux, it takes more than 25

seconds to load. It also seems to perform better and feels less of a hog

on Windows.

StarOffice definitely is a very good office suit, but work needs to be

done to make it less of a resource hog. Good points with StarOffice 5.2

would be good support for Office 2000 file formats. Bad points would be

the unified desktop that we really could do without. Eventually it will

all depend on the user. This is definitely worth a try. You certainly

can't argue with the price -- Free!