[Gllug] Puke - Berlin Bundestag will switch to Outlook and Exchange

Mike Brodbelt mike at coruscant.demon.co.uk
Fri Jun 22 15:44:03 UTC 2007

Christopher Currie wrote:

> At work we have been using M$ Word 97 to extend & sort, once a week, a 
> growing 'database' (actually a Word .doc file alphabetised by paragraphs) for 
> some years. As the file grew, Word 97 became unable to sort it. Increasing 
> the RAM on the PC kept it going for a few weeks but it started to hang again.  
> I assume that the number of paragraphs exceeds some array-dimension or key 
> limit in Word.

> It seems to me that, as we are physically moving office next month, it would 
> be reasonable to ask the bosses and the support company to install O.O.o on 
> the system after that, but I may encounter some resistance. 

I'm not against the idea of converting people to OpenOffice.org, but I'm 
really not sure pushing it as an answer here is a good solution.

The problem is that you have staff who are using a word processor to do 
a job it is totally unsuited for. This is a case of "when the only tool 
is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" syndrome. Changing word 
processor is the wrong answer - you should be using this as a reason to 
drive more intelligent use of applications, and be pushing education 
onto users, not a different word processor.

> Any other software solutions that people can suggest? (I can't imagine the 
> bosses agreeing to convert the PC to dual-booting with Linux). 

They should be using a spreadsheet at least, but if you want a better 
solution, give them Access or OO Base, and backend it on MySQL.

> We have two similar smaller 'databases' which are still Word-sortable and 
> likely to remain so for some years, and copies of the files need to be 
> mailable to one or two staff to work with at home. So I don't want to suggest 
> a proper relational database system, which would seem to be a sledgehammer to 
> crack a walnut.

In that case you should at least push a spreadsheet on them. That has 
the virtue of being readily moved to a proper database at a later stage.

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