Tiny Core: A Linux-geek-slash-manager’s best friend

I never install OpenOffice. Absolutely never. It’s just too big, too fat, too … too everything. It’s on my perennial no-go list, along with a lot of other pear-shaped programs. Like Gnome.

On the other hand, it does do one magical trick, and that’s open Word files. In that small crevice of my computing experience, I have very few requirements, and so even that one bonus is hardly worth noticing.

Until, of course yesterday, when I get a Word document through e-mail (on my day off, I might add) that needs correction. And all my machines but one have Crux on them, and I’d rather not compile something new just to make a few changes on a Word document and send it back.

I do have some other options too. I could swap out the drive in the Sotec and replace it with the drive from the office, which gives me Word and a couple of other things. Of course that would take 10 or 15 minutes, plus another 10 or 15 minutes to put it back when I’m done, and another 10 minutes for it to start, load, open the document and edit it. …

Anyway, that’s not particularly appealing. And of course, installing OOo is not necessarily what’s needed. But even Abiword wants more than 140Mb of space and half of the Gnome infrastructure to install in Arch. Installing anything on these machines, just to touch up a Word file, seems like a giant inconvenience. My life is that casual: Installing OpenOffice is an inconvenience. :roll:

Enter Tiny Core, which gives you access to OpenOffice 2 in a nice neat package, perfectly capable of making the teeny changes I need without inconveniencing me for more than a few minutes. I boot the ISO in a matter of seconds, download OOo2 and Minefield so I can get to my e-mail account, edit, resave and resend … and all in a matter of minutes. It was almost too easy.

So I can give Tiny Core another gold smilie :) , this time for saving me about a half an hour to swap out a hard drive, or even longer if you think of the time it would take to install the software on another machine. And yes, while there are other ways of solving the issue, this one was probably took the least time, least bandwidth and least … inconvenience. :mrgreen:

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8 Responses to “Tiny Core: A Linux-geek-slash-manager’s best friend”


  1. 1 wwzulu 2008/12/19 at 5:47 PM

    What comes to my mind on such an occasion is open Google docs. It lacks some functionality but for simple tasks maybe quite useful.

  2. 2 mads 2008/12/19 at 5:49 PM

    A nice solution and i don’t wanna rain on your parade … but for non-hazzle it would probably be easier to go with google docs:
    http://documents.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=49008
    A bit too boring to warrant a post, though :)

  3. 3 mads 2008/12/19 at 5:49 PM

    I hate being beaten to the punch….

  4. 4 K.Mandla 2008/12/19 at 6:56 PM

    Ah, I was hoping someone would mention Google docs. Yes, that would have been an option, except these were “sensitive” documents, and not really ideal to be sharing with Google. So yes, under normal circumstances I might have used that too, but as it stands I’m afraid sending Google something like that might have proven … detrimental to my career. ;)

  5. 5 Dieter_be 2008/12/20 at 12:43 AM

    There are some commandline tools to open word files too.
    Can’t come up with their names right now though.

  6. 6 damaged justice 2008/12/20 at 3:09 AM

    wvware is the one I was thinking of. Worked great in my ~/.mailcap for years, but I’ve been using Abiword the last few on those rare occasions when someone sends me MS docs.

  7. 7 James 2009/01/03 at 11:47 AM

    “But even Abiword wants more than 140Mb of space and half of the Gnome infrastructure to install in Arch.”

    Wait, what? I hacked on AbiWord a bit this past summer, and 140 mb sounds like a lot for a minimal install.

    I *think* (could be wrong here) that Gnome is just used for printing support. Compiling with the –disable-print option should remove Gnome dependencies. I mean, I know Arch Linux includes all the bells and whistles, but I doubt you’d have difficulty making a minimal build.
    http://www.abisource.com/wiki/Compiling_AbiWord

    I suspect the Gnome dependencies will be dropped in favor of GTK2′s printing functionality once Cairo rendering is satisfactorily completed.


  1. 1 Going over covered ground « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2009/12/07 at 10:56 AM

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