Taking Hold of Your Education Software with Open Office

When you first arrive at a college campus, your wallet is likely to be torn open like a six-year-old’s birthday present. From tuition to housing to books and more, there’s always something more to spend on. Further, you’ll often be expected to purchase and learn a variety of new computer programs. On this last note, the open source community has some tools to help you. When it comes to word processing and other basic document creation, there’s no educational resource quite so powerful as Open Office.

What Is Open Office?

Most of us grew up on either the “Microsoft Office” suite, or at least some variation thereof (Word Perfect, for example). However, these commercial products limit the access to other file types to maintain a “domain.” Not so with Open Office. You can easily open, edit, and even publish to a variety of different document formats.

As an “open source” product, Open Office is also completely free of charge, and it sees rapid, intelligent support from the active open source development community.

Using Open Office for Education

Having Open Office helps the first few days of your higher education by saving you a noticeable amount of money. However, its real advantages can be seen in the following features:

-You can customize your own shortcut keys and commands to quickly repeat common actions in your documents.

-You can create advanced spreadsheets, presentation documents, and richly formatted word documents, helping you on your way to an A.

-You can format your files as any standard format your professors require.

-You can open any file format your professors throw at you.

-You can load the entire program, including your settings and shortcuts, onto a single thumb drive using Open Office Portable.

There are plenty of other features as well, but there’s little doubt that OpenOffice is among the best pieces of modern educational technology currently available.

Open Source Code Takes Over the World!

One day, that could be a reality! Unlike the other big boys in the programming world, open source projects strive to provide value at the best possible cost, absolutely free. As the world at large becomes more aware of this new trend in the application’s arena, their increasing market share will only get larger, faster. Here are a few reasons why you should jump on the open-source band wagon:

The Open Source Community is Inclusive

When was the last time you felt one of the electronic giants really cared about what you wanted? The open source community not only cares what you think, but they actively recruit new members to their projects. If you don’t know how to code in a relevant language, it’s OK. You can always help test a new version or simply give your idea for a new feature.

The Open Source Community is, Well, Open

Could you imagine Microsoft of Apple handing you the source code to one of their products? Unless you have a couple million to spare, it ain’t happening. Anyone can get a copy of any open source code application. Want to change it? No problem. Thinking about bundling it with your product and selling it? Go right ahead!

Get Anything You Need

As the open source movement has become more mature, users have discovered they can find almost anything in the available list of programs. Need something like Microsoft Office? Simply use OpenOffice. Need a great compression and extraction tool for zipped files? The 7 Zip program works better than anything you could buy! If you’re creating multi media files or graphic images, give GIMP, Blender, or Xvid a try! Best of all, open source code programs are created by well-respected companies and developers. According to the rules, each one is spam and virus free.

Why not try an open-source program today?

Online Backups: Pros and Cons

The growth in online backup sites has been phenomenal. While it’s wonderful that everyone has finally got with the program and decided backing up their important data should be a regular routine, there’s still some confusion about online backups. While nothing is completely foolproof, a few distinct advantages come with this service.

Virtually No Hardware Worries

If you backup your data to your own disks or hard-drive, it’s better than nothing. However, these items can become lost or damaged. A fire or other disaster that destroys your home computer will definitely do the same to any external storage media if it’s not kept at an off-site location. An online backup provider will generally have redundant servers and locations in case of a hardware failure. Unless the entire company shuts down, you have virtually no risk of losing your data due to an equipment malfunction.

Access Your Data from Anywhere

While you can use programs like Tight VNC or other free open source software to access your data from a remote device at any location, this plan isn’t foolproof. If your Internet service is down or your power goes out, you won’t be able to connect through any type of desktop software. It doesn’t even have to be a major catastrophe! Something as simple as one of the kids turning the computer off can mean you can’t access a critical file just when you need it the most.

Use a Secure Connection

One drawback of using online backups is that you need a secure connection for file transfers. While the ftp protocol that sits behind many services is pretty good, the best policy is to use Putty when using File zilla to ensure a completely secure connection. Without this security feature, an innovative hacker could intercept your personal information as the data is being stored. This would be even worse than losing every single file on your system!

Remember to backup your system today!

Bullz-Eye drives a 2011 Chrysler 200 from New Orleans to Dallas

As part of the “Game On” Blogger Road Trip, Bullz-Eye will be heading down to the big game in Dallas in style behind the wheel of a 2011 Chrysler 200. This will be fun, as we’re going to first fly into New Orleans then hit the road with destination Dallas to meet up with other media and bloggers to discuss our experiences in the all new Chrysler 200, tailgate in style and then enjoy the biggest show on Earth! The Chrysler 200 drive has been chronicled by many, so follow Bullz-Eye on Twitter for updates and stories worth telling along the way.

Chrysler is gearing up with a slew of new products and we were fortunate enough to check them out at the North American International Auto Show. Everyone knows about the Chrysler 300 but this drive is all about the newbie Chrysler 200. Driving the 2011 Chrysler 200 from New Orleans to Dallas will give us an up-close view of how well this new car performs, rides and how it’s received along the way to the Big D!

Bullz-Eye isn’t the only ones hitting the road in the Chrysler 200. Follow the coverage from other bloggers!

Toyota takes another one on the chin!

Toyota displays their cars and trucks at the 2011 North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center in Detroit on January 11, 2011. UPI/Brian Kersey

Toyota takes another one on the chin with a massive worldwide recall! These headlines keep opening the door wider for other auto companies to garner market share from a once Unstoppable Juggernaut. Times change fast and if your Toyota you can’t like what you see in the rearview mirror especially if they are new Chrysler’s, Ford’s, Nissan’s and BMW’s!!!

From AutoNews.com:

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp., struggling to restore its reputation for top quality, today recalled nearly 1.7 million vehicles globally for a variety of fuel system related problems, including 245,000 Lexus IS and Lexus GS sedans in the United States.

The North American vehicles are being called back to inspect for possibly faulty installation of fuel pressure sensors. In cases where the sensor is not fastened tightly enough, fuel can leak between the gasket that connects the sensor to the fuel delivery pipes, Toyota said.

Lexus dealers in the United States will inspect vehicles for fuel leaks. If none is found, they will tighten the sensor. If leaks are confirmed, the gasket will be replaced and the sensor tightened.

Read the full article.

Chrysler/Dodge transforms into Fiat for Europe!

Fiat has started to take advantage of strong Chrysler products and will start selling a Dodge Journey based Fiat Freemont for the European market. Moves like these will expand the Fiat / Chrysler reach worldwide as we fully expect Mr. Marchionne to rebadge a few Fiats in North America with a Chrysler or Dodge nameplate. Sales for both companies can take off if done properly and we get Alfa Romeo’s for sale in the U.S. Alfa’s are beautiful cars and just watch what happens if they drop on the U.S. and Canadian markets!

From Car and Driver:

At the Geneva auto show in March, Fiat will unveil the Freemont, a rebadged Dodge Journey for the European market. It will appear alongside another American export, the Lancia-labeled Chrysler 200, which is expected to be called the Flavia.

Other than the Freemont’s front fascia—which features three quarters of the Dodge’s crosshair grille—the differences are nominal. Most significant, the Freemont’s powertrain lineup adds two diesel options, which are sure to make up the overwhelming majority of sales in Europe. Shoppers will be able to choose from a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel with either 140 or 170 hp. Although Fiat hasn’t yet released full specs, in other applications these engines make a respective 236 or 266 lb-ft of torque. The diesels will be available only with manual transmissions and front-wheel drive. The range-topping Freemont will come with Chrysler’s powerful 3.6-liter V-6, a six-speed autobox, and all-wheel drive as the only configuration.

Read the full article.

2011 Dodge Durango Car Review

Bullz-Eye.com reviews the 2011 Dodge Durango!

The Dodge Durango is back as a 2011 model after being sidelined for a short time, and I had the opportunity to test drive the new SUV in the beautiful setting of the San Francisco bay area. While Dodge retained essential elements like three rows of seating and towing capacity in this third generation of the Durango, the new version sports sleek styling and an improved driving experience that should broaden the appeal of the vehicle.

The older Durangos looked and felt like trucks, offering a very practical option to drivers with large families or an active lifestyle. With its towing capacity, it’s always been a great option for boaters or campers. None of that has changed, but the driving experience has been made much more comfortable with the improved interior and the much-improved ride and handling. I drove the vehicle around the picturesque winding roads near San Francisco and came away very impressed. It’s amazing how far SUVs, and now large SUVs, have come in recent years. While the ride won’t necessarily match that of some of the newer crossovers, it’s close enough where the Durango should get serious consideration by large families in the suburbs as well.

Read the full article.

Let the good times roll at Ford Motor!

Let the good times roll at Ford Motor! It’s amazing how this company turned around in the four years since CEO Alan Mulally took over the top spot from Bill Ford. It won’t be easy to keep the market share gains Ford has seen in the past few years with GM and Chrysler experiencing their own comebacks. In the meantime you know the Blue Oval Crew isn’t sitting back but rather they are getting ready for another round of new product launches in 2011.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Ford is about to happily wave good-bye to 10 years of turnaround plans.

The Dearborn automaker, which plans to announce year-end financial results Friday, is poised to report a profit for 2010 of about $8 billion excluding onetime charges — the automaker’s biggest annual profit in a decade.

Ford usually announces how much annual profit-sharing checks will be that day. The checks, expected in March, could give the local economy a $240-million boost, said David Sowerby, economist and chief portfolio manager for Loomis Sayles. Bernie Ricke, president of UAW Local 600, said the checks will be “fairly significant and more than we’ve seen in several years.”

Read the full article.

Questions swirling around future of Lincoln!

This is a very good write up on what the future holds for Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand. We weren’t at the dinner mentioned in the piece but it appears there weren’t many answers to the reporters questions.

My advice to the Bigs at the Blue Oval is “Go Young”. Take the time to establish Lincoln as a sleek luxury brand for style-conscious young professionals. (sound familiar?) It’s not a new formula but one that takes patience and top notch product priced right. As they climb the latter they will stick with Lincoln if their offerings can move up the ladder with the customer.

From Auto News.com:

It’s a week after the Detroit auto show opened to the press, and I have no clearer idea of how Ford Motor Co.’s going to rebuild Lincoln than I did before.

While Ford division occupied a large space at Cobo Center, the Lincoln stand was small and shoved into a back corner. You couldn’t miss it as you made your way to the restrooms.

Ford executives offered a wait-and-see response when asked about specific Lincoln product plans. The underlying message? It appears to be: “Trust us. Look what we’ve done with the Ford division. Just trust us.”

And even the competition won’t jar Lincoln.

Ford’s head of Asia-Pacific and Africa, Joe Hinrichs, told me at dinner that Buick’s compact car offering — the Verano — doesn’t put pressure on Lincoln.

Read the full article.

2011 Ford Fusion Review

Bullz-Eye.com reviews the 2011 Ford Fusion from the inside out.

The Ford Fusion has turned into a homerun for Ford Motor Company since the launch around 4 years ago. After spending some time in the 2011 Fusion SE you can understand how the ball was hit out of the park!

The first thing we noticed on our Blue Flame Metallic 2011 Ford Fusion SE was the aggressive front end which was redesigned on the 2010 Fusion. The sleek look of the new hood and front fenders blend well with the three bar grille, which Ford has turned into the face of the company. Our model had sport 18″ aluminum spoked wheels, power mirrors (same as the body color), chromed exhaust tips, and fog lamps. With a rear spoiler this Fusion had that “cool car” feel. The redesign of the Fusion took this vehicle to another level and, considering the sales figures coming in for the Fusion, it was money well spent.

Read the full recap here.

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