Archive for April 5th, 2006

National Archives Move To Open Office

I spotted a rather interesting article on Slashdot yesterday about The National Archives of Australia announcing that they are moving their digital archives program to Open Office 2.0, and therefore the Open Document Format.

I personally use both Microsoft Office 2000, and Open Office 2.0, and I have to say that an awful lot of work has been done to make Open Office an almost perfect converter between a multitude of formats, and I think ODF is superior to the MS Office formats for a couple reasons.

  • ODF is openly documented, and anybody (with programming knowledge of course) can create an application which can read and write the ODF format.
  • MS Office documents (and other proprieatary document formats for that matter) can only really be interpreted by other applications through reverse engineering of the format, which is an error prone and highly tedious and difficult task.
  • Microsoft themselves are having trouble reading early office documents…some newer versions of Excel can’t properly open Excel 2.0 files for example, which creates a problem if government documents are in these formats and they are needed 300 years from now
  • ODF is XML based, which means it is purely text based, whereas MS Office documents are binary format, this creates a problem if the documents become corrupt for one reason or another. You have a much higher chance of recovering the majority of a corrupt text based document than a corrupt binary document.
  • ODF is also a compressed format, if you open an ODF file as a zip file, you will find that it is really a collection of XML files and graphics, compressed in ZIP format. This not only saves on disk space, but also provides a logical way or storing the different parts of the document, again making easier to recover if a corruption occurs.
  • Did I mention the fact that Open Office is free, and Microsoft Office isn’t?

The National Archives are by no means the first government agency in the world to convert to Open Office, but they are arguably the first one with such a major role in maintaining historical documents to do so. They cannot risk damaging these documents, and they also cannot risk losing them through technological obsoletion, and I think they have made the right choice in choosing Open Office, and they will now probably lead the way for many more government and private organisations to do the same thing.

Samuel

7 comments April 5th, 2006 at 10:48am

Who will take over 2CA’s Big Breakfast

Now that Greg “Robbo” Robson has left 2CA and Daniel Gibson has quite happily filled the void on a temporary basis, the question of who will take over the show permanently needs to be answered.

I suppose it is quite possible that Daniel will just keep going, and the fact there really aren’t any “filling in” lines to be found anywhere on the air could be proof, that being said, I do have to wonder about his full time position at Prime if he did decide to take on Breakfast radio on a permanent basis.

I do find it curious that there haven’t been any ads on radioinfo for the position, especially seeing as 2CA did say that Daniel would only be there “until a permanent replacement is found”, and Capital Radio tend to advertise just about everything on radioinfo.

This got me thinking about the recent ad for a Senior Journalist at 2CA/2CC, and the timing of it in relation to the announcement of Robbo leaving. I have no idea about the details of Robbo’s contract, but I would imagine that there would have probably been at least a 2 week notice period, which considering he finished on Friday would have started on Friday the 17th of March, only three work days before the Senior Journalist job was advertised on Wednesday the 22nd of March.

As I suspected that the Senior Journalist ad was indicating that one of the existing newsreaders was leaving, it all clicked…Kris McKenzie has been filling in on a couple of 2CC’s shows recently, he is great talent, upbeat and bubbly, and would probably fit right into 2CA’s “New Sound” format. The three workday gap between the dates listed above would be more than enough time to sign a presenter up as the new breakfast host, and file a job advertisement for the new host’s old job.

Naturally I’m speculating, but I’m not pulling names out of the air, as you can see I have given this some careful consideration, and it works…whether it turns out to be true or not is something we will just have to wait and see.

Samuel

43 comments April 5th, 2006 at 09:46am

Samuel’s Coffee-Cup-O-Meter

Tuesday
5 x Standard Mug (1 Point Each) = 5 Points
2 x Regular Shop Coffee (1 Point Each) = 2 Points
1 x Large Shop Coffee (1.5 Points Each) = 1.5 Points
Total = 8.5 Points

Samuel

15 comments April 5th, 2006 at 01:00am


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