SCOUG OS/2 For You - January 1999
by Paul Wirtz
SOMEWHERE IN CYBERSPACE ---
Who can resist a whole suite of office programs for free? StarOffice has recently become free for personal use, and
last month we covered the ins and outs of downloading its 77 MBs. Now we'll move on to installation.
StarOffice - continued
With the files downloaded, the next thing to do is run SETUP to start the StarOffice installation program. You'll be asked to enter some user "data" such as your name and address. After that, you'll need to enter your Personal Key. That's the long string of letters and numbers (mine is 22 characters long) you were given when you first went to the Star Division site to download StarOffice. Remember that if you don't use the same name and email address in the user "data" fields that you specified when you received your Personal Key, the registration key won't be accepted.
The installation program will recommend installation in the D:\OFFICE50 directory, but you can change that to whatever you like. Installation modifies your CONFIG.SYS file, so when the install finishes you'll have to reboot. (The CONFIG.SYS changes are minor. The installation directory is added to PATH and LIBPATH, your browser directory is added to HELP, and a new Java class file named NJCLASS.ZIP is added to CLASSPATH.)
The installation puts a new StarOffice 5.0 folder icon on your desktop. Click on it and you'll see program icons for Setup and for StarOffice 5.0. Use Setup to modify your installation, uninstall StarOffice or "repair and recover a damaged installation" (this fixes program files and registry entries; see README.TXT for one use).
When you click on the StarOffice 5.0 program the first time, you'll get a prompt to register the product. Click on "Yes", then "Register", and then verify the information on the screen. When you get to the Internet Options screen, you can copy the requested information (especially Mail/News) from your old browser. To "Send" the registration information, make sure you're online (start your dialer).
When registering, don't include any symbols in your address. If you're in Suite #200, just say Suite 200. Don't include the "#", or your registration won't work.
After you send your registration, you'll receive back a page containing your Registration Key. Jot down its value or, better yet, save the page because the Registration Key can be a bit tricky. (You need to be very careful that you don't mix up a numeric "0" with an alphabetic "O" or a numeric "1" with an alphabetic "I".) Then click on Finish Registration and your registration is now complete.
You're now ready to go. Play around with StarOffice and see what it can do.
Here's a quick tip for setting up your email. Right click on any part of the StarOffice desktop window. Then select "New...POP3 Account" to create an inbox and "New...Outbox" to create an outbox.
You can make the StarOffice desktop come up as the main desktop with
SET RUNWORKPLACE=D:\OFFICE50\SOFFICE.EXE in your CONFIG.SYS file. Great for system-challenged users.
StarOffice can import and export in many different file formats, including MS Office 95/97 files. The Mail can send and receive HTML or RFT messages so you can share email with Netscape and MS Outlook easily. Most modules have templates for creating standard or custom documents and MS Office97 templates can be used also. Importing between different programs is never perfect in every case, but it is a lot faster than starting over.
And there's a StarOffice mailing list for ongoing tips and help. To subscribe, send a blank message to firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll get a message requesting a confirmation; just send a reply back and you'll be on the list.
By the way, if you ever uninstall StarOffice you should see the larger README.TXT file under "Tips for Successful Installation" for some uninstall info.
Office suites and big downloads have both become a part of our computer world. A free office suite is certainly worth the download time, and one of the extra programs in StarOffice might be exactly what you need for some new project.
Paul D. Wirtz is a systems integrator for Volt Information Sciences, Inc. and
Vice President of the Southern California OS/2 User Group.
He has a fondness for old-time radio.
The Southern California OS/2 User Group
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