mac, technology

Aqua OpenOffice is Shaping up

The Mac OpenOffice team released the second snapshot of the Aqua (X11 free) version of OpenOffice today. While there is more to be done before it is ready for people to use in a reliable and easy fashion, it is really making headway. The big thing is that you can print from OpenOffice now. That’s important. The print dialog isn’t Mac’s so that still needs work, but gosh it’ll be there soon enough.

At this point it is still too early to review the new OpenOffice, but it looks like it is on its way to becoming the same great free office suite on Mac that it is on every other platform. Mac users, get ready to throw your copy MS Office in the trash. You can open and save Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, or use safer open formats.

technology, tips

Great (Free) Open-Source Script Writing Software

So, you want to participate in Script Frenzy this June, but you know already that MS Word will give you an atomic headache just to get it to do its mediocre formatting job, so what do you do? You could go out and buy Final Draft for $229. Final Draft has been around for a long time, but lots of people don’t think it is so great (note the review is from 2004 and that Final Draft is still at version 7). If $229 is too much for software described as “buggy” with “poor technical support” you could try Montage for as little as $140 (download only price). But, you may not like that people don’t have much love for Montage and its bugs either, plus it is only for Mac.

Maybe you want to write your script without paying for expensive and buggy software, hey, I don’t blame you. So what can a guy or gal do then? Where should a future scriptwriting genius turn? Well, you have no need to fear Celtx is here and it is open source (free!). Best of all, Celtx works whether you’re on a Mac (i.e. a clever person), Linux (i.e. a geeky person), or a PC (hey, no one is perfect).

Celtx doesn’t just format your documents though, it has all sorts of neat features to help you write your blockbusting indie filck about a man who, while trying to discover the secrets of a lost civilization, discovers the power of love from a real live mummy princess. With features like storyboards, schedules, reports, media development (for characters, settings, animals, etc), and collaboration tools how can you pass Celtx up? It is already used by lots of people, especially folks in film schools.  One person even wrote to the Celtx team:

I’ve taught, reviewed and used every editing system, compositing application, audio sequencer, production process, script-writing tool, storyboard system and imaging program known to humankind and I simply need to tell you that Celtx is the most efficient, effective, flexible and forward-thinking piece of software I have ever encountered in 15 years or making moving images…!

While I’m no Cohen brother, I can tell you that Celtx is well worth trying.