Tag Archives: Linux

Horrible Libre Office bug

I was editing an .odt document using LO Writer, saving periodically. While I was away from the machine, the battery ran out. When I switched on again, the .odt file was still there, but contained 0 bytes of data. The entire contents of the document had been lost. I hadn’t set LO to make backups. The copy on Ubuntu One had already synced to the 0 bytes version. Yikes!

Purely by luck, I had booted to my MS Windows partition on the same machine not too long before the power outage. A previous version of the .odt file had synced to the Ubuntu One folder on the Windows partition and was still there to be retrieved. Phew! Of course, had I booted to the Windows partition after the power outage, with an internet connection, that would have synced to the 0 bytes version as well. Horrible.

This was LibreOffice 3.4.4 on Ubuntu 11.10.

The bug is well known, and has been fixed in a more recent version. But the more recent version is not in the Ubuntu repositories yet.

I am now going to do the following:

  1. get the new version of LO.
  2. review my backup procedures. LO can be set to make automatic backups: Tools > Options > Loan/Save (General) > Always create backup copy. This saves a backup file to ~/.libreoffice/3/user/backup/
  3. wonder what other unpleasant issues might be lurking in LO.

Ubuntu 11.10 misery

You persuade yourself, and anyone who will listen, that migrating to Ubuntu Linux was a smart move – it’s free, you have control, it doesn’t try and sell you things or manipulate you, it has a short boot-time, you learn more, it isn’t targeted by viruses and malware, it doesn’t use grasping and possessive infantilisms like “My Computer” and “My Music”, it’s fun, you aren’t tortured by shut-down screens that say “Do not unplug or power off your machine – installing updates” that stay there for indefinitely long periods when you need to leave the office with your laptop in five minutes’ time, etc. etc.

Then you upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10…

You can forgive the slightly kindergarten feel of the “Dash”. You reinstall the stuff that gives you back the control you miss from earlier versions. You acknowledge that it actually looks and feels pretty good, and works pretty well.

Then you realise that it cannot, will not, declines to, refuses to, print to your HP LaserJet 1200, which worked just fine with the previous version. You can’t print anything at all! Then you install FontForge, which worked on previous versions, and find that it pulls a segmentation fault whenever you do anything drastic like press the Shift key.

I’m going to start here and here. If they are not both fixed in 24 hrs, I am officially no longer a fan.