Dad: I put two versions on there for you, the OpenOffice version and a PowerPoint version. They both the same slides, there's just two versions of it.
Bean: Why two?
Dad: Because if you've got PowerPoint you can't open the OpenOffice version. OpenOffice can open PowerPoint files, but PowerPoint can't open OpenOffice files.
Bean: So OpenOffice is better.
Dad: I'd say so. Cheaper too. Loads cheaper.
Dad: Christ, we haven't got time to go into that right now ...
I needed to edit a video file today (first time for everything). Nothing remotely difficult, just shaving about 10 seconds off the end. Daniel cooks up little things in Windows Movie Maker all the time, so I had a go with that. I managed to do the edit, but I could only export the file as an enormous WMV file. However, I'd started with an AVI and really wanted to stay with an AVI, as I don't know what machine this thing'll end up on and so AVI is a better bet. So I canned Movie Maker, spent thirty seconds googling, downloaded something and tried that. Unfortunatly whatever it was wouldn't do it either, so I canned that, googled a bit more and hit VirtualDub. That rang some kind of bell, so I grabbed that and ran it up (no installation needed), and a minute after that had trimmed my video. Thanks VirtualDub chaps. Mild to medium boos to Movie Maker.
Oh yea, the video was a screengrab captured using another bit of free software - CamStudio.
You can download OpenOffice.org for yourself and have a dabble. Then you'll decide to keep. It's more than enough word processor/spreadsheet/presentation/desktop database (or as we laughably call them productivity suite) as pretty much anyone needs (unless you're doing something very obscure) and since you have to pay precisely no money for it, it's terrifically good value.