I am looking for some for a answer. I want the latest version of Open Office, which I understand is 100% compatible with the Microsoft Office stuff. It is my understanding the new version of Open Office works under 9.04 and is part of the (.04 distribution. I do not have the USB startup disk creator. But before I install it I want to test drive 9.04 first without upsetting or loosing any of my files, config information and settings. BTW, can I boot from a CD drive and test drive it first without upsetting or loosing any of my files, config information and settings? I do have 9.04 on a CD that I burned earlier today but don't want to try either DC or flash drive till I am sure a test drive won't upset or loose any of my files, config information and settings.
Thanks for any information.
It is likely you can download and install OpenOffice without upgrading from 8.04. 100% compatibility is probably not completely right, however, the file filters are getting better with time. Why don't you look for a package of OO 3.x compatible with Ubuntu 8.04, first? You risk a lot by upgrading from 8.04 for your hardware since compatibility is not guaranteed. Check out the Openoffice.org site for a self installing package compatible with your architecture and just install that locally in your home directory. It can be a self installing .bin file for that type install.
You should be careful in upgrading to 9.10. It has definite stability issues related to Intel Graphics chips. I have a PC with integrated Intel GMA950 and when I installed 9.10, it could only run on "low" graphics settings. If I tried "normal" or better, the system would freeze. 9.04 - which is quite stable contrary to rumor - could run with full graphics effects, including Compiz. Either way, both are more polished than 8.10.
If you want the latest version of Office, and an incredibly polished interface, you might want to try Mandriva 2010 One in its Live CD form. Mandriva is very end-user friendly and it uses KDE 4.3 (which I like much better than GNOME). It has very clean, crisp graphics and font representation, and includes the latest version of Open Office. It's worth a shot running it from Live CD. In that way, you can test it out without having to install it (no risk at all).
I think once you've used KDE 4.3, you'll have a hard time going back to Ubuntu GNOME. But, that's just my opinion :)
Yes, you can boot from the CD without touching anything on your hard drive. That is the whole reason that Live CDs exist. As for the USB startup disk creator, that was not included in Ubuntu until 9.04 I think - maybe 8.10. And even then it didn't work for me when I was trying to make some 9.10 images. I think the bootloader they used on the 9.10 CDs was too new for that utility. What did work for me is a program called UNetbootin. Not sure how long it has been around but it was in my 9.04 repositories so if you want to make a USB startup disk, check Synaptic and see if it is there.
Always make a backup of any important files before you do any system upgrades! Doesn't matter if you are running Windows, Linux or Mac! If nothing else, get a free account on dropbox.com and sync up your documents.