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LibreOffice Has an Answer

LibreOffice Has an Answer

It's hard to believe nearly an entire year has passed since I last wrote. There are so many gaps to fill in, but I'll skip all that for now and give a super recent update which is also completely random.

Most of my time lately has been spent on a project for my parents' business. Since 1982 Dad has maintained records of his orders in Symantec Q&A for DOS! A pretty impressive feat considering that most young people probably don't even know what a DOS is. The internet barely knows about the ancient software. Dad is probably among a small handful of people in the world who still uses it. Q&A served Dad well, and he did impressive work to design his system all those years ago. Now it's time for me to lend a hand by creating a tool he can use in this century.

If another year of silence doesn't follow this post, I might write more about my process of developing business software. Before that happens I wish to pull a 180 cuz that's what I do!

A few days ago I created a profile on LibreOffice's help forum because I use The Document Foundation's software, and I intend to dig deeper into it's functionality. ask.libreoffice.org is a great place to get questions answered.

Little did I know, LibreOffice can help me with my deeper, existential questions. Here I thought they only offered support for macros, SQL queries and my other random office software curiosities. Today's activity on their forum helped me along a deeper path to self-discovery.

All that to say, I filled out my user profile on the forum, and what I wrote went a little deeper than I intended. Writing descriptions or summaries about myself is a difficult chore, so I was pleased to be able to come up with something. I thought, "Why not share it on my nearly abandoned blog too?!"

While my description doesn't sum up all of my weirdness, it describes a few historical and present-day and trivial tidbits.

Hiking and the outdoors in general are among my favorite activities. In 2018 I beat my personal record and went on about 115 hikes! In an ideal world with no major responsibilities I'd hike or backpack every single day. If I was rich I'd also travel more, but that's not a reality for me. I love other cultures and places, and my heart often dreams of being somewhere else. A few years ago I made an effort to live overseas but couldn't figure out how to make it work. I've been to Brazil four times, Peru once, Indonesia, and the standard Mexico & Canada. Tropical areas are my favorite, though I live in the state of Oregon.

I'm currently developing business software for my parents and helping them downsize. I converted their database from the ancient Symantec Q&A for DOS, vastly improving the table structure and functionality. After months of searching into every conceivable software option I settled on LibreOffice Base as my primary platform with MySQL as a backend. I'm having a lot of fun creating the various screens and reports. I investigated all possibilities afforded by subforms & filtering hoping to avoid much scripting, but I'll end up writing a bunch of macros to get things functioning how I want.

For over twelve years I was involved in web development, data processing, graphic design and marketing. The web industry nearly catastrophically burnt me out because it completely reinvents itself every 2 or 3 years. To stay alive and remain sane for a few more years I'm pursuing other possibilities while also helping my parents transition into a new life stage.

I'm a quirky, nerdy, emo, quiet, goofy but deep-thinking guy who cares a lot for the few friends I gain in this life. My humor often crosses into the territory of utter nonsense, though I also enjoy crafting puns as a cranial exercise. I wish everyone well, and I try to live in a way that benefits others in my community (as much as extreme introvert can muster). God and the eternal, invisible reality are of vital importance to me. Such things are inseparable from my identity as a person.

Over the years I have written a lot in various forms - handwritten journals (which I also sew, glue & bind), blogs, forums and the like. There is some artistic aptitude in me, so I occasionally sketch with pencil and ink or create designs using various graphics applications. I am an amateur photographer who focuses most of his efforts on capturing visual memories while out in nature. Far too much time goes into digitally developing my photos, and I'm way behind.

Innocent and popular movies are entertaining to me. I'm particularly fond of Asian martial arts film, superhero movies and fantasy/sci-fi. I replay retro 8 and 16 bit games and some new games that reproduce that same feeling. Retro gaming music is also my favorite music genre. No matter how old I get, old video games along with the longtime friends who join me, and we joke around: such things are like a Light of Earendil to me, second only to the heavenly Light that I wish my metaphorically blind eyes could see more clearly.

Social media isn't interesting to me because it is a machine to manipulate human behavior, to distract us and waste our time. Yeah, I can be a little edgy and cynical! :) I avoid social media unless it's absolutely necessary for business purposes. Most people forgot I exist after I deleted my Facebook account back in 2011, but I still have a few cherished real-life friends! I don't watch TV, don't subscribe to streaming services and avoid mainstream media as much as possible. My thoughts aren't very compatible with mainstream political ideology, and I avoid hot button and controversial discussions like the plague.

Though I'm a fairly tech-savvy guy, these days I simplify by avoiding technology as much as I can. At the same time, I hope LibreOffice thrives well into the future. It's an awesome tool.

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