OpenOffice.org: Installation Hot Tip!

Yesterday, I gave my tale of woes around installation of OpenOffice.org 2.3 on my sister’s (and then my) computer.  Here’s the key take-away as a Hot Tip!

  1. When you are installing OpenOffice.org 2.3, the current latest-and-greatest from the download site, you will eventually run into this dialog.
      
  2. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  YOU NEED TO PUT THE INSTALLATION FILES IN A SAFE PLACE.  NOT YOUR DESKTOP.  The  installation of OO.o is going to remember where the installation files have been placed.  OO.o software depends on being able to find the Installation Files in the future if you ever want to uninstall or upgrade your OO.o software.  Be warned!
        
  3. Use the Browse … button to find a safe place to keep the installation files.  Do not accept the default as I am doing in this screen shot.
      
    I recommend a location that is backed-up and restored and is otherwise in an out-of-the-way place. 
      
    I keep all of my downloaded software in folders of a special directory, so that I can reinstall if I ever need to rebuild my system.  I changed the destination folder path to be under that directory, in an "\OpenOffice.org 2.3 Installation Files" subdirectory. 
      
  4. It is a great waste of space to keep all of this around when apparently it is just the .msi file that will be needed in the future.  But to be safe, I recommend keeping all of the files.  You might want to delete or archive the downloaded .exe file that the Installation Files are unpacked from, though.
       
  5. Update 2007-09-27-12:22: Another option is to back up both the downloaded .exe file and the folder of OpenOffice.org 2.3 Installation Files onto a CD-ROM or a backup service.  When the Installation Files are needed again, it should be sufficient to access them directly on the backup CD or remote folder.
      
  6. An Alternative: [added 2007-09-27]:  The OpenOffice.org 2.1.0-12b Novell Edition downloads as a CD-ROM .iso image.  You can burn this to a CD-ROM and install it whenever and wherever you like.  The setup.exe of this version does not require your cooperation in creating and preserving an Installation Files folder.  I don’t know whether uninstall requires the CD-ROM, so hold onto it, but I somehow doubt that will be a problem.
    • I don’t know if this variant of OpenOffice.org 2.1 is subject to the TIFF exploit that applies to the Sun-sponsored OpenOffice.org 2.1 release and that does not apply to their release 2.3.  I am willing to risk that because I am not expecting to be receiving and ODF documents containing TIFF images.  Also, I don’t use office productivity software in anything but limited-user accounts.
    • My interest in the Novell version is the greater attention to Microsoft interoperability and the availability of an early OOXML-conversion plug-in.  I also have an interest in products that support ODMA.  Novell is adding that to their Windows edition with initial presence in the OOo 2.1 Novell edition.

[listening to: Pink Floyd, The Wall (1994 Digital Remaster) from Amazon MP3 in Windows Media Player 11 on Windows XP]

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