If there's one thing humanity should have learned by now, it's the importance of communication - of figuring out ways to make sure people understand each other. How many wars could be prevented if people in competing cultures would be able to speak each other's language, to explain to each other their concerns and common interests? Nations, tribes, individuals, even computers - can't we all just get along?
Apparently not. War may be bad for computers and other living things, but the "authorities" have done little to prevent war in the computer world. Like those guys in the Mac vs PC ads (http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/); the tension between the two interlocutors (representing each computer) is so thick, you can cut it with a USB stick. You know those two would just love to beat each other to a pulp - after they both gang up on Linux Guy, whose gang is more than ready to take over their neighborhoods.
You've got the same competition between programs, operating systems, and file formats - perhaps the most difficult-to-bridge rivalry in the PC world. It's amazing how many different ways there are to write a simple sentence. The letters and words are the same - to us, but not to your computer. What if someone sends you a document in Word format, and you don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars for Microsoft Office? Or you need to send a spreadsheet to someone - in OpenOffice Calc format, and they only use Excel?
Since both those formats are popular, the powers that be at Microsoft and OpenOffice have supplied solutions with their respective programs. But what about the rest? What do you do if you get a file in ODP, or (shudder!) ODF format? SDD format? SXI? WRI? XPS? It's enough to make you want to grab the sender and wring his/her neck! And that, my friends, is how wars begin.
It's time for a peacemaker to intervene - and in the file format world, that peacemaker is Cometdocs (http://www.cometdocs.com/), a site that converts between dozens of different formats, for text, spreadsheet and graphic files. Using Cometdocs, you can upload almost any file with a funny suffix to PDF (and from PDF into document, texts, HTML, etc.), preserving formatting and layout. And Cometdocs is free to use - as in free love, something the PC world could certainly use these days.
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