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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Amazon Download of Apache OpenOffice 3.4
Date Mon, 17 Sep 2012 06:50:11 GMT
On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<> wrote:
> On learning that is offering downloads of Apache OpenOffice, I was curious
enough to go through the purchase ($0.00) and download process at <>.
> Here's everything I noticed:
>  1. OOPS #1: It says the product is for Vista / XP, with no other versions of Windows
>  2. It points to an Apache OpenOffice 3.4 for Mac [Open Souce Download} as also available.
>  3. It has been offered since 2012-09-10 and was #352 in Software when I looked yesterday.
 Just now it is #188 in Software and #71 in Software > Business & Office.    There
are no reviews yet.
>  4. The page is used for the Product Description.
>  5. OOPS #2: What's not so thrilling is the Sponsored Links that are offered as being
also of potential interest.  These refer to,,
and  (That one is called OpenOffice 2012 Download.)
>  6. Amazon has a Games and Software Library for users.  This can be used to re-download
the software and also get product keys (not applicable for this one).   Out of curiosity,
I followed that link and found that they are still holding tax-return software for the US
2008 tax year that I purchased and downloaded in 2009.  Now the Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is there
now too.
>  7. Amazon has their own downloader.  It is needed to retrieve software from the Games
and Software Library.  I didn't install that, although it is needed to download from the library.
>  8. Going through the one-click purchase of the $0.00 software, I was not sent the executable.
 Instead, I was sent an "Amazon OpenOffice 34 by Apache" downloader executable.  I ran it.
 It is a simple dialog with a progress bar, the gull button, and a message that the item can
be downloaded again from my software library. It downloads the software.  It doesn't say where.
>  9. When the downloader has completed, there is only an "Install" button and also a little
pull-down button for viewing the download location.
>  10. OOPS #3: I checked the download location.  The Windows download is to the User's
>  11. OOPS #4: I used the option to open that folder.  The downloaded file is named "OpenOffice.exe".
 That's it.  It needs to have a more distinctive filename, seems to me.
>  12. I closed the download dialog, and was given an "Are you sure you want to quit without
installing?" dialog.  I clicked the "Quit Now" button.
>  13. I moved the "OpenOffice.exe" from my desktop to a shared-server folder where I keep
all of my AOOi downloads and screen shots.  The file is 135,933,721 bytes and I presume it
is the same as Apache_OpenOffice_incubating_3.4.1_Win_x86_install_en-US.exe that is the AOOi
3.4.1 release.  The gull-button download icon is shown with directory listings of the file.

The MD5 hash matches our 3.4.1 Windows en-US release.

>  14. I checked my list of installed programs and the "Amazon OpenOffice 34 by Apache"
downloader is nowhere to be seen.  My only Amazon software consists of the Amazon MP3 Downloader,
the Amazon MP3 Uploader (the pair for transferring from/to Amazon Cloud Player) and Amazon
>  15. The next time I ran an e-mail check, I received an Order Confirmation
for my $0.00 purchase.  It also reminds me where I can go to download the software from my
Games and Software Library at
> The use of the desktop for a temporary locations is pretty awful.  This is in addition
to the fact that the default installer location of the setup files folder is also on the desktop.
 I expected better of Amazon.

My guess is they required a signed exe for the initial download.
Since Apache does not provide one, Amazon's workaround was via this
downloader app.  I'd bet that this hack was to get around browser
warnings about unsigned code.

> Bonus Experiment
>  16. I decided to go back to My Games and Software Library at and install
the Amazon Games & Software Downloader (for Windows XP/Vista/7), and see what that provides
that might be better.  I got the usual IE warning about this not being downloaded much and
also an administrative permission that indicated the code is not signed.  I got to name my
PC (sort of what happens with Kindle software too).
>  This lets me set the download location.  The default on Windows 7 is "C:\Users\Public\Documents\Amazon
Games & Software".  I changed it to my user account Downloads folder.  It started my most-recent
purchase or download (AOOi 3.4.1) again, and I cancelled out of it.
>  17. The Amazon Games & Software Downloader is now in my Control Panel programs
directory.  This strikes me as a superior solution to having the transient downloader that
uses the desktop without giving me any control or even knowing in advance what would happen.

It would be good to get in contact with whoever controls the product
description on this Amazon page.  The cut & paste from the website
brought in some stuff that doesn't make sense in this context.  For
example, the description claims that AOO runs on Windows, Mac, Linux
and Solaris, but the actual download here is Windows only.

>  - Dennis

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