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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: Yes. You can do this with OpenOffice. (MysteryGuitarMan video with OpenOffice Mac)
Date Fri, 10 Aug 2012 18:29:23 GMT

On Aug 10, 2012, at 7:05 AM, Rob Weir wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 3:18 AM, Andrea Pescetti <> wrote:
>> (answering below so that Paolo gets all context; he is not subscribed so CC
>> him if relevant)
>> On 10/08/2012 Rob Weir wrote:
>>> If you don't know this guy's work you should really check it out.  He
>>> has over 2 million YouTube subscribers.  It is hard to describe, but
>>> I'd say it is 1/3 one-man band, 1/3 stop motion animation, 1/3 green
>>> screen work.  And 100% fun.
>>> His latest video is called "Stop-Motion Excel".  But if you look
>>> closely you see that he is actually using OpenOffice for the Mac:
>>> And here is the "behind the scenes" video that explains how he did it:
>>> This is a fun video and good for showing friends and family what you
>>> are working on.  Let's try to get the world out, via the social
>>> networking site, both project's and personal.   And if you want to add
>>> a comment to the YouTube post pointing out that this is OpenOffice and
>>> it can be downloaded for free from, then great!
>>> This is a good way to introduce the product to more users.
>>> Bonus points for adapting an old ASCII Art algorithm to generate a
>>> spreadsheet from a photo.  If anyone can do that I'll interview them
>>> for a blog post and show of their work.
>>> Regards,
>>> -Rob
>> Paolo Mantovani, an expert of OpenOffice macros and an
>> Conference speaker, published his "Macro and Rock&Roll" series back in 2008.
>> See for example
>> and the embedded AC/DC video there. It looks like he might be the man you
>> are looking for.
> That's totally insane!  Great work.
> It makes me think that there could be some value in thinking "outside
> of the box" and rethinking multimedia in the context of a spreadsheet.
> For example, today the only data type a cell can contain is a number
> and a string.  Boolean and date as well, but they are just special
> kinds of numbers.
> What if we had an intrinsic data type for an image?  Or a sound clip?
> And functions that could operate on these data types.
> For example, if an image is added to a cell (via edit menu, or paste
> or drag & drop) then it can operate like a normal data type for many
> operations.
> So if there is an image in cell A1 and another in B1, then the formula
> =(A1+B1)/2 would yield an image that average the two.  Diffing images,
> scaling them, etc., have natural interpretations.
> You could even have new spreadsheet functions that operate directly on
> image data, e.g., sharpen, blur, FFT, deconvolution, etc.
> You could imagine the same with a data type for audio.

Why limit this to images and audio? Have spreadsheets store object references. The objects
can be xml constructs. Objects implement some set of operators and common functions while
the stubs for others automatically return an error.

You could return custom objects from special functions and it would be cool if those were
drawing objects attached to the cell or range.


If the object type is not available on the machine then the cell is automatically protected.
This becomes a great way to send results to clients.

> So this gets more similar to a Mathematica type experience, where you
> can have calculations that mix standard numerical operations, but also
> interact with multimedia, both as a source and a destination for data.
> For example, you can take a range of data, calculated based on other
> formula, and "render" it as a sound or an image.
> It is an opportunity.  Spreadsheets have not really enhance their
> basic computational model since Visicalc.

Very intriguing. People love to use spreadsheets to define business processes and trade analytic


> -Rob
>> Regards,
>>  Andrea.
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