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Slow graphing functions?

 
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wireloose
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Joined: 17 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:11 am    Post subject: Slow graphing functions? Reply with quote

Situation: I am a consultant, and I frequently collect sampled data, 5,000 or more samples at a time. In some cases, as much as 60,000 samples. I use Microsoft Excel, and create a quick chart to plot these samples on screen for analysis. Depending on results I often may paste these charts into reports for clients. I normally review as many as 100 sets of data in a couple of hours, interactively changing axis and other controls and I may get 20-30 redraws with each set. This means that I cannot just automate the functions. This charting function is the only function I still need Excel, if I want to work efficiently.

Problem: A recent 9,000 sample plot took approximately 4 seconds to plot on screen in Excel, once the chart was defined. However, the exact same data took 12 minutes on Calc. In both cases, it was the same exact and simple chart. It was a single column of floating point numbers.

I then tried rebuilding the data, using Calc and simply pasting the column of data into the spreadsheet. I got the same results, nearly 10 minutes to display. I tried changing y-axis definitions for the chart, to expand a results region for more detailed review. This required another 10 minutes for redraw. I then saved the data from Calc to an Excel spreadsheet. Excel loaded the file and displayed the chart in roughly 10 seconds.

I tried this on several computers. In each case, OOo 2.0

Athlon 2200+ w/ 2GB RAM desktop running Win XP w/ Excel 2003 and OOo 2.0
Athlon 2200+ w/ 2GB RAM desktop running Ubuntu (current) and OOo 2.0
P4-1000 w/ 512MB RAM desktop running WinXP w/ Excel 2000 and OOo 2.0
P4-1000 w/ 512MB RAM desktop running RedHat (current) and OOo 2.0
P3-500 laptop w/ 256MB RAM running Gentoo (current) and OOo 2.0.

I get nearly the same results in all cases, with the exception of the poor little laptop, which has to do a lot more paging to get through the run.

I'd like to get rid of Microsoft tools and reduce my operating costs. Calc charting works great for me on small sample quantities, 5-25 samples. But to use it forthese big samples is impractical with this current problem. Does anyone know of a fix for this charting problem?

Background: I have been using OpenOffice.org for almost all of my work, both on Linux and on WinXP, for some time. I develop and teach classes on open source software solutions, and I implement open source systems routinely as part of my consulting work. I've been in the IT business nearly 30 years, and I've been using Linux variants since beta .90 of the kernel.
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David
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Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 5668
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: Slow graphing functions? Reply with quote

wireloose wrote:
I'd like to get rid of Microsoft tools and reduce my operating costs.


I find OO graphics a drag. Writing a text using very simple graphics from a math equation editor, I'm up to 15 pages, and already see a noticeable delay in loading/unloading. God knows what would happen on the 1500th page, and people have already registered crashes when having lot of graphics to handle.

There is other software available for doing charts. Sorry, I can't help with Linux software.

Re operating costs: I'd balance that against overall costs when things don't work as they should [time is money], ease of use and so less frustration on the job, and consider business tax writeoffs which might greatly reduce initial costs. I live in farm country, and a local millionaire farmer takes pleasure in telling me he pays less in taxes than I do, and I can't afford even one of his big tractors.

David.
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noranthon
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Joined: 07 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found at least one charting tool for Linux with a web search recently but so far have taken it no further (other priorities). Gnumeric now has a Windows version.
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wireloose
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Joined: 17 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, I'll check it out. Thanks.

And yes, I am currently balancing operations costs versus all other factors. If OOo worked well, I could reduce some costs dramatically, for me, and for some of my clients. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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