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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Making the Switch

Just a brief note for those of you who don't already know - there are a couple of great (free) open source alternatives to Microsoft, and I'd like to encourage you to try them:
  • Firefox 1.5 - simply the best browser out there, and the new version is faster than ever (go on, ditch IE now!)
  • Thunderbird 1.0.7 - if you use MS Outlook or Outlook Express, do yourself a favor and try Thunderbird (you can thank me later)
  • Open Office 2.0 - You know that MS Office you paid a couple of hundred bucks for? This will allow you to replace it. For free. And it can still read (and save) in MS formats. I've been using this for nearly a year now and really like it.
  • Trillian 3.1 - If you ever use an instant messenger client, you really ought to consider switching to Trillian. The basic version is free, and it allows you to talk to all the people you know, regardless of what IM service they signed up under. Plus it logs all your conversations (very nice!).
Take a few minutes and give these a try. You'll be glad you did...

10 Comments:

At 10:41 PM, December 03, 2005, Blogger Mark Traphagen said...

Thanks, Christian. Now that OpenOffice 2.0 is out, I've taken the plunge. I even uninstalled the MicroSerf Office Suite from my 'puter, so I've really taken the plunge!

 
At 5:43 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Dan McGowan said...

Hello, Christian. I actually have been using OpenOffice as well - however, I've not had success at reading these docs in MS. Maybe I did something wrong... which would not surprise me - - I am much more of a CREATIVE than a BRAIN! I'll give those other software a looksy... thanks for sharing this with us!!

 
At 6:30 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Mark Traphagen said...

Dandy:

I think you would need to save your OO docs as Word format (not OO format) in order to read them back into an MS app. Is that right Christian? If it is, then we've got to be careful to save any docs we want to share with the world in MS format (or something generic, like rtf or pdf).

 
At 11:11 AM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

Yep, Sage is right - if you want to be able to read it in MS Word, you have to save it in Word format, rather than OO's .sxw format. One of the coolest things about OO is that you can easily generate .pdfs in it - so I do all my base documents in .sxw, and then just 'save as' to .doc or .pdf as I need to hand them off to others.

All told, it is really quite impressive. I'm very pleased w/ it...

 
At 6:40 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger Master Aegidius said...

My older brother goes off to seminary, 4 years later, and here he is speaking in tongues....

....Sheesh, what next?

 
At 10:23 PM, December 04, 2005, Anonymous Heath said...

Well if you are going to make that jump, you might as well just take the last step and dump the whole problem and switch your OS. Try something like ubuntu (linux for human beings). If you can install windows you can do this. And this is free and Open Source (yes there is a difference Christian, who mistakenly said trillian was open source (it is not)).

 
At 6:50 AM, December 05, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

Yes, yes, yes - Trillian is NOT open source. I knew that, of course, but it was a late addition to the list (and I forgot to re-read what I had written up above). It IS still free, though...

As for Linux (whatever the flavor), I love the concept, but I've also found the putting-it-into-practice part a little painful still.

For instance - what happens when I want I want to pop a wireless card into my box? Or use my USB key drive? Or install my camera software? Or run BibleWorks (or some other piece of windows-only software)?

As long as words like "rpm" or "command line" or "recompile the kernel" are part of the answers, it's probably still too complicated for ordinary human beings.

Not that I'm against Linux, mind you. I just want it as easy to use (from an end user perspective) as Windows.

 
At 10:24 AM, December 06, 2005, Blogger -mm said...

shout out for firefox.

actually, i'm trying to track down ryan sutherland. i have some questions about home-brewed beer...

 
At 12:07 AM, December 07, 2005, Blogger Master Aegidius said...

I would like to give my 3 minute testimony, if I could, please.

I used to be a horrible sinner, because I supported Bill Gates the Anti-Christ by using Microsoft products on my computer, which left me open to attacks by the Devil.

Then an Internet Evangelist asked me to invite Firefox into my hard drive, and now I have a changed OS. Everything makes sense now, I have purpose, and my computer no longer crashes when life gets difficult.

But on a day by day basis, Thunderbird is there to help me along. I no longer lose my temper over spam and pop-ups. Firefox and Thunderbird have me free from the clutches of Microsoft.

*****

Truly, I made the switch after having a little virus/browser hijacking problem, and I am nothing but happy. And if an analog guy like myself can do it, anyone can do it....

 
At 9:37 AM, December 10, 2005, Blogger Rooster said...

Open Office is the bomb!

Come back from the Dark Side (Microsoft); join the light!

My $.02.

Occasionally I've used Word on other computers since I got OpenOffice; The latter has made me really despise the former. No more hesitance in buying a new, cheap computer because I've got to tack on three hundred bucks for Microsoft Software. I'll just download every piece of magnificent software I need for free, thank you very much!

Oh, the OpenOffice people do have a tip jar, last I recall. So you can (and should) express your gratitude, at a fraction of what MS is charging.

 

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