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Open Source Software

Posted 08-14-2008 at 05:15 AM by Avoura
Updated 11-16-2008 at 05:41 PM by Avoura

I got fed up with Microsoft and Windows constantly crashing, programs failing to work, and all the broken promises by Microsoft that each new software version was going to fix all the problems of the past.

Then I tried Linux (originally back in the late 1990s) and more recently after getting annoyed with Windows XP.

I have so far found that open source software (OSS) can certainly be of a high enough quality to compete with paid-for software from the likes of Microsoft and Adobe. I now use Ubuntu as my main OS, I use the Gimp for graphics work, although I do still sometimes use Photoshop (via Crossover) on Ubuntu. I love Firefox, Flock, Thunderbird, Inkscape, Digikam, Compiz, OpenOffice, etc., all of which are free and easy to use. For some things Photoshop is better than the Gimp, and for others I prefer the Gimp. I use MS Office 2003 (not by choice) and when I come home I can use OpenOffice. For a lot of things I find using OpenOffice more enjoyable and intuitive, although the functionality of the spreadsheet charts is not quite up to Excel's standard. That said, I am often frustrated at work by the lack of certain features in Excel and Powerpoint.

There are still improvements to be made in the overall Linux experience, and if enough programmers are motivated enough to make the improvements then Linux could become the top OS by far. I have tried out Mac OS X (in an Apple shop) and found it to be less intuitive than my Ubuntu system, although slightly easier than Windows XP or Vista. I have found Vista to be very unintuitive and difficult to use, and I hope that in my work I will not have to use it. But so far there are not enough jobs around where Linux is the default OS.
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