Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Free software

Recently I presented a talk called System Dynamics for Cheapskates. In keeping with the theme of the talk, I mentioned OpenOffice.org as a way to generate reports. I acknowledged that one could do this with Microsoft Office, too, but I personally found OO.o better. I was pleasantly surprised to find at least one woman in the audience giving me an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

At meals, I found myself in enthusiastic conversations with others who were telling me how they've found OpenOffice.org and other free or open source software to be better than the commercial software they or their organizations had been using.

The conclusions don't seem strange; I might have expected that from people focused on technology, and they match much of my experience. What surprised me and pointed out my naiveté was seeing that excitement about free and open source software from a group of people focused simply on using software to be effective in their regular work.

I was reminded of this today by seeing Solveig Haugland's posting on Vista and Office 2007.

By the way, for those of you not sure where to find good open source software, check out Ubuntu, SourceForge.net and the GNU project for starters.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Kaj Kandler said...

Hve you heard of Plan-B for OpenOffice.org a new service that supports specifically non-technical users has just gone public beta

It offers:
* screencasts (short videos)
* smart search
* interactive support
to make it easier to find the right answers and learn OOo. Check it out!

16 November, 2006 05:30  
Blogger Bill Harris said...

Thanks for dropping by, Kaj. Anything we can do to make life easier for others sounds good.

18 November, 2006 12:03  

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