Open sourcing


Eighteen or so months ago, I blew up our last computer…well…strictly speaking, it was a stray power surge that snuck in through the phone line – every thing else ran through a surge protector…on replacing it, rather than go through the hassle of getting another MS Office license through my work, I thought that I might dive into the world of open source software…to be totally honest, I’m not that impressed…

The first application I started to use was OpenOffice 3…none of the individual applications particularly impressed me and I can’t wait now to save up to buy a copy of MS Office 2007. The sole redeeming feature of OpenOffice was the built-in PDF creator: everything else about it is clunky and counter-intuitive and I won’t be sad to see it depart my hard drive…the kiss of death was when two important files I was working on in Writer (the Word ‘equivalent) vanished into the ether while I was working on them, leaving me with two very old previous versions…

Next up was Sunbird, a standalone calendar scheduling app – why would you want a calendar app that works independently from the rest of your office tools? Bye…

I persevered with Thunderbird but its clunky interface pretty well did me in and the hassle exporting emails to another email app did me in – one of my real bug bears about many of these open source apps is that they seem to pride themselves on unhelpful help sections and making users work to find how to do the most simple things…bye…

I didn’t try Linux as an OS as I had already kicked that into touch a few years back when Dick Smith was peddling it as a viable alternative to Windows – which it was only if you wanted to spend the rest of your life trying to get your Windows programmes running properly on Linux

A different story though in the graphics world where GIMP and Inkscape have almost evicted Photopaint and CorelDraw from my hard drive – I have yet to find any task in either app that is less than intuitive..

Scribus is probably the winner IMHO – even though I had a really rocky start with it last year and couldn’t work out how to do anything, I remembered this week that Bing is our friend and manged to hunt down a couple of introductory tutorials that got me over the hump and all of a sudden all those PageMaker memories came flooding back and I was away laughing…

The open source community, I think, is a little sad and pathetic…as a general rule they all seem to be so keen to stick it to Bill Gates and deny him one zillionth of a per cent of his gross income that they fail to see that the product of their little rebellion is essentially crap…as they say, in most cases, you get what you pay for…

Homework almost done

I was using Scribus to compile the lecture I delivered at Vic last Friday which is taking me longer than expected as I come up to speed but have it 2/3 done – then then Josh suggested this morning that it might all be  a bit easier for future lectures and consults to break it down into its component parts…doh!! Absolutely right, so once I get the account for the last FY done, I’ll be decompiling it into individual chapters…watch this space…

Should we be worried…

Here’s a site I found today…six tonne robots with x-ray vision slicing up defenceless animals…are we next? Scott Technologies…pretty  cool…

Russ and Rid do it again…

Can’t wait to see Robin Hood…

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