Open Source Software
Are you interested in Full-featured Free Software? Then take a look at
Open Source Software. Programs produced as "Open Source" are as useful as many
more expensive software packages but are available online for Free!
What is Open Source Software? It is a computer program created
by a group of entusiastic volunteers. The executable program as well as the
computer "code" is available for free downloading. According to OpenSource.org,
"The basic idea behind open source is very simple: When programmers
can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software
evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen
at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development,
To learn all about these great programs, start by reading our article
on Open Source Software, presented below Then,
follow the links we provide to other informative web sites where
you can download some of these programs or learn more about Open Source Software.
Also, please buy and read a few of the books we recommend below.
Some contain CD-ROMs loaded with Free Open Source programs!
Click here for The GIMP, the image
creation and editing program mentioned in our article.
If you want to run the GIMP on Windows,
download it from Here, along
with the required GTK+ 2 package. Visit the FAQ if
you need help.
Here's the homepage for OpenOffice.org.
As mentioned in our article, OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office
suite and an open-source project.
Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use,
and distribute. Read
about it's components, which include a Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Draw program,
Presentation program and a Database.
If you need a Free web page editor, see Evrsoft's 1st
Page. This popular program is Free, but not Open Source.
Wikipedia has an article that
explains Open Source Software.
It also has a List
of open source software packages.
Open Source Initiative (OSI) is
"a non-profit corporation dedicated to managing and promoting the Open
Source Definition for the good of the community... You can read about successful software
products that have these properties..."
For more information on Open Source Software, we recommend the following books:
our exclusive Feature Article:
Open Source Software Substitutes
I believe that everyone is entitled to health care, a roof over their head, and a
warm meal. While I may never see a world where everyone's needs are taken care of,
I have taken pleasure out of using my "open source software." I think of it as my
way of "sticking it to the man."
You see, like me, there were some other folks who weren't that fond of Bill Gates
and the Microsoft monopoly. All kidding aside, open source software, or software that
is distributed freely rather than being bought and sold, is not a new concept. In
fact, there was a period when the internet was not used commercially at all. The development
of the internet was actually meant to further people's knowledge rather than expand
their pocket books. As such, open source licenses were used to distribute the original
code and application software for free. This meant that people could modify the program,
create other software add-ons, and have a hand in debugging the program.
However, open source software is not the same as "Freeware" or "Shareware." Freeware
is free-to-use software similar to open source software, but it does not include the
source code. Shareware is free to try out. A lot of freeware and shareware files come
with additional programs and advertisements that you may not want or may be hard to
get rid of. This depends on what the software is and who is providing it.
One thing is certain. You don't have to understand the history of the open source
software licenses to reap the benefits. Programs released under an open source license
are becoming increasingly competitive. Though many of these programs are not as popular
as their commercial relatives, they do offer a free alternative.
For example Adobe's Photoshop can be replaced with The Gimp. Both are programs that
can manipulate graphics, but The Gimp was released under the open source license.
HTML editors such as Dreamweaver and Frontpage can take some of the work out of creating
web pages. However, 1st Page does this for free. Everyone knows the benefits
of Microsoft Office, but not as many know about the OpenOffice alternative that provides
many of the same functions. Apache is becoming a widely used server as apposed to
using Microsoft's Exchange server. Adobe PDF creations do not have to be made by Adobe,
but can be created by using the free PDF Converter.
Now, when I looked up the cost of purchasing Photoshop as a web design tool, I was
amazed at the high price. There was no way I had $599 to invest in the software. Instead
I searched for a Photoshop alternative and was happy to discover an open source alternative.
What I found was The Gimp.
The Gimp isn't perfect. You see, like many open source programs, The Gimp is not very
user-friendly. I may have saved a ton of money, but I did have to invest more time
in learning the software. To figure out how to give my web graphics a transparent
background, I spent a good hour reading The Gimp's documentation on the web and then
trying it out myself. Fortunately, I had more time than I had money. As of now, I
still have a lot to learn about The Gimp, but until I can afford to purchase Adobe
Photoshop I will be using The Gimp for all of my graphic projects. Yet, if you are
technically challenged, you may be better off purchasing the user-friendly commercial
Another problem with open source software is that it may contain a large number of
bugs that haven't been worked out yet. One reason for this large amount of bugs is
that the software developers are not being compensated. This leads to a situation
where they simply do not have the time or energy to devote to the project. Without
a financial relationship with the users there is no obligation to fix the software
Software glitches may be a downfall for open source software, but at least you have
free access to the latest version of the program. This is not the case with commercial
software like Windows. Many individuals and companies have a hard time keeping up
with newer versions of commercial software and end up having to buy new software or
upgrades periodically. This is one area that might give open source software programs
the upper hand. For instance, I have Windows XP Home Edition. I want to be able to
learn and test PHP, ASP, and other server side scripts. However, to do this I will
have to either upgrade to Windows XP Professional for $199 or switch to Linux, a Windows
There are a lot of conflicting opinions on open source software and the future of
open source software continues to change. However, I now use three different open
source programs on my computer. All three have been a great help, and I find that
if you devote a little time to learning the software, they can save you a lot of cash.
Still, there are advantages to purchasing your software. The benefits include customer
service, user-friendly interfaces, and an easier time sharing files since commercial
software is used more commonly by the general public. But now that you know about
open source software, at least you have a choice!
Take a Cruise!
Need a Vacation? Take a Cruise! How would you like to learn all about the fun you could have on a cruise? No
one knows more about a cruise vacation than a travel agent who specializes in cruises!
You will learn all there is to know about taking a cruise when you get in touch with
Marsha. She will help you dsicover things you can not find out online and she
will make sure you get the best possible cruise experience at the best price!
Please read our article about taking a cruise. Then call Marsha at 704-469-9048.
Buy a 3D TV!
Looking for a new Flat Screen TV? Read our review of the Visio 42 inch 3D Television written by a woman who owns one! Read about the clarity of the display, the 3D aspects of the set, accessories, internet ability, sound and gaming suitability. If you are looking for a new TV, this might be the one for you! In any case, you'll learn about features that are now available in the latest models of flat screen 3D TVs!
Like the Twilight Saga? Read Etude!
There is a new Young Adult book series that lovers of the Twilight Saga will probably
enjoy as well. Etude has a similar theme and similar characters. Both
are about teen girls who meet and fall in love with immortal guys. What things
about Etude are the same as Twilight and what are different? Please read our
interesting review of Etude, the first book in the Birthright Legacy series.
It provides an insightful analysis of how Etude is the same as Twilight and how Etude
is different from Twilight!
What can Middle Earth say about Real Earth? Have you read or seen the Lord Of The Rings books / movies? The Hobbit is a book that has the same kinds of characters, themes and settings but came out first.
Read our article on the upcoming Hobbit movie. The author talks about the themes in The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings, and presents the idea that they can be viewed as a commentary on the Environment!
Get A Date!
Online Dating First Impression! If you are one of the many people who have joined online dating sites, or if you are thinking of joining an online dating site, then you will need to make a good first impression with a perfect
profile! Whether you already have a profile for an online dating site, or are thinking of making a profile for an online dating site, read our Perfect Profile article for helpful tips! What makes a great online dating profile? Please read our article on How to Write the Perfect Profile for an Online Dating Site and learn how to attract the perfect person for you!