The Writer’s Technology Companion Philosophy: or, Why I Recommend So Much Free Software

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3 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I love open source software! I used OpenOffice. Office 2007, while pretty, is a challenge even for seasoned users let alone those not as computer savvy. The Gimp is a fabulous replacement for PhotoShop with clearer menus.

  2. Word processors and text editors are truly personal things, and people prefer one over the other for the same arcane reasons people prefer one kind of fountain pen (or ink) over another.

    Thus, another important benefit of open source software: you get to truly thrash a piece of software before committing to it.

    I’ve played with Word 2007 just enough to know I’d have to learn a lot of new tricks (I didn’t buy it), yet I was able to pound on Open Office for months before making the switch.

    One admonition: open source software’s free, but it doesn’t hurt to send a few bucks to those developing the stuff. A small kindness, but an important one.

  3. Tom Colvin says:

    I’d guess that free software accounts for at least 60-70 percent of the time I spend on my computer. One of my favorites for gathering information for potentional articles is KeyNote, which hasn’t been updated for years — it has been strong enough to remain a stalwart for me. I just learned yesterday that, in fact, KeyNote received an update just last week, with a new developer adding to the open-source code. Update is available at: