Try It

Become an Open Source User and Discover Some Great New Tools

I find that many people find the idea of running an open source application something beyond their skill set or comfort level. Computer users are comfortable purchasing software either online or in stores and then installing and using the software. In this weeks blog, I am going to push you into the open source world by having you skip the most important part – paying for the software. If you follow my instructions you will have installed an easy to use open source software package without using a credit card.

For my first application, I encourage you to try OpenOffice from Oracle (Sun). OpenOffice is an excellent replacement for Microsoft Office for word processing, slide creation, and spreadsheets. To install OpenOffice follow these steps:

  1. Go to http://openoffice.org
  2. Click on “I want to download OpenOffice,org”
  3. You can immediately download the software and install as you would with any other software package; you can order CD-ROMs if you don't have the bandwidth available for a download
  4. Once installed, simply open OpenOffice.org Word Processor and there you go...

It is interesting to note that you can save the file created in OpenOffice.org Word Processor as either an OpenOffice.org type (.odt) or a Microsoft Word file (.doc). In fact, you can even open a Microsoft Word document inside OpenOffice which looks just like you would expect.

Here are some other open source applications that I also encourage you to try and see how easy it is to install and use; all without your credit card:

  • GIMP – www.gimp.org – image editing software
  • Mozilla Web Browser – www.mozilla.com

I look forward to comments from readers who try one of these applications to see if in fact, open source was easy to install and use. I also enjoy comments from readers on other applications that people should try instead of a proprietary solution

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Related:

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.