In resuscitating my laptop, I’m trying out an experiment. The only applications that I have installed on this machine are open source. While this means keeping Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Illustrator and Sound Forge sequestered to my desktop, their open source counterparts OpenOffice, GIIMPShop, Inkscape, and Audacity (which I was already using to a large degree anyway, along with Firefox, VLC, and Thunderbird) will operate on the laptop.
The prospect of being rid of corporate software appeals greatly to me (which is not to suggest that the above programs, in their Windows incarnations, don’t come with their own EULA strings attached). The problem with the open source movement, however, is that it is populated by quacks who prescribe half-built programs as definitive alternatives to their robust counterparts. Nevertheless, if Firefox and Thunderbird are now bona-fide alternatives, what’s not to suggest that similar remedies might come with the open source responses to Adobe and Company? The big question I have is whether I can get by on the laptop with these programs and, if necessary, find workarounds to some of the things I can do with applications that sell for hundreds of dollars.
I figured if a guy like Mark Pilgrim can make the bold switch from Mac to Ubuntu, then at least I can try this half-assed approach on Windows. And who knows? Maybe I might end up going Ubuntu on the laptop.
For folks who are interested, this is a helpful beginning for open source Windows apps.