Friday, December 28, 2007

FOSS Concept

People often ask me what is so special about Open Source software. I have always told them that Open Source is a type of software that can be freely modified by anyone with programming skills. The concept of putting the software under a public license keeps the fresh ideas and improvements coming. As a simple example, say you are reading a blog or post. As you are reading a section you come across a part that could be explained a little more efficiently. You then proceed to edit the post and add a more defined description of the point. Now lets say you have 1000's of eyes doing the same thing. Now we have just jumped from efficiently expressing a point to quality control. All people see things differently. Everyone has a unique perspective on what they see, so new ideas are never lacking. When you put all of those people together, the whole picture can become quite clear. Which in turn can offer a better insight to any project. A majority of the Open Source developers work on these projects in their spare time and for free. They are not motivated by money, so their work is untainted by commercial greed. This to me is a big reason for its popularity so far. The more we restrict software code, the most we stop innovation. This last line is a quote. For more information on Open Source please see Technorati

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Open Source Gamer

Being a male in my thirties I have been heavily exposed to video games for almost my entire life. Not only to that but to a few generations of male gamers too. From my buddy's who are my age, to their little brothers and of lately my buddy's kids. It does not matter if it is a console or a PC. If the game is that good everyone is going to want to play it. Its just a matter of exposing them to it. I remember one time in my earlier years I watched my brother obsessively play Mike Tyson's Punch Out. He sat in our room for two days straight with no sleep until he completed the entire game..

Guys from all generations are dedicated to their games. Everyone has a favorite. Some guys say they don't play games but these guys have a favorite game too. When no one is looking they will sneak in a game or two. I have seen it at work, at parties and even with some of my friends. It's no secret everyone likes games. I by no means am saying there is no girl gamers out there. I am using life experience viewed through a guy's eyes. So in that spirit I will rephrase.
Everyone loves games...

Being the Open Source advocate that I am. I have always told people about Open Source software or FOSS (Free Open Source Software). Whether it be Abiword for Windows or GNUcash for Linux. I have always had an inclination to comparing Open Source software to most commercial brands. This helped me express my point of its benefits. Not getting off the topic, I am getting ready to answer a standing question. The question I get asked the most when I am expressing the benefits of this software is "How about the games?" Well, taking note of a fair question. I started doing a little investigating. After doing some Google searches with some helpful syntax and checking a few more search engines. I started to catalog a few sites here and there. After a while my bookmarks had accumulated to a very hefty list. Now when people ask me about Open Source games, I always have a few I remember and can recommend. Oh wait, I took it a step further. I created a website. After finally posting the last of my links on my website, it now has links to well over 100 Free Open Source games. I would say it took me just a little over a year and a half. Now I finally have compiled my list and am sharing it with you. I will be adding more links to the site as I am introduced to them.

The Open Source Gamer

Sunday, December 2, 2007


One thing I have been keeping my eye on is the Open Source software for small and home businesses.
Lately some really great projects have surfaced. To start off my list I would like to introduce you to OpenProj. It is a free open source desktop project management software. Comparable to some high dollar proprietary project management software. This is a great application for the up and coming SOHO. It has received some great reviews and has a good list of professional businesses who use it.

When it comes to finance, there are a couple of great applications that come to mind. There is only one that I will mention right now and that would be GnuCash. This software has been around for a while and has really great functionality. With the ability to import data files from it's expensive proprietary counterparts. This is my choice for finance software in my personal business.

My all-time favorite when it comes to spreadsheets has been Gnumeric. This little application has the ability to open and save to proprietary formats. Such as the ones we are all familiar with in most businesses. It is nice and lite and easy on your computer resources.

Word processing. The one application that anyone with a computer has used once or twice.
I have found a good selection of great open source word processors, but I think I am only going to only mention Abiword right now. Since this is an application that is found most on any computer, I was looking for one that could save files to many different formats. Formats such as .doc, .rtf, .pdf, .txt, .html. Not only does this application save to these formats, but many other obscure formats also.

During my days of working in small businesses, there have been days that I wished this program was available. What I am talking about is PDFedit. The name pretty much says it all. Many times I could of used this to fill out online forms and applications I had to work with a few years back. At the time no one had a free version of this type of editor, so when I had seen this release I was very pleased.

There are numerous open source applications available for almost any type of project. Many I would of liked to name here too, but as anyone knows in this day of age, time is money. Which ironically enough is more expensive than this software. So to end this chapter in my open quest, I invite you to give these applications a try. Sometimes Free is better...

If you have any questions about my post feel free to drop me a line..

More information on software for business

More information on software for recreation

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Open Source is here and now!

Everyday I hear people complaining about computer problems. Virii/spy ware, bugs, etc, you name it. I would like to inform you that computer use does not have to be painful. Say if I told you that there is operating systems and software out there that is not about the selling aspect, Its all about the usage and improvement. It is created by professionals in their native fields and constantly being refined. This goes for office software, games and most software used in professional environments. It has been created as an alternative with cross compatibility in mind. Not to mention that almost all of it is FREE.

This is what they call "Open Source" software. You may be using it right now and not even know it. Applications such as Apache, Firefox, VLC media player, Gaim aka Pidgeon, Abiword, GNUcash, and even Google is built on "Open Source" software. What does that tell you?

For companies out there looking to cut or eliminate cost for proprietary software licenses. This is what you have been seeking. People who are just starting off in their own business, this is ideal.

An example of "Open Source" success story is Mr. Mark Shuttleworth, the man who created "Ubuntu". A version of Linux that Dell now sells on their computers. Mr. Shuttleworth had created a company based solely on FOSS (Free Open Source Software). He was the original owner of "Verisign", which was bought from him for 575 million dollars. Remember the guy who paid 20 million to orbit the Earth for a week? That would be this guy. One hell of a vacation huh?

One other thing I would like to point out is, If you are a programmer, this software can be modified for improvement or interact with whatever you need it to. You are only obligated to share your modified code with the original developer(s). Which in my opinion is totally fair, especially if they are the ones that created it in the first place.

To help you start your investigation into this "Open Source" movement, I have included some links to my websites. They have more information and links to the original sites that have created this software. I do hope you find it useful ..

Standard Software


In this day of age information is what is sought after the most. People are constantly seeking better ways of accomplishing an objective. I would like to help point you in the right direction.