Seems you’ve just got ‘Wizbang version x’, are finally coming to grips with its new interface when ‘Wizbang y’ arrives, and you’re compelled to repeat the disconcerting process all over. For those of you who don’t like repeatedly shelling out wads of cash into the perpetual upgrade cycle, let me tell you a better way.
There’s perfectly good free stuff out there. Free isn’t always nasty either. You’ve probably been using a free browser like Chrome or Firefox already. (If you’re still using Internet Explorer; guys this is the third time in my blogs, seriously stop! It’s bad for you and the internet!) The good news is it’s not just browsers. Fully featured software, even robust operating systems (like the numerous flavors of Linux) are freely available for anyone to download. But don’t take my word for it, taste one for yourself.
But wait I can hear the naysayers ‘free? can’t be, what’s the catch?’
There is no catch and to avoid the obvious snooze effect when discussing licensing issues, suffice to say that the free software here is covered by the GNU license which basically reads: ‘you can improve it, add to it, whatever, but you can’t then sell it on, you have to provide it free man’ – sort of like a play it forward concept. It’s known as FOSS (Free Open Source Software). No one is going to get rich off this baby, it’s grown and shared globally by the computer hippies of the internet and it’ll blow your socks off!
To get you started downloading free software nirvana, try OpenOffice – which is a free MS Office alternative. It’s easy to download, install and use; what more could you ask for?
OpenOffice is such good value, being free, they really should charge for it. It’s a Microsoft Office alternative and though I couldn’t say it’s better, given you’ll part with hundreds for the latter; it comes so close it’s way better value for money.
Go to https://www.openoffice.org/ and download your free copy, there’s no strings, just free software. With OpenOffice you get a heavy duty word processor and spreadsheet like Microsoft Word and Excel respectively. There’s also a whole stack of other goodies included.
Once you get a taste for the FOSS you’ll be wanting more and dining out a lot more into the bargain because Microsoft and others won’t be enjoying your patronage to the same sad and pathetic degree.
Another way to save while getting awesome software super cheap is to purchase a subscription. This is known as SaaS (Software as a Service). Adobe do this, and for about $50 a month you get the entire Adobe suite of products that would cost you many thousands. Other vendors are getting in on the cloud wagon too. A real benefit with SaaS is that the software is always the latest, which could be an advantage in some industries.
So in summary, you needn’t be a victim of the oppressive software giants again, you can get free stuff. Here’s one of many sites that lists FOSS. http://www.freewarefiles.com/top100_downloads.php Take a look. There’s free stuff for Macs, stacks for Windows, even more for Linux.
For those of you with specific software needs, see if your favorite software is available as a SaaS solution. As always if you need more info and advice fill in and submit one of the forms on this site and I’ll get back to you asap.