Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Almost 'full equipped' with free software

When I started as a freelance, I faced the fact that in order to do my work, I had to buy many of the software tools that I had been using in my former jobs. The very first months were specially hard and I was surviving from my earnings; simply put I couldn't afford to buy commercial software. Luckily I've been always spending most of my spare time programming in C and Java, so I decided to go full time with open source technology and try to leave completely aside the proprietary way.

It's been a progressive process but now I can say that almost every piece of software that I use in my day to day work is free software. Frankly, by free here I mean € 0. There are other obvious benefits of free / open software but my budget leaved them in a second row.

That's the free software that I use mostly:
  • OpenOffice
  • Notepad++
  • Firefox
  • Thunderbird
  • Oracle JDeveloper
  • CVS
  • Eclipse
  • PostgreSQL
  • Apache Tomcat
  • Hibernate
  • Putty
  • FileZilla
  • Picasa
  • Gimp
With regard to free Web services, that I also consider free software, I mostly use Google, Bloglines, Gmail and Wikiloc.

The only commercial software that I use is Norton Antivirus and the OS of my laptop, Windows XP. Leaving aside the fact that most of my customers (that's 2 of them :-) have Microsoft networks and using Windows makes things somewhat easier when working in their networks, I like this operating system, I think Microsoft has been always good at it (I'm talking about OS for desktops here).

What I find annoying is to find the operating system pre installed in almost every new computer; and it's disappointing too not to have the option to choose between Windows or Linux or Solaris or whatever OS you prefer. Instead, you find two stickers saying “Hey, we're the microprocessor and OS manufacturers and we're inside your computer. You've already payed for us and you cannot get rid of us”. You have to pay, like it or not, for the 'the facto' OS for Intel desktops (and lately probably for a decent anti virus too).

Apparently times are changing for good though in the IT world thanks to the many free/open source contributions; it seems to be an exciting and promising future in front of us, a future of more choice, more quality, more control and essentially more technological freedom.

1 comment:

Gabor said...

Open source is great coz it`s free and what`s even better is that it has all the functionality of commercial software! You just have to do some searches on internet and you will find free software suitable for your needs. The people behind open source software innovate by passion not by salary!
I use Mozila FF, Picasa, Inkscape, Photoscape, Blue Voda, Blogger