There is so much opensource software available these days that you can pretty much find an equivalent product to something from Microsoft or another major software company. The problem is that it is difficult to find the software. Some of the databases and websites list hundreds, even thousands of projects. So how do you find opensource software without wading through those listings. Well, there are two websites that are quite useful in helping filter the software to the ‘best of..’ category.
The first is called TheOpenCD. This website lists half a dozen projects in major categories that you might find of value. In fact, that’s how I found Scribus (an alternate to MSPublisher) and Audacity (an alternate for Nero Editor). The other great website that lists popular options is perversely, PortableApps, but with the increasing interest in running applications on a USB device, this helps sort the wheat from the chaff for the uninitiated in opensource software. Both of these websites have complimentary but interesting suggestions.
Naturally, I’m increasingly suspicious of MS’s motives with online activation, increasing copyright protection, and rising prices! They are seeking to control much more of what we can do with their applications, and, ergo, MY data. I don’t like that. I don’t like that at all. I’m not against paying for software, indeed I have spent $1000’s over the years to amass a useless collection of CD roms and 5-inch disks; but MS is going way beyond what I feel comfortable with. So, I’m now using OpenOffice, Firefox, Thundbird, NVU,Ã‚Â BlogDesk, etc. wherever I can to avoid using MS software as much as possible. One day, I’ll throw out the OS, too. But babysteps!