Yes, I said free software. Not only free, but of high quality. Before you start thinking I’ve been on my medication too long…believe me there is very good, highly useful software available within a couple of clicks and a download.
It’s called Open Source Software, partly because it’s free of charge and also because developers are free to continually update and improve it. Wikipedia has a much longer definition and explanation that you can look up if you’re interested. This first post on this topic will cover the “flagship” of the free software offerings: Open Office, an office productivity suite that is so much like Microsoft Office 2003 (a trademark of Microsoft Corporation) that when using it you don’t require any training to go from MS Office to Open Office.
I use Open Office to do my home computing of text documents such as letters, spreadsheet documents to help with my budget, a presentation tool for developing presentations for talks I give from time to time, a graphical drawing tool that’s good for creating diagrams, process flow charts, etc., and a database for organizing your lists of stuff…if you don’t think you have lists of stuff that would be better organized with a database, you haven’t thought about it enough. 🙂 I’ll cover the use of these tools in a little more detail in future posts.
All this is available from http://www.openoffice.org . There is some documentation available with the software and there are books on how to use Open Office at your local bookstore. Give Open Office a try. By the way, you’ll save hundreds of dollars by using it instead of the popular product available commercially from those folks in Seattle. 😉
Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.