Please tell me that being in the IT profession that you’re aware of the open source movement. You may not only be aware of the movement, but you may also be working with open source technologies on a day-to-day basis. If that is the case, great! This probably does not pertain to you.
For those that have heard it, or heard of it and have not delved to far into some of the products that is provided to everyone via open source, keep reading.
The big one is linux. I won’t go in to the history and marketing of the open source operating system, but it’s the first thing that came to me when I first heard of open source. It has come a long ways since the days when it kicked my butt all over the place when I tried installing it years ago. Check out the many distributions of linux and how it can be a useful operating system to you or a friend or a family member. Oh, and it’s free.
Open Office is a great office suite of applications. It has a word processor, a spreadsheet application, presentation software, and database application that you can download for free. I have to admit that I use the spreadsheet and word processor applications the most. Oh, and I have it loaded on my mac’s OS X, Windows XP, AND my desktop pc that runs ubuntu linux! This is a must recommend to any that need a solid word processor (wp) that supports many file formats and they can’t afford $60+ for basic wp functions.
There are just too many open source products out there not to check into versus spending money on a commercial application. Don’t get me wrong, each has their advantages and disadvantages, but it’s good to know that both are available. Many people don’t even know that. As IT professionals it’s up to us to educate users about the industry and what is available.