A Microsoft Free World

The switch to OS X is going well. I finally downloaded and installed OpenOffice. Other than it taking a year to start up, and requiring X, it’s doing fine so far. I just opened up a gigantic Word doc and it handled it fine. It reads the fonts OK (although without anti-aliasing), and only slightly munges tables. I think I can live with it. For someone who uses Word or Excel all the time, it might not be a good solution, but I only open Word when I absolutely have to in order to read product requirement docs, and only open Excel when I get reports – which isn’t very often. I write all my docs in HTML.

The Powerbook is straining under the weight of the dual displays and all these open apps, but it’s not bad enough yet to consider moving to the big machine. I am loving having two monitors hooked up to one machine. It makes things so much nicer. I have an old SGI monitor with a digital input, so I may try hooking my Quiksilver up to that (it’s an 867 with a ton of RAM, so it should handle better than this, but then I’d have to install all the toys I’ve put on the Powerbook which could take days).

My computing environment is completely free of Microsoft’s influence now. I no longer worry about what info my computer is sending back to the “MotherShip”. This may not bother most people, and if it doesn’t bother you, then by all means, use XP. It bugs the living crap out of me. It’s my computer. It’s not Microsoft’s computer. I bought and used Microsoft’s software, but it’s still my machine. Microsoft has no business knowing what I have installed or how often I use those programs. What else does my computer tell Microsoft when I’m not looking? Does it send them the names of the documents on my computer? Does it send them the list of e-mail addresses I have in my address book? With them, there’s no way to know because everything is a black box. In OS X, it’s just BSD with a pretty face. If I wanted to, I could get under the covers and see exactly what’s going on. Not so with Microsoft products.

This is why Open Source will ultimately win. It’s not because it’s inherently better. It’s not because it’s geek friendly. We’re (ok, by we I mean me) tired of being lied to and manipulated. We’re tired of spyware. We’re tired of prohibitive licensing and insane software prices. We’re tired of being told with the products we’ve purchased. We’re tired of being treated like criminals. I don’t steal music or software. But, the software and music I buy, I want to be able to use as I see fit. I want to rip the cd’s so I can listen to them at work without having to bring the CD everywhere.

Whew… Ok, I’m done.

1 thought on “A Microsoft Free World”

  1. AMEN, brutha! I made the switch to OSX back when it first came out. What a relief it was to move off of the Micro$lut steamroller. Since then, I’ve moved to 100% open-source on my workstation. I use Gentoo Linux with WindowMaker as my manager. I still use OSX for to run my business, but the files are served off of my Gentoo box. Now if I could get my wife to move completely to OSX, we could get rid of Micro$lut on our network totally! Oh, and hey, I dig the site. Good to see your doing well in VA. Been too long.

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