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CNet Promotes Essential Open-Source Software to Joe Public

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the self-selecting-group dept.

227

Zool writes "A feature is currently running on CNet explicitly promoting open-source software alternatives for typical home users, with programs rated and compared to commercial offerings. Although there's no mention of the Linux advantages to home users, the list is extensive and certainly written with the intention of snagging wider open-source adoption and understanding in the mainstream. 'Why should you care about open source? You should care because the vast majority of common applications, even complex commercial stuff like Adobe Photoshop, Windows Media Player and Microsoft Office, have free, open-source alternatives. And this point is worth reiterating: open-source software is free. No cost. Zero. Zilch.'"

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Next Photo? (-1, Offtopic)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420417)

So, to get to the next page of the article I have to click the "Next Photo" link? Weird.

The free shit sucks !! Ay, mattie, pirates ahoy !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421515)

Tthe free shit sucks !! Ay, mattie, pirates ahoy !! Why would I use free shit when I can get the good stuff and for free !!

Hard drive photo? (2, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420433)

Somehow I think it odd to have a picture of an open case hard drive to represent open source software.

Hard drive on grass photo (5, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420781)

Actually, it is quite appropriate.
It has been an long, hard drive to for the developers to get the software out in the open - and they did it all while on grass.

Re:Hard drive photo? (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421679)

Think of it as representing the ability to open something up and then look to see what's inside.

And anyway, I think computer parts would make for fantastic lawn art.

Free as in Beer then Free as in Freedom (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21420437)

"And this point is worth reiterating: open-source software is free. No cost. Zero. Zilch."

I find this may be the better approach in introducing people to free[dom]/open source software. People don't understand at first the implications of free[dom] software.

After the hook of 'free', then people can learn about the freedom aspects. Of course if they clue in right away the importance of freedom, all the better.

Re:Free as in Beer then Free as in Freedom (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420807)

Most users don't care about freedom, they want something that (a) works suitable for their purposes, and (b) doesn't require them to change their use habits, and last but not least (c) requires a minimum of extra work to get running.

Most non-free software provides this functionality as easily as free software.

Rather Free AND Legal! (5, Insightful)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420855)

Free (as in beer) doesn't really represent a value proposition if you've "pirated" your non-Free software anyway.

The message that needs to be gotten across is "Free AND Legal". I've had people express complete disbelief in my claim that they can have Legal Copies of software for free (beer) -- to the point where they were pretty sure I was lying or making it up.

Re:Rather Free AND Legal! (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420935)

Well, sometimes free (as in speech) software can be better than free (as in beer) pirated commercial software.

I could very easily hop on over to thepiratebay.org and download MS Office, but I like OpenOffice better.

Re:Rather Free AND Legal! (5, Insightful)

Tatsh (893946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421267)

Completely agree. The Windows-world is full of users who would just pirate any commercial software they need (no matter what purpose). Many also end up trying to use at least one open source app at some point, but it in some way fails (eg GIMP has a weird window layout that is a little bit hard to get used to, and on Windows there's no built-in "force windows to stay on top" function). They get rid of it, go back to the commercial software (pirated), and decide to never use free and open source software again.

It is unfortunate. I think this is one of the more overlooked problems in trying to gain widespread adoption of open source alternatives, even if it is on Winblows.

I am in university, and the attitude from many first-year CS students I have spoken with is that "Linux sucks", even if they have only used PuTTY on their Winblows boxes to program their small C apps to the server with GCC. And they are all asking "Why not Visual Studio?", which they all have pirated of course. It is ridiculous. They do not believe me about the crappiness of proprietary software, and some even choose to use Vista just because it is the "latest".

Re:Rather Free AND Legal! (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421929)

Not all proprietary software sucks, and not all OSS software is good.

I'll take GCC of MSVS any day (MSVS has a nice IDE, but the compiler is screwy)
KDE is definetly better than Explorer in terms of features and looks (though I do like the actual explorer file browser better, the handling of auto-arrange, and snap-to-grid are better and more useful IMO than Konqueror's tabs)
Linux? I spend more time trying to install/fix Linux than getting to do what I want. The exception is Ubuntu, which makes Windows look agile and responsive. I do like FreeBSD, and I use it over Windows mainly for KDE.
Open Office has some formatting issues some times (so does MS Word!), and each has some pros and cons vs the other.

I've seen a lot of OSS zelots not give commercial software a try, and just rant against it for no good/valid reason, just as I've seen people blindly flock to closed source software over free-as-in-beer open source because "people actually pay for it, it must be better". Neither is a good mentality. Both sets of software have their advantages.

Re:Rather Free AND Legal! (4, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21422249)

Many also end up trying to use at least one open source app at some point, but it in some way fails (eg GIMP has a weird window layout that is a little bit hard to get used to, and on Windows there's no built-in "force windows to stay on top" function).

That right there is the problem. GIMP isn't just a little weird. It's off in its own world. Most GIMP defenders write it off and say "use a better window manager", but the reality is it just doesn't play well with the normal usage patterns most window managers are coded for. And of course it's a much bigger issue on Windows, where you can't change the UI.

Don't blame the user for not understanding when you throw something at them that works totally differently than every other program they've ever seen.

And they are all asking "Why not Visual Studio?", which they all have pirated of course.

Why pirate it? It's free unless you want the high end editions. If you're the type of person who doesn't know why they should or shouldn't be using Visual Studio, you don't need the versions that cost money.

They do not believe me about the crappiness of proprietary software

Because to most people, especially home users, it doesn't matter. Most of them would never be able to do anything with the source code, nor would they have the money to pay someone who could. And they like having a company to call for support.

Proprietary data formats, however, are a completely different story. Those are bad for everyone but the maker of the software.

Re:Rather Free AND Legal! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421693)

And many people still won't care. If you really want converts, you need free, legal and better.

Misleading Story Content (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421411)

"And this point is worth reiterating: open-source software is free. No cost. Zero. Zilch."
But that's not true at all. There is no bar at all for a company to charge for their software. They must provide the source, and it must be freely distributable (assuming we are talking GPL), but MANY companies charge for Open Source software.

Also, such a statement ignores that there are many different "Open Source" licenses. People automatically think "GPL", but it's certainly not the only one. And with so many issues cropping up with GPLv3, we may see a decline of GPL and an interest in other, equally "Open Source", licenses.

Re:Misleading Story Content (2, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421551)

Yes; but if some big company is selling a piece of GPL software for £5000 a copy, there's nothing stopping me and 999 other people each stumping up a Lady Godiva and buying one copy between us all. The licence, which comes from the author and not the vendor, allows all 1000 of us to make as many unaltered copies as we want of that software; so we can quite legally install it 1000 times. And then each of us can install it on five other people's computers, charge them a quid and recoup our initial outlay :)

Re:Free as in Beer then Free as in Freedom (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421541)

New marketing idea: let's call it Freedom Software. Then everyone will use it or else they're with the terrorists!

Re:Free as in Beer then Free as in Freedom (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421709)

"People don't understand at first the implications of free[dom] software."

This is a load of patronizing ivory tower crap. I'm not a computer tech/engineer/programmer, and I have no difficulty with the concept of free software versus free beer.

Does this matter? (3, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420441)

Are there really any CNet readers who aren't tech savvy enough to have actually heard of open source? Sure, there are people out there who have never used any free software, but they sure don't read CNet.

Re:Does this matter? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420593)

No, but there are plenty who click on links, so whenever CNET can create a 10-page article with 10 lines of actual content, they will.

Re:Does this matter? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420607)

Are there really any CNet readers who aren't tech savvy enough to have actually heard of open source? Sure, there are people out there who have never used any free software, but they sure don't read CNet.
By "CNET" do you mean specifically News.com.com.com.com, or do you also mean Download.com, which CNET owns?

Free Speech is Not Free Beer (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420445)

And this point is worth reiterating: open-source software is free. No cost. Zero. Zilch. - Nate Lanxon

That point is worthless, or some negative value. Because open-source software is free speech , notfree beer. Plenty of open source is $free, but there's plenty of paid products that include the source code. It's harder to prevent people from redistributing open source, to collect the money from something they can copy to others without paying. But that's copyright violation, which CNet is now promoting, even though it makes its own income from that same protection.

Lanxon is the MP3 and digital music reviewer for CNet. Next time he says anything defending music industry copyrights, or his own on his articles, readers should remind him. Maybe by republishing it under their own name.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420493)

Err.... Name a (non-microsoft) product with open source that's not also redistributable.

I'm having trouble thinking of any.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (1, Troll)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420641)

The Red Hat name.

Trademarked, and they protect it well. That's why there's Fedora.... and CentOS.

Another undistributable: MPlayer. Breaks DCMA garbage.

Another: the libcss and friends. DCMA shit again.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421145)



That's not a product, that's a trademark.

Another undistributable: MPlayer. Breaks DCMA garbage.
Another: the libcss and friends. DCMA shit again.


Only in the USA. The rest of the world can run emerge mplayer to their hearts' content.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (0, Troll)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421277)

Well, I guess that was my point...

Most major non-MS open source stuff is just plain "illegal" to possess in the USA due to DMCA as a circumvention tool. Hence not distributable.

Thats what I can think of.... Not many indeed.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420725)

All the apps I develop, with few (expensive) exceptions, come with source code, but not redistribution rights. I'm sure I'm not unique. And there are many dual-use licenses that prohibit any use of the open-source app, including redistribution, for any commercial purpose - or any purpose other than research or trial periods.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420947)

But thats not the "Free" there talking about. I don't know what insanely useful app you've developed that I can't live with out, but the major ones (OO.org, firefox, gnu/linux, bsd, gimp, mysql, postgres ... the list goes on) All come with redistribution and usage rights.

If the point is to introduce new people to software, it only make sense to talk about the applications that they will want to use and the licenses that cover them. Most of the people that would be learning about free software wouldn't be programmers that would have to worry about mixing source code with non compatible licenses and then redistributing the end result.

Plus the licenses you seem to be referencing, don't seem to be very free as in speech. Are they even certified as open licenses?

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421155)

They didn't say merely "these essential OSS products are all $free". They made a blanket statement about open source = $free. Which is an old debate whose distinctions are well understood within the F/OSS community. But not, evidently, by CNet.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (1)

esper (11644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421753)

"Dual-use" as in "available under either an open source license or another one"? Then you may want to clarify that the restrictions on use and redistribution apply only to copies obtained under the non-FOSS license. If you say "this software is GPLed, but only for trial, non-commercial use and you can't redistribute it" (which is what your comment reads like it's claiming), then the software is neither Free Software (in the FSF sense) nor open source.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (4, Insightful)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421195)

That point is worthless, or some negative value. Because open-source software is free speech , notfree beer. Plenty of open source is $free, but there's plenty of paid products that include the source code. It's harder to prevent people from redistributing open source, to collect the money from something they can copy to others without paying. But that's copyright violation, which CNet is now promoting, even though it makes its own income from that same protection.
I'm all for free speech and free beer. I'm a big OSS advocate, but seriously, you guys need to get off your high horse sometimes and realize that this is how you sell OSS to Joe Sixpack. Joe Sixpack doesn't care whether the software on his computer is free as in speech or not. He doesn't care about modifying the source code, or freedom to fork. He does care about cost though.

The free speech education can come later, but please, quit arguing semantics because all you do is give the entire OSS movement a bad name. Joe Sixpack will see some idiot blathering on about how free speech does not equal free beer and think we're all just a bunch of whining hippies. Then he'll never use OSS because he thinks there is a religious ideology behind it.

Show him good "free as in beer" software, then later on, if he's interested, educate him on why "free as in speech" is important too. Please do us all a favor and don't try to ram ideology down Joe Sixpack's throat.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (2, Interesting)

rgravina (520410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421407)

Hear hear! Most non-programmers I have got to use open source alternatives have done so because of the free is in beer aspect. Almost all of them have eventually understood the free as in speech advantages too. Especially those in small business, who begin to realise that not only do updates to the software come for free, they can also pay programmers to improve the program or fix a critical bug if they choose to.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421843)

While I do disagree with that rant, as I posted in reply, I do agree with your point independently. Another important realization most people have about OSS is that even when it's free, they often want to get the kind of support that they have to pay for. And which is often better than the support for closed-source products.

That market education is a slow process, usually self-driven by consumers. Eventually people will want to by the SW equivalent of their cars with hoods never welded shut, but at first the "black box" looks appealing. Until several years living with it breaking down, and depending on only the dealer for service, including changing the oil.

Re:Free Speech is Not Free Beer (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421781)

I'm not ramming ideology. It's CNet that explains the ideology wrong by saying "open source = $free". They could just tell people the SW they're pushing is free, without saying something false about the source code. Because, as you say, most people don't care.

Don't rant at me for correcting their mistake. Rant at CNet for mentioning the source code as a benefit for everyone.

FWIW, open source is not really an ideology, but a development technique. That has important benefits to consumers in quality and, yes, cost. Just because Stallman is a whiny hippie doesn't mean the rest of us are. Your rant just makes that image worse by perpetuating it, even when that image is irrelevant to the actual story here: cost and quality benefits of the SW CNet is promoting. No one mentioned ideology, or relied on it, at all, until you started shouting it down like a straw man.

Fluff (3, Informative)

rbochan (827946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420447)

What a godawful format. This is 2007, our web browsers have scrollbars for a reason. It's like a damn PPT, but with ads. Though, I suppose that's no surprise with articles like "Top ten geek haircuts" and "Top ten off switches". And no, I'm not [cnet.co.uk] kidding [cnet.co.uk] .
Journalistic integrity, thy name is CNET.

Re:Fluff (1)

XPisthenewNT (629743) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421511)

I clicked through and saw the Number 8 off switch [cnet.co.uk] , took one look at the picture and thought THAT IS A TURN OFF!

Then they started talking about Data having an off switch in his leg. Wasn't it on his back?

Bigger list (4, Informative)

theantipop (803016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420475)

For Windows users, here is a fairly comprehensive list of useful software [shsc.info] , the vast majority of which is free (as in beer). The list is a bit unwieldy and unevenly updated, but I've snagged a few useful programs by browsing through it recently so I think it's pretty useful for those looking to get off unnecessary commercial apps.

Re:Bigger list (1)

darkrowan (976992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421861)

Here [econsultant.com] is another link to free (as in beer) software list. That link is for freeware ones, a list of opensource ones is linked on that page.

Re:Bigger list (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21422111)

Here is a more comprehensive listing (than the cnet list) of open source software and their proprietary counterparts:
Open Source Alternative http://www.osalt.com/ [osalt.com]

Pricelessware is a fairly good resource for finding free software in general (lot's of propriatary freeware) http://www.pricelesswarehome.org/ [pricelesswarehome.org]

freshmeat gets updated daily with lots of OSS. Though it has a Linux bias, there is a LOT of cross platform software available http://freshmeat.net/ [freshmeat.net]

SourceForge seems to be updating its list daily now as well. The front page listings are much smaller than freshmeat however http://sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

When deciding on what OSS to use, I often check the start date of the project and see if it is still actively being developed. The age of a project and developer involvement is a fairly good indicator of the quality of the software (i.e. you know bugs are constantly being fixed, and improvements made). There is no real reason for me to even think of buying most proprietary software much less downloading warez. There is still a lack of quality OSS games compared to the commercial market, but even this is changing (slowly). I'm still waiting for some of the more advanced and interesting looking games to get out of Alfa or beta stage.

I guess the debate is over (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420483)

> And this point is worth reiterating: open-source software is free. No cost. Zero. Zilch.

Does this mean that the debate on the difference (or the lack thereof) between free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech is finally and officially over? It's about time [slashdot.org] .

Re:I guess the debate is over (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420811)

Don't link journals which are archived (and thus unable to accept comments) as the main meat of your post. If you have something like that to say have the guts to post it again and take a Karma hit.

By the way that journal entry proposes that there are only two main ways to make money off of open source. Yet you left out the one way the majority of people get cash from open source development. Open source is a software feature that many companies are willing to fork out cash for. They do so by hiring coders to write the actual software. The fact is there is a high cash demand for software that has no lock-in. That demand is only increasing as we move further into the information age and more people wise up to the dangers of vendor lock-in. The reality is the only real way to avoid vendor lock-in is open source. So their only choice is full blown in-house development or modification of existing open source packages. Obviously the cheapest option usually turns out to be modification.

Your bias may be confused because you don't understand that the only people who need to make cash off it are the people writing the code. You look at it from the outlook of a company trying to make a product and sell it to others. There is no point in that though. Indeed from a programmers perspective open source can liberate us from poor wages delivered by crappy companies who chose software features via the marketing department. Probably in the future the payment methods will have to be refined for non business users but there are already known solutions to that situation.

FOSS (0, Flamebait)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420499)

FOSS is no better and not wors than closed source:

* quality wise, both may have (and have) problems.

* There are fantastic OS and not OS programs

* There are failures in OS and closed source arena

* 92% of the Sourceforge products stagnate in tehit own inactivity. You hear about the success but not about the MILLIONS of OS failures.

* It is a myth the superiority of OS because everybody can fix the source by theyself. Yes, this can be done, but few do it. And doing it doesn't guarantee that millions of users will automagically apply the changes.

The major (and only) difference is idiological. And it's politically correct to say that OS is cool, but I don't care for ideologies. Show me a good soft and I will use and promote it, be it OS or not.

Re:FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21420645)

Troll much?

Oh wait: yes, you do.

Re:FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21420973)

That you don't agree with the parent doesn't mean that that was a troll. If you analize wha he says logically you will see that that was a very clever post. Of course he is not making any friends here, but what do you expect of the brainless slashdot crowd.

Look to the moderators... Thay don't even THINK, just moderate ideologically... the same think the parent was taking about.

Re:FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421093)

That you don't agree with the parent doesn't mean that that was a troll.

Oh I quiet agree. What makes him a troll is the use of a bullet list instead of taking the time to form a coherent argument, his obvious contrary position, the use of hackneyed old arguments which always get a response from frothing Slashbots, his signature and last but not least, the fact that the user account is well known as a troll.

Possibly also posting as an AC in support of his post. I have no evidence but it's a feeding technique as old as the hills.

Not that I really give a fuck: thick-skulled Slashdot posters who have no sense of irony, sarcasm or humour will still respond and we'll get the exact same thread that's been done OVER NINE THOUSAND times before. If anything, I just wish El Lobo would try harder. The old school Slashdot trolls would be spinning in their graves, if they were dead.

Re:FOSS (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420927)

Actually, this guy and I share about the same outlook. I've searched Sourceforge for a neat OSS project to use and found that 90% of the projects I find have no source code available, and don't look like they're at all active. There's a neat description which is what originally lured me to the project, but there's no software or source of any kind available.

There's no 100% perfect way to create software. Closed-source methods have turned out software that is just as good as open-source.

I'd consider myself less of an advocate and more of a "tool for the job" guy.

Re:FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421201)

You sir a a STUPID IDIOT and a tool for MicroShit and should be ERRADICATED from this planet together with your shitty software. Moron!

FOSS RULES!

I understand your point, but completely disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421789)

I agree with your first three bullets, but really, OSS is not necessarily ideological, it is also a pragmatic point of view, one you do not address. OSS doesn't need anyone to use or promote it; yes, that may be nice but not necessary, but it exists on its own for no other purpose except that someone wished to solve a problem or play with the technology - nothing more or less. How do you think that cd ripping came about? How about DNS?

The 92% are not necessarily failures; if a project stagnates, it could be because it has more viable competitors, and, if a project has ultimate value to someone, somewhere, who can DO, it will fly. Maybe not today, maybe not to level of packaging and functionality some would like. And, they are idea templates for what can be done or a POV of functionality, a scratch pad of abortive attempts.

You are placing commercial attributes on things that are not commercial; the world is filled with that myopia. It is that of a Consumer, not an artist or an architect, but a builder who gets paid by the hour to hammer nails - there are other viewpoints which are forever misunderstood by those outside of them.

Gimp vs Photoshop? (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420511)

Not sure about that one. Don't get me wrong, I love using the Gimp for web work and stuff. But I've read comparisons online and typically Photoshop has more features available. The Gimp tends to come off a sort of a "kid brother".

While this may be a familiarity issue, I'd like to hear from someone that really has dug deep into both and has a fair assessment of the two.

Re:Gimp vs Photoshop? (2, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420699)

There's no need to dig even particularly deep, Gimp is far, far behind Photoshop in terms of functionality.

If all you do is crop and polish the occasional JPEG from your digital camera, you might not notice. But if you're any kind of professional, Gimp is a joke.

And even with Photoshop not exactly being a paragon of good interface design, Gimp manages to be much, much worse.

Re:Gimp vs Photoshop? (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421029)

If all you do is crop and polish the occasional JPEG from your digital camera, you might not notice. But if you're any kind of professional, Gimp is a joke.

But isn't the point? Most average users will only want a photo manip program to clean up their digital photos and help them store them. Photoshop is bloat for anyone except the advanced user -- even Elements seems a bit overdone. The idea is to sell OSS to people and show them that it has the functionality they need without all the excess that they don't. Most average users aren't going to need one-one-hundredth of what is in Photoshop, whereas Gimp may allow them to easily clean up their personal photos and send them out at Christmastime.

Re:Gimp vs Photoshop? (1)

optimus2861 (760680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421139)

Most average users aren't going to need one-one-hundredth of what is in Photoshop, whereas Gimp may allow them to easily clean up their personal photos and send them out at Christmastime.

That's kind of self-contradictory, isn't it? If Photoshop is too bloated for most users, and Gimp bills itself as the OSS Photoshop, shouldn't Gimp be too bloated for most users?

Picasa or Paint.NET are better choices than Gimp for such users, IMO.

Re:Gimp vs Photoshop? (1)

ShawnCplus (1083617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421137)

I'm not sure why everyone downplays GIMP to seem like a MSPaint alternative, it is extremely powerful. It is capable of _much_ more than cropping photos and cleaning up JPEG artifact. Lets run down a list of features here. GIMP (X denotes missing features in PS)
  • Layers
  • Filters
  • Insane amount of formats supported- X
  • Custom scripting extensibility- X
  • Access to source to customize GIMP- X
I would add more to the list but I'm at work. Feel free to do it yourself

Re:Gimp vs Photoshop? (1)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421151)

Yep. I've used Photoshop for many years (paid for it, too, in case you're wondering). Every time I try Gimp, I want to put my head through the monitor.

But maybe it's just me.

Re:Gimp vs Photoshop? (3, Insightful)

ShawnCplus (1083617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421235)

The same can be said conversely. I've used GIMP for 3-4 years and just looking at Photoshop makes my eyes bleed. We've used our preferred software so long the "opposition" looks ugly and unintuitive by comparison.

Re:Gimp vs Photoshop? (1)

ShawnCplus (1083617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420817)

The amount of features really depends on whether you know python or the script-fu thing it uses so you can script your own features. There is an enormous repository of plugins that can be downloaded which rival if not exceed Photoshop's feature list. Many complain about the UI but has mostly become moot with GimpShop

Nice article! (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420519)

Too bad they didnt mention tools in my favorites:

Knoppix
VirtualBox
MPlayer (the Hungarian one, not MS)
GParted
GRUB
NT Password Recovery Here [eunet.no]
Cinelerra
FilmGimp
BitPim
NMap
RDesktop
VNC

And the best of all... Debian and Ubuntu

Re:Nice article! (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21422131)

Too bad they didnt mention tools in my favorites: ... GParted, GRUB ... NMap, RDesktop, VNC...

Yeah, because people get extremely excited when they start... um... partitioning drives! And booting the operating system! And they can, like... find out that no ports are open on their system, whatever that means!... and it's good to know that you can use the computer from some other place - if only they had another computer.

Let's face it, there's a TON of good open source software, but a lot of it isn't exactly "marketable". You can't sell open source to people by telling how much butt GRUB kicks. ("Yeah, it displays a menu and starts up the operating system. So?") A lot of open source is just neat tools for marginal purposes: people pick them because they fit their needs. They're not out there to make everyone happy. You can really only "sell" programs that have a big audience. Also, there's the element of "fun". Using productivity software is fun; you get results. On the other hand, not a lot of people are so enthusiastic when they have to boot the computer; selling GRUB is harder. A lot of people don't care about their bootloader as long as it kicks the kernel running.

Some tools are easy to market even when they have specialist target group, because everyone understands the basics of the field - say, in case of GNU Lilypond [lilypond.org] , everyone knows a little bit about music and notation, so everyone understands that the program they're "selling" here is useful to the musicians, composers and music typesetters (and are intrigued by the information found here), and the musicians, composers and music typesetters will be even further intrigued when they see how well the software fits their needs. It's also nice because making music is nice and makes people happy (or at least emotional). Now, try selling gparted. Everyone, even the specialists, think partitioning drives is dull... yes, you can make the sales speech interesting, but you can't make drive partitioning fun or frequent enough.

keeping pumping... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21420527)

Here we go again ... I feel like we are stuck in 1995. Free "alternatives" do not equate to better software and you're definition of better may vary. and i didn't RTFA ... it's cnet.

Be careful with the free statement (5, Insightful)

PinternetGroper (595689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420561)

And this point is worth reiterating: open-source software is free. No cost. Zero. Zilch.'"
Be careful with this statement. Some people consider software that costs nothing to be of lesser quality or to have something wrong with it. A coworker went to Staples and purchased a version of McAfee for home, even after I told her AVG would do everything she wanted it to, and for free. I got the impression that she didn't think something that didn't cost anything would be able to do what she wanted...

Re:Be careful with the free statement (3, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420757)

Whenever I talk about AVG, I make sure to mention that they only charge for commercial licenses and that while I use the free version at home, I've paid for a commercial license for work. That might make it sound more reassuring to some people.

Re:Be careful with the free statement (1)

PinternetGroper (595689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421813)

Good point

Re:Be careful with the free statement (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420875)

In the words of the great Ron White,"You can't fix stupid."

Re:Be careful with the free statement (4, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21422139)

Be careful with this statement.

Good point. But...

A coworker went to Staples and purchased a version of McAfee for home, even after I told her AVG would do everything she wanted it to, and for free. I got the impression that she didn't think something that didn't cost anything would be able to do what she wanted...

Too bad. You missed a great opportunity--you should have sold her a copy! No, I'm not being a smartass and saying you should have taken advantage of her. Well, actually, I guess I am--not being a smartass, but it seems that some people insist on being taken advantage of, and she evidently is one of them.* If they insist on burning money, you might as well help them put that money to good use! From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html [gnu.org]

Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible -- just enough to cover the cost. Actually we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If this seems surprising to you, please read on. ...

Since free software is not a matter of price, a low price isn't more free, or closer to free. So if you are redistributing copies of free software, you might as well charge a substantial fee [emphasis mine] and make some money [emphasis theirs]. Redistributing free software is a good and legitimate activity; if you do it, you might as well make a profit from it.

Free software is a community project, and everyone who depends on it ought to look for ways to contribute to building the community. For a distributor, the way to do this is to give a part of the profit to the Free Software Foundation or some other free software development project. By funding development, you can advance the world of free software.

Distributing free software is an opportunity to raise funds for development. Don't waste it! [emphasis theirs, but I agree. :-) ]
And, in case it wasn't clear up until now: "In order to contribute funds, you need to have some extra. If you charge too low a fee, you won't have anything to spare to support development."

So charge as much as you can! Hell, charge more than the commercial offering and throw in some support. And if you've got a guilty conscience, a) get over it or b) send some money to the FSF. If you really don't need money, tell them you're an "authorized distributor" and they can make a check out to "FSF" with the name of the software in the memo line.

Richard Stallman wants software to be capital-F-Free, as in hackable, usable, modifiable. I don't think he has ever once said that people should give away their time. If you're spending your time extolling the virtues of Free software, you should get paid!

* See also the recent thread about the $199 WalMart PC that is in a bigger-than-needed case because people think bigger == better. The last thing I need is another fullsize tower, but I would have bought one in a second if it were the size of a Shuttle PC.

ho80 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21420589)

Don't offer bad alternatives (2, Interesting)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420595)

If OSS is to thrive, it needs to not offer worse alternatives, and by so doing, convince people that OSS is unreliable.

No matter what people who wish it were otherwise say, OpenOffice is a piece of junk. It's huge. It's buggy. It has difficulties using other formats. It explodes frequently. It requires massive Java-ware installed on the machines of otherwise happily non-bloated users. It's worse than anything Microsoft has shipped.

Point people toward Abiword, or point them toward Google apps, but don't push that piece of junk on them, unless you want to cement in their minds the idea that "free but inferior" is the definition of open source.

Thank you.

Re:Don't offer bad alternatives (2, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420715)

Anything that crosses paths with any MS based format will explode at some time, just as the very MS software that created it has done before.

And.. Java is now bad. It works well in my opinion. Too bad it doesn't work for you.

As a first-hand look at OO, it works for me. Ive used it since it was StarOffice. It always works on their own files and only has problems when you try to open hidden formatted files.

Re:Don't offer bad alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21422221)

As a first-hand look at OO, it works for me. Ive used it since it was StarOffice. It always works on their own files and only has problems when you try to open hidden formatted files.
It's been a while since I tried to use OOo (1.x) but it sucked tremendously even if you didn't import anything. I doubt it has improved that much by now, but at least back then it was a real PITA to use.

Technical Communication is your specialty? (4, Interesting)

expro (597113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420857)

How about objectivity?

I know a number of businesses and private people who use Open Office every day exchanging documents with others without a hitch, whereas I have never heard of anyone who gave it up because it was huge, buggy, or had difficulty using other formats.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but Open Office is a very beautiful thing for everyone I know personally who has ever tried it.

Re:Technical Communication is your specialty? (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421299)

I know a number of businesses and private people who use Open Office every day exchanging documents with others without a hitch, whereas I have never heard of anyone who gave it up because it was huge, buggy, or had difficulty using other formats.

Funny thing is, last week I paid a visit to a client. They have Firefox and OOo installed on every machine and have so for a number of years effectively, yet one of the directors still mentioned being glad to use MS Office back home.

I couldn't blame with him. Being the unix hippie I am, personally I prefer LaTeX over any word processor. When I have to I use OOo, but I never enjoy the experience (I'm using Abiword more and more lately). The occasions that I am behind an XP machine MS Office works like a charm.

Lets be honest: OOo is a slow bloated monster that really isn't compatible with MS's proprietary formats. OOo is improving, but slowly. Only when the open source product is better than the proprietary product (ie. Firefox) will you get people to switch, and OOo is not yet better than Office. Thinking so is fooling yourself.

Re:Technical Communication is your specialty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421799)

I beg to differ. I couldn't live without MS Office nowadays since they added Groove [wikipedia.org] in Office 2007. OOo does not have an equivalent to this and it gets really annoying after a while to have one's inbox littered with attachments such as "WORK DOCUMENT FINAL REVISION 2 REALLY FINAL THIS TIME.doc/odf" and having to figure out which one should be used --- or worse, having to merge different versions.

I mean, OOo is fine if you want to use it in your basement and are the sole person to work on a document, but it ignores the collaborative nature of a lot of documents.

Re:Technical Communication is your specialty? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21422279)

Hi. I'm sootman. I have tried OOo several time over the years. I can't stand using it. It's just clunky, slow, and has lots of little annoyances.

That said, I feel the same way about Office 2000 and newer. I've stuck with Office 97 (and Office X for Mac OS X) on any personal machine. As for the newest Office, the ribbon looks OK, and I think Live Previews of formatting is a great idea, but I can live without those and am happy to stick with Office 97.

Also, I haven't tried OOo in maybe a year and a half or more, so maybe it's better now. I'll give it a shot when I have some time. FYI, I don't go around bad-mouthing OOo to people who are considering it, so I'm not setting back the cause. Most people aren't as picky as I am. I just show it to people and let them make up their own minds. People with crapware-laden 2 GHz Celerons with XP Home and 128 MB RAM (11 MB shared for video) don't seem to mind the speed. :-)

Re:Don't offer bad alternatives (3, Informative)

Synchis (191050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421415)

No matter what people who wish it were otherwise say, OpenOffice is a piece of junk. It's huge. It's buggy. It has difficulties using other formats. It explodes frequently. It requires massive Java-ware installed on the machines of otherwise happily non-bloated users. It's worse than anything Microsoft has shipped.
I'm having trouble with this comment... for a number of reasons:

1. You *almost* sound like you were paid to write that.

2. Your statement is inaccurate on many levels.

3. You provide no basis for your opinion. Care to back up your statement with some evidence?

Every experience that I've had with OpenOffice has been a good one. Its fast, provides all the features that I'm looking for without being too bloated, and sometimes handles the Microsoft formats better than even MS Office does. I hazard to suggest that if OpenOffice was as bad as you suggest, that Cannonical would not have picked it as Productivity app of choice for Ubuntu. And I believe a fair number of other distro's provide it as well.

Before posting a bash like that against an open source project on an open source oriented web site, you should probably have something to back up your statements. Otherwise, your just blowing hot air out your arse.

Re:Don't offer bad alternatives (1)

vulgrin (70725) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421821)

Well I don't know how much "evidence" there is around a personal opinion, but to me the difference between OpenOffice and MS Office is the difference between slogging through mud up to my knees, vs. ice-skating.

Sure, with OpenOffice I get there, but it's messy, not very pretty, and I'm tired and worn out by the time I get there. With MS Office 2007, most of what I do is effortless, works the first time, and I get there faster. The same is true with GTD on Outlook 2007, vs. using Gmail or Thunderbird and trying to hack in other productivity enhancements.

Sure, every so often I fall and hit the ice, but that's becoming less and less of an occurrance. In fact, I can't remember the last time Office crashed hard or lost data.

Same could be said for Photoshop vs. Gimp for me. I'm just so tuned into how I do things in PS, and all of the features at my disposal that going back to Gimp is like trying to play Halo without my thumbs. I'm sure it works fine for some people, but Gimp just isn't for me.

But that's just my personal opinion. To each their own.

Re:Don't offer bad alternatives (1)

Synchis (191050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21422155)

Sure, I can accept what you say, because it *is* your opinion. Everyone tends to favor a different type or style of software or interface, and thats fine.

My problem with the original post was that he doesn't claim its his opinion. He states it as fact, and as a fact, its wrong.

For every person like you, theres a person thats the opposite. I have to use MS office for work, and every time I have to edit a report or a plan in MS Word, its like pulling teeth. Its clunky, difficult and extremely frusterating for me to work with MS Word. In comparison, when I want to do something in OpenOffice, it works with ease.

Perhaps its the feature-set that we're working with, I dunno. I tend to prefer the Open Source alternatives because I find them easier to use.

As far as other apps go, learning Gimp was tough, but I'm not a graphics guy, and I find PS just as difficult to use. I get my wife to do all my Graphics work for me. :)

I also use the open source DVDAuthor package, which I find works *far* better than anything thats been put out for windows. I find it offers a certain level of control you just can't get from a gui. On the other hand, I *have* used some decent commercial DVD authoring packages (DVD-Lab), and the editing app that I use is commercial as well, and is second to none (VideoRedo). VideoRedo works under wine too. :)

All told, my opinion is that, I will try a FOSS package before a commercial package any day. But I have my standards, and if the FOSS package doesn't meet my standards, then I wont hesitate to spend some money.

Re:Don't offer bad alternatives (1)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421727)

I couldn't disagree more. I've been using Open Office for about a year now and I have yet to have it crash on me once. As far as file compatibility, I've had better luck working with .xls files in Open Office Calc. On one occasion, attempting to print the file in Excel caused the system to lock, I couldn't even bring up the task manager (probably Microsoft hooking into the kernel for speed again). On another occasion we had a file wouldn't even open in Excel. Calc parsed it just fine. Just the other night, I had a .odt open in Writer that was located on a shared drive. I had to reboot the computer the file was located on so my fiance could use XP, but I forgot to close the document first. When I went to close the file (which had already been saved), Writer exited gracefully. Try leaving a network share open in Office XP and rebooting the server. See what happens. I'm willing to bet it won't be pretty.

Re:Don't offer bad alternatives (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 6 years ago | (#21422285)

It's worse than anything Microsoft has shipped.
I believe there is still hanging, drawing and quartering for such remarks on slashdot.

One problem ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21420709)

What's going to happen when tens of thousands of mouthbreathing CNET readers all start wanting "support" for the OS packages they've installed?

Re:One problem ... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421261)

Same thing that happens when tens of thousands of mouthbreathing Windows users start wanting support for closed-source programs that they've installed: they come bug me, or some other random geek, about it. It's not like you're going to get any support out of Microsoft about Windows Media Player.

Thing is, with most of these OSS programs, there's actually a way for the geek to fix it quickly and go back to doing something else ... as opposed to what happens when Outlook Express goes wrong: "I dunno, try rebooting it?"

OSS is free, and that's good... (1)

Dputiger (561114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420831)

But lets face it: The vast majority of computer users aren't interested in making even a minimal effort to learn a new operating system or new programs. As the "go-to" person for tech support in my family, I'm not interested in helping them sort it out, either. I'd give it my best shot if someone had a problem, but I'm certainly not going to create new headaches for myself if I can avoid it.

I'm not bashing Linux or OSS; I think the fact that both exist is wonderful. I'm happy for all the people who've switched to Open Office, or Linux, or whatever, and come away pleased with it. At the same time, however, I simply have neither the time nor the energy to learn how another OS or application suite works. Just figuring out the quirks of Vista (and I'm required to do so) has been annoying enough.

These sorts of lists are important for people already using or wanting to use OSS but who aren't sure where to start, but I don't see them bringing anyone into the fold. Even if I found an OSS replacement for every application I use, and even if the OSS programs were, in every case, better than the applications I already use, I'm still not very interested in taking the time to learn an entire new application suite unless the difference between Program A and Program B is absolutely huge. If Program A takes 20s to do a common operation, and Program B takes 5s, then yes, color me interested. Other than that, not so much.

Re:OSS is free, and that's good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421203)

And for your laziness (which is what it is, plain and simple) you get to pay for software that is not worth what you paid. If you like taking it in the ass from corporations such as Microsoft, there is no point in arguing.

Osalt (1)

HansF (700676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420851)

http://www.osalt.com/ [osalt.com] has been doing this for quite a while now...

Free? (4, Insightful)

Jake73 (306340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420853)

Not all open-source software is completely free.

I use Open Office extensively and have never installed MS Office despite having an MSDN subscription which provides it for "free" for the last 5 yrs. I do this out of principle, but this decision has cost me. There are incompatibilities present that have cost me time and effort.

I own Adobe Photoshop because Gimp would cost me dearly in time and effort. I've tried many times, but Gimp is really not a PS replacement.

And while Linux is "free" and my company's products support it, the userbase is comparatively small to our Windows base and the costs of using it, learning it, keeping up with it, and maintaining product support are astronomical (per user capita) compared to Windows.

That said, there are a huge number of open-source packages that are not only free but save me an enormous amount of time and effort. Thunderbird is far more time-friendly than Outlook has been to me. Firefox. Python. Ruby. Ruby on Rails.

Others save me money by proxy. My web host uses Open Solaris, for example.

Open Source software has a very important niche within enterprise and home use. But a large number of the mainstream packages that most home users would use will frustrate those folks with quirks. Some things are only free if you value your time at nothing.

Re:Free? (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421945)

Some things are only free if you value your time at nothing.

What you mean to say is, "some free things take a lot of time to configure and learn, to the point that they're just not worth your time." In fact, the same can be said of much of the proprietary software out there. Try this:

"Some software takes a lot of time to configure and learn, to the point that it's just not worth it."

I know I am *much* more pissed off to use something that I paid for that fits this definition, especially something that locks up my data in a proprietary format so I can't get at it long after the company has dropped support for its product. This is the sort of thing I educate my customers about. They don't have to enjoy using open source software, they just have to be wise about using software, period.

Re:Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421989)

Of course gimp is a photoshop replacement -- for people who aren't graphics professionals. For those who are graphics professionals, the general consensus is that it's not.

So, does that make enough sense that we can we finally put this age-old debate to rest? Good, then do your part and don't omit the "for graphics professionals" part when claiming that gimp isn't a photoshop replacement. Otherwise you just look silly, because for many people (including me) it obviously is a photoshop replacement -- otherwise we'd be pirating photoshop, wouldn't we?

Re:Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21422233)

Depending on your salary, as compared to the cost of the commerical software packages and your (possibly non-existent) pre-existing knowledge of those commercial packages, time may indeed be a valid cost approximation at $0 for a lot of people.

Apparently, OSS is for n00bs (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420891)

The bad: Microsoft Office comes with Outlook, which is vital for most business users. For this reason, OpenOffice isn't an alternative to Microsoft's corporate solutions. It's also lacks some of the advanced design functions of the 2007 version of Word.

The Bad: The software suffers a few bugs that could be something of a hurdle for newbies. It's in the advanced pre-release stages, meaning the team developing it hasn't deemed it suitable for general release.
Conclusion: MediaPortal is ideal for anyone who isn't afraid of looking at a program's preferences screen. If looking at settings confuses and scared you into a dark corner, stick with Microsoft's Media Centre for now.

The Bad: VLC won't let you sync your media library with your new MP3 player. There are no radio services directly available through VLC.

The Bad: WinZip offers a vast array of features for advanced users, such as intelligent compression, which chooses the most efficient archiving method based on the type of files being compressed. WinZip will also let you schedule backups and periodic and automatic updating of existing backup archives.

The bad: It's not as attractive as the standard IM chat clients and it's not blindingly obvious which contacts are part of each network.

The bad: The interface is quite basic and not as accessible to less tech-savvy users. More sophisticated and well-designed wizards in programs such as Nero are better at easing newbies through the creation process. The program is also a little slow when preparing to burn a disc.
Conclusion: Technophobes, however, will prefer the idiot-proof wizards provided by commercial software bundled with pre-built PCs.

The bad: While it's superbly kitted out for home users and podcasters, it can't match commercial products like Adobe's Audition software for studio recording. The GUI is also rather plain and not as easy to read as some paid-for alternatives.
Conclusion: Be prepared for a steep learning curve.

The bad: Firefox can sometimes devour a system's RAM. It can also take a few seconds longer to load a page than Opera or Internet Explorer.

It seems to me like the programs work but if you want more advanced features or a prettier/easier to use interface you have to buy the non-OSS software.

Free sounds terrible (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420901)

When I plug open-sauce (which, despite my polar-opposite allegiances I still do), I rarely state "free" as a reason to install something.

"Community developed" always goes down much better....latch on "free" as a side-product benefit, but "community developed" makes it sound like "written by the people for the people", so tends to get better reception.

Everything is 'free'; it just depends whether you have to steal it or not.

OS should be innovative, no blind copy (1)

nibb (998365) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420931)

Most OS alternatives don't offer features that aren't in the commercial versions. The only exceptions are the success stories: Firefox did add a lot of features that IE could only dream of, and Writer can export to PDF, but that's where it ends. GIMP and other Open Office progs run miles behind the commercial products, that's why it doesn't break through. Joe Average copies Photoshop and MS Office from his neighbor, so to him it seems free anyway. Why should he bother to install "another" free product that has less features than the fancy commercial software everyone else uses? Open Source should be innovative and come up with features the commercial equivalent doesn't have; that's the only way it can gain big public success.

while pidgin is great (1)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21420985)

...the lack of offline messaging for msn can be quite annoying.
Mind you it's not fault of the pidgin developers, but microsoft, who seemed to have used some arcane way to implement this feature.

I've used gaim and pidgin for a long time, but crumbled and when to msn solely cause of lack of offline msging.

and mind you pidgins simple look was a plus for plus for me.

Re:while pidgin is great (2, Funny)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421221)

Isn't that called email?

Re:while pidgin is great (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421269)

So your blaming pidgin's failure on your reliance on a protocol (not program) that is not open, by a company that has no interest in supporting open standards (or source)? Seems more like you need to free yourself (and your friends) from MSN first before complaining that an open solution isn't working for you. The only thing I find lacking in Pidgin is support for Skype and Video sessions(particularly for Skype, AIM and iChat users). I expect Skype support will come one day and that eventually video pluggins.

Re:while pidgin is great (1)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421397)

I really appreciate that little personal put down, you snuggled (or maybe smuggled would be the better term) in your reply. thank you, I want to hug you now.

VLC (2, Informative)

Re-Pawn (764948) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421003)

I wanted to post a comment on the article but comments appear to be locked - VLC does have streaming radio and video via Shoutcast - not sure if the writer has used VLC for anything other than DVDs or opening a media file. As far as using an iPod I have switched over to Floola to manage my library and podcasts on my mini - it works in Linux as well as OSX and Windows.

Audacity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421207)

FTA: "it can't match commercial products like Adobe's Audition software for studio recording".

This isn't true. We tried out all the commercial OSX apps, including Adobe soundbooth (audition isn't availiable on Mac) and found Audacity was the best fit for a small VO studio. Bells and whistles count for nothing if the basic audio editing features aren't up to scratch. Audacity isn't without problems or bugs and I'm not saying that, in fact the source code freely mixes GUI and processing code -- ick! Functionally for basic editing workflow, there's nothing wrong with it and this is something you can't say about the commercial apps.

FTA: "The GUI is also rather plain and not as easy to read as some paid-for alternatives".

So says someone who never ran bias peak or thinks slick UI design makes a professionally usable tool. The UI for a 1/4", blade and chinagraph was good enough for 40 years, the Audacity interface is perfectly serviceable.

Of course, I use sweep [metadecks.org] at home ;-)

Shifting my business focus (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421375)

I've been working a steady contract supporting .NET development and MS products but I'm letting this contract run out in January so I can devote more time to supporting F/OSS development and applications. I may be a bit ahead of the curve but MS development is just so hideously boring. Plus I'm getting a lot more calls about alternatives to Vista and I'm curious if the market is really there or if it's just talk. I'll let you know how it goes. Worst case is I end up taking on more Windows support and come crawling back when faced with imminent starvation.

All the fun stuff in IT is happening in open source...and that's more than MS. Although in fairness to my clients, if MS or proprietary is the right solution, I'll pick the right tool for the job. This is business not religion. But I find in my own business and home network that F/OSS is frequently the better decision.

Should be interesting. Send food. ;)

Re:Shifting my business focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21421429)

.net != close source

i have to question the legitimacy of this post.

It's free except when... (2, Insightful)

flyingrobots (704155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421461)

time is money.

Bravo! (3, Interesting)

Synchis (191050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21421491)

Since the author of TFA has apparently closed off comments for now, I'll state it here:

Bravo. It's nice to see a main-stream media outlet offering this kind of coverage of FOSS.

I've experimented with FOSS for a long time, and have wanted to switch for many years. Last spring, I did, once and for all. I now use Ubuntu 7.10 on my home system, even for gaming. (I was surprised to find that many companies are offering a Linux version as well as Windows.)

In my opinion, meny FOSS projects are ready for the main-stream. They simply need some good publicity, and a following.

trollk0re (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21422127)

no maater how

What about Avidemux? (1)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21422167)

They forgot Avidemux. It's great for converting video files and it works on Windows and Linux.
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