Whats that? You say I must be insane. Believe it or not all software used to be like this. In fact before the 1980's it was considered to be crazy to even think of selling or buying software. And it should still be considered that way. Because there are still programs out there that are free to use. No I'm not talking about ancient, dinosaur software that serves no purpose these days. All these programs are new and serve every purpose that your commercial software serves. In fact they have entire OSes that are free to use.
Let's get things strait first
In case you haven't figured it out yet I'm talking about Open Source software. Also known as free software, protected under the GNU(pronounce ganew, stands for GNU's Not Unix) GPL (General Public License). And even though most of this software is free to use other people sell it. People use the term Free Software to loosely like I was doing up above. Even though most of those programs are free what Free Software is really about is Freedom. To learn more go to the GNU's Website and view there License. But my favorite Open Source License is the Debian License
Now that you completely understand the beauty in Free Software
Transitioning over completely to open source software may be hard for most people. If your a Mac user you will be able to make the switch easier, because Apple use a Unix Kernel, and also supports the open source community. But for Winblows (Winblows is what us open source phreaks, or freaks call Windows) users you may have a harder time. But no matter how you look at it you don't have to go cold turkey.
Start by downloading a few open source programs that are supported under your OS. You might want to first try a different web browser that is open source. Here are a few of the open source one out there.
- Firefox(currently a Linux version, Mac version & Windows version)
- Sea Monkey(currently for Windows Version, Mac, Version & Linux version)
- Opera(I'm not sure if it is really open source but it works on everything)
- Konquorer(currently only for Linux that I know of, but Apples Safari was built of of it)
Then you can download an alternative to M$ Office. There are many open source alternatives out there but my favorite is OpenOffice.org One of my favorate features in it is that is support all types of formats. So I don't need to rewrite something that was made in M$ Word Or M$ Excel.
Now if you use out look I would suggest you try Thunderbird
And if you have multiple IM's then you'll know what I mean when I say they really slow down your system. In that case I would suggest using GAIM or Pidgin. Both are made by the same people. GAIM is considered to be obsolete now, but Pidgin took it's place. Pidgin is wonderful. You can chat to people on Yahoo IM, AIM, GTalk, MSN Messanger, ICQ, MySpace, IRC and tons of other IM's I've never even heard about.
Those are the ones I mostly use. But there are open source programs for everything out there. And yes they even have games that are open source. And if you start to use these programs you will notice your computer runs nicer and faster. But what you may not need to know is that your system is more secure now to.