Need software, open source it

Need software, open source it

Students can save hundreds of dollars on software for classes. Photo: Connor Allen /UVU Review

As students gear up for a semester of studying and endless assignments, a majority of them are doing their coursework on computers. However, there is one problem: the software often required for these activities is expensive.

 

Fortunately for UVU students, there are many options that can cut down on these costs – these are open source software.

 

Intrepid computer programmers design open source software for everyone, for free. An open source programmer sees a public need and fulfills it. Whether that need is photo editing, design, word processing or even an operating system. OpenOffice.org is an example of an open source alternative to Microsoft Office, the world-famous productivity software.

 

“Open Office provides more options than many of the other writing tools that I have used on computers,” said Cody Barnes, a Pre-Engineering student.

 

Many students benefit from open source software alternatives and many more can. There are a bevy of sites that deal with open source software. One of the more popular websites is CNET, which has a wide variety of open source software as well as free trials for commercial software.

 

OSALT.com is overall the best option for open source software on the web. From their homepage, just type in the name of the commercial program needed. The website will bring up all of the alternatives for that program as well as descriptions, reviews, tech specs and download links.

 

Open source software is an effective substitute but it does have some drawbacks. The main drawback comes from its open source nature. With no commercial backing, there may be limited tutorials and the software may be harder to use in general. Luckily, this is the exception rather than the rule.

 

The bottom line is that there is always another way to get assignments done other than commercial software.

 

By John Carlsen
Science and Technology

2 Responses to "Need software, open source it"

  1. Paul   January 30, 2012 at 6:02 am

    I am a person who uses LibreOffice almost every day.
    LibreOffice (LO) is truly empowering software.
    Why beg, borrow, steal or buy when you can own for free!
    I also recommend “The complete Writer Guide” (It’s also free):
    http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/cgi_img_auth.php/b/ba/0200WG3-WriterGuide.pdf
    and http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation
    Try out the extensions available with LO and OpenOffice (OOo). It makes LO / OOo even more useful. Here are some very good extensions for LO / OOo:
    http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/languagetool
    – helps detect some grammar mistakes
    – Requires Java 6.0 or later.
    For Ubuntu (Linux) users I recommend they download libreoffice-java-common from the Ubuntu Software Center.
    http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/openoffice.org2googledocs-export-import-to-google-docs-zoho-webdav
    that lets you quickly…

    Reply
  2. Ryan   January 31, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Open software is actually, usually commercial software. It’s isn’t proprietary, it’s still commercial.

    The business model is very different then what you are used to when you think of buying software, but they still make money out if it. Open Source Software is like a free enticement to buy other services from the vendor.

    Although, there are some community supported OSS projects, such as linuxmint, but it isn’t the majority of them, and these still rely on companies somewhere along the line.

    Reply

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