MS Office - bye!

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by W3MMM, Nov 26, 2019.

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  1. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    My greatest use so far for a PDF editor is merging documents. My old flat-bed scanner saves one page at a time as a separate file, which I then merge into a single document. I also sometimes merge downloaded documents into one file, but rarely compose multi-page PDFs myself.


  3. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    And anything for "free" is generally worth every penny!
    SV2HZF likes this.
  4. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    That depends on who is offering the product and their motives. I am unaware of efforts by the developers of Libre Office to make their users a product. They appear to derive satisfaction from developing a very good office applications suite that people can use for whatever need it fulfills. Likewise with Linux distributions such as Debian, entirely free and no tracking or any such things on the sly. Debian does offer an opt-in for their popularity contest which is merely anonymous statistics on installed packaged and how often they're used to help the project focus their efforts toward their users' needs.

    A lot of us are involved in developing free amateur radio software and our users are certainly not a product! It is offered gratis under licenses that encourage further development. In fact I just applied a patch to Hamlib today from a first time contributor. It was only one line, but it makes the library just a little more useful for owners of that radio model. I have no idea how many Hamlib installations there are nor do I or the rest of the developers care. I do know that it's being used with every copy of WSJT-X so that should be a healthy number!

    Do your homework on freely available software. In fact, I would trust more Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) to respect my privacy than stuff I could pay for.
    N0TZU and N4UP like this.
  5. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sometimes true, sometimes not.

    For example, Python is free and is a major computer language. They ask that you make a contribution. Likewise Libre Office. Neither one collects information. And then there is Linux which is in a class by itself for a free, open source, and excellent OS, which runs most of the world’s servers and data storage farms.
    N0NB likes this.
  6. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    I kind of get why you might be saying that. As you are a retired engineer I am guessing the company you worked for spent quite a lot for the tools--hardware and software--for you to do the job they needed done. Those tools likely came from the minds of other engineers. Then there is the idea of support, that only someone being remunerated for their effort would fix bugs, etc. As Bob noted, "Sometimes true, sometimes not."

    Free Software as it (mostly) comes from the Linux world--there is a strong tradition in the BSD world as well--refers to the licensing of the source code. Those conditions range from the sharing requirements of the GNU Public License (GPL) to the "do what you want" of the BSD/MIT licenses. Still the source code is made available to all so long as they comply with the license terms. While "free" commonly means without cost, there is no mandate that Free Software be given away gratis though it most often is. There is also no requirement that developers not be paid as many in the various projects are paid by companies that have an interest in the project.

    I paid for plenty of software up until the mid '90s and that didn't necessarily mean that bugs were fixed or feature requests honored as a result. It merely meant that there were usually printed user manuals in the box--even these started to disappear around the mid '90s--and software on media that could be installed along with a license key to activate the software. Very few rights to the software were conveyed by the typical shrink wrap license. There was certainly no warranty offered and the licenses often restricted installation to one computer and prohibited sharing, of course. If the software erased the hard drive or had any other undesirable effect, welp, sucks to be you...

    I found the GPL to be a real breath of fresh air in 1996. I had no hope of being able to read, let alone dig in and fix much of the source code in that first Slackware distribution but I almost intuitively understood that already many others could and were able to do so and were offering the software under terms that allowed other interested parties the same opportunities. Other interested parties included myself and I taught myself enough C/Perl/Python and shell/Autotools to be able to contribute to the Hamlib project and I guess I stuck around long enough to be a de facto leader of it! Others have done the same with other projects and I've contributed code to some other amateur radio related projects as well.

    My advice is don't just consider the monetary price of software but do your homework and find out if said software respects your privacy and freedom to modify the source code if desired/needed.
    WD4IGX likes this.
  7. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you object to Chrome on the basis of spyware but like Firefox, check out Waterfox. 64 bit Firefox without the telemetry.
    K6CLS likes this.
  8. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Exactly. I've moved the installation to other computers, over to an external drive, even used them when I migrated from the old Netscape mail to Thunderbird. I WANT those files.

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