Open Office

openoffice.gifMan, I hate to say this, but Microsoft really burns my wazoo.
I know, there are a million reasons to dislike the mega-corporation, but I�m just homing in on one. I spent 4 � hours today securing a client�s office network and setting up shared backup folders. I also uninstalled a bunch of unnecessary software. This included numerous �trial� versions of Office 2003.
I mean come one. SURELY mighty Microsoft could afford to give licensed XP users a copy of bare-bones Office. But no, they instead offer a trial version that will die unless the computer purchaser ponies up more bucks.
Well, that inspired today�s FamilyFirst pick: Open Office!

What is Open Office? They put it best: � is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute.�
In other words, it does virtually everything that Microsoft�s EXPENSIVE suite does, for FREE!
It even includes a relational database program, which MS Office users have to pay extra for, as in Office Pro!
So how does it compare to the aforenamed suite? Pretty darned favorably, if I say so myself. The individual programs have names NOTHING like the revered Microsoft products (so don�t think about repeating the Lindows lawsuit, Gates and co.), but you will soon figure out what program does what.
Impress produces slideshow presentations. Calc creates spreadsheets. Math is a sophisticated equation editor, with no real Office counterpart. Writer, well you guess what Writer does ;-). And finally Base is the relational database program.
If you want to download the suite yourself, feel free! It�s about 76 MB. And it WON�T nag you, it WON�T die after 90 days, and you can install it on as many machines as you wish!
Here�s to Open Office, and the entire open source movement!

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