Thursday, November 13, 2008

IT - Open Source Software


Computers have recently come down in price and these days one can buy a powerful one for about R3000.00. Usually the cost of the Windows operating system and Microsoft software has to be added to this which increases the total cost by a considerable amount. Most people are however unaware that they need not buy any software at all.

There is another operating system called Linux which is completely free and works very well indeed. It is stable, reliable, installs easily and is not meant only for computer “nerds” as is commonly thought.

Mark Shuttleworth's Ubuntu Foundation will send you a free CD which will install the Linux operating system on just about any computer. Along with it comes almost everything you will need including an email program and Open Office which is a suite of programs including a word processor, a spreadsheet program (useful for estimating) and a database program.

For those nervous about migrating from Windows, Open Office can open and run your MS Word files and Excel spreadsheets without it being necessary to learn anything new. Both operating systems can be run on the same computer.

Have a look at www.ubuntu.com where you can find out more and order a free CD. There is a 3 - 4 week waiting period but if you are impatient you can also download the software directly. The number of large organisations that are moving across to Linux is growing steadily.

Bruce Lyle
Membership Services Manager

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