The main reason for me trying Linux was for music production. The amount of open source software that is of high quality continues to impress me. The jack sound server is fantastic, and allows me to record things in a way that is simple and effective. For me to use comparable programs on Windows would have cost me hundreds of pounds.
Firefox - The browser that redefined the market.
Linux (obviously) - My workflow is more efficient with Linux than Windows. I use it for technological, not political, reasons.
Scribus - Quite simply awesome. I can make very cool stuff very quickly and easily with great precision using this tool. It's streets ahead of MS Publisher but just as easy to use.
Kino - A great little easy-to-use editor (and there's others like OpenShot and Pitivi coming along nicely)
- OpenOffice.org -- I started using it back when I was still a Windows user. It freed me up from having to spend money on Microsoft Office.
- Linux. Doesn't matter which distro. Learning to use Linux was the best computer-related thing I ever did for myself.
I'm new to ubuntu and the whole open source thing, but I'll offer my opinions.
Favourite piece of software?
- Firefox is probably the one I use the most.
- I only use my computer for school work and the internet. I think the existence of Open Office shows that you don't have to fork out money for a fully functional office program.
- Price was a big motivator. The open source attitude also appealed to me. I don't like the fact that some pieces of software and operating systems think they can tell you what you can do with their software.
- For example, something like an iPhone has its apps that are supposed to make it more functional, but Apple only allows users to use the applications it deems appropriate (unless you jailbreak the phone, voiding the warranty). Whereas with an open source program, if you have the skills, you can make the software run however you like. What's nice about the community is that if you're a beginner, there's plenty of stuff out there that will give you the functionality that you want.
-See above regarding allowing users to use software how they see fit, rather than only being able to use software how a company wants you to.
On a side note, I'm a newbie to Ubuntu, but consider myself a slightly above average computer user. Most open source software I've used is just as easy to use as anything Apple or Microsoft would ever create. To get my computer to do regular, day to day things, it just works. I think you'll hear alot of Windows or Mac users say the same thing though. What appeals to me though is that if I want my computer to have a little bit more functionality than I would get on a Windows or Mac, most of the time it's very easy to implement, even for someone who only know the basics. Sometimes though, it's a little bit trickier, but I still get more functionality that I would get otherwise. In this way though, I learn, and it gets easier and easier. And then I have a machine that does EXACTLY what I want it to do, not sort of what I want it to do.
1) I think gcc is the best open source project. It provides the foundation for everything else, and it is quite simply the best compiler I've ever seen.
2) My primary motivation is real results. I don't have time to waste, and I don't want applications killing me with kindness (i.e. patronizing me).
3) The "community" is doing a good job of avoiding too much management. What corporations do wrong, specifically Microsoft, is they have way too many planning sessions and meetings where nothing ever gets done. The community usually chips away on problems one bit at a time until the problem is solved.
I think overall what's great about open source projects is that they crush philosophies that don't work, and what you see primarily is how the Unix philosophy nearly always prevails over inferior ones.
As an advocate of open source and Linux in particular I'm happy to have the opportunity to put across the message in the press (I'll link once the article is published) and I'm really looking forward to showing people that it needn't be a daunting premise moving away from Windows or OSX.
Please, continue to opine and inform. I'm stoked with your responses and am really grateful for your time.
Thanks a lot for your input folks, I hope I've done a good job of pointing out the good points of open source.
Please feel free to post your views on the story.