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Thread: I can't go 100% free, libre, open source

  1. #1
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    I can't go 100% free, libre, open source

    Listen. One of the reasons why I switched from Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 to Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS 64 bit was to experience free, libre, open source software as much as possible. I wanted to free myself from closed source proprietary software applications that restricted my freedom to use the software in the way that met my needs. However, this has not been the case. I've learned that I wind up turning to the same closed source proprietary software applications for very specific and narrow features that I can't seem to find elsewhere. Does this necessarily make me a bad Ubuntu user? I don't think so. However, I also do admit that Ubuntu itself is irrelevant. The operating system doesn't matter now. It's the software applications that take precedent. I've purchased numerous open and closed source software applications since I've made the switch and it looks like that trend shall continue in the future. I like the fact that I can hack Ubuntu to make it meet my needs more readily than Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh OS X, but that doesn't mean that I'm a champion of free, libre, open source philosophies or beliefs either.

    Here's my list of closed source proprietary software applications:

    CrashPlan+ 64 bit
    VM Ware Workstation 9.0.2 64 bit
    Moneydance 64 bit
    Intuit Quicken 64 bit
    Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Service Pack 1 32 bit
    Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2010 Service Pack 1 32 bit
    Microsoft Office Project Professional 2010 Service Pack 1 32 bit
    Codeweavers CrossOver for Ubuntu Linux 64 bit
    Steam for Ubuntu Linux 64 bit
    InSync for Google Drive 64 bit
    Adobe Flash, Acrobat Reader, AIR 64 and 32 bit
    Oracle Java 64 bit
    Google Music Manager 64 bit
    Google Chrome 64 bit
    Netflix 32 bit
    Hulu Desktop 64 bit
    Spotify 64 bit
    Ahead Nero for Linux 32 bit
    Zinio Reader 4 32 bit
    Amazon Kindle 64 bit
    Adobe Photoshop, Bridge, ImageReady 64 bit
    LastPass 64 bit
    Comodo Anti-Virus 64 bit
    Skype 64 bit
    Opera 64 bit
    Fluendo Complete Multimedia Pack & DVD Player 64 bit
    Brother MFC-8440 laser multi-function machine drivers

    It's a long list of stuff! I'd like to be able to remove these software applications and just go with free, libre, open source software entirely, but I can't do it. I help friends and family and relatives and they use some of the same software titles listed above so I offer them help and technical support.

    I'm not having a moral dilemma by any stretch of the imagination. However, I think that I wanted to share this with the community to ask you what do you use for closed source proprietary software applications and why do you need to use it? Could you find an free, libre, open source alternative and make the switch or is it too difficult at this point? How much have you invested in your software so far?

    For me, it's quite the investment. I must have invested several thousands of dollars for my software applications. That's part of the reason why I just don't feel like I can abandon all of them. The other reason is that they are useful to have. Some of my family members, relatives, and friends refuse to use any other software applications because they don't know or trust any other alternatives. They are wedded to Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh OS X or Google Android or iOS. Since I'm their PC guy, I provide free technical support for a majority of these closed source proprietary software applications.

    The dream of free, libre, open source software is a nice one to have. It's noble. However, it isn't reality for me and I just wish that it could be, but my situation dictates that I'll be purchasing more closed source, proprietary software applications in the long term future.

    So, what do you use?
    Last edited by Welly Wu; September 3rd, 2013 at 07:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: I can't go 110% free, libre, open source

    Haya,

    I am currently experiencing the same problems as you regarding office software. I would recommend you try kingsoft office for ubuntu instead of libreoffice, it integrates so so so much better with microsoft office (ppt and docs). Sadly it does not have good "equation" support at the moment but I use latex for my science papers.

    As for google chrome i switched to firefox, it has a browser sync fuction etc.

    Hope it helps

    Matt

  3. #3
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    Re: I can't go 110% free, libre, open source

    i think these two
    Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2010 Service Pack 1 32 bit
    Microsoft Office Project Professional 2010 Service Pack 1 32 bit

    have some good alternatives. also perhaps your family mmebers should switch to linux and opensoruce if they want your support to continue
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: I can't go 110% free, libre, open source

    You'll be a long time waiting to be 110% free.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: I can't go 110% free, libre, open source

    This is nothing new. Many Ubuntu users dual boot (me included) or use proprietary stuff on Ubuntu (Skype, codecs, device drivers etc.).
    "I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee." --Flash Rosenberg

  6. #6
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    Re: I can't go 110% free, libre, open source

    No need to try to go from all closed to all open in a single step. go step by step. For example see how far you can get with libreoffice (look up using the ppa to get the latest version), if you have problems with it report bugs. if you can make a document that renders differently in MS word and libreoffice, then report that so the devs can fix it.

    do you really need acrobat reader? do you have any documents that dont render right in evince? if so report them.

    You have spent a lot of money on closed software, have you ever donated to any opensource projects?

    Quote Originally Posted by mJayk View Post
    I would recommend you try kingsoft office for ubuntu instead of libreoffice
    kingsoft is not opensource.

  7. #7
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    Re: I can't go 110% free, libre, open source

    Free software was created by developers to foster the interests of developers. It's single essential tenet is access to source. Users derive tangential benefits from that. But, pretty much by definition, source code is of no interest to users.

    Users have no more moral obligation to confine themselves to free software, any more than developers have to write only free software. if someone limits his or her software choices to free software that's fine. But it is not a morally superior position. Morality should have no role in our software choices.

    When users are told that morality should, in fact, decide our software choices, and that we should only choose free software, that only serves to *limit* our freedom to choose what we will.

    Unix was my first OS. I adopted Linux because it is, essentially, Unix. I use it because I like it. I don't use Windows because I don't like it. If Linux was closed and proprietary and cost $200, and Windows was free and open, I'd still use Linux.

    So, use what you want. No one is keeping score.

  8. #8
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    Re: I can't go 100% free, libre, open source

    Thanks guys. I've been looking at some free, libre, open source alternatives:

    1. Mozilla Firefox which I still use
    2. Evince instead of Adobe Reader
    3. Project Libre or Project instead of Microsoft Project Professional 2010 Service Pack 1 32 bit
    4. Dia instead of Microsoft Visio Professional 2010 Service Pack 1 32 bit
    5. KeePassX or KeePass 2 which I use instead of LastPass
    6. LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Service Pack 1 32 bit

    I can't seem to find a working alternative to Moneydance or Intuit Quicken Home & Business 2013 64 bit. I tried HomeBank and I tried GNUCash, but they don't sync with my PNC Bank. It's difficult to download my bank transactions because I switched from a free checking to a Virtual Wallet account which means that I can't download transactions using free, libre, open source software applications. I have to use Intuit Quicken Home & Business 2013 64 bit to do that.

    Kingsoft is nice, but it's limited and it's not open source.

    I understand that I am not compelled to switch to open source 110%, but I would like to do so. I'll evaluate this list later.

  9. #9
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    Re: I can't go 100% free, libre, open source

    Quote Originally Posted by Welly Wu View Post
    CrashPlan+ 64 bit
    VM Ware Workstation 9.0.2 64 bit
    Moneydance 64 bit
    Intuit Quicken 64 bit
    Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Service Pack 1 32 bit
    Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2010 Service Pack 1 32 bit
    Microsoft Office Project Professional 2010 Service Pack 1 32 bit
    Codeweavers CrossOver for Ubuntu Linux 64 bit
    Steam for Ubuntu Linux 64 bit
    InSync for Google Drive 64 bit
    Adobe Flash, Acrobat Reader, AIR 64 and 32 bit - Envince
    Oracle Java 64 bit - Open JDK
    Google Music Manager 64 bit
    Google Chrome 64 bit - Chromium
    [U]Netflix 32 bit
    Hulu Desktop 64 bit
    Spotify 64 bit
    Ahead Nero for Linux 32 bit - K3b...its a KDE program so if you use Unity youll be pulling a lot of libraries
    Zinio Reader 4 32 bit
    Amazon Kindle 64 bit
    Adobe Photoshop, Bridge, ImageReady 64 bit - You could try out GIMP
    LastPass 64 bit
    Comodo Anti-Virus 64 bit
    Skype 64 bit
    Opera 64 bit
    Brother MFC-8440 laser multi-function machine drivers
    I suggest alternatives for the ones in bold.

    For the underlined ones, I think you need to be more specific as to how you use the products. Steam, for example. Do you want a service similar to Steam that is open source or do you want an open source way to use Steam (which is impossible, as far as I know). Same goes for Netflix, hulu and Spotify. Keep in mind that when dealing with copyrighted material, nearly all services use closed source programs.

    For me, I try to find an open source program, but in the end I just use what works. Is it really worth the head ache to try to find open source drivers for your printer? (Is the printer open source??)

  10. #10
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    Re: I can't go 110% free, libre, open source

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    Free software was created by developers to foster the interests of developers. It's single essential tenet is access to source. Users derive tangential benefits from that. But, pretty much by definition, source code is of no interest to users.

    Users have no more moral obligation to confine themselves to free software, any more than developers have to write only free software. if someone limits his or her software choices to free software that's fine. But it is not a morally superior position. Morality should have no role in our software choices.

    When users are told that morality should, in fact, decide our software choices, and that we should only choose free software, that only serves to *limit* our freedom to choose what we will.

    Unix was my first OS. I adopted Linux because it is, essentially, Unix. I use it because I like it. I don't use Windows because I don't like it. If Linux was closed and proprietary and cost $200, and Windows was free and open, I'd still use Linux.

    So, use what you want. No one is keeping score.
    I was a long time subscriber to SuSE when they offered such a service, so I see nothing wrong with paying for a 'free" OS. Afterall, even GNU/Linux companies have to pay the light bill,
    and I am not in a position to create my own OS.

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