Overheard at work: Open Office becoming more mainstream
In the fencing waiting room last night, a teenager came out of his lesson and chatted to his mother while waiting for her to finish what she was doing on her laptop.
Son: We should buy Microsoft Office for [someone]. He doesn't have it.
Mother [slightly disbelieving]: He doesn't have Microsoft Office?
Son: No. We should get it for him.
Mother: Well you're the big programming genius ...
Son: Yeah, I know ...
I'm not entirely sure with how that's relevant unless she expects him to pirate Office for this person or write all new Office-esque software or something, but I'm thinking about here that no 'programming genius' - I think she meant computer genius, really - would get Microsoft Office for anyone. They'd get an alternative.
Mother: What about Open Office? You know ... [Son is not responding; I am getting a distinct 'I don't know what that is, which means my mother knows more about this than I do, but she just called me a programming genius and I do not want to look like an idiot so I'm going to keep my mouth shut' vibe from him] It's like Microsoft Office, but it's ... free? You know? [Still no response. Vibe from the mother says, 'I think I know what I'm talking about, but I'm not entirely sure, and my son is not responding, so maybe I'm making an idiot of myself here, but he's not being derisive or contradicting me, and I think I know what I'm talking about, so I shall plough on.'] Or Google Documents. We use that at work sometimes now ... you know?
Son: [coming to a bit, with a distinct 'Thank god, I can contribute something I know, however small' vibe] Google Documents is good 'cause you can access it anywhere.
Mother: Yeah. But maybe something like that?
They packed up and left about then. I was so blown away and pleased to hear this middle-aged woman talking about Open Office to her son. I'm glad her workplace has a clue, even if her 'programming genius' kid doesn't. Yet. I hope he figures things out.
'To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.'