Sunday, December 12, 2010

Funny Transitions - I taught myself to use Open Source Software

Years ago, with limited pocket money I found it hard to buy proprietary software. So I had to share computers with various family members in order to get my work done. Then came the switch to Open Source. I enjoyed a lot of the products that were available free of cost. Over time, I enjoyed using them so much that one day I eventually would give up my Windows OS and install Ubuntu. Now though, it seems like slower computers with bulky applications are not fun anymore. Now I find that I am gradually giving up Open Source software as well and switching to doing my work online. Numerous web apps make it a whole lot simpler to work.

Recently, I taught myself to use Picnik because while working on an important project Gimp gave way and crashed. When I restarted it, all my work was lost because I had forgotten to save it periodically. So is the case with office applications. I cannot afford the Office Suite from Microsoft. Even the student version seems to be quite costly when compared to the price of the alternate products - free. For many years, I used Open Office. These days, I am slowly shifting my work to Google Docs. Firstly, because they I love Google and their products and secondly because its free and easy to use. It also helps me to do away with my pen drive as the only thing I need to access my files now is my email address and password. It seems to be ironic that as the cloud gets stronger and stronger, local disks drives and computers are getting a lot weaker and prone to crashes thus making people trust them even lesser than they used to
It was a lot of fun using Picnik and it was a great learning experience for me as an amateur in photo editing. So is the case with Google Docs. I hope to eventually shift to the new Chrome OS once it is released sometime next year.