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society & ecology

Society & Ecology
Tuesday, September 14, 2004  
Open Source

Although the Open Source approach was exciting from the beginning, it is even more so these days when it is coming to maturity. Open Source products are mature, competetive with anything on the market, and moving into the mainstream.

It is an example of how large number of people, guided by simple rules, can work together for mutual benefit and produce something that exceeds in quality what a corporation can come up with. And isn't that what humans have done throughout history?

Some of the ones I have found particularly useful lately:

  • Wikipedia
    An online encyclopedia developed and progressively refined by thousands around the world. New articles are continusly added, and the existing continiously refined and developed.

  • Mozilla Firefox
    An elegant and easy to use browser with functionality and security beyond IE (including an extension that blocks ads very effectively)
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
    An elegant and easy to use email application - again with with functionality and security beyond Microsoft products
  • Open Office
    An office suite equivalent to (and files interchangeable with) Microsoft Office

Operating System
  • Linux
    I have not made the transition to Linux yet as I am dependent on specialized 2D and 3D design software not yet available for Linux. But - for any regular computer use (internet, email, office applications, image processing etc), Linux would be my first choice (stable, secure, always improved).

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