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Friday, January 28, 2005

Open Source Friday: What Else Open Source Can Do For You

Posted by: Hammer / 9:32 AM

You could run Linux, with Gnome as your desktop environment. What can Gnome do? Pretty much anything you want.

Don't like Excel? Don't like the cost of Excel? Don't like the security vulnerabilities of Excel? Try Gnumeric! Version 1.4.2 was released this month. (Runs on Linux, Windows).

Don't like Word? Don't like the cost of Word? Don't like the security vulnerabilities of Word? Try AbiWord! (Runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X).

Can't afford Photoshop? Try Gimp. Version 2.2.3 was released this month. (Runs on Linux, Windows, MacOS X.)

A word about OSS and acronyms. Acronyms abound in the open source world. In particular, recursive acronyms are deemed especially clever. So, for example, GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) is a desktop based on GTK -- the GIMP Toolkit. The GIMP, of course, is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. GNU stands for "GNU's Not Unix." Put it all together and the GNU's Not Unix Network Object Model Environment (GNOME) is based on the GNU's Not Unix Image Manipulation Program Toolkit (GTK). Confused? You're not alone. In this report about IBM's use of Linux, the reporter notes:

IBM is using Wine to run Lotus Notes software on thousands of clients, according to sources, but ironically, the company's internal use of the open-source Windows operating system emulator did not translate into a ringing endorsement in a guide to migrating to Linux clients, published recently on IBM's Web site.
Wine is an acronym for "Wine is Not an Emulator". Because it's not an emulator.

Finally: like Firefox? Like Google? You'll like Ben Goodger. Goodger was the lead engineer for the Firefox 1.0 release. Google hired him this month, but is donating half his time back to Firefox. Why? A couple reasons. One, Google enjoys its good reputation in the tech world. Two, Google has to be concerned about Microsoft's move into the search business. You know what that means. Microsoft will leverage its desktop monopoly and its browser near-monopoly to try to destroy Google. Google just might need a robust Firefox 2.0 to say in business.


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  • Not just sad, but dumb, too
  • Agape round-up: Hammer-mobile
  • Hammer had an Uncle
  • Delay's story suddenly makes sense
  • Smilin' Norm Loves that Nuclear Option
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  • Heroes and lousy parents
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