Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 24th Nov 2012 17:52 UTC
Editorial Do you depend on your computer for your living? If so, I'm sure you've thought long and hard about which hardware and software to use. I'd like to explain why I use generic "white boxes" running open source software. These give me a platform I rely on for 100% availability. They also provide a low-cost solution with excellent security and privacy.
Permalink for comment 543146
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Alas...
by ingraham on Sun 25th Nov 2012 02:31 UTC
ingraham
Member since:
2006-05-20

I prefer to use FLOSS whenever possible, but I'm afraid I have to disagree with your position on OpenOffice.org / LibreOffice. We ran about a 6 year experiment of using OOo and later Libre. I was arguably the biggest proponent, although it was our CEO's desire to avoid the Microsoft Tax that made it actually happen. (He cares nothing about FLOSS philosophy, just wanted to avoid the ~$300 per seat for MS Office.) We managed to limp along. Most files were viewable, if occasionally horrifically rendered, and we had the free Office viewers to fall back on. But anything complicated required finding one of the three people who were still allowed a copy of Office, and we sometimes pissed off customers when we failed to realize something important was missed due to formating or macro errors. About 3 weeks ago our CEO finally gave in. Even I have thrown in the towel. OOo / LO has worked well for me when I didn't have to exchange files. MS Office has no equivalent to Draw, and I vastly prefer OOo / LO's equation editor. But making large, auto-indexed Writer documents was essentially impossible, and our sales department has a very complicated Excel spreadsheet with about 20,000 lines of macros that we never managed to convert over anyway. (Those the were the guys still allowed to have Office.)

As good as LibreOffice is (I haven't tried OOo since the Oracle / Document Foundation split and subsequent Apache takeover) it has some failings. Ultimately, interoperability is the biggest obstacle, but not the ONLY problem.

So, yeah, I prefer to use FLOSS. But I'm not going full Stallman.

Reply Score: 7