A few weeks ago on Blogging and Beyond, we interviewed James Gaskin
about open source software. He shared info about a site called
theopencd.org that distributes free software that can replace the
expensive software you’re probably familiar with. Me being me, an
active experimenter, I immediately went to the site and purchased a cd
with 33 software programs on it. The cost was $10.
NOTE: theopencd.org is no longer a functioning site. The OpenCD is available here instead.
There’s a lot on this disc that I will never use, however, a couple of things caught my eye:
Nvu (pronounced en-view) is
the open source world’s answer to Macromedia’s Dreamweaver.
It is a fully featured what-you-see-is-what-you-get web page
editor, enabling you to create compelling web pages without
having to devote months to learning HTML. Dreamweaver retails for $399. Microsoft’s Frontpage (which I’ve used for years) is no longer available. It’s been replaced by Expression Web which retails for $299.
OpenOffice.org is a full-featured
productivity suite including a word processor, spreadsheet, web page editor
and presentation program. This replaces commercial suites like Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office Professional retails for $499.
PDFCreator to generate PDF documents
directly from any Windows program. PDF (Portable Document Format) files are
the de facto standard in electronic publishing, because the author can be
sure that the document will look as intended on all platforms, regardless of
local fonts or lack thereof. This program can save you hundreds of dollars! Adobe Acrobat is about $400.
With these three programs alone, you’re saving $1,200. Plus there are many more.
I think my favorite is one is Workrave. It’s a tiny program that sits on your desktop and reminds you to take work breaks at intervals you set. There are animated exercises you can follow that help you stretch and avoid eyestrain. Pretty cool!
I feel spending $10 for the CD with all the programs on them is one of the best investments I’ve made for my business in a long time.