My mother pointed this article out to me today from the Simple Dollar. It isÃ‚Â 25 Amazon Software Best Sellers list that you probably know and use.Ã‚Â Trent givesÃ‚Â a follow up list of free equivalents that should offer you similar if not better functionality. I have different thoughts though. I’ve used a lot that free software and while some is certainly excellent, some just cannot provide the same experience as the real thing and some aren’t even real equivalents.
I’ve used OpenOffice on a Mac. Have you? It nearly killed me. It’s slow. I’ve used it on Windows. Have you? It’s slow. It nearly killed me then too. Have you used OpenOffice on Linux? No? Well, guess what, it is slow there too. It should not take you an 30 seconds to open a word processor and I can tell you it takes just about three seconds for Micrsoft Word 2007 to open on my 4200 X64 Dual Core. I’ve tried many open and free word processors but the industry standard, and you can get away with this but it is an extra challenge, you will get caught. I’ve had misformatted papers due to transferring a file from Word to OpenOffice. Maybe in the future, with the advent of the OpenDoc format in Office 2007 SP2, we’ll see greater convertibility. Maybe if it gets faster too.
A note on antivirus software. What are you downloading and visiting that could cause you to get a virus in the first place? Are you opening emails with Windows Outlook locally? If you are, hey, it’s time to get Gmail!Ã‚Â You can’t get a virus if you read an email with Gmail. Unless of course you download a suspicious file anyway. Did you know that a lot of antivirus software is slow? I hate slow, as noted above. When you run antivirus software, it has to intercept everything otherwise it is not effective. That’s a big hit on performance. If you were to get a virus, which is strange since you shouldn’t be downloading virus prone things or maybe visiting strange sites with games or free smiley faces, you’d just wipe and install Windows again. I’ve never had a virus, well, not one I didn’t put there in the first place anyway, for testing purposes.
VirtualBox! I love VirtualBox. It has decent abilities compared to VMWare which you have to pay for. It’s developed by Sun and it is able to run just about anything. It already has built in recognition actually for many operating systems. When the Windows 7 beta came out, well, guess what I ran it in? When I had to test out Ruby and Python code, I used Unbuntu and guess what that ran in? That’s right, VirtualBox! I highly recommend it to anyone.
Finally, one last thought. SugarSync is a backup system much like DropBox. It syncs the folders you have across your computers and is free up to 2GB. Sounds great? It is pretty neat for quick file sharing like such as screenshots and maybe tiny little work files you need to upload for a colleague. But it was being compared toÃ‚Â Acronis True Image Home 2009 PC Backup & Recovery. Let me explain the difference between these, well, other than one being free and one being $49.99 USD. True Image is local. Which means you have responsibility and control over it. What does it do? It makes a 100% complete copy of everything, I really mean everything too. It allows you to create disk images which are perfect copies of your hard drive. Sounds different than syncing folders, doesn’t it? SugarSync will need to charge you if you plan on storing more than 2GB. I have a fast connection and I’m sure I could fill up 2GB in a matter of seconds if I were to back things up remotely. So I take it upon myself to preserve my households precious hard drives. With True Image, I put the images on a TB drive that is only powered up during backup every few weeks.
Well, that sure was an essay. A lot of the software mentioned was great, but sometimes being free just isn’t the same as beingÃ‚Â free and being able to get something out of it.