Tech Alert: Free Open Office Productivity Suite
This past spring, I bought one of those cute little Acer Aspire netbooks for travel and those occasions where I want to work elsewhere but don't want to lug around my bulky, hot-as-the-sun, full-sized laptop. One of the first things I discovered was that the Cute Little Netbook didn't come with Microsoft Office, or even just Word. No problema, thought I. I own an older, perfectly legal copy of Word, so I'll install it. Trouble was, CLN has no disk drive.
So I ordered an external CD-ROM to better be able to install software. Wish I'd noticed before ordering that my disk was a DVD. Oh, well.
Next, I looked into buying yet another copy of Office (aside from the one I'd legally purchased and the one I legally purchased for my son's computer.) Silly me, I didn't want to pay Microsoft yet another $150 for the download. That's when I heard about Open Office Productivity Suite.
After hearing that I could A. legally download this open source program for FREE and B. open or save my documents in .doc form, making it simple to move back and forth from files written on my netbook and those created on my other computers, I decided I'd give it a try, figuring what did I have to lose?
Not much, it turns out. The software works as advertised, and I move documents seamlessly between computers. I still prefer MS Word, mainly because I know it so much better and haven't spent enough time learning the ins and outs of Open Office. But Open Office is a simple, viable alternative, created by and constantly improved by the efforts of dedicated volunteers.