Open Source/Free Software

There’s two things that really bother me…ok, actually about 48, but for now, let’s go with two:

  1. Really expensive software
  2. People who steal/copy/improperly obtain expensive software

 Ever since I became interested in computers (1982), I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of freeware, and more recently, open source software.  It amazes me that there are really smart people out there that are willing to develop AND maintain quality software with no visible means of support.  As a teacher at a Christian school, my ‘expendable’ income for software was minimal at best.  Therefore, I searched for and often found software that was comparable (if not better) than the expensive stuff yet was free or very inexpensive.  Even after leaving my teaching position, my expendable software allowance was still low, and I had developed a love for quality software developed and maintained by ‘the little guy’.

This page is devoted to the best open source and freeware software packages I have found.  However, I would be amiss if I didn’t point out that most if not all of the open source and freeware often ask for a donation.  This isn’t a requirement, but here’s the way I see it–if you install the software and like it–DONATE!  Often the donation request is minimal ($5 – $25).  DO IT!  You are helping support a system that sticks it to ‘the man’, and you get great software from a source that actually cares what you think of their product–it’s a win/win situation.  Remember my list at the beginning?  I’ll add a third thing that really bothers me:

  1. People who use open source/freeware and don’t donate to the author!

Well, I hope you enjoy the list…it is by no means exhaustive, nor do I make any guarantees as to the functionality of the software.  However, I have used everything listed here, and found it to be well worth the money!

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