Goodbye Microsoft

A couple of days ago, my Office Suite died on me. And for once, this was no fault of Bills. I was cleaning out my harddisk, and must have deleted one file too many. Suddenly Outlook, Word, Excel etc. had stopped working.

I spent a few seconds in the required (and familiar to any PC user) state of semi-panic, and then the solution came to me.

Two hours later I’d downloaded and installed Eudora and OpenOffice, and both work just great.

Eudora installed completely painlessly, and automatically suggested that it could transfer my mails and adress book from Outlook. That didn’t quite work – some of the mails were trashed, and the adresses never made it into Eudora, but hey, I can live with that. The program itself looks really old – the UI looks like a typical PC application circa 1998. On the whole it’s about as good as Outlook – some things are better som are worse. Eudora is free in the sponsored mode, where a small rectangle in the lower lefthand corner of the screen displays ever-changing ads. It’s fair and unobtrusive.

OpenOffice impresses the hell out of me, and I do not understand why people continue to pay for the MS Office suite, when you can get this for free. Keep in mind, that I’ve only used it for a few days, but so far it’s been able to read all my Office files (including som really complex spreadsheets), and it’s just as easy to use.

Furthermore, both these programs run not only on Windows, but also on Macs, Unix and Linux boxes, so if I decide to change some day, I can continue to use them.

This means, that the last two Microsoft programs that I use on a regular basis are Internet Explorer and Windows 2000, and we all know that they can be replaced. Though the latter may not be that easy.

I’m really grateful for the existence of free software of such high quality. Go ahead and try it for yourself, it’s a matter of an evenings work as most, providing you have a good internet connection (at least ADSL).

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