Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
For Eric Raymond, it is all about art. For Louis Suarez-Potts, the allure is intellectual challenge and inclusion in a worldwide community. Hartselle's Shawn Woods just wants cheap software that works. He thinks open-source software may be the answer.
Woods is the systems administrator for the city of Hartselle. What attracts him to open-source software is its cost.
Keeping Microsoft products in the 45 computers used by Hartselle employees costs about $11,000, a cost the city must duplicate if Microsoft builds new versions with revisions the city wants.
OpenOffice.org, called OOo by its developers, the open-source alternative to Microsoft's product, costs nothing. Its upgrades cost the same.
In what he called a "baby step" toward a possible switch to OOo, Woods installed the program on a computer at Hartselle library Tuesday.
"It is so similar to Microsoft Office that the learning curve (for the librarians) was short," Woods said. "If they can use Microsoft Office, they can use OpenOffice."