Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Wonderful World of Free Software

I am a big fan of the open source movement. For those not already familiar with this it is basically the idea of giving free access to computer software and the source code behind it for constructing new applications. For a more complete definition check out The Open Source Initiative. My reasons for supporting it go beyond getting free software though. As a librarian I support any movement that works to narrow the technology gap in our society. I have also found in many cases open source software is more innovative and adaptable than the commercial equivalent (like firefox).

I was quite happy therefore when I saw the following article in the online version of PC Magazine, "The Best Free Software." It is a review of free software available to the public along with the basic system requirements. There are some things that you have probably already used or heard of like Adobe Reader and Firefox Web Browser. There are a lot of other things as well like which is similar to and compatible with Microsoft Office. I use this one on my computer at home and love it. The article also includes web based resources like Google Reader and Zoho which are worth checking out. There were also a bunch I hadn't heard of before and am looking forward to trying. Make sure to read the comments on the article to since they have some other suggestions that weren't included. We'd also love to hear your comments or experiences using any of this software.

Jim Riordan

Bangor Public Library

Bangor Public Library
Bangor Public Library,
145 Harlow Street,
Bangor ME 04401