In all my writing work, I use only Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to get the job done. I've been questioned about this a number of times, and the best answer I can give people is: It's complicated. There are lots of reasons I use FOSS over all other options, and I think I'm ready to put them all out there for y'all to see.
It's hard to argue with that, but this is more than just a price tag. FOSS is free from restrictions, free from complicated end user license agreements, and free from centralized control. If you have the right knowledge and experience, you can take the source code from FOSS and change it to suit your needs.
The cost is also an important factor. FOSS is top notch software, and can be downloaded and used for any reason, free of charge. Imagine if you had to pay for Windows, Office, PhotoShop, and all the other software required to build a book. The cost is astronomical for commercial software. I haven't paid a penny for the software I use to produce my books.
Quality Over Price
FOSS is some of the finest software I've ever used. Designed and built by a whole community of developers, it ensures that hundreds or even thousands of eyes have seen the software before it goes out for public consumption. When I install Linux, I don't have to worry about whether something is going to work or not. Everything is installed and works out of the box. Linux installs with almost everything you need to create top quality books.
What About Community?
Like I said before, FOSS is built by a whole community of developers, who work and function like a team, rather than a corporation. They aren't in it to make a fortune. Many volunteer their time to build the features we need, and fix the bugs that hold us back. The level of support for FOSS is incredible, and unmatched by any corporate offering.
My wife once spent over an hour installing software to get a printer to work in Windows. When we had to get the same printer working in Linux, do you know what we did? We plugged it in, and it worked. No install, no fussing with drivers. Amazing, yes?
Like a Rock
I run Linux on all of my computers at home. My web server currently has an uptime of 109 days. My desktop is around 6 days, and that's only because I was doing something with my hardware. When you use FOSS, you grow to expect stability as a way of life. No unexpected crashes, no blue screens of death, no lost data, just smooth sailing.
Okay, so I probably sound a little preachy by now. But seriously, if you're ever in the market for a new operating system, or feel like trying something new, give Linux and FOSS a try. I use Linux Mint 15 right now, and it's marvelous. If you do try it out, and find yourself having trouble with anything, contact me and I'm more than willing to help you out of your jam.
Thanks for reading!
I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say. Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you.
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