A report by Standish Group estimates that adoption of free software has caused a drop in revenue to the proprietary software industry by about $60 billion per year. In spite of this, Eric S. Raymond argues that the term free software is too ambiguous and intimidating for the business community. Raymond promotes the term open-source software as a friendlier alternative for the business and corporate world.
The obvious choice of Office tools if you are a firm believer in open source, LibreOffice was a fork from the original OpenOffice years ago (itself an offshoot of StarOffice). Inside are word processor, spreadsheet, and presentations programs, a vector graphics editor, a math formula editor, and a database. It's a little more awkward to use than the desktop version of Microsoft Office, but you can't beat the price. Grab the LibreOffice Viewer app for Android to look at files.
Note: In February 1998 a group moved to replace the term "Free Software" with "Open Source Software". This terminology debate reflects underlying philosophical differences, but the practical requirements placed on software licenses, and the discussion in the rest of this page, are essentially the same for both Free Software and Open Source Software.
Often used in good faith by people who refer to what Free Software stands for, the term "Open Source" - originally defined to mean the same thing as Free Software in terms of licenses and implementation - has seen inflationary usage. Nowadays, it is regularly used for everything between Free Software and the highly proprietary "Governmental Security Program" (GSP) by Microsoft2.
This Web- and mobile-only tool from Intuit is a must have. It's not only the spiritual replacement for the Quicken and Microsoft Money of yore, it's a modern equivalent that takes the work out of finance. By linking up securely with your various online money sources, Mint.com provides a one-stop look at all your finances. You can ignore all the offers to make you more financially solvent with new accounts and credit cards, but who knows, one day you may see a deal that works.
Adobe created the PDF format, so it stands to reason it would still offer a pretty kick-ass free PDF reader, albeit one that's not as full-featured as some others, since it has other tools it wants to sell you. (The DC stands for Document Cloud, Adobe's attempt to get you to store everything online via Adobe.) Using it, you can easily annotate or sign PDFs, fill out forms, or even save a PDF to Word or TXT format.
Although the term free software had already been used loosely in the past, Richard Stallman is credited with tying it to the sense under discussion and starting the free-software movement in 1983, when he launched the GNU Project: a collaborative effort to create a freedom-respecting operating system, and to revive the spirit of cooperation once prevalent among hackers during the early days of computing.
You can only get so much reach on social media by sharing interesting posts and following new people. If you want to really get noticed, you’ll need the help of influencers. Influencers are popular profiles on social media who can share your content with their audience. Find powerful ones and encourage them to share your blog posts and other content to get more reach.
Public domain software: the copyright has expired, the work was not copyrighted (released without copyright notice before 1988), or the author has released the software onto the public domain with a waiver statement (in countries where this is possible). Since public-domain software lacks copyright protection, it may be freely incorporated into any work, whether proprietary or free. The FSF recommends the CC0 public domain dedication for this purpose.
These freedoms are rights, not obligations, although respecting these freedoms for society may at times oblige the individual. Any person can choose to not make use of them, but may also choose to make use of all of them. In particular, it should be understood that Free Software does not exclude commercial use. If a program fails to allow commercial use and commercial distribution, it is not Free Software. Indeed a growing number of companies base their business model completely or at least partially on Free Software, including some of the largest proprietary software vendors. Free Software makes it legal to provide help and assistance, it does not make it mandatory.
Evernote has one use: be your online repository for everything. Scan it, shoot it, type it, whatever, just put it in Evernote to find later. Most text, even in pictures, is OCRed (optical character recognition) so it's searchable later. Organize the notes into Notebooks, then access it anywhere. Despite some ups and downs in its business model, it remains our Editors' Choice for note-taking on multiple platforms—even if for free you can only use two devices (plus the Web interface).
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