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Review: LibreOffice 5.2 — solid, unpolished alternative

LibreOffice 5.2, the free, open source alternative to Microsoft Office gets the job done. Yet there are compromises. At a glance For: Free. Open source. Feature rich. Runs on old hardware. Can open most document formats. Against: Not as polished as paid-for alternatives. Lacks cloud integration. Inconsistent user interface. Maybe: Comes with graphics app, equation […]

Thoughts on iPad-only the new desktop Linux

“You like the iPad because it’s simple. But if you’re using the iPad as your primary computer, you may just like it because it’s a challenge.” Watts Martin hits a nerve writing iPad-only is the new desktop Linux. Martin says people who use only iPads for their computing do it because it’s a challenge. He […]

How open source grew up

In the late 1990s and early 2000s I worked for Australian Linux Today. At that time open source was a vibrant, yet immature, market. Visiting the Open Source Open Society 2015 conference in Wellington this week was like watching someone else’s child who you knew as a smart but awkward teenager, transformed into a smart, professional […]

Free software liberates

From Linux Today in 2000.  Was it prophetic? Maybe, but the prophet wasn’t me. I interviewed Bob Bishop for a newspaper and wrote this for Linux Today. The Australian Linux Today website linuxtoday.com.au no longer exists, but there’s this snippet at the parent Linux Today site. Can Free Software Liberate Poor Countries? By Bill Bennett, March […]

Desktop Linux fades

At the end of the 1990s, Linux looked like it could challenge Microsoft Windows as an alternative for everyday PC users. Linux has come a long way since then. And Microsoft scored an own goal with the confusing, incomplete and often annoying Windows Vista. Yet desktop Linux failed to break out beyond a hard-core following […]