Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing # 18: Open Source Software and Google Docs

I am impressed with OpenOffice.org, free software that is translated (at least partially) into 65 plus languages. As one reviewer noted, the new 3.1 version offers quality features comparable to Microsoft Office; the only function missing is one similar to Outlook. Open software "levels the playing field" for people and organizations that can't afford the approximately $350 cost of Microsoft Office. In many third-world countries, spending that much on software is prohibitive for the average person. Open Office 3.1 software provides these functions: word processing, spread sheets, presentations, databases, and drawing. While the site mentions needing donations, it also notes that there are many nonmonetary ways to contribute: programming (most needed), writing, helping users, providing quality assurance, working with foreign languages, and creating graphics. One disadvantage of Open Office might be that your completed work is incompatible with the Microsoft software used in much of the world. I'm sure there is a way to work around this.

I also explored Google Docs and saved quite a few templates. I am most excited about my five new Power Point templates.

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Favorite Children's Books

Some Favorite Adult Books

  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (memoir)
  • The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri