But I wanted to put a word processor on it, and I didn’t want to go digging for my USB CD drive (the HP is bigger than the Asus, but too little to have its own optical drive), so I just downloaded OpenOffice instead, since I’d been meaning to give it a try anyway. I used OpenOffice’s word processor to write my review of Ron Paul’s book, and I have to say I really liked it. It’s easy and intuitive, and it’s much, much closer to my beloved WordPerfect than to Word. Also, it’s free. I’d have to try it on something really long, like a law review article with lots of footnotes, to be sure how I feel, but I really enjoyed my testdrive. Using Word always feels like work. Using OpenOffice just felt like writing. And did I mention it’s free?
OpenOffice comes bundled with Ubuntu, and the latest version with the 8.04 upgrade I just installed is a dream. Enormously powerful, but very easy to use and understand. Also, the Mozilla apps – Firefox, and Thunderbird (for mail and contacts) bundled with Lightning (the calendar/pim) are wonderful. Beyond that, I am in the process of switching all my email over to gmail – I already use gmail servers for all my outgoing mail, and I have it rigged to download directly to Thunderbird for mail handling. Gmail has noticeably less spam, too.
I signed up for Carbonite online backups, and I liked that a lot, but unfortunately, it only works under Windows. I’m looking for something as simple to use that works for Linux now. I’m also making use of some of the other Google tools – the word processor and the online pim. I expect to see a lot of my data handling move into the Cloud over the next few years.
Note the one thing I’m not using – Microsoft products. I don’t really expect that to change. Why would I pay several hundred dollars – and submit to intrusive digital proctological exams of my computing capabilities and habits – when I can get as good, or better, products for a nominal cost, or even free?
UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!