Musings on Open-Source and Being Busy.

I have been excruciatingly busy the past few days.  How’s about a rundown?

I had Friday off.  I spent the day cleaning and puttering around the house and reinstalling Windows on my laptop.  I had been experimenting with some Linux distros, but it wasn’t working.  I decided to go back fully to Windows on it.  Easier.  I had to reinstall all of my programs.  What a bear.  At least I have highspeed internet now, so I don’t have to wait hours for the latest stuff to download.  Either way, I had a ton of updates for Windows, and had to restart about four times before it all was done.

I just got the new OpenOffice.  Looks nice and is pretty fast to install.  Good thing to write my fanfic with.

I also have Office 07.  Say what you will, but I’ve fallen in love with the way it’s laid out.  Silly, I know.  Microsoft should really concentrate on their office suite as well as XP.  XP is finally at a point where it’s as stable as Solaris or something.  It’s finally useful to the everyday user.  It’s finally to the point where it’s safe to use (with a hardware firewall and a virus scanner).

There’s something to be said about free and open source software.  It’s free as in beer and speech.  It’s usually safe, well coded, and readily available.

I prefer free software when I can use it.  I prefer Ubuntu to Windows (any form, especially Vista), Pidgin to any of the other mainline chat programs, Firefox or Flock to IE… I could go on.  The only exception to this is Office to OpenOffice.  OpenOffice has come leaps and bounds since I started using it, but Office 07 has improved on the formula.  I like that “ribbon” thingy.  It’s quite customizable.  Once you get used to it, it works well.  OpenOffice has many good points: it’s free, open-source and is compatible with SunOffice documents, Office documents and other document formats.  It even has it’s own open-source format.

I think the future should be that there is ONE format for all documents.  It would be so much easier to have one format.  We kind of do, in the .doc format.  The problem is that it doesn’t render very well in an alternate viewer/editor.  I’ve seen issues with this; see formatting issues with a thesis or formatting quirks with a resume.  I needed those to be perfect in formatting.  I couldn’t have anything less than perfect formatting, so I used MS Office.

Now that I’m over musing on open-source (I’m never really done, I just stop for awhile) let me continue with the rest of my busy weekend.

We went to the Alma Highland Festival yesterday.  It was ridiculously fun.  We saw the opening ceremonies as well as the band performance.  I love bagpipes (another strange fact about me) and the bands were exceptional.  I had a gyro for lunch (ha!).  Scottish festival and Greek food.  Yum!  Anyway, an elephant ear later, and we wandered around the tents of the vendors. 

We saw many things we could buy… jewelry, mugs, t-shirts, tie-dye clothing, wallets, etc.  I like to buy something either artisan or related to the event I’m attending.  I ended up at an jewelry artist’s booth looking through all of the wares.  I fell in love with a very modern blue piece.  I decided on that one, and my mom decided on a green piece with a Celtic flair.  I took them up to the register area and he goes “Oh!  You have two items; the third one you pick out is free!”  My jaw dropped; I’d have to pick out another one?  Anyway, I decided on a black classical piece with a slight modern flair.  Almost sixty dollars later, I had three artisan pieces that were totally unique.

After some shopping, we hit the beer tent for Newcastle and Guinness, then back to the bleachers to watch the kids dance.  After sitting in the hot, hot sun, we decided to go home.  We both were tired.  What a day!  We had so much fun.

Today we mowed the lawn.  Feh.  Not my favorite task in the world, but we got a new mower.  It runs well.  We only had to spend two hours on it, opposed to three or more, because of the two mowers.  I ran out of cord, however.  I could have gone farther if I had a longer cord.  Oh well, it got done.

See, I’ve been mega-busy.  I like to keep busy.  Being bored doesn’t suit me.

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