Everything you wanted… for FREE

Okay, so maybe not everything, but a whole lot for sure! I’m talking about Open Source software. Everything from operating systems to office suites to games, utilities, and much much more!

This could be a great thing for educators/teachers and the community. Schools could save money, and families could be using the same software as their schools.

So what exactly is open source software? I’m not an expert on this topic so a definition can be found here, but here is my attempt to explain what it is. (Feel free to comment to clarify or negate this definition if you want)

Open source software is fully functional computer software where the source code has been made available for people (who know what they’re doing) to add to, change however they like to make the product more suitable to them. What this does quite often is to make an excellent piece of software collaboratively. Instead of the source code being in the copyrighted domain, it is placed in public domain.

A requirement that is sometimes put on this software, is that if you change the source code, you need to share it. You do not need to share it for free, but no royalty fee needs to be paid.

That is probably not a great explanation, but what it means for us is that there is heaps of software available for your download for free. And it’s GOOD stuff too!

A couple of things you could try out for starters:

OpenOffice – An office suite including software for word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation and publishing.

Inkscape – A vector graphics editor.

Some of this software is more complicated than what you might be used to, but some is just as easy if not easier! Have a play, see what you think. This could save you a lot of money!

If you want to find some more software try: