Open Source on the OSX

First off, a disclaimer: I am a Linux enthusiast. This is no secret. What may not be evident, however, is that I’m not a purist. I believe in the best tool for the job, and if you want to use Windows or OSX, more power to you. I’d rather you choose to try it, rather than have me shove it down your throat. That said, I’m always available for help. I’m like that. 🙂

Jeri asked a question about word processing programs on OSX. As it happens, I have a little story about Office on my work computer…

When Office 2008 came out for the Macintosh, with Intel native code, I bought it. I installed it. I liked it just fine. Then one day, it quit working. I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, short of deleting my Library folder or something. It made me angry, because I had to open a Microsoft Word file. OpenOffice for OSX is not great. It requires X11, and is messy to use.

BUT, NeoOffice is a re-compile of OpenOffice designed to run natively in OSX. And it’s the shiz. The quick list of programs I use on OSX for word processing is:

  • NeoOffice – OpenOffice, but for OSX. It even includes the database program now. Awesome
  • Abiword – Word processor only. Unfortunately, kinda crashy in OSX. Lacks the one thing I love about it in Linux, because the OSX version won’t go full screen.
  • Bean – Cool, fast, awesome word processor. It also has a sweet logo and dock icon. I use this a LOT.

Ok, that’s it for now. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Open Source on the OSX”

  1. Alright I’m gonna be the unpopular guy and ask a question.

    If office on Mac is a pain and most people can’t seem to live without office then why do so many people buy Mac’s?

  2. Nah, intelligible questions won’t make you unpopular here. 🙂

    It’s not that office programs don’t work on the Mac, it’s just slightly frustrating that Microsoft keeps trying to lock in their file format. (docx anyone?)

    If you want to be strictly mac-ish, you can use iWork. It includes a decent page layout/word processor. Or you can use Appleworks, which is amazingly nice for its small fanfare. (Unfortunately, Apple abandoned it in favor of iWork)

    And the Apple does some really amazing things that Windows and even Linux doesn’t. The multimedia editing capabilities are phenomenal. Spyware and viruses are rare, and I’ve never had to address either in OSX (or Linux).

    And quite honestly, the hardware looks friggen amazing. For many folks, that’s a huge deal.

  3. I got a Mac because of the security/spyware issue. I have had not one single problem in the past year on that front! I do love the photo-video editing capabilities, although I could do the photo-stuff nearly as well on a PC – that’s probably not a differentiator. I also use a really cool writing software called Scrivener that’s Mac only for managing book file creation – tracking final draft and research files in separate parallel folders, it’s pretty handy.

    I still do need word processing and spreadsheets, and my son needs presentation software, though, and I’d rather not pay Bill’s ransom fees (or Steve’s, come to think of it, Apple is just as pricey and proprietary). It’s interesting that in high school, they do powerpoint-type presentations for their speeches now! They’re teaching ’em all to be consultants when they grow up, I guess. 😉

    Anyway, long story short, I downloaded neooffice last night and installed it, as well as thunderbird mail, and I’m happy with them. I uninstalled MS office. So far I’m happy. I still only have 6 Gb free… that doggone Parallels image I need for all my PC only office software like MS project, Visio, Remedy, Citrix, etc takes up nearly 80 Gb.

    Thanks for the help!


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