What I am looking at........

Submitted by rnojonson on Tue, 09/30/2008 - 23:08.

Hello one and all,

What a find in northeast Ohio, a web site about change needed today and tomorrow. I live in Lorain Ohio a city hard hit by industry closings. It is now all about the flow of money, keeping bang for the buck and managing to build something sustainable.

REALNEO has charmed my heart with its interest in free and open source software. I have been a Linux user for years and enjoy all the free tools and applications. It is so strange to go into any public library, the pillars of free access to freely available info, and see shelf after shelf of books on the worlds most expensive software. I am told it's because these softwares are used in business and are thus in popular use. What I discovered is that I don't need a $200+ professional name-brand program when I can use a free or low cost program to do the same things, in the same file formats. So if you are in education and you want to teach writing, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics and other computer applications and save money too, use free and open source software. Believe me, the skills are transferable to Microsoft platform software because the tools are the same. Once again, a school might afford a few copies of Photoshop and likewise a few student's families, but the GIMP (Graphic Image Manipulation Program) is free with Microsoft, Linux and Mac versions. I use Open Office.org and Thunderbird which are free also to replace MS Office and Outlook. You don't have to spend the money to sustain Mr. Gates' wealth.

Much, much talk about the digital divide only ends with old computers running old obsolete MS software. Linux will run on older machines (within limits), yet is up to date. Lots and lots of kids instead of wasting countless hours playing games could be designing games and other things because the tools to do so are free and open source. You have to cultivate a creative culture not a bunch of product users. And to top it all off, you don't even have to install Linux on your computer to see what it is like, just download say, Ubuntu 8.04, burn it to a CD, boot Ubuntu from the CD, check it out. It runs from the CD without effecting your MS Windows machine, just don't hit the install button. Then you can shut it down when ready, nothing has changed but your mind. Say you don't want Linux but open source software sounds interesting, go to http://www.webi.org and be amazed.

I also hope that REALNEO becomes the hub for all the fragmented and waning Linux groups. Seems Linux lovers need a central place not based on physical bodies and physical buildings. Then we can flock together when necessary.


My belief is that the grassroot interest in technology is the key to backup and support what industry and business are trying to do but don't have a clue. Where would the car industry be without backyard mechanics, hot rodders and car racers. And we all know from where the personal computer came from, not IBM, sorry. People were trying to be green in the 60's and 70's when it was illegal to get off the grid. So folks, if you don't do it, it won't get done. Free and open source software is a big leg up.

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Welcome and WOW!

You are so right about FOSS. Please help spread the word about open source software on realneo... it is all about education!

Microsoft is the transfat of computing... Apple ain't much more healthy. Created and put into our environment by the legacy industrial establishment to control their bloated organizations, neither is necessary for anything in the world.  Once people learn that, Microsoft will be gone nearly as fast as transfats disappeared.

I'm totally digging the melt down of all things Gates, Jobs and the Bull-shit legacy markets... the unavoidable result of the closed, bloated, vaporware monopoly model illustrated by and anchored with Microsoft, which has poisoned the world economy.

When more people who depend on computing (those on the once happy side of the divide) are using their computers to look for work, and the old-economy companies so stupid as to waste money on Microsoft are out of business, and "middle class" people can't afford Microsoft, and more jobs are in FOSS environments, FOSS will explode... and Microsoft will seek a bailout from the Federals/AKA taxpayers. The company IS NOT SUSTAINABLE (AKA sell).

Unfortunately for NEO, I bet you still can't take a class in anything FOSS at any educational level in NEO! And try to hire someone here with FOSS programming knowledge!!!! Impossible.

Now, ask the same questions about Northern Cali or any place with a real new economy. Everyone is into FOSS... THERE ARE THE FOSS EXPERTS AND PARTICIPANTS AND CREATORS!!!!!

See a problem for NEO moving forward? 

Going to LinuxFest? I believe NOTACON is hosting the after party so there should be lots of people from NEO there...

Disrupt IT

you see what I see

I was at a company when they switched from Word Perfect to MS Office, it was a bad scene. Companies should ask if folks have word processing experience rather than MS Word experience. This would allow competition in the software and user market. MS is not a standard but a monopoly. People are convinced that the interface and the platform are important. If another system comes out with the same tools and perhaps a better interface, a more stable platform, it does not matter because they are familiar with the MS name. The problem with FOSS is marketing and over coming MS user inertia. Schools should at least have Linux live-CD's laying around so students can boot it up, check it out. Libraries should promote free and open learning ("The People's University) with free and open source software. I would like to see as many books on Open Office.org, GIMP, Inkscape as there are on Photoshop, MS Office or Adobe Illustrator, at least I can afford open source software. It is so simple, learn to swim in the pool, if I need to swim in the ocean, I can but why?

Here in NEO we still think from the top down, we hunt for leadership at the expense of the average person. This is also why it's so tough to start a business here or get a job, everyone wants a star. Since FOSS started on the grassroots level, we need to fertilize and water the grass, cultivate a culture that sustains it self. There must be a virtual connection place like REALNEO and some local connection places. People must use FOSS software, do projects, contest, challenges, write papers, blogs, what ever it takes to show others that the community of users is alive, support is there and FOSS can handle any and every situation and then some. Under the FOSS umbrella we could have SIGs (Special Interest Groups) to cover Linux, office apps, graphics, etc. Maybe a NEO FOSS art contest and gallery, winner gets a stack of giclee prints and exposure in local fine arts gallery, like Spaces. We could learn to make instructional videos of FOSS applications, give some, sell some and put those FOSS history movies on PBS and WVIZ.

We must believe the grassroots approach is at least as vital as the trickle down approach, which is not working as promised.