The DistRogue

Friday, April 20, 2007

Open source in school

Steering away from the subject of my upcoming reviews (all three of which are, in fact, on the way), let's talk about something closer to home for some people- or to school. At my high school, every computer is the same: Windows XP, Internet Explorer (with the occasional Firefox install), Microsoft Office... Our servers are no different, and it was hacked twice last year alone. If anyone here uses a Mac at home, I honestly feel sorry for them. But why feel sorry for myself?
Everyone's "My Documents" folder is typically a mash-up of PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, maybe the odd Publisher file... Each person gets 500MB, which, obviously, the average student isn't going to use. See where I'm going with this? Since I don't have admin rights on most computers, I just install Firefox/The Gimp/Abiword/Inkscape to my My Documents folder and make some shortcuts. It's not that hard: Most installers have a box that asks you where the program should be installed. Just browse to My Documents and install it there! (If it doesn't have that field, try a custom install.) With a little customization and shortcut-making, I can run Firefox wherever I am. The Gimp and Inkscape add some flair to my PowerPoints, and now, I use Abiword instead of Microsoft Word to do word processing. School doesn't have to drag...

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