Editorial, Techy Stuff

Diving into the Realm of Open Source

*** This is not a review, nor is it a sponsored post. These are my random thoughts as my old laptop has been dying a small death. I have been faced with several questions. Do I stick with Mac, do I go back to Windows, or do I go totally crazy and try something new altogether? ***

Yes.. I’m a self proclaimed Mac girl. I don’t have all the i-Devices… I just like my MacBook Pro.. Well, I did… until it started having issues, and I knew the cost to replace it was going to be crazy. I hate to give up everything that I loved for the last 12 years. What will it be like if I have to switch to any other system? Can I find software that is comparable to what I’ve already invested in for low or no cost?

For the most part, computers themselves are quite similar. They all have a monitor, a keyboard, and some sort of tracking device. There’s an operating system that makes everything run. I suppose going from a Windows interface, to a Mac, and then back wouldn’t be so difficult. Sure, certain buttons are on opposite sides of a window, but that’s not horrible, right? I’ve seen Linux… because that’s why my hubby works on daily.. It’s not too crazy. I guess the main concern for me, as a blogger and social media person is the apps. What kind of accessibility will I have to edit photos, and videos. I’ve been on a quest for low cost alternatives to what I’m used to, and the pros and cons of various options.

Software can be expensive. We’re talking hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on which version you go with. I’m a one person show here, so that’s a bit out of my budget right now. I kept hearing my husband talk about open source, and how much easier it is to deal with these days. I’ve always been apprehensive, but thought it might be time to take his advice and research some open source options

What is open source software? Well…It is software where the source code is available for inspection or modification.  Some of it is authored by individuals while a large amount is created by people working for companies.  Some of it is free, which is great, but there may not be on call support for it. You’ll have to do some research to resolve any issues you might come across. It might be as simple as contacting the author and reporting a bug (software issue, error, etc). If it’s not free, you’re typically paying for dedicated support.

There’s a good chance you’ve already been using open source software.  You’ve likely browsed the internet, sent an email, streamed music or videos, chatted with a friend, or used a mobile phone.  Many of the software services you have used across the internet are created using open source technologies and practices.

There are some key benefits to choosing open source software, including but not limited to: security, stability and the elimination of vendor lock-in.  Some people find open source to be more secure than closed source or proprietary software.  Because the source code is open for all to see, errors can be more visible and accessible to fix. More eyes on the code can be a really good thing, especially when there’s a big vulnerability that’s found. All my fellow WordPress folks know all about this! Oh, wait… you didn’t know WordPress was Open Source Software??? It is!


Some people enjoy the stability of open source software.  If the original creator decides to leave the project, other developers can pick up and continue.  Additionally much of the open source software uses open formats which allows you to change programs when desired.  Much of open source is also cross platform, meaning that it runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux. So if you are in a situation like I am, you’re not scrambling to find something to replace what you’ve spend time learning and getting proficient with.

Something else that comes to mind is customization. If you find something that kind of does what you need, but doesn’t do everything you want, you have access to the code, and you can customize it to do whatever you want it to. Try that with an off the shelf, $200 piece of software!

I know I’m very stubborn and really dislike changing things I am totally used to, but I think, in this instance, I’m going to need to break out and give it a try. I’m very lucky to have an in house developer that can see code like “The Matrix” and can help me out if I need it.

My first stop, is going to be photo editing software. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know what I find.

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