Behind each endeavor today stands a tech community.
One of the great dividends of an IT career has been the global community that has contributed to software development and support — much of it at no cost. I participate at various levels with communities described below.
Linux and UNIX (Red Hat, Suse, and AIX)
I worked in AIX and Linux from 2008 to 2020 on a full time basis. Linux specialists are self-motivated and uphold the professional standards that improve our knowledge of Linux. Needless to say, I owe a lot to many.
Ubuntu (Linux Deskstop)
I started using Ubuntu in 2008. It must be confessed that the Achilles heel of Linux is its limited appeal as a desktop solution. For many years the leader in desktop development was Red Hat’s Fedora, which I used for a couple of years with limited success. It was then I discovered Ubuntu which was probably the first serious effort to develop a desktop operating system that begins to address the needs of the average user as well as a working model for deployment in the business environment.
The amazing fact about Ubuntu is that I have not experienced a learning curve in adjusting to new interfaces, something that Microsoft users had to do moving from Windows 98 to Windows 2000, then Windows Vista, then Windows XP, Windows 7 and lately Windows 10.
Mozilla (Firefox and Thunderbird)
Mozilla emerged from the dust of Netscape which was, during the 90’s, one of the leading innovators of the “browser”. Today, it is still a valued browser, having to contend with other browsers such as Internet Explorer (lately Edge), Chrome and Opera. It is an opensource program, available to people at no charge.
A companion of Firefox is Thunderbird e-mail client. I have used both since they emerged on the scene in 2004. Thunderbird was substantially more efficient than Outlook Express. It is also platform independent, so I as I moved from Windows to Linux and then Ubuntu, I never had to re-invent the wheel in regards to my e-mail. I simply copied the data to the new computer or platform and moved on.
How much have you spent on office software since 2000? I have been a user of OpenOffice since 2000 at no cost! It was a bit rough around the edges in 2000, but by 2005 it was competitive in almost every degree to what people normally do with office software. LibreOffice is today a product to seriously consider as a business and enterprise solution.