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Last post Author Topic: Swapping Out Software?  (Read 5325 times)

Renegade

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Swapping Out Software?
« on: July 18, 2013, 04:58:00 AM »
Has anyone recently abandoned any software in favour of another piece of software?

I'm in the SLLLLOOOOOOOWWWWWW process of swapping out Skype in favour of Jitsi for obvious reasons. But, I figure that it's a kind of generic process for one reason or another, and figured that it might be interesting to see what people are using now.

With Jitsi, it's a matter of convincing people to stop using Skype, get Jitsi and an XMPP account. Not easy. I'm still using Skype more than Jitsi, which is frustrating as there are a number of things I'd like to talk to a few people about, but... need them on board as well.

So? Anyone?
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cranioscopical

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 08:45:30 AM »
As I haven't the skills required for serious programming I've relied on various "languages" for scripting stuff. A bit of BASIC, some Rex, a smattering of Python etc. Over the past year or so I've switched to AHK_L for that kind of thing.

If Adobe doesn't amend its cloud-only subscription policy I'll be switching from Creative Suite to the first competitor to include the features that I want (I suspect that will take a while to occur).
 

wraith808

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 08:48:09 AM »
That's a hard thing to do- especially with software that others use that you depend on, like skype.  It's just a slow process... I mean, look at the adoption of word and how long it took (is taking) to get people to see alternatives.

Renegade

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 08:59:40 AM »
If Adobe doesn't amend its cloud-only subscription policy I'll be switching from Creative Suite to the first competitor to include the features that I want (I suspect that will take a while to occur).

That's a good example.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm willing to deal with fewer features and less functionality and a bit of a learning curve *IF* I can switch to a GPL or FLOSS program. I've got CS5, but will never upgrade beyond that. For cloud stuff, I'm absolutely not interested in the least unless I can run it on my own servers.

That's a hard thing to do- especially with software that others use that you depend on, like skype.  It's just a slow process... I mean, look at the adoption of word and how long it took (is taking) to get people to see alternatives.

Yup. I don't ever plan on buying any cloud office silliness, and fully plan on moving to Libre Office once I have time to finish testing some specific functionality that I need. Almost there...
 
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wraith808

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 10:13:50 AM »
Yup. I don't ever plan on buying any cloud office silliness, and fully plan on moving to Libre Office once I have time to finish testing some specific functionality that I need. Almost there...

By any rights, that cloud office thing should have been the nail in Microsoft's coffin.  But there are too many people who still think that Microsoft is never the wrong choice...

Vurbal

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 10:40:08 AM »
If Adobe doesn't amend its cloud-only subscription policy I'll be switching from Creative Suite to the first competitor to include the features that I want (I suspect that will take a while to occur).
The good news is that Adobe's decision makes it much more likely for that competition to emerge. Let's face it, some of the features you get in a program like Photoshop are just flat out unrivaled. I can't pay what it costs and couldn't justify it in any case but as a GIMP user I'm insanely jealous of some of the things even someone with my limited skills can do with it. They could sell it for cheaper but it would cost so much to develop something comparable it's possible nobody else could.

But now Adobe has created a new opportunity for clearly inferior competitors based on a stupid policy that they mistakenly think is a feature. It's not. Features are what your customers want. So now somebody else can get their foot in the door and steal some of Adobe's customers with a product that's just good enough. It won't be good enough for the hardcore Photoshop users but it will be good enough to take some percentage. That, in turn, will produce an influx of revenue which can be used to accelerate the development process and eventually it will be good enough for more Adobe customers and then all bets are off.

This, in a nutshell, is the never ending cycle of business.
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40hz

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 11:52:12 AM »
^ I think a good deal of Adobe's motivation in what they're currently doing is to reduce the number of CSS customers (i.e casual users and non-pros) they have and focus on the hardcore graphics professionals. A market where they're firmly entrenched for many reasons both good and bad - but mostly good.

When selling complex products that require support, the last thing you want is to have every kid on the block using it badly. You can be profitable (sometimes even more profitable) with lower sales figures. Because sales don't automatically map out to better margins. Sometimes small, very fat, and happy is where it's at for a tech company.

Besides, non-professionals don't buy into those high margin support packages and add-ons that the pros do. No do they sign up for those expensive training sessions and workshops. You're lucky if they buy a book. And even luckier if they do more than give it a quick skim when they do buy one. Amateurs much prefer to tie up the support lines for ages when they need help. ("I don't know about any of that! Just tell me what I need to click on to do this...what? The tools menu? Where's that?)

Supporting unqualified users can seriously hurt the bottom line. Autocad realized that ages ago. So did the producers of most of the other heavy-duty CAD, 3D modeling, and animation packages. Many almost seem to go out of their way to try and steer the 'average joe' away from their flagship products.

No. This isn't an oversight, or hubris, or something stupid on Adobe's part. It's a very sharp and calculated business decision. I call it a "velvet rope" approach: qualified, target segment customers only, please?

red-velvet-rope_thumb3.jpg
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Time will tell if Adobe called it right with this one. FWIW, when it comes to CSS, I think they did. 8)


« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 12:07:53 PM by 40hz »

cyberdiva

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 12:04:16 PM »
That's a hard thing to do- especially with software that others use that you depend on, like skype.  It's just a slow process... I mean, look at the adoption of word and how long it took (is taking) to get people to see alternatives.
Yes.  Ironically, years ago I switched to Word (from WordPerfect, which I much preferred) because so many other people I worked with used Word.  And then, a few years ago, I dumped Word in favor of TextMaker, from SoftMaker Office, since TextMaker could read and write Word files, so it didn't matter what my colleagues were using.  

Renegade

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 12:11:21 PM »
This, in a nutshell, is the never ending cycle of business.

While I agree that moving to the cloud is a mistake, I think we get there for different reasons.

Time will tell if Adobe called it right with this one. FWIW, when it comes to CSS, I think they did. 8)

I think you're wrong there. The cloud is simply a bad idea. Period. Ahem... Snowden... surveillance... etc. etc.

I remember over a decade ago having documents come across my desk and thinking that it was a really, really bad idea. I think my gut reaction then has been vindicated.

Now, pricing your product out of reach of hobbyists/amateurs is one thing, but pricing it into the cloud for pros... yeah... not really "feeling" that here.

Give me a way to put MY data on MY server, then OK. But putting my data on YOUR servers? Thanks, but no thanks.

When I worked at ESTsoft, they had the right idea for ALPass. It was bang on 110% right.

ALPass encrypted everything client-side and uploaded it to the server. That is, if you wanted to - it wasn't mandatory.

The fallout was that if you screwed up, there was ZERO way to recover your data. YOU were responsible for it. YOU needed to remember your master password. If you forgot, you were screwed.

However, I had the advantage of knowing all of that from working inside the company, knowing the developers, and knowing everyone involved in the process. Microsoft pledges that they do that kind of thing, but it's just another lie.

However, that's going way off topic.

Swapping out stuff... CS > GIMP & Inkscape as far as I can see there. For InDesign... I'm not sure about a replacement there, but I don't use it enough to care.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 12:23:04 PM »
+1 w/cyberdiva. I much preferred WordPerfect too! Liked XyWrite even more.

For Windows (and yes, I'm still reluctantly using W7 for some things) I'll mostly stick with WriteMonkey for my text composition needs. I'll only move over to a "real word processor" when I need to share the work with somebody else. Under Linux I'll just use any installed text editor I find.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 02:02:41 PM by 40hz »

40hz

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 12:32:47 PM »
The cloud is simply a bad idea. Period. Ahem... Snowden... surveillance... etc.

Agree that how it's implemented is usually bad. But Adobe's cloud is mainly a way to distribute their software and have a subscription based sales model. You only need to connect to the web about every 30-60 days to get an authorization token. The apps themselves get downloaded and run on your local machine. It works pretty much the way Steam does - except it's not quite as obnoxious about the web connection as Steam sometime is.

Oh yeah, your data and files goes wherever you want to save them. It might be nice however to maybe store your workspace prefs up in a cloud somewhere if you need to to move among different machines much. Sorta like having a roving profile in a Windows domain. That can be handy. And it's hardly a big privacy issue (at least to me) having somebody know what fonts, tools and color pallets you want open by default - even if I would still prefer it be kept on my own server.

But I still think Adobe got it mostly right the way they did it - even if I personally don't like it..

Don't get me wrong. I'm a shrinkwrap bigot. And I'm nothing near being sold on cloud anything. I just handed a client over to another provider because I think they're making a big mistake (in this particular case) on insisting on going over to a fully cloud-based solution. But it's their call. And much as I hate to lose a client, I'll still refuse to sell somebody a broken solution.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 12:46:46 PM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 12:36:31 PM »
Now, pricing your product out of reach of hobbyists/amateurs is one thing, but pricing it into the cloud for pros... yeah... not really "feeling" that here.

This.  My wife is a photographer, and considering how much she spends on cameras, we didn't really blink at the price of CSS.  It's just the cost of doing business, and as you say, the best in many ways at what it does.

But when I told her about the cloud business, she said that she guesses that the last one was it for her.  This might change, but not having her photos in her control totally from beginning to end was what she was skeptical about.

With all of the theft of images and filters and other stuff that I don't really understand in the photography business, and how protective they are as a breed over their business and practices, I just don't see this ending well.

40hz

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 01:06:50 PM »
But when I told her about the cloud business, she said that she guesses that the last one was it for her.  This might change, but not having her photos in her control totally from beginning to end was what she was skeptical about.

Again (last I looked) what the online connection does for Adobe is (a) distribute their software and (b)issue a subscription authorization token to use it. It's not persistent. The apps will even work for a reasonable grace period if you can't connect, or you're just out of subscription. They'll even provide special "long term" tokens for photographers and other types who are heading off to the Himalayas for a year where they won't have any web access at all. It doesn't lock any of your data or files. And using whatever online storage comes with the subscription is optional.

The biggest objection I've been hearing is that CSS is now a subscription as opposed to a shrink-wrapped product. But it was mostly casual users I was hearing that from.

Interestingly, most graphics pros I talked to didn't seem overly concerned about that. Probably because a good number of them are already subscribing to other services like Typekit. The biggest concern was the worry that regular automatic software updates might impact their workflow. Many said they sometimes preferred to use older versions of some programs, or elected to stay behind the curve when new updates came out.


wraith808

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2013, 01:13:59 PM »
Interestingly, most graphics pros I talked to didn't seem overly concerned about that. Probably because a good number of them are already subscribing to other services like Typekit. The biggest concern was the worry about regular automatic software updates might impact their preferred workflow. Many said they sometimes preferred older versions of some programs, or elected to stay behind the curve when new updates came out.

She was concerned about this too.  Sometimes the actions and other stuff (don't know the technical term) have to be updated between versions/don't work.  She didn't know the online storage was optional- and indeed when I looked at the announcements when they first said it, it didn't seem that way to me, either. 

In terms of the tokens, she's also had (and by extension myself) a big problem with registration.  We've upgraded her laptop, I've completely rebuilt her computer, and we've had to reinstall the OS.  The ones that we've been able to predict haven't been so bad.  But the unpredictable ones have really sucked as far as getting her software that she can use again.  I just don't trust their activation system.

Vurbal

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2013, 08:15:28 PM »
^ I think a good deal of Adobe's motivation in what they're currently doing is to reduce the number of CSS customers (i.e casual users and non-pros) they have and focus on the hardcore graphics professionals. A market where they're firmly entrenched for many reasons both good and bad - but mostly good.

When selling complex products that require support, the last thing you want is to have every kid on the block using it badly. You can be profitable (sometimes even more profitable) with lower sales figures. Because sales don't automatically map out to better margins. Sometimes small, very fat, and happy is where it's at for a tech company.

Besides, non-professionals don't buy into those high margin support packages and add-ons that the pros do. No do they sign up for those expensive training sessions and workshops. You're lucky if they buy a book. And even luckier if they do more than give it a quick skim when they do buy one. Amateurs much prefer to tie up the support lines for ages when they need help. ("I don't know about any of that! Just tell me what I need to click on to do this...what? The tools menu? Where's that?)

Supporting unqualified users can seriously hurt the bottom line. Autocad realized that ages ago. So did the producers of most of the other heavy-duty CAD, 3D modeling, and animation packages. Many almost seem to go out of their way to try and steer the 'average joe' away from their flagship products.

No. This isn't an oversight, or hubris, or something stupid on Adobe's part. It's a very sharp and calculated business decision. I call it a "velvet rope" approach: qualified, target segment customers only, please?
 (see attachment in previous post)You say you do this for a living?
Because your name's not on my list.



Time will tell if Adobe called it right with this one. FWIW, when it comes to CSS, I think they did. 8)



That's an interesting theory but it has nothing to do with Adobe's decision, and on top of that it would be a sign that their executives are completely incompetent. If the problem was that hobbyists cost too much to support because they make too much use of Adobe's services and don't pay for the extras they would either limit the basic support to make people pay extra for what they're getting now or simply raise the price of the software. What you're describing is like treating a sprained wrist by amputating your arm at the shoulder.

But I don't have to guess at Adobe's motivations because they telegraphed them clearly just a day after they announced Creative Cloud (in 2011 IIRC). That was the day they announced that starting with the next Creative Suite upgrade versions would no longer be available for anything more than 1 version back. They didn't make a big public announcement about that. It just got a quick and quiet press release on the Adobe website.

The reason for Creative Cloud is that Adobe wanted a way to force their smaller customers, many of whom were only upgrading every other version, to buy every version instead. That year they also announced they were transitioning to an annual upgrade cycle.

The fact that all those things point to the same conclusion is not a coincidence. Creative Cloud is not about shedding customers or trimming support costs. It's about forcing their customers to give them money on a fixed schedule whether it makes sense for them or not. To quote The Princess Bride, anyone who tells you anything else is selling something.

Adobe's actions amount to nothing less than looking their customers in the eye (not all of them but apparently a significant number in their eyes) and saying, "We've heard your requests and you can stick them up your ass. You'll get what we want to sell you when we want in the way we want and that's the way it is." There's a word for companies who do that. That word is footnote. Today they're pissing off their small customers tomorrow they'll be pissing off some of their bigger customers and before too long they won't have any customers to worry about.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
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Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
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It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Gwen7

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2013, 09:19:10 PM »
^such a charming way to put things. :-&

40hz

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2013, 09:43:36 PM »
That's an interesting theory but it has nothing to do with Adobe's decision,...

Oh wow! For a second I thought I might have actually had something there...thanks for the correction.  ;) :P




wraith808

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2013, 09:48:35 PM »
Wow... he makes a lot of sense.  Welcome to the board Vurbal!   :Thmbsup:  May your stay be long! :)

Renegade

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2013, 10:00:49 PM »
The cloud is simply a bad idea. Period. Ahem... Snowden... surveillance... etc.

Agree that how it's implemented is usually bad. But Adobe's cloud is mainly a way to distribute their software and have a subscription based sales model. You only need to connect to the web about every 30-60 days to get an authorization token. The apps themselves get downloaded and run on your local machine. It works pretty much the way Steam does - except it's not quite as obnoxious about the web connection as Steam sometime is.

...

Don't get me wrong. I'm a shrinkwrap bigot. And I'm nothing near being sold on cloud anything. I just handed a client over to another provider because I think they're making a big mistake (in this particular case) on insisting on going over to a fully cloud-based solution. But it's their call. And much as I hate to lose a client, I'll still refuse to sell somebody a broken solution.


Heheeh! I think we share the same bigotry there. :D

But, back to cloud... It's still completely idiotic for users.

If the functionality doesn't require network connectivity, then there should be no network connectivity. An initial license authentication over the network is plenty enough, and even then that isn't ever necessary. I mean that literally - it is NEVER necessary. Necessary that is... "Desirable" is another matter. i.e. You can read from a machine that is not connected and authenticate on a connected machine, but that's a PITA, so an initial authentication over the network is desirable.

Next thing you know, you'll need to have your car, fridge, TV, radio, etc., all connected so that you can be checked on to see that you really own your own stuff.

I've decided that my next machine will be a server. It will run a Virtual Environment (VE) with VMs running inside. No more OS bare on the metal nonsense. I'm just sick of it. (That's also when I plan on shifting to Linux as my primary OS.)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2013, 10:03:33 PM »
Should clarify - that cloud is a bad idea for users there above - for authentication, etc.

It *can* make sense for *content* storage, though that's still up for debate. If we lived in a sane world and cloud services were run in the best interests of the customers, then I'd be all for it.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2013, 10:11:47 PM »
I've decided that my next machine will be a server. It will run a Virtual Environment (VE) with VMs running inside. No more OS bare on the metal nonsense. I'm just sick of it. (That's also when I plan on shifting to Linux as my primary OS.)

When you do finally shift over, you'll be pleased to discover it works quite well. Proxmox VE is a good choice for running VMs
 :Thmbsup:

40hz

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2013, 10:15:49 PM »
Next thing you know, you'll need to have your car, fridge, TV, radio, etc., all connected so that you can be checked on to see that you really own your own stuff.

We'll never really know for sure about that until we see the rest of Snowden's slides. Who knows? Maybe they're doing it already. :tellme:

sword

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2013, 03:12:57 PM »
Windows app. ..........|  main use ..........|  Linux app.
 
Photoshop                |  draw                  |  Gimp, Krita, Alchemy, Inkscape, (Blender)

MS Access,               |  db, table, form, |  Kexi (recent use)
Database Pro            |  report, search

MS OneNote,             |  notes                |  Getting Things Gnome,
Dragon Nat. Spk.,      |                           |  org-mode
Via Voice Advanced    |

Wordperfect,                |  tags, outlines    |  Tagspaces, org-mode, FreePlane, Pyrenamer
(custom design)

Wordperfect Master     |  cheat sheets     |  Tgif (recent use)
Documents, OneNote  |  (hierarchical,
                                     |  navigate in)

Adobe Illustrator           |  svg, zui           |  Inkscape, DIA, FreeMind, Delineate (trace),
and line trace,               |                         |  Image Magic, Xara LX
Eagle Mode                   |

Partition Magic              |  partitioning      |  GParted

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2013, 04:09:17 PM »
Has anyone recently abandoned any software in favour of another piece of software?
...
So? Anyone?

Great Topic! I have three of examples! I'll do them in separate posts in case they spawn their own spinoff discussions. (Notice - I feel it's important not to use the "ad hominem names" for stuff - no "M$ Windoze" etc. However evil a company is, as a discussant you lose instantly when you resort to that stuff!)

#1: "Browser Wars" - 2004
I date my modern (modest!) understanding of computers to about 2004, starting when I was first in between jobs last time. As I began understanding all the issues that are "old hat today" such as Lock-in tricks, three categories of software tied to MS became apparent. Listed in approximate increasing order of converting out of, they are Browsers, Office, and Windows. After a few attempts, some of which are noted here at DC, I simply decided to stay with Windows, and instead became one of the "wait and see" crowd watching the state of Windows from within the ecosystem.

I already knew I had no particular devotion to Internet Explorer, so it felt like an easy first step. And it was. I only do about "ten things" with a browser, so way back in 2004, there weren't many serious contenders. I glanced at Safari and didn't really care for it. So Firefox it was. The add-ons were the selling point, and are to this day. (Though lately the Interface has become part of the discussion!)

So the first point in "Abandoning" is how invested you were in the original program. I had zero alliance to IE and was just old enough to remember laughing at IE 2 back in the Netscape days, and missed the "zeitgeist change" somewhere about 2002 when IE really locked in. My company never used any precisely specific locked-to-IE apps, so that made it easy to learn Firefox and there I stay. Yes, there are creaks and quirks, but I'd be *really unhappy* to have to move to anything else! (Especially since we lost Opera as an option!)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Swapping Out Software?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2013, 04:18:32 PM »

#2: Office
This one has a bit longer of a history. I didn't exactly have qualms about using company paid copies of Office, so I just did my thing. But at home, to be sure, I didn't feel like buying a *second* copy of it! So pretty soon Open Office showed up. I was just old enough to have seen (I think?) Version 2.x series and it had *such* a strange layout, that while I respected the concept, as a user you have to be able to *use* your new replacement, and I just didn't get the oomph to do it, but I kept it sorta on my "check in next year" category.

Then somewhere about the version 3.x series they understood that you need to make it close to the original you are competing with, and that's when I was at least able to use it for real for a fair many things.

But ya know? OO and now LibreOffice still have a bunch of things that just are laid out differently, and about this year when I am doing more serious spreadsheet stuff at home, I decided that mattered. I am a fan of "durable knowledge". If I learn something, I like it to still be valid for X years, and not instantly be replaced by Next Year's News. After briefly observing the upgrade to Libre 4.x, all those things were there...

I went this year with the promo for Kingsoft Office. (I left the Writer on Libre, no qualms there.) But for spreadsheets, however they did it, they just managed to mirror MS's placement of features. Roughly I count about 20 simple things that I rely on in spreadsheets, and using the "muscle memory" I learned at work on the "real" MS package, just made the switch to Kingsoft easier.