3/10/06

Book Review: Just Say "No" to Microsoft by Tony Bove

On October 18, 2005 I mentioned this book and pointed to this interview with its author. This is a short review.

You might think that the purpose of this book is to promote Linux or Mac use. And you would be both right and wrong. I was on guard against Microsoft-bashing for bashing's sake. Not that it is not a temptation. Microsoft is the company that people love to hate. But most of us use it anyway (though, me to a very small degree, of late). While I think Bove does dip into Microsoft-bashing, there is still useful information here, and the bashing is not too often or blatant.

This is an excellent introduction the the alternatives available to the computer user. Bove talks about the joys of moving to Mac, the openness of of the Linux world, and mostly gives the person thinking of a change the courage to try. He talks about how most of what the average user uses their computer for is available on either Mac or Linux (I will shortly blog about my positive opinin of Linux with Gnome as a replacement for Windows for anyone; I've already been raving— in a nice way—about my Mac experience). He talks about Open Office as an alternative to MS Office as well as tries to make a case for PDF as a document exchange format.
Okay, diversion. I am struggling with this. I would like to get away from "Microsoft Word as a document exchange format." I just don't know what else to do. PDF is fine —and he makes a case for it. But, it is lousey for collaboration (unless everyone has expensive Adobe products.) So, I still send plain, ASCII text e-mail. I do send ASCII when the recipient doesn't need to change it. And I did enjoy his pointing to We Can Put an End to Word Attachments, by Richard M. Stallman (January 2002), and MS-Word is Not a document exchange format, among others.

Recommendations?
Here is the table of contents, taken from the publisher's web site.

Introduction
PART I: YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION
Chapter 1: Playing Monopoly Is No Longer Fun
Chapter 2: All You Need Is a Mac
Chapter 3: Linux: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

PART II: REHAB FOR YOUR MICROSOFT ADDICTION
Chapter 4: Slay the Word and You'll Be Free
Chapter 5: De-Microsoft Your Office
Chapter 6: Media Lib: Microsoft-Free Music and Video

PART III: THE WHOLE NETWORK IS WATCHING
Chapter 7: The Message Is the Medium for Infections
Chapter 8: This LAN Is Your LAN
Chapter 9: Browsers and Your Own Private Identity

PART IV: GETTING ON WITH YOUR COMPUTER LIFE
Chapter 10: Twelve Steps to Freedom from Microsoft
Chapter 11: Where Do You Want to Go Tomorrow?
Appendix: The Truth Is Out There
Citations


Just Say No to Microsoft: How to Ditch Microsoft and Why It's Not as Hard as You Think

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