I first became interested in open source software while working at an underfunded little charter startup in the central valley of California. We had an aging computer lab that didn’t have any modern software because the school couldn’t afford to pay for the licensing fees. After having to pay licenses for a copy of M$ Word for EACH COMPUTER, I wanted to see if there was a better way.
The open source community has created free alternatives to many of the most popular commercial software titles. This is a godsend for cash-strapped schools and the teachers who want to do cutting edge work but only have older machines.
At OpenSourceMac.org and OpenSourceWindows.org, you will find lists of great software that do everything from word processing to 3D modeling and are free and legal to use on any computer. I encourage students to put these apps on their own computers and they LOVE to try out all the free goodies!
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