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WordPress.com or WordPress self-hosted?

While working with a small business client recently on migrating a legacy website to WordPress.com, we were asked if using WordPress with a third-party host would be a better option. As discussed in a previous blog entry, "WordPress" can mean either the open source software that powers your website, or, the website hosting service offered by the company that develops the WordPress software itself (available at WordPress.com).

Using PDF as a non-editable business document standard

In a previous blog post we highlighted how proprietary fonts keep businesses locked-in to using expensive Microsoft products – and how openly-licensed fonts address this effectively. In this blog entry we'll look at how the common practice of exchanging documents in editable format – where there is no actual reason to do so – similarly creates a potential hurdle for businesses looking to replace Microsoft Office with LibreOffice.

Teachers and students are always eligible for LibreOffice

You may often see Microsoft advertising their Office 365 productivity suite as being free for teachers and students... with a certain "eligibility" caveat:

Substituting proprietary Microsoft Office fonts in LibreOffice

Microsoft Office is known to contain numerous components designed to intentionally lock businesses into using expensive Microsoft products. Examples of this practice range from proprietary, non-standardised file formats (which can only be interpreted correctly by Microsoft Office), to the full set of features only being available on Microsoft Windows (which prevents businesses from adopting superior alternatives).

A design professor on replacing Apple and Adobe with open alternatives

We recently came across an excellent article published by Brent Patterson, Assistant Professor of Design at State University of New York College at Buffalo. He describes how open hardware and software have replaced the use of proprietary tools in both his creative process and approach to teaching.

Scribus: powerful open source desktop publishing

For businesses needing to produce content such as brochures, newsletters, posters and business cards, software options have typically fallen on either Microsoft Publisher, or Adobe InDesign. Publisher is strictly entry-level, underpowered for professional use, ships with proprietary file formats, and is only available as part of a costly Microsoft Office bundle.

Mozilla Thunderbird 38 takes aim at Microsoft Outlook

With the release of Mozilla Thunderbird version 38, businesses have an increasingly compelling alternative to Microsoft's costly, proprietary Outlook email client. Thunderbird 38 features integrated calendaring and tasks management – previously offered via the Lightning add-on, but now part of the core Thunderbird experience.

This elevates Thunderbird's already powerful email capabilities into an application which can centrally manage your personal information. In addition:

The big 5.0 is here: Introducing LibreOffice version 5

This week saw the release of LibreOffice 5 – the latest major version of the world's leading open source office productivity suite.

Running Windows 10 in Ubuntu using Oracle Virtualbox

Earlier, we covered using Oracle VirtualBox to install a Windows XP virtual machine (VM), running within the Ubuntu operating system. Oracle are preparing an update to VirtualBox (available soon) which will let you install Windows 10 as a virtual machine (VM), and use it in exactly the same way:

Ubuntu on Dell: help article round-up

As covered recently (see Ubuntu on Dell: "No Anti-virus Required" and Dell further bolsters support for Ubuntu) we're continuing to see a tonne of useful help articles from Dell for running Ubuntu on their business computers. Everything from installing a Dell printer, to running Ubuntu and Windows side-by-side is covered.

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