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Open Source for the End User
Matthew G. Switlik
Learning Management Programmer
[email protected]
• IT since 1996
• Web application development since 2001
• PHP Developer at Oakland since June
I love open source because it provides me with
continuously improving tools. I had tried Linux
many years ago but hadn't personally needed
it. PHP and Firefox were my first must have Open
Source tools. Now I had a need for linux and it
quickly gained my attention.
Open Source for the End User
What Do I mean “End User”?
• The people who just want the software to work for them.
No tinkering or hassles.
• It has to be reliable, and secure, and they may not know
how to keep it that way.
• They are increasingly using the cloud.
The four types of people who can benefit from
Open Source
• The End User
tools that were once very costly are now available to you
• The Admin
Supporting the End User get easier with tools that are constantly being
o a continuing trend of doing more with less. (Apache in 1995)
• The Developer
Better tools, faster innovation, better support from community of fellow
o Reputation - your work can precede you.
• The Manager
Stay flexible by not being tied to a single vendor or license.
Lower long term support costs.
Retraining will eventually be needed no matter what software you
choose. Why not pick the solution that you can count on it indefinitely.
What is Open Source?
Distributing the source code to the users of the software.
print("Hello World!");
Why? Because we innovate faster when ideas are
exchanged. Good technique will spread.
Most of the time Open Source implies Free Open Source
Software. Meaning you are free to redistribute the software
given the terms of the license.
• GPL (GNU Public License)
Copyleft ensures users rights to distribute the software and future changes to the software.
derived works can only be distributed under the same license terms.
• BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution)
fewer restrictions on distribution compared to other free software licenses such as the
Allows the redistribution with out the source. You can keep your changes to yourself.
requires attribution and inclusion of the MIT license document. MIT licensed code stays
under the license but can be used in proprietary software.
Is Mac OSX Open Source?
Major components of Mac OS X, including the UNIX core, are
made available under Apple’s Open Source license. But not the
whole operating system.
What about me?
The Android operating system is open
source. Except for version 3.0. The Apps such
as Gmail, the Market, and Google Maps are not
open source.
What can I do with Open Source?
Run your computer.
• The best way to leverage Open Source is to dive it with an operating
system that is open source.
• Seriously, give Ubuntu Linux a spin. LIVE Images require no
• Package managers are like an App Store where everything is free.
The Internet Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and
parts of Safari are all open source. This helps to
ensure security and standard compliance. Their
competition benefits us all.
Get Some Work Done
• Libre Office/Open Office. You can’t stop open source.
• Netbeans/ Eclipse: Or How I Learned to Love the IDE
(Integrated Development Environment)
• Apache is run on over 110 million Internet servers (as
of April 2010) (Source, Netcraft).
• LIVE CDs, DVDs, and USB Devices can save you in a
o Knoppix, SLAX
Create Something
• Edit Images with GIMP
Windows, OSX, and Linux/Unix
• Edit Video with Kdenlive or PiTiVi
• Create 3D Models and animation with
Windows, OSX, and Linux/Unix
• Edit audio with Audacity
Windows, OSX, and Linux/Unix
Dual or Triple BootMake your computer a swiss army knife
of sorts.
You can easily have windows and linux installed at the
same time. Tip: Install windows first
If you own an Apple you can have all three operating
systems on one machine.
What else are you going to do with 2 Terrabytes of storage?
Cost savings.
• Windows 7 $99-$320 depending on edition.
• Windows XP $89-$250
o Released October 25, 2001
o Main stream support ended April 14, 2009.
o Extended support ends April 8, 2014
o So for the money you got 7 and half years of patches.
• Apple’s OS X “Snow Leopard” $25-$95
• Adobe Photoshop CS5 $199-$699
• Adobe Creatie Suite 5.5 $399-$1699
• Final Cut Studio $299-$999
• Visual Studio 2010 Pro $129 (academic) - $710
If it doesn’t cost a lot to get it running more people can try it out. Creating content is
Games on Open Source and of Open Source
“The Humble Indie Bundle experiment has been a massive success beyond our craziest expectations.
So far, 138,813 generous contributors have put down an incredible $1,273,613. Of this, contributors
chose to allocate 30.85% to charity: $392,953 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play

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