As children, we learn from adults. The dawn of the computer age brought a lot of change and reversed that role for many of us. Since I make a living off software and writing about software, I am a welcome guest in the homes of many elderly PC users. That's usually not a problem, they have taught me about the world some 30 years ago so I should gladly return the favor in today's world of computers. I should ...
But there are two mysterious phenomena that remain inexplicable to me. Two whimsical conditions that keep intelligent human beings from sending off an email or burning a CD...
Do you use open source software? If you're running Mozilla Firefox the answer is a clear yes. You are using a modern browser that sees frequent updates and didn't cost you a single cent.
What seems unthinkable in other industries is common place in the software industry especially for private users. Good and totally free software made by hobbyists. Programs range from simple chat applications and multimedia suites to entire office bundles. Make no mistake, immense efforts are required to create and maintain such applications!
As a frequent business traveler, I constantly need to commute between airports, cities and my clients. Until now, I went by bus, taxi or train, mainly based on current rates and fares. I've seen a lot on these trips but that is another story.
For some time now, German cities have added another mobility option: car sharing. We love to share. Tools, office spaces, pets, marriage partners (not official but feasible). Now, we're sharing cars. I like the idea of sharing. It's environmentally friendly, inexpensive and in a way counteracts social isolation. Sharing is social and deserves support.
We merely sought to purchase a small laptop computer in an electronics outlet but now we were critically eyed by the sales clerk. His vest, bearing the logo of his company, was way too big but he wore it proudly like a suit of armor.
Many of us gravely underestimate the system requirements of modern software. The laptop was supposed to be cheap, small, silent and with decent battery life, that much we figured out for ourselves. Now struck the hour of the salesman.