I do a lot of reading and writing on my computer systems. Computers make it so easy to do. GNU/Linux keeps it being easy no matter what M$ does.
I read an article today, an interview with a real writer, Piers Anthony, who wrote five novels in 2011 using GNU/Linux. It’s a good interview apart from the dirty joke (which went right over my head…). In it the writer describes his history with IT and writing. He converted to FLOSS about the same time that IBM jumped in and I converted in my little school on the tundra.
Piers Anthony uses Fedora GNU/Linux, LibreOffice, and an M$-only printer. He’s not a techie so we don’t get the full story on that. It’s not hard to buy a printer that works well with GNU/Linux and it’s unlikely he’s still using the same printer after a decade since he last used that other OS, so that’s a mystery…
“I computerized in 1984, and have used four operating systems (CPM, DOS, Windows, Linux) and eight word processors. I enjoy the present one the most: Fedora on Linux, LibreOffice. It’s the software rather than the hardware that makes the difference.”
He really expects e-books to dominate in book publishing and is at the tipping point. He likes the way FLOSS works for him.
FLOSS has so many tools for writing. I like LyX for larger projects because it scales nicely. The applications does less during writing and saves the heavy lifting for the rendering process so I can maximize my productivity. The less my PC does to get in my way, the better I write. I use LibreOffice for routine stuff and it also provides a good spreadsheet for handling tabular data. I should also use a FLOSS database to keep track of stuff but WordPress does that already and Google is great so I have not done that yet. I could probably scrape MrPogson.com for hyperlinks and generate a good database for my writing automatically. Whatever we imagine we can do with FLOSS.
This interview with a writer shows how FLOSS works for people with absolutely no need for a monopoly on the desktop to intrude in productivity. Businesses and individuals who are locked in to Wintel need to climb out of the hole they have dug before it gets any deeper. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux because it works for real people.