Manage your Projects FREE….

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You all know my dislike for Microsoft and their products. Whenever possible I’ve tried to get away from having to use their software. Here is another opensource product that allows us to do our thing without them. From their overview page:

OpenProj is a free, open source desktop alternative to Microsoft Project. The OpenProj solution is ideal for desktop project Click to enlarge in a new windowmanagement and is available on Linux, Unix, Mac or Windows. OpenProj is a complete desktop replacement of Microsoft Project and even opens existing native Project files. OpenProj shares the most advanced scheduling engine in the industry with Project-ON-Demand. The OpenProj solution has Gantt Charts, Network Diagrams (PERT Charts), WBS and RBS charts, Earned Value costing and more.

You can get more detailed information on OpenProj or download now!


  • Brainiac

    This is really cool. Now, I have 2 questions,
    1. Do they have anything like this in word processors?
    2. Is mircrosoft really that bad? Yeah, they’ve monopolized the industry a bit, I don’t see major problems with it…

  • Many

    Brainiac, check out this link for a free word processor:

    To answer your question about MS….Yes MS is really that bad. If you don’t believe me, try this. Grab a copy of Office 2.0 (from way back in 1996-7) install it under windows 3.1 (or win95) and compare it (from the point of view of your average/power user) to Office 2007.

    Keep in mind that office 2007 is (I think) the 12th release of office and you’ll see how MS has made us slaves to their so called “UPGRADES”.

    Enjoy the FREE Office package :-)

  • Brainiac

    I’d love to, but I’m running windows, and from what I can tell, that app only works on Mac.

    By the way, I’ve been trying to contact you for ages, but my emails never got through. I just though of leaving a comment. Yeah, I wonder too sometimes… Anyway, the otherthing I was going to ask you, and was trying to ask in an email, was;
    I’m planning on buying a new computer soon, and need some serious advice. I intend to use it for programming mainly, but I’m still in school, so I need to be able to run a mircrosoft compatible office suite. That’s not a problem, I can use google, or find somethin online. I’d like your advice on operating systems for the programmer. I’m told linux is the way to go, and that mac and windows are both terrible for programming, but I don’t know whether that’s true. Any advice?

    (sorry for bothering you with all this, but I can’t seem to find any decent person that I can get advice from in my town, and you seem quite knowledgable)

  • Many

    Hi Brainiac,

    Check out it’s NeoOffice for the rest of the world (ie: winxp and/or Linux).

    About your questions:

    Strictly from a Programmers Point of View (I’m a CompSci Grad) and only for programming, go with the mac. On the mac you can choose to program using the Mac tools (XCode) which allows you to create mac programs with mac like interfaces. You can also do — what I like to call OpenSource — programming. Every mac comes with XCode (for native mac programming) and GCC (for Opensource C/C++ programming). Underneat it all MAC is really FreeBSD (which is a flavour of Unix pre-dating Linux). Most GNU Opensource applications/development environments (ie: python, perl, php ) will run under mac with little modification, from command line.

    The other reason I like the mac is that you can actually run Linux and/or Windows on it Natively (yes, it’s just a PC) at the same time (ie: dual/triple boot). Personally I’ve spend an extra $80 and bought parallels which allows me to run these other OS’s (Linux, Windows, FreeBSD) at the same time as OSX (ie: in emulation mode). Parallel is a fantastic piece of software that allows you to run virtual machines inside OSX environment with minimal loss of speed (no 3D for games).

    If $$’s are an issue stick with a decent PC (yes I know they are a bit cheaper than Mac’s) and run Linux as your primary OS with Windows on the side (or in a virtual machine using a product called VMWare which does basically the same thing as parallels for Linux).

    If your programming is windows centric then you’re pretty much stuck with that platform. Download OpenOffice and use it’s free features, but you need to be in WinXp/Vista for development (ie: Visual basic, C-Sharp, Visual Studio).

    Anyways, I think the mac is the most flexible, yes it will cost you more upfront, but it will let you run all three OS’s either at the same time (using parallels under virtual machines) or one at a time (ie: under what is known as bootcamp which is the software that allows you to dual/triple boot the mac).

    Failing that you’re pretty much at the mercy of PC’s and windows, but atleast you can still run Linux and your office suite will be free :-)

    Hope this helps start your quest….


  • Brainiac

    Thanks a lot. I’ll keep up with your site, it’s already helped a lot. Thanks,

  • Brainiac

    Hey, looking over a few other sites, Macs aren’t totally open-source, are they? They’re only partially open-source (from what I’ve found out), and that can be very limiting from a programmer’s standpoint, can’t it? Won’t a Mac lock-down parts of Linux code if I try and run them both on the same computer?


    ps, I don’t know the answers to any of those questions.

  • Many

    Hi Brainiac,

    Okay I’ll try to be as clear as possible here :-)……

    – You’re right MAC OSX itself is not open source (the non-graphical guts is based on free-bsd….but that’s as much as it shares with the opensource community).

    – Opensource does not just apply to the Operating system. It also applies to Applications. That’s were OSX has a winning hand. You see by basing the guts on free-bsd, OSX makes it simple to run opensource applications (not as easy as linux, but relatively painless). This process (getting opensource applications to run on OSX) is usually called porting. There are a lot of ported applications that exist on OSX platform that are opensource (not quite as many as Linux).

    – Going back to my first point, OSX itself is not opensource (technically there is a opensource version of the guts of OSX called open darwin that apple has released to public). But that does not mean that you can’t program and/or use opensource software applications on OSX. So unless you’re planning to develope drivers and/or native gui applications for OSX you’re not going to run into any trouble.

    – Although most Opensource applications that work on OSX have been ports from linux, there are some native OSX applications that are opensource as well. Basically the application developer (be it a ported app or a native app) decides how they want to release their applications.

    – The way you run Linux under OSX (using parallels virtual machine) or beside OSX (using dual boot feature) has nothing to do with OSX locking Opensource applications. When you run Linux in either one of those modes, you’re running LINUX…..OSX has no say (or any way of telling) in what you run.

    Hope this helps clearify things a bit for you. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Brainiac

    Hey Many,

    I’ve been thinking, you said in an earlier reply, “Strictly from a programmer’s point of view and only for programming, go with the mac.” That’s got a few more questions buzzing around in my head.

    1.) Why would one want to use windows, mac, and linux? (just brief descriptions please, I don’t want to take to much of your time.

    2.)Why wouldn’t you want to use windows? I know that it doesn’t have a native programming language.code (like Xcode), but other than that, isn’t windows generally a bit superiour to the mac in speed/power? I mean, browsing around the web, windows can run most open-source programs too, can’t it?

  • Many

    Hi Brainiac,

    Okay to answer your first question:

    Linux: Pure power, rough edges, access to everything under the hood (kinda like a formula 1 car)
    Windows: lots of apps (free and otherwise), clunky (bsod’s, lockups, viruses, malware), generally comfortable for average user (kinda like a Lincoln town car)
    Mac (OSX only): lots of power, lots of free apps (thanks to opensource linux and freebsd), more expensive than other two (atleast the hardware), lots of attention to detail, once you do the mac interface you’re not going back (even a standard logitech mouse feels different under osx)….(kinda like Mercedes SLK coupe).

    Hope my car analogy helps a bit. What I did not include in there is the fact that Apple hardware (NOW) can run all three OS’s, which is my main argument for recommending apple. I mean who doesn’t want a “Transformers” car that can be Formula 1 on the weekends, SLK Coupe when you’re crusing down the street AND be nice/comfy/big like a towncar when you’re cruising down the highway.

    I’ll go ahead and throw the Ford 150 analogy in there too (not trying to confuse you, just letting you know what options are out there). Apple hardware is also perfectly comfortable running FreeBSD/NetBSD (the heavy lifter) if you choose to do so. I mean if it’s good enough for Cisco to build an empire around (talking about NetBSD which is the core of Cisco IOS….their OS for their highend switches/routers) it will be good enough for you/me to write our next network/security app on.

    To answer your other question….

    I CHOOSE not to use windows. And to be honest it has little to do for my general dislike for MS. It has to do with the fact that I grew up on UNIX and understand enough about the different OS internals not to want to mess around with windows. That’s purely from Many the programmer/systems guy. The Apple recommendation I gave you is based purely on choice. If you buy a Dell today and decide to program for the mac because you like xcode (for example)…well you’re dead in the water. Apple hardware just gives you the flexability to run one, two or all the OSes you need to get the job done.

    From a end-user point of view, I’ve always disliked MS for their sneakyness. “Oh you need windows X to run Office Y properly” and alike. I used to be a big fan of Linux (still am) and opensource, but always wanted something more GUI wise. I could not afford a NeXT or SGI workstation at the time (Now I’ve got 2 of each), hence the linux was the next best thing.

    I hope this helps clear things up a bit. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with Windows and/or being a windows developer. There are probably more win programmers making more money than there are unix/apple/linux programmers combined. It’s more about discovering what you like to accomplish by trying different things and to that end I would still recommend the Apple platform, not because of my personal preference for all things unix, but because of the flexability of the platform.

  • Brainiac

    Thanks a bunch. I’m not sure how much the car analogy helped (don’t know enough about them, considering it’s against the law for me to drive them yet), but the general description helped a lot.

    I can’t think of anything else to ask (that’s saying something), but I’ll be keeping up with going ons in your blog, and will surely have more questions. Thanks for helping me out with all this, hope I didn’t bother you too much.

    (whoops, just though of a question. What distrobutions of Linux would you recommend? I’ve been looking around, and am leaning towards opensuse, but don’t know. [guess I’m going to keep bothering you. sorry])

  • Many

    Hi Brainiac,

    Sorry about the car thing….but as long as you get my point :-)

    About linux distro’s…..they change overtime. At one time I used to love redhat, then redhat kinda went to enterprise and I switched to Suse (before novell bought them). Now I tend to use OpenSuse for our (Universities) production systems and use Ubuntu on the desktop. I find ubuntu desktop the closest thing to the feel of osx. They also have a awesome user forum setup that can come in very handy when you’re just stuck.

    OpenSuse is great, and offers alot of builtin software (well actually TONS). Ubuntu is a bit nicer and easier to use and it gives you a bit more control over what gets installed on your machine.

    Personally I would go with Ubuntu and OpenSuse as a close second. If you like rocksolid stuff and don’t mind a slower update cycle (ie: not running the latest greatest) you can peak at Debian.

    HINT: Ubuntu is basically built around/on Debian, but tries to include the latest greatest….kinda best of both worlds.


  • Brainiac

    One last question, and then I’ll leave you alone, laptop or desktop? I don’t go out of town very much, but I’d really like to have something I can take around, but if that is a sacrifice of memory, then I can do without.

  • Many

    Hi Brainiac,

    Well, if you’re not “computing” in multiple places, I would say go with a desktop machine. I do, so I got 3 laptops (no desktop). One nice thing about desktops is that they are expandable like crazy, laptops you sorta have to figure it out upfront, order it and live with it.

    So if you want expandability (ie: future proofing) and don’t move around much grab a desktop.


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