Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A Philosophical Dilemma

About software. In working on getting my space the way I want it, I've been thinking about my computer. I have an iMac, which I absolutely love. I wish I had one with the larger screen, but this one suits me fine. Mr. Geeky has purchased several add-ons for me for various occasions--more memory, usb hub, 250 gig hard drive, iPod--so I'm quite happy on the hardware front. The problem is software--specifically word processing software. The house is officially an anti-Microsoft zone, has been since 1997 or 8. It's a political thing. Mr. Geeky, truly the uber-geek around here, is opposed to Microsoft's business practices and a big proponent of open source software. He's a Linux man. I used to be a Linux person. I had a laptop with Linux, wrote my Master's thesis on it and started my dissertation on it. As I started doing more web development, the laptop quickly lost its ability to keep up. So we considered another machine and settled on the Mac. I get a stable, non-Microsoft operating system, plug-n-play, and games. Mr. Geeky feels good about still being anti-Microsoft.

The first year of my job, I didn't really do any writing. I was adjusting to working full-time and was trying to decide whether to finish the Ph.D. Then I started writing in earnest. I used Apple Works for a while and it was okay. Then I looked for some alternatives out there and actually purchased Mellel, which is also just okay. Open Office doesn't really have a good native version for the Mac. What I want is Microsoft Word. It's what I use at work. I've been secretly writing on the PC laptop I've borrowed from work. I like the look and feel of Word. It does all the things I want a word processor to do. I can actually purchase (really lease) the whole Office suite through the school for $55. Mr. Geeky would freak out.

The thing is, it's my computer, my space and I have my own money, thank you very much, so I can do what I want. But I've tried to be supportive of Mr. Geeky's political views. I don't want to disappoint him with my weakness. If anyone knows of a just-as-good alternative, please tell me (and don't say Nisus; I've tried it, don't like it much).

While I've been debating this--the house is falling apart around me. While the boys were sick, I didn't do much. I blogged. I wrote. I did not clean house. My house is now a pit of dispair. I'll dig my way out this weekend--and I'm going to set up the office space (including some word processing software).