ideological self-flagellation

Last year I had an internship where I had to take along my own crappy netbook. On it, I hadn’t shelled out for a copy of Microsoft Office, and was instead using the mostly excellent LibreOffice. The person I was working for eventually noticed all the files I was sending them were coming out strange when they opened them in Office, and I had to explain why. After I had explained the reasoning behind not using Word etc, they said something along the lines of “so you’re subjecting yourself to inconvenience for ideological reasons?”. As much as I don’t like to admit it, I think this comment hit the nail on the head. The sad reality of open source software – and the open source movement more generally – is that yes, using free alternatives does involve subjecting yourself to relatively constant annoyances and inconveniences. Continue reading “ideological self-flagellation”