Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My PC is finally piracy-free

A year after it's release, I finally made the jump to Windows 7 on my desktop. I've been using Windows XP ever since 2001. Skipped the Vista upgrade because of all the negative press around it. Other than getting a more modern and refreshed OS, this represents a significant move for me in terms of ethics.

I've made an internal pact with myself: No more piracy.

Back in the day, I didn't believe in purchasing software. I would buy hardware but I didn't believe in paying more money just to use the hardware. It just didn't seem fair.

Even to this day, it's a bit painful to shell out the HKD 1,550 for Windows 7 Home Premium. But since that's the only piece of software that I need to pay for, it's easier to swallow. For everything else, I'll stick with free and or open-source alternatives. Most work just as well, if not better. If I add up the cost of all the commercial software counterparts, the savings really add up.

Photo Editing
GIMP vs Photoshop
Cost of Photoshop CS5 is USD 699

PDF creator
CutePDF vs Adobe Acrobat
Cost of Adobe Acrobat X Pro is USD 499

Office Suite
OpenOffice and Google Docs vs Microsoft Office
Cost of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 is USD 149.99

Optical Media Creation
InfraRecorder vs Nero
Cost of Nero Multimedia Suite 10 is USD 99.99

AVG vs Norton
Cost of Norton AntiVirus 2011 (for one year protection) is USD 39.99

DVD Video Player
Cost of WinDVD 2010 is USD 39.99

7-Zip vs WinZip
Cost of WinZip is USD 29.95

By staying away from the commercial stuff, I saved USD 1,557.91 (roughly over HKD 12,000). Suddenly the cost of the OS seems minuscule. For the first time, all my computing needs are satisfied while keeping a clear conscience.

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