Aaron Seigo, of KDE fame, was recently filmed while down in Brazil for FISL 8.0. It is a quick 5 minutes, but in those 5 minutes I heard him speak about the differences in proprietary and open source software that I haven’t heard many people hit on. I will say this, he is correct and it is sad. I have never thought about it the way he put it, which was great. I can attest to what he is saying as well. When I helped run a tech company in Chicago years ago, we had used accounting software such as Quickbooks and Peachtree. Well after the years of upgrading our software, we went back to look at previous years accounting information to try and create some custom reports for potential investors. We were shocked that these latest version couldn’t open, or better yet, wouldn’t open the old databases. If I remember correctly, either Peachtree or Quickbooks stated we could purchase another application in order to convert the old data to the new format.
On another note, my father was talking about a database his company uses to provide potential customers a quote on specialized equipment. It is an old Access database, from the 90s. I guess his company just received new laptops with Office 2007 and none of his salesman can access, let alone create, any proposals. So now, they have to downgrade. And to play fairly, they have to get a bunch of new Office 2000 (or 97 can’t remember) licenses for these new machines. So their new upgrade costed them double than what they projected. This is insane.
Anyways, Aaron did a great job bringing it to light and said it very eloquently. Great job Aaron!