My first job was in the Data Centre of a bank in the early 80s. During the mid eighties I completed a degree in Pure Mathematics which included various computer subjects, and I became more familiar with using Unix mainframe computers. In the late eighties and early nineties, I forgot Unix as I learnt DOS and then Windows. I worked for many years as a computer trainer during this period, and was interested in exploring alternative computer programs and operating systems, including DR DOS and GeoWorks.
In the early 2000s I discovered open source software, and started using it on a Windows XP computer. In 2003 I started playing with Linux (initially Xandros), and migrated to it as my main operating system later that year. I recommend that most people interested in adopting Linux take several months (or even a year) in making the switch. There is a lot to learn, and it also takes time to discover new programs that meet your needs.
Currently (among other things) I maintain several Windows Server 2003 networks, teach accredited computer training courses, and run Try Another Angle.
In response to this, Try Another Angle came into being in late 2006 with the aim to:
It has been created using only free and open software and web services. While I normally create websites with the open source software Drupal or Wordpress, for this site (after long and careful consideration), I have chosen Google Sites.
What are some of the advantages? Firstly, the cost of hosting this site is completely free. The software is quite good, and improving all the time. Many things are easy to do (though you can run into the limits of what you can do pretty quickly). It works well with other Google services, including Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Gadgets and Youtube. So far I have been surprised with how much I've been able to customise the site.
Some disadvantages? The site is stored on Google's server, and I can't directly back up the site because I don't have access to the software. (I can back up the data fairly easily, though.) Google's license is concerning - it claims ownership of a whole lot of stuff I do - though that's probably just to cover themselves from lawsuits. And the software isn't open source, so we're completely reliant on Google to maintain and improve it. And they can pull the plug at any time, just as they did with Google Pages, their previous software, leaving many users frustrated. Also, it gives us no way (at present) to allow readers of this site a way to comment. (There is a way of using a Google Spreadsheets form to do this, but it's not ideal.)