Letter to the Editor

I recently wrote to the local section of the News-Press newspaper
here in Fort Myers, Florida.  My opinion article appeared in the Wednesday,
October 12, 2005 edition.  Here it is.

Diplomat Middle School earns good business grade

Lee
county spends 1.3 billion dollars a year on education. That’s more
than 17,000 dollars per student. A portion of that money goes to
licensing software for our students and teachers.

Diplomat
Middle School’s newsletter "The Wildcat’s Roar" announces a
new graphics design class using the computer software Photoshop and
GIMP2 for Windows. Whoever installed the GIMP 2 software at Diplomat
Middle School deserves a commendation and a big raise.Those in the
school system wanting to educate our students better and save money
should take note too.

Many
are familiar with Photoshop having purchased it for their own use at
more than 300 dollars per computer. GIMP2 is almost the same; free
from www.gimp.org.

Is there
a lesson here? Why do our schools use Microsoft’s Office which
retails for three hundred-sixty dollars per computer when OpenOffice2
is a free Windows download away at www.openoffice.org?
It looks and works exactly like Microsoft’s Office. It’s fully
compatible with all of Microsoft’s formats like Word, Excel and Power
Point, plus OpenOffice supports the new OpenDocument Format
(www.oasis-open.org).
OpenOffice is always upgradeable at no cost. Microsoft’s Office just
keeps costing.

Way to go, Diplomat Middle School, you are
truly an A+ school!

Frank Sfalanga, Jr.
Cape Coral


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