Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Do you know? (Warning, this is about software)

For those of you who still have full-time jobs, did you know that Microsoft has a "Home User Program" (a.k.a. HUP) available to companies who have an Enterprise Agreement. Enterprise Agreements, or EAs as they're known in IT-land, are typically for large organizations, but I have seen them in mid-sized companies as well.

Why am I talking about Microsoft licensing? Well, because it saves me money! And no, I don't get anything from Microsoft, I can't even mooch spiffs and for folks in IT that know me well I'm a pro at that.

The HUP offers Microsoft Office licenses at a very steep discount. I received my latest HUP announcement in my work email today. Office 2019, fully owned license, will cost me a measly $14.99 plus tax. I can additionally order a CD to be shipped to my house (which I always do) for an additional fee. Roughly speaking, for about $50 I'll have a CD that I can use to install on whatever machine (you only get 1 license though) and have it on-hand in case I ever need to reinstall it.

For those of you that don't have HUP available to you and can't afford O365 subscription prices there are options available to you for open source office suites. My favorites are Libre Office and Open Office. In part due to the software companies that support these community developed open source projects, and in part to the interfaces. They are easy to use, don't have a lot of unnecessary features, and even my mom (who hates computers) can get around in them. Very best part is that they are free!

The caveat with the open source programs is that Amazon doesn't support them. The good news is they do have a PDF converter built in, but you may have to fuss with formatting a bit when creating an eBook upload for Amazon or any other site.

If you do have HUP available to you, take full advantage of it. Even if you don't need an upgrade, buy it while you can. You never know when you may need to replace a piece of your hardware and do a re-install. The IT gremlins are numerous and plenty, backups of data are just one piece of your "weaponry", physical copies of your software is another.