Is free and open source software (FOSS) a way to cut business costs? As concern about recession – even depression – deepens, more and more companies are asking this question. However, many have trouble knowing how to begin to find an answer.
Certainly, many companies have been looking for FOSS solutions in the last six months. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, predicted last December that GNU/Linux and other FOSS technologies would become more attractive in hard economic times. “Lower cost, faster time to market, higher profit margins, better branding — these are all things that are in favor of Linux and not in favor of Windows,” he writes, and his comments seem accurate. According to Business Week, FOSS-based companies like SugarCRM, Digium and Zenoss, all reported record quarters last fall, while Red Hat had over $500 million in revenue over the last twelve months.
Rolf Schuster, a diplomat at the German Embassy in Madrid and the former head of IT at the Foreign Ministry, estimated that the German Foreign ministry reduced its costs by two-thirds by switching to GNU/Linux.
However, whether your business will save as much is difficult to estimate in advance. Given the business model of proprietary companies and the idealism of FOSS companies, any estimates tend to be colored by the interests of those who make them. Moreover, although using FOSS means that you no longer have to pay for software or upgrades, you have to realize that you may have costs associated with installation, technical support, and retraining.
You already know how to manage greener business print jobs. But, how can you conserve ink and toner? You probably need that printer for odd jobs, but tools exist that can help you save money and conserve products that can damage the environment. It all begins with the type of printer you use and the ink it requires. But, if you’re stuck on that printer because of budget concerns, let’s go from there… Continue reading →
Web designers, photographers and graphic designers loving the Adobe PhotoshopProduct family – a collection of graphics editing programs developed by Adobe Systems to create and edit images – should have a look at its open source alternative, GIMP.
GIMP is not only an expert quality photo retouching program, it is also a simple drawing program and an image format converter (it’s worth mentioning that it manages psd, Photoshop’s file format as well as scalable vector graphics (svg) file format).
If you really want a GIMP version as close as possible to Photoshop, I recommend that you also take a look at GimPhoto, a GIMP modification with a different menu layout, selection of plugins, and additional resources. GIMPhoto, used in combination with GimPad, formerly known as GimPhoto Desktop, gives its best, and you don’t need to spend time searching all over the internet to find plug-ins to extend GIMP capabilities.
GIMPshop also use GIMP as the backend, adding an extra interface to make its look&feel more like Photoshop. GIMPshop addresses some common criticisms regarding GIMP’s interface, modifying the menu structure to adjust the program’s terminology to match Photoshop.
Most businesses, including newspapers, don’t produce the printed matter that they consume. The supply chain that a business uses to order print supplies needs to be scrutinized to realize the potential for change.
Although environmental standards for “green printing” don’t exist, you can learn more about how to reduce waste around your office. You can begin by using our Green Labels, which are made from 100 percent post-consumer waste. Then, the following list will help businesses understand the questions to ask to find a printer who uses green printing processes. Additionally a few ideas have been peppered throughout this list to illustrate how a business can handle its printed matter in an environmentally friendly way.
Print Your Labels and Business Cards In An Instant, Easy, Simple and Quick.
AutofillPDF Labels is a handy web tool for anyone who’s wanted to print their own labels of any kind, but loathes the idea of manually filling out the printing template over and over.
Many print-your-own label packets come with links or CDs that provide you with a pre-formatted Word document to fill out. Unless you’re getting married or sending out other invitations, though, you’ll usually end up putting the same thing on each label, and Ctrl-C/V-ing your precious time away.
This handy webapp pops open a scripted PDF file on any system, while letting you change the font, styling, size, and other text properties, and also add images in short shrift. In other words, you create one label, and the PDF fills out the rest of them for you. The templates include CD labels, address or mailing, file folder labels, and even non-sticky business cards. Free to use, no sign-up required, and it works best with Adobe Acrobat (the free reader).
The above image I created by taking the photo of Obama, importing it into the free drawing program, Inkscape, and then using the tracing function to convert the unscalable pixels to scalable vector graphics (meaning they may be scaled to any size). Anyone can find content in the public domain, and convert graphics to vector graphics and upload them to the Open Clip Art Library. It is a quick and fast way to contribute to the project.
For this week’s clip art of the week, I am highlighting the global contribution of clip art by Worldlabel.com, a maker of labels. Russell from Worldlabel gave this clip art he had commissioned to the project, and every bit of it got converted to vector graphics in the manner I described above. Here are a few selections:
If you want to donate clip art you created, please do so at Open Clip Art Library. And, thanks again to Russell at Worldlabel.com for both pushing us to feature clip art and for the donation of clip art.
If you use Photoshop, then you have a tool on hand that you can use to design labels. And, you don’t need to re-invent the wheel, because you have access to two great Photoshop tutorials at hand. The first tutorial, written by Pariah S. Burke, shows how to build and re-use a label template for items such as the business cards shown above.
Using Photoshop and Worldlabel Label Templates, Burke – a noted author, graphic designer and Photoshop guru – shows users how to create a template in Photoshop step-by-step. The result is a PDF that you can reuse over and over. And, if you’re not as comfortable with Photoshop as you are with Illustrator or even InDesign, Burke shows how the same PDF label templates from WorldLabel.com work equally well in those applications with a remarkably similar procedure. Read the complete tutorial at Photoshopsupport.com
When I think of starting a small brewery, my back starts to ache. I imagine my shirt pockets stuffed with receipts and invoices and I get a sharp panicky feeling about when I would ever have to time to do all the things I need to accomplish. Before getting to that point, there are preparations that anyone thinking of starting a craft brewery should consider to make sure they are truly ready to take on the business of a craft brewer:
Check out our free, fillable and printable PDF document template 2009 calendar with notepad! It has the features you need to keep your life on track on calender pages that are a fully printable 8.5″ x 11″. Please also check out our PDFplannerPRO, a fillable printable planner, organizer, diary and more!