I find that knowing how to use computers and software has greatly improved my situation in life. It's kind of like an amplifier in that it allows me to manage vast quantities of information in a minumum amount of space in a highly organized structure. This web site being but just one such example out of many. I am not out to break new ground with open source technology.
Instead I use products with proven performance, that are amongst the most popular in their class, with wide ranging availability, and technical support. To that end I focus on using software that is probably going to be where ever I am headed life. The 4 pillars of my tool set are Microsoft Windows to run my hardware, Microsoft Office to write my reports, manage my finances, keep track of my contacts and document my daily activities. I use Adobe Photoshop to edit and prepare my photos for publication. I use Macromedia Dreamweaver (now Adobe Dreamweaver) to design and build web sites.