Enjoyed your latest column, noticed that you mentioned that you couldn't find any worthwhile open-source alternatives to Word. I've been using the OpenOffice suite for over 5 years now and it's probably the best open-source application I've ever used to substitute for "paid-ware." As far as I know, it does most everything Word is generally used for (didn't find a word processing task it wasn't up to in my previous job as a research assistant/academic journal editor) and it uses a similar interface. It's compatible with all the popular file formats (can even publish files directly to .pdf) and has some fairly advanced desktop publishing features as well. The online help/tech support system is huge, easy-to-negotiate, and updated regularly by an active community. You should check it out.