Saturday, December 16

Great Free Software

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It happens all the time … you get the new (well, new to you)  computer, and it is missing some of the necessary software.  A good used system from the local thrift store, or a system that has had the files wiped, the basics are there (sometimes) but the goodies aren’t.

Don’t fret there are free alternatives!  When I say free, I mean that this isn’t crippled software that works for a week and then insists on being paid for.  Free software in my world, might require registration, but it costs no money an is permanently useful. 

First things first … lets assume that the system is operating properly and can establish an Internet connection.  For the purpose of this writing. the MS Windows machine is a vanilla XP and the Linux box is running a later version of Ubuntu.  The MS Windows software is generaly available from CNET.  The Linux software can be obtained through the Ubuntu Software Center.

FREE SOFTWARE LIST:

For Word Processing:  With MS Windows XP use Open Office (Word Processor).

For Spread Sheets: With MS Windows XP use Open Office (Spread Sheet).

For Slide Presentation:  With MS Window XP use Open Office Presentation.

For Image editing:  With MS Windows XP use Gimp.

For Sound/Music editing:  With MS Windows XP use Audacity

For Web Browsing:  With MS Windows XP use Firefox (or Google Chrome).

For Movie Editing:  With MS Windows XP use Movie Makers with Wax.

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For Word Processing:  With Linux (Ubuntu) use Open Office (Word Processor).

For Spread Sheets: With  Linux (Ubuntu) use Open Office (Spread Sheet).

For Slide Presentation:   Linux (Ubuntu) use Open Office Presentation.

For Image editing:  With  Linux (Ubuntu) use Gimp.

For Sound/Music Editing:  With Linux (Ubuntu) use Audacity

For Web Browsing:  With  Linux (Ubuntu) use Firefox (or Google Chrome).

For Movie Editing:  With Linux (Ubuntu) use Openshot.

The Open Office Software Suite is the equivalent of the MS Office Suite and is completely free.  You’ll notice that most of the time the software listed is the “same” for both MS Windows and Linux  … well it isn’t.  Linux and MS Windows are fundamentally different.  The programs might have the same name (they are created by the same developers) and have the same menus and controls, but the way the software is installed and the way it works (on a system level) is very different.  Linux software will generally not run on a MS Windows System.  Some MS Windows software can be made to run on a Linux machine.

Of course this article has two objectives, one is to show the specific software packages that are available for use.  Second, is to create an awareness that almost any software exists in a free form.  Sadly this is not an absolute rule some sofware is only available for MS Windows and must be purchased, for instance QuickBooks has now free equivalent.  Although with a lot of programming, one can create a functional bookkeeping system using the Open Office Suite.  If you are looking for free software the Internet is your primary resource. Simply use google to look up the type of software needed and then a little reading of reviews and publisher’s description.  Most of the time it pays off.

Until next time — Happy Computing!

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