Monday, 22 September 2008

CCK08 Free and reliable open source software for YOU and all of us

Connecting to others, is enabled by open source software. So this is not a blogpost on theory, but on practicalities of connectivism reality. The open source community celebrated Software Freedom Day on 20 September.

"Transparency is key in enabling people to participate in the creation of wealth and well-being in society. In the past decade, free and open source software (FOSS) has become one of the major catalysts in increasing transparency by lowering the barrier to access the best software technologies. Software Freedom Day (SFD) celebrates this important role of FOSS in making this change happen globally."

If you are interested, this is the list of open software that has proven to be strong and useful (with a short description as offered by the developers themselves):

Categories:
  • Graphical software
  • Multimedia
  • Supporting software
  • Internet
  • Office
  • Relaxation










Graphical software

Blender: Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License. They even have conferences and trainings for all interested.

Gimp: GIMP is a versatile graphics manipulation package (to manipulate your picture quality etcetera)

Inkscape: An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

KompoZer: KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing.
KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding.

Paint.Net: Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.

Scribus: Open Source Desktop publishing. Scribus is an open-source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/Unix, MacOS X, OS/2 and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout. Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.














Multimedia

Audacity: Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Learn more about Audacity... Also check our Wiki and Forum for more information.

Avidemux: Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

BonkEnc: BonkEnc is a CD ripper, audio encoder and converter for various formats. It can produce MP3, MP4/M4A, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Bonk and FLAC files. BonkEnc makes it easy to convert your audio CDs to MP3 or Ogg Vorbis files which you can use in your hardware player or with your favorite audio software. The program supports the CDDB/freedb online CD database and CDText and automatically writes song information to ID3V2 or Vorbis comment tags.

MediaCoder: MediaCoder is a free universal batch media transcoder, which nicely integrates most popular audio/video codecs and tools into an all-in-one solution. With a flexible and extendable architecture, new codecs and tools are added in constantly as well as supports for new devices. MediaCoder intends to be the swiss army knife for media transcoding in all time and at this moment, it already has millions of users from 170+ countries all over the planet.

MediaPortal: MediaPortal is an Open Source application ideal for turning your PC / TV into a very advanced Media Center. MediaPortal allows you to listen to your favorite music & radio, watch and store your videos and DVDs, view, schedule and record live TV as a digital video recorder and much much more. You get MediaPortal as Open Source software. This means you can help in developing MediaPortal or tweak it for your own needs with lots of innovating plugins from our great community.

Miro: Miro is a free application for channels of internet video (also known as 'video podcasts and video rss). Miro is designed to be easy to use and to give you an elegant fullscreen viewing experience.

MusikCube: musikCube is an mp3 player for themodern generation. It helps you just listen to what you want to hear, while offering innovative features not seen elsewhere. For the technical user, musikCube is based on an embedded SQL database engine known as sqlite. For the non technical user, that means its fast.

VLC: VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.













Supporting software

7zip: 7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio.

Abakt: Free backup software, providing advanced filtering and command line options.

ClamWin: ClamWin is a Free Antivirus program for Microsoft Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003 and Vista. ClamWin Free Antivirus comes with an easy installer and open source code. You may download and use it absolutely free of charge.

GTK+: GTK+ is a highly usable, feature rich toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces which boasts cross platform compatibility and an easy to use API.

InfraRecorder: InfraRecorder is a free CD/DVD burning solution for Microsoft Windows. It offers a wide range of powerful features; all through an easy to use application interface and Windows Explorer integration.

Launchy: Launchy is a free windows and linux utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager. Launchy indexes the programs in your start menu and can launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes.

Peazip: PeaZip is a free, open source file and archive manager. PeaZip is cross platform, available as portable and installable software for 32 and 64 bit Windows (9x, 2000, XP, Vista) and Linux (PeaZip is a desktop neutral application).

PuTTY Tray: PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32 and Unix platforms, along with an xterm terminal emulator.

TightVNC: TightVNC is a free remote control software package derived from the popular VNC software. With TightVNC, you can see the desktop of a remote machine and control it with your local mouse and keyboard, just like you would do it sitting in the front of that computer.

TrueCrypt: Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.











Internet

aMSN: aMSN is a free open source MSN Messenger clone, with features such as:
  • Offline Messaging
  • Voice Clips
  • Display pictures
  • Custom emoticons
  • Multi-language support (around 40 languages currently supported)
  • Webcam support
  • Sign in to more than one account at once
  • Full-speed File transfers
  • Group support
  • Normal, and animated emoticons with sounds
  • Chat logs
  • Timestamping
  • Event alarms
  • Conferencing support
  • Tabbed chat windows
Azureus/Vuze: Peer-to-peer sharing content. Publish and monetize your high-quality content on Vuze. Reach our global community of viewers.

FileZilla: the free FTP solution. Both a client and a server are available. FileZilla is open source software distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License

Juice: Want to listen to internet audio programs but can't when they are scheduled? This program lets you create your own custom online audio anytime, anywhere. Really.

Mozilla Firefox: great web browser.

Mozilla Thunderbird: fluent e-mail client.

Pidgin: Pidgin is an instant messaging program for Windows, Linux, BSD, and other Unixes. You can talk to your friends using AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr.

RSSOwl: a newreader for everyone. Applications that collect data from RSS-compliant sites are called RSS readers or "aggregators." RSSOwl is such an application. RSSOwl lets you gather, organize, update, and store information from any compliant source in a convenient, easy to use interface, save selected information in various formats for offline viewing and sharing, and much more. It's easy to configure, available in many many languages and the best of all: It's platform-independent.

WengoPhone: OpenWengo is a community of enthusiasts and developers, creating free software products related to communication over IP. The flagship product of the OpenWengo project is a softphone which allows you to make free PC to PC video and voice calls, and to integrate all your IM contacts in one place.
















Office


GnuCash:GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. As quick and intuitive to use as a checkbook register, it is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

MoinMoin: MoinMoin is an advanced, easy to use and extensible WikiEngine with a large community of users. Said in a few words, it is about collaboration on easily editable web pages. MoinMoin is Free Software licensed under the GPL.

Mozilla Sunbird: Mozilla Sunbird® is a cross-platform calendar application, built upon Mozilla Toolkit. Our goal is to provide you with full-featured and easy to use calendar application that you can use around the world.

Notepad2: a fast and light-weight Notepad-like text editor with syntax highlighting. This program can be run out of the box without installation, and does not touch your system's registry.

OpenOffice.org: is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

PDFcreator: PDFCreator easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows application.

PortableApps.com: Convenient:Now you can carry your favorite computer programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you. Use them on any Windows computer. All without leaving any personal data behind.
Open:PortableApps.com provides a truly open platform that works with any hardware you like (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, etc). It's open source built around an open format that any hardware vendor or software developer can use.
Free:The PortableApps.com Suite and Platform is free. It contains no spyware. There are no advertisements. It isn't a limited or trial version. There is no additional hardware or software to buy. You don't even have to give out your email address. It's 100% free to use, free to copy and free to share.












Relaxation

Celestia: The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. (Really COOL!)

NasaWorldWind: World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there.

Stellarium: Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.

Workrave: keeping you healthy by decreasing Repititive Strain Injury.


I do not use all of them (yet), but I already use some and the one's I use I feel very comfortable with. Feel free to add free open source software that you work with!