Life’s not fair! Unlike many other things we buy, the software applications we purchase don’t belong to us. We become a “licensed” user without any rights to pass the proprietary software to others unless we become an outlaw or a user of pirated software. Disappointingly, finding a computer without any pirated software is pretty close to impossible here in Nepal.And if you’re one of those users, why not consider switching to open-source alternatives? Here are some open-source solutions to software that one needs almost every day.
OpenOffice.org is alternative to Microsoft Office is equipped to do almost anything that its closed-source counterpart does. With interface similar to that of MS Office, this suite has almost everything that MS Office has, and more. It’s ability to support and export files to diverse formats including PDF and even MS Office-compatible formats makes it easier for anyone to switch to this. And with extensions such as tools allowing bidirectional functionality with Google Docs and blog publishing, the transition might be easier (and more worthwhile) than you think.
It’s lighter, it’s easier and it’s free. Need any more reasons? Gimp is a wonderful alternative to the memory-sucking Adobe Photoshop. It has long passed the general-purpose editor phase and with every new update appears as an eminent contender for the top choice of professionals. For a Photoshop user, the transition to GIMP may be a little discomforting, but GIMPShop with a layout similar to Photoshop will surely make the user feel right at home. Photoshop plug-ins support increases the number of filters available to Gimp and allows Photoshop users to not sacrifice their library by importing Photoshop filters.
VLC Media Player
Do we need to say anything about this? VLC is a general-purpose multimedia player which is just too amazing to be considered a substitute for any single media player. This entirely self-contained application saves you the trouble of buying separate codec to support different video formats providing robust support for wide range of video and audio formats in ways hard to imagine for entirely-free software. This is a must-have for anyone who watches videos on the computer.
Pidgin Instant Messenger
Unlike many Instant Messenger (IM) clients tied to only one network, Pidgin supports multiple IM networks including Windows Live Messenger, AIM, Bonjour, Google Talk, Yahoo!, IRC, XMPP etc—in short, more protocols than you are ever likely to need. Pidgin comes with almost all essential features a standard IM client has.
Audacity is a multi-platform audio editor that can record and play sounds in formats ranging from MP3 to OGG. Editing soundtracks using cut, copy, and paste features, mixing tracks and applying other effects are a breeze with its user-friendly interface. With effects such as bass boost, wah-wah, and noise removal this program easily makes its mark on any user.
Source: The Kathmandu Post