Archives For os

I StumbledUpon this page that lists 21 Lesser-Known Open-Source Applications for Windows. As a person that prefers to use open-source software and tries to avoid using Windows, I was intrigued by the listing. As the article points out, many people are already using open-source and cross platform software like the Firefox Web browser, Thunderbird email client, GIMP image manipulation software, OpenOffice Microsoft Office alternative, and the VLC video player. (Although, as an aside, while I do use Firefox as my primary browser, and often use VLC, I’ve never really thought that GIMP or OpenOffice were really comparable to the commercial alternatives.) The author does a good job of highlighting a mix of things, from utilities to multimedia to games. I expect I’ll try out ZScreen for my next book, as I always need to take screenshots on Windows (while testing code). If I used Windows regularly, I expect I’d love Launchy, as I love QuickSilver on my Mac. Being able to start applications without moving over to the mouse is such a timesaver. I also do use Filezilla on Windows, and recommend it in my books, as a good, free FTP application.

I don’t talk much about Windows, despite so many of you out there using it, so I thought I would pass this along.

A while back I stumbled upon (using the sweet Firefox plug-in, StumbleUpon), this discussion of the 20 things you should do, or the applications you should install, after performing a fresh install of Ubuntu Linux. Now, I’m primarily a Mac person, but if I need to use Linux for basic or desktop needs, Ubuntu is by far the distribution of choice (for a Linux server, I’m currently using CentOS). I like Ubuntu because:

  • You can test it by running it from a CD on your computer, without doing an actual install.
  • If you do want to install it, that’s quite easy.
  • It just plain works.

I’m not trying to start a debate as to which version of Linux is best, or as to whether you should use Linux at all, I’m just saying that I think Ubuntu Linux is sweet. (Although I’ll add as an aside, that I occasionally see messages from people new to Linux claiming that it’s the greatest thing ever and they wonder why everyone doesn’t use Linux; I do wonder if such people are still using Linux so religiously six months later.)

Anyway, some of the things mentioned in the article are eye candy (which doesn’t make them irrelevant) and others are quite useful, like installing the core Microsoft fonts (Times New Roman et al.). Another product, Wine, will let you run some Windows applications in Ubuntu, if you have that need. Then there’s a few links to multimedia utilities, from browser plug-ins to video and audio players.

A nice article, a good site, worth a read if you’re using Ubuntu or even thinking about it.