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View Full Version : An all open source or at least free-ware PC?


RainDawg
2004-12-21, 11:11 AM
Just as a goal of mine, I wanted to build a Windows based system that uses all open source programs, or at least is built on all programs that can be used free of charge without any adware/spyware/malware.

I know that some people are going to suggest just using Linux, but I don't have the time to learn how to do everything with that, am not sure if all my hardware is compatible, and don't have anyone to help show me the ropes.

So, throw out some ideas for replacing these cracked or over-priced programs with legal, free, and hopefully open source ones.

For the record, I do own a legal copy of Win-XP....
I've gotten rid of MS Office and am using Open Office.
I've also done away with Visual Studio. I still have a cracked copy of Photoshop, but there has to be an open source image editor out there that compares (I don't do anything REALLY tricky). Throw some ideas at me!

Karst
2004-12-21, 11:17 AM
Image editor: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1651342,00.asp

TheMamba
2004-12-21, 11:50 AM
I believe there is a free alternative to Photoshop. I'll have to check my bookmarks when I get home.

Greengoat
2004-12-21, 12:00 PM
Firefox, mozilla or K-melon ( http://www.majorgeeks.com/download555.html) for your browser. Thunderbird for email. Avast! for virus protection - http://www.avast.com/index.html also available from majorgeeks.com.

And I know you said no to linux, but you could download and try this free one out on your current system. It boots either straight from the cd or you can install it. Available for download through BT. Check it out - http://www.knoppix.org/

Greengoat
2004-12-21, 12:02 PM
sysgate personal firewall, irfanview for image viewing. And GIMP for image editing oops, double post. I actually saw it on another site.

jazzbo
2004-12-21, 12:04 PM
Yes, as posted above, the GIMP is an excellent open source alternative to photoshop and runs on Windows.

You also should look into the cygwin project: www.cygwin.com, a lot of great unix/X software ported to Windows, and is an excellent baby step into getting into a unix/linux environment.

[The name should be familiar, all of you using shntool on Windows needs cygwin's dll file.]

Greengoat
2004-12-21, 12:08 PM
http://www.freebyte.com/operatingsystems/

RainDawg
2004-12-21, 01:16 PM
Avast, how well does that work? Anti-Virus is something that I do not want to take any chances with. I still have a (legal) copy of Norton AV....when I was a student it was included with your tuition. It's version 7 though, and it'll only be a matter of time before I won't be able to update it anymore. I'll either have to download a cracked version of get a freeware one....

Andy L
2004-12-21, 01:28 PM
There's an open source operating system called ReactOS (http://www.reactos.com/) that attempts to be Windows compatible. I've not tried it myself, but it could be something for the future.

For an open source audio editor, try Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/). Media Player Classic (http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli/) is great for playing videos and non-bloated too. Real Alternative and QuickTime Alternative are based around MPC and work fine with all my Real and QuickTime files and sites.

Gizby
2004-12-21, 01:44 PM
Anti-Virus: AVG Free Edition (http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/)

Spyware Detection/Removal: a combination of Ad-Aware (http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/) and Spybot - Search & Destroy (http://www.safer-networking.org/)

Image Programs: Gimp (http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/) has already been mentioned. Sodipodi (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sodipodi/) also seems to be a similar program with a little easier time drawing. I had a little trouble getting the program to run (I had to rename a dll in the folder and still have to run the executable from the folder), but it is worth looking in to.

Browser: If you are not already using Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/), then may the Great Magnet have mercy on your soul.

Video players: VideoLAN (http://www.videolan.org/) and Media Player Classic (http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=82303&package_id=84358) make the heart grow fonder.


And, just for the heck of it, I'll plug Knoppix (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html) and Gnoppix (http://www.gnoppix.org/) in case you ever want to experiment with Linux but don't want to install it. I keep a copy of Knoppix around just in case my system goes haywire and I need to boot from a stable OS so I can at least salvage the remaining files on my hard drive.

And for further hecking of it, AutoHotkey (http://www.autohotkey.com/) is a fantastic program everyone should get to learn how to use if you like scripting and automation. It takes a little work to get going, but once you do, the possibilities are endless.

RainDawg
2004-12-21, 01:47 PM
Firefox and VideoLAN are fixtures on my PC....anyone NOT using Firefox should be ashamed of themselves. VideoLAN still has a few files that I get from various places that it doesn't play, so occasionally I drift over to my copy of PowerDVD to handle those. I've not tried MPC yet....does it play all manner of avi, divx, mpeg-2, rm, etc files?

Andy L
2004-12-21, 01:59 PM
I've not tried MPC yet....does it play all manner of avi, divx, mpeg-2, rm, etc files?

Yep, and a lot more, e.g. DVDs, Windows Media. It works with streams from websites too (e.g. Amazon).

TheMamba
2004-12-21, 02:01 PM
GIMP...that was it. Couldn't remember the name....

Gizby
2004-12-21, 02:02 PM
With RealAlternative, it will play Real files. Same deal with Quicktime (QuickTime Alternative). Both of those programs come with MPC in tow. It is a nicer GUI than VLC and is really quite nice for those of us who remember when Window's Media Player wasn't bloated to the nth degree. I use it whenever I want to get a screen capture from a DVD. It hasn't been updated since March, but it handles most of the major formats I can throw at it. It doesn't have the compatibility of VLC, but what does?

RainDawg
2004-12-21, 02:08 PM
What do you mean by compatibility? If it can replace VLC on my system by playing Divx files (yeah, yeah, so I download TV shows sometimes ;)) as well as DVDs and WMA/Real audio streams, I'm all over it.

Gizby
2004-12-21, 02:09 PM
Also, if you are going to going to be using GIMP, you will be using GTK. And since you would have that installed, why not take advantage of it?

Instant Messaging: I use and like Gaim (http://gaim.sourceforge.net/) quite a bit.

But if you want something smaller that you can customize more, Miranda IM (http://www.miranda-im.org/) is supposed to be good. As I understand, it does not even have to be installed to run. You could put it on a stick drive and run it off a USB port if need be.

Gizby
2004-12-21, 02:16 PM
By compatibility, I mean that I don't know if it can play ogm or m2v or even the more obscure formats. Honestly, though, how often do you deviate from the major video formats? Obviously VLC is updated more often, but MPC can certainly play DVDs and TV show divx files, though I would never do that *cough*Daily Show, South Park*cough*! And it is the only thing I use for Real streams. I don't know about WMA streams.

Go for it!

jazzbo
2004-12-21, 04:45 PM
Anti-Virus:
Image Programs: Gimp (http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/) has already been mentioned. Sodipodi (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sodipodi/) also seems to be a similar program with a little easier time drawing. I had a little trouble getting the program to run (I had to rename a dll in the folder and still have to run the executable from the folder), but it is worth looking in to.


Note that these two programs do completely different things. GIMP is for manipulating (raster) images. Sodipodi is a drawing tool for producing scalable vector graphics. They can do little bits of the other, but you probably wouldn't want to use the GIMP primarilly for drawing scalable graphics, and you can't use Sodipodi to edit photos.

GIMP = photoshop
sodipodi = illustrator

farmstar
2004-12-21, 04:47 PM
ImageForge is what i use for image editing.


Farmstar

Gizby
2004-12-21, 05:41 PM
Note that these two programs do completely different things. GIMP is for manipulating (raster) images. Sodipodi is a drawing tool for producing scalable vector graphics. They can do little bits of the other, but you probably wouldn't want to use the GIMP primarilly for drawing scalable graphics, and you can't use Sodipodi to edit photos.

GIMP = photoshop
sodipodi = illustrator

Thank you for clarifying.

squalldog
2004-12-21, 06:15 PM
Avast, how well does that work? Anti-Virus is something that I do not want to take any chances with. I still have a (legal) copy of Norton AV....when I was a student it was included with your tuition. It's version 7 though, and it'll only be a matter of time before I won't be able to update it anymore. I'll either have to download a cracked version of get a freeware one....

Quite frankly I think Avast (the free edition) is alright, but from personal experience it missed quite a bit of stuff (trojans mostly) on a computer I built for my brother and sister. I had it myself for about 30days over the summer and I thought it was pretty poor. It used to many resources (on my machine at least) and was quite annoying. In the past I have used Norton and McAfee, finding both to be Ok. Norton obviously has major drawbacks like it takes over your computer and is a bitch to uninstall. McAfee I thought did a god job at staying in the background but was only decent at catching all viruses. For the last 5 months or so I have been using NOD32 which I have to say is the best one out on the market right now. It is an array of options for the more advanced user and I have experience NO problems at all with viruses, trojans, etc. It is fast and takes up little memory. It is not free though, so you either would have to get a cracked version or pay the 40 bucks for it...I think it's well worth it.

katnapz
2005-01-15, 09:49 AM
Hey RD - found this while looking around at collection cataloging software. It's actually a pretty good site with a decent selection of freeware programs.

www.nonags.com....from the front page go into the free programs section, then select the site closest to your geographical location and then on the left side choose "Software Menu" to see the catagories. I used to go here years back until I settled into my "favorites" and just stopped checking it out much. Still a nice site from what I've seen looking around again.

Five
2005-01-15, 10:58 AM
I use AVG for antivirus (grisoft.com). It's served me well for a couple years. My gf switched over to it from Norton a ways back and it caught a bunch of stuff Norton missed!

mrblue
2005-01-19, 03:32 PM
Sorry to digress, but Ive been wondering this since I downloaded mozilla

I am using mozilla version 1.7.3 as my web browser

This is different than firefox right? if so, what are the differences?

Secondly,
- any freeware versions of a page layout program like adobe page maker or indesign?

Thanks

RainDawg
2005-01-19, 03:53 PM
Firefox is just the browser portion of the Mozilla suite. In fact, I believe it's undergone more development in recent months, and therefore is the definitive Mozilla browsing product. I would recommend making the move to Firefox. Mozilla.org will have quite a few more details about what the specific differences are.

On the second question, I've not come across anything with the list of features that Indesign has. I am sure much of this could be accomplished with Open Office and a few other programs, but I doubt there's anything quite this slick. For professional applications, I don't have a problem with paying for good software, and Abobe really does make good software.

SIBLY
2005-01-19, 04:42 PM
Free cd audio burning program: http://www.burrrn.net/ It has flac, ape and shn codecs, among others. Never had a problem, burn gapless.

Browser: If you are not already using Firefox, then may the Great Magnet have mercy on your soul.

I use Netscape 7.2 at home. Is that bad? :rolleyes: I do use Firefox on my old laptop, but I have found it is slightly more resource intensive than ie. It is an old computer though…

I have found sygate firewall good, but I think I still prefer ZoneAlarm. I find it easier to explain to regular people.

thinwhiteduke
2005-01-19, 04:48 PM
Avast, how well does that work? Anti-Virus is something that I do not want to take any chances with. I still have a (legal) copy of Norton AV....when I was a student it was included with your tuition. It's version 7 though, and it'll only be a matter of time before I won't be able to update it anymore. I'll either have to download a cracked version of get a freeware one....


I do find it amusing that you of all people openly admit to using an illegal version of Photoshop and would happily download further illegal cracks. Do you not think the software is worth your money? How much does a decent antivirus prog cost anyway? 60 bucks?

:nono:

direwolf
2005-01-20, 01:50 PM
There are links to all sorts of free progs on my site;

http://www.direwolf.org.uk

hth

Rider
2005-01-20, 02:00 PM
Avast, how well does that work? Anti-Virus is something that I do not want to take any chances with. I still have a (legal) copy of Norton AV....when I was a student it was included with your tuition. It's version 7 though, and it'll only be a matter of time before I won't be able to update it anymore. I'll either have to download a cracked version of get a freeware one....

Anti virus and firewalls are 2 of the things you should almost always use free alternatives for. Norton and Macafee are almost always rated lower then AVG. Plus I dont like the idea that I have to pay to get virus updates after one year, that's just dumb.

4candles
2005-01-21, 09:24 AM
As a Linux user (on both a PC and an iBook), here are the tools I use (all Open Source). Most of these have been mentioned before, in this thread but they are worth repeating:

Web browser - Firefox
Email client - Thunderbird
WAV editing - Audacity
IMAGE editing - The Gimp
DVD authoring - dvdauthor (dvdauthor.sourceforge.net)
DVD burning - cdrecord-prodvd or growisofs
CD burning - (I don't any more, but cdrdao or cdrecord do the job)
CD ripping - cdparanoia
Spreadsheet - gnumeric
Database - PostgreSQL
Audio Player - XMMS (has SHN/FLAC plugins)
Movie player - mplayer
Simple video editor (cutting and splicing without re-encoding) - ProjectX
Web Server - Apache
C Compiler - gcc

Almost all of the above are available for Windows - cross-platform availability is one very strong advantage of Open Source.

So if you use those tools and are comfortable with them, then a future switch to Linux would be a breeze - you'ld be using exactly the same applications.

RainDawg
2005-01-21, 01:58 PM
On this topic, I've having some difficulties here at work and am fishing for some recommendations. Our IT department is reluctant to buy a Visio package due to Microsoft's licensing rules (not offering a network license serve option so that they only need 10 licenses for the 30+ people who may need to use it).

So, are there any free or open source programs that offer similar features, specifically the ability to create flowcharts.

4candles
2005-01-21, 05:48 PM
On this topic, I've having some difficulties here at work and am fishing for some recommendations. Our IT department is reluctant to buy a Visio package due to Microsoft's licensing rules (not offering a network license serve option so that they only need 10 licenses for the 30+ people who may need to use it).

So, are there any free or open source programs that offer similar features, specifically the ability to create flowcharts.

I've never tried it, but doesn't OpenOffice have a drawing package included?

jazzbo
2005-01-21, 07:20 PM
On this topic, I've having some difficulties here at work and am fishing for some recommendations. Our IT department is reluctant to buy a Visio package due to Microsoft's licensing rules (not offering a network license serve option so that they only need 10 licenses for the 30+ people who may need to use it).

So, are there any free or open source programs that offer similar features, specifically the ability to create flowcharts.

dia (http://www.gnome.org/projects/dia/)

Windows version here (http://dia-installer.sourceforge.net/)