Zen Penny

Seeking the Path to Financial Nirvana

The Greatest Free Open Source Apps. Did I Mention They’re Free?!

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What is Open Source Software?

Open Source Software is software whose source code is available to the public. The advantage over proprietary software is that anyone can copy, modify and redistribute the software without paying any licensing fees.

Why Open Source Software?

Open Source software leverages the power of community contributions and peer review to create fantastic applications that are equivalent, and often superior, to their proprietary alternatives. Best of all, they’re free!

Here are my five favorite open source apps.

5. KeePass: So many passwords, so little time. Keep them out of your head, and off your Post-It notes with KeePass. KeePass stores and encrypts all your passwords. It also has some neat features, like a timer you can set to remind you to change passwords at regular intervals, a random password generator, and in some cases, it can even launch the application/website and enter in your password automatically. There are multiple encryption options and you can even protect your KeePass database with multiple layers of security

4. Gimp: Forget about that leather clad freak in Pulp Fiction; Gimp is a great photo/image editing program. It retains much of the functionality of it’s pricey alternative, Photoshop. While it can be a little unwieldy for beginning users, there are many fantastic resources and tutorials on the web that will help users get the most out of this powerful program. You can even download Gimp Portable, a version optimized to run off a USB thumbdrive.

3. OpenOffice.org: OpenOffice has everything you would expect from a commercial office suite and then some. You can be confident when making the switch to OpenOffice because it is fully compatible with every Microsoft Office format. Plus it has a few features you won’t find in other suites, like the ability to export a document as a PDF or a presentation as a flash movie file.

2. VLC Media Player: Confused about codecs? Frustrated because that funny video your friend sent you won’t play on your computer? Well, those days are over because of VLC. This little program plays just about every audio and video format under the sun, even DVDs. It’s incredibly easy to use and it won’t bog down your system like other media players.

1. Mozilla Firefox: Firefox is the 800 pound gorilla of open source software. In the span of a few short years this web browser has gone from being an obscure project from those “Netscape guys” to a household name. Usability, stability, and security have been high priorities during the development of Firefox and it shows. It’s one of the most innovative software applications out there and it’s functionality grows on a daily basis with some fantastic user created addons.


Written by Zenpenny

April 5, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Posted in 2007, free, open source, software

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