Brendan Nee

Open Source and Free Software I use

December 16th, 2008

[This was updated 12/16/2008 with the most recent software I am using]

  • 7-zip – This program will handle nearly any type of compressed file. Its pretty solid and supports drag and drop. – Replaces WinZip & WinRar
  • Daemon Tools – Daemon tools is a CD emulator, needed if you want to mount CD or DVD images. This download is freeware, but it comes bundled with a spywareish toolbar which can be deselected from the install. – Replaces Alcohol 120%
  • Filezilla – This is a great FTP program. It keeps getting better with every new release. – Replaces lots of less fun FTP applications
  • PuTTY – a telnet/ssh client
  • Songbird – With an interface like itunes, but a whole host of useful add-ons, songbird is my new choice for when I want to listen to music. It supports syncing with ipods as well (but not iphones yet)Replaces Windows Media Player, itunes
  • VLC – VLC will play the media files that windows media player won’t touch. Its also very lightweight, although the interface is not as smooth. – Replaces Windows Media Player
  • Keepass Password Safe – Got lots of passwords? Keepass will help you store them securely and also can generate pretty tricky passwords & help you sort them. – Replaces random text files or spreadsheets.
  • Firefox – This is the web browser of choice. Add extensions to enable firefox to do all sorts of things. Recently, I started using chrome, another open source browser started by google – Replaces Internet Explorer
  • PDFCreator – Make a pdf from printing any document – Replaces Adobe Acrobat
  • TightVNC – Remotely control a computer
  • uTorrent – a very lightweight and solid BitTorrent client
  • InfraRecorder – Open source CD & DVD burning – Replaces Nero & Roxio
  • Notepad++ – Text editor with everything you need – Replaces notepad
  • Open Office – This is a full featured replacement for MS Office. There is little difference between the two except the price tag. – Replaces MS Office
  • Multiple IEs – As a web developer, I need to test my sites in multiple and outdated browsers. Multiple IEs lets me have internet explorer 6 & 7 installed simultaneously. (Note, I use IE for testing purposes only)
  • NetMeter – I used to use dumeter
  • Twhirl – Twhirl is a great twitter client built on adobe air. It has support for friendfeed and other services as well.
  • mint.com – I now use mint.com, a free online web application to track my personal finances – Replaces Quicken or MS Money
  • Dropbox – Dropbox is a free web app with a cross platform desktop client for quickly sharing files between computers and other users. Instead of emailing files, using FTP or trying to network, dropbox has a streamlined interface that makes sharing or storing files online simple.
  • uTorrent – uTorrent is my torrent program of choice

Commercial Software I still use:

  • Adobe CS3 Suite – This is pretty key for a web developer. I use photoshop, illustrator & occasionally indesign.
  • Quickbooks – This is the industry standard for small business accounting. I track our expenses and account balances with Quickbooks. I use the online web application Freshbooks for accounts receivable (That was a referral link). I would love to be able to replace Quickbooks with an online application, and it seems like Freshbooks might move this direction.

Thats pretty much everything on my computer at the moment. I only use google chat through my web browser, and I guess I don’t have any games.

  • Slushpupie

    There will always be some formatting differences between OpenOffice (OO) and MS Office, since they use different storage formats. Ive been using OO for a long time now, and most of the time the formatting issues are not a big deal. But it depends on if you are the producer or consumer of the document, and how picky you are. I think both products do a lousy job at advanced formatting features.

    For a Photoshop replacement, have to looked at the Gimp at all? It certainly isn’t a 1:1 replacement, but for website development and basic to moderate photo editing it works great (some advanced features are there, but not quite to the degree Photoshop has)

  • I haven’t tried the gimp, but I will have to check it out. Now that google documents launched a web based powerpoint competitor, its looking more and more likely I could live without MS office.

    I generally am not picky about my documents and am very comfortable with OO, but my clients send me all sorts of strangely formatted files, and issues might arise if I sent them a file with less than perfect formatting. However, I find that I rarely actually send out Office documents, I’m either sending out pdfs or trying to get my clients to collaborate with me via google documents.

    It seems like more and more people are ditching word. My advisior from the University of Minnesota banned the use of word for all academic purposes. I’m not in a position to do that with my clients (yet).

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