Best Open Source Software

Ok, so I just got a new laptop, and I’ve decided to go all open-source. First, it saves a ton of money, and second, the computer runs extremely faster. Anyway, humans like lists, so here we go.

1. Firefox – The best web browser available. Helps you search safely, more efficiently, and virtually virus-free.

2. Thunderbird – Another great little Mozilla product. This takes the place of Outlook, allows for theme customization, and allows for multiple accounts. For instance, I have my school, work, and personal email accounts all managed in the same email client.

3. KompoZer – My current favorite open-source piece. Not surprisingly, it’s another Mozilla product. This is a web design interface, like DreamWeaver. It is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) application, so creating web pages is simple, though experts and beginners can greatly benefit from the many features.

4. Audacity – A nifty little recording software. This can be used with an external computer microphone, the computer’s cd player, etc. My favorite thing to do with Audacity, however, is to hook it up to a tape deck via a headphone-jack cord. Then, I can play a tape and record directly to my computer, thus converting it to digital, where I can put it on my iPod or rip a CD.

5. GIMP – Great graphics editor, kind of like a Photoshop, but not as complicated. GIMP has many cool features, fonts, and brushes. In fact, I use it to create all my web graphics.

6. Pidgin – Though I don’t IM a whole lot, Pidgin makes it easy when I do. It’s a simple application that manages all your IM clients (AOL, Yahoo, etc.). Also, it is simple to navigate, unlike the complicated menu’s of AOL’s Instant Messenger.

7. DVDVideoSoft – Ok, so this is actually a series of software. Really, everything they put out is amazing, though I frequently use the YouTube to iPod converter. Simply copy the YouTube URL into the box, choose a destination, and click “Convert”!

8. OpenOffice – Open Office is the open source “Word”, and it kills it based on one feature: Export As PDF. Instantly, I can take anything I’ve written and convert it to a .pdf file! Though you might think you would never use this feature, it’s amazing when it comes in handy. Other than that, it runs smoothly, and the OpenOffice package includes Writer (similar to Word), Base (Access), Impress (Powerpoint), Math, Draw, and Calc. All for free!

9. Miro – While I haven’t used this as much as the rest, Miro has proven itself to be a very powerful little program. Basically, you can watch video from all around the web in one window. It’s simple to install and understand, and it includes a video player, internet tv player, and BitTorrent client.

10. Rocketdock – Ok, so I saved the best for last. Rocketdock has rocked my little computer world. It is simply AMAZING. Basically, it’s a MacOSX-type dock for your Windows machine. There are tons and tons of skins for it, so if you want, you can make your PC look like a Mac. Also, adding and removing icons is a snap – just drag and drop!

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