Friday, 5 October 2012

Things I do not need (free software)

I promised, in a previous post to list free software. It seems slightly redundant when these lists already exists for all the things that I could need, (and even things that I do not need - but you might.)

The main problem with creating a list of software, (unless it is regularly edited) is that by next week it is already out-of-date, (as seen here in my own software evolution.)

This list is already getting long enough that some people will feel lost, (though I am impressed that they have managed to keep it this short.)  I guess that the natural progression would be a list where a social network or accountable experts could tag and sort by preference each of the pieces of software.

(For example I would rank
 Sumatra PDF as being more useful than
 Foxit Reader on the simple criteria of size and speed, though I have happily used both over 'that other one'; This might be a good way to automatically sort software, or simply  list each one with the amount of RAM and CPU that they use and time-to-load from cold, and let people draw their own conclusion.)

If you install a version of Linux, (like Ubuntu) then "free software" is like Chinese food when you are in China, (i.e. food.) Even then a directory can be helpful to find the name of the program that you are going to need.

So installed right now I have:
tangoGPS, Firefox, Pidgin, Rhythmbox, Epiphany, Quarry, GRAMPS, Libra Office, Audacity, Avidemux, GIMP and WINE, (and bash, perl, python, two SQL servers and many other unix tools.)

On the last XP machine that I was asked to clean up, I added a wifi scannera weichi game and chess as well as a planetarium. (I used to recommend Celestia but I find stellarium easy to use for most of my star related tasks.)

For me, it seems that gone are the crax-n-warez days. I am sure that there are still closed-source proprietary programs that some people can not live without. If you would kindly just add your list of such programs to the comments and we, (the Internet) can start writing free replacements for you.

Recently someone blogged about git, and suggested that like Linux it was great and powerful, but complained that it would not stop you shooting yourself in the foot, (they concluded that many people will be going back to SVN.)

It occurred to me that this is true, (the libertarian nature of Linux,) but then I considered extending the analogy in the vein of http://www.projectcartoon.com/. I'll start you off with,

"Linux lets you shoot yourself in the foot, for free."

"Windows charges you, shoots you in the foot without warning and then two other people offer to protect you against bullets by selling you anti-bullet and bullit-aware."

"Apple charge you double for a very nice looking gun, but make your gun incompatible with the new bullets a few months later."

(You get the idea, just riff on it. Take it away, run with it.. in a fun way.)

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