I know there are a lot of you out there doing it tough, so here is a great way to save money and be productive at the same time. Use these free excellent software program recommendations.
They cover just about anything the average person would want to do with a computer. They are constantly updated, so you don't need to shell out money to purchase upgrades, just download the latest version, (always use stable releases)! All these programs can be installed on as many computers as you like. I will use these indicators to show which operating system (OS) they will work on, Linux (L), Apple (A) or Windows (W) computer.
Word processing and desktop publishing
Scribus, is a powerful free desktop publishing tool for creating anything, from that family recipe to that best selling novel, or the newsletter about the end of the world as we know it. It is also powerful enough to create your own newspaper empire. Don't tell the editor I told you this 🙂 Professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation are supported. (L) (A) (W)
OpenOffice, is also very good for desktop publishing. It is also a very sophisticated office suite that can be used for word processing, creating spreadsheets and presentations, plus lots more. If you can't afford Microsoft office, you can use this as a viable alternative. It also has some nifty ability to turn any document instantly into a Portable Document Format (PDF) document. You know, the one you usually open with Adobe Reader. With the document you want to convert open in OpenOffice, just push the Red and white “Export Directly as PDF” button in the OpenOffice button bar. This blog, and the Sunshine Coast Computer Club Inc., monthly magazine are created in OpenOffice.
You can also create, open or edit, Excel Spreadsheets, or Word documents in OpenOffice. Most students could use it for school work. If they need to save that document or spreadsheet as a word .doc or Excel .xls type, go to the OpenOffice menu item “File/Save As” and in the “Save as” box that pops up, give the doc a name and then select “File Type”. Then in the drop down selection box choose Microsoft 97/2000/XP/. This means it will be saved as a .doc or . xls file type, and be able to be opened as a Microsoft word document or Excel spreadsheet, on any computer. Lots of free online tutorials on OpenOffice are available. (L) (A) (W)
Abiword, if you only need an easy to use powerful word processor with lots of features, Abiword is lean and mean. It will open in a flash, even on a old dinosaur. (An old dinosaur in computer terms is any computer older than 5 years, or 3 years, depending on your viewpoint.) It can also save documents in a Microsoft Word format, plus many other types. (L) (A) (W)
Graphics and Photo touch up
Picasa, Find, edit and share photo's easily with this very good free photographic organiser and graphics tool, provided by Google. It is probably better than a lot of the software provided with that camera you purchased.
Irfanview, has been one of my favourite graphic tools over the years. Very fast, intuitive and easy to use. You can even batch convert or resize lots of pictures instantly or create a slide show! It is so good I could have written a blog just on it. I should have, damn it, too late. Now I have to think of other great free programs to write about! (W) (L) (It will work in Linux if you have WINE installed.)
The Gimp a professional graphics program. It is as powerful as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop, not quite as intuitive maybe. Lots of drawing and paint features as well as photo touch up tools. Gimp lets you get into the real serious graphics stuff. Lots of help built in, plus a free help book and forums online. (L) (A) (W)
InkScape, this is a powerful free vector graphics program supporting many advanced SVG features, like markers, clones, alpha blending, etc. This means you can scale your drawing to any size that your printer is capable of printing. The side of a sky scraper if you wanted, without resizing distortions. Imagine what a graffiti artist could do with this. (L) (A) (W)
Photostory, Yes this is a great free program provide by Microsoft for creating computer, DVD, or TV photo presentations / slide shows. Easy and intuitive to use, and you can add music, narration, motion, plus more, to your photo multimedia presentation. It is provided free for owners of genuine legal versions of Windows XP. (W) XP only
Click on the following links to read my previous blogs on recommended free security programs, Firewalls, Anti-virus, and Spy-ware removal programs. If you make use of one of the programs listed here, think about sending a thank you email, or make a small donation to the development teams of these great programs. It would be nice for them to know their efforts are appreciated.
So to the nay sayer's out there, see, I can write something positive about modern technology 🙂
Disclaimer: This is an amateur volunteer run service. Human error can provide incorrect information, and equipment malfunction can produce false readings. Do not rely on, or take action upon information presented on this web site or at SCCC activities, without further research. Views expressed in the pages, images, or tutorials on the SCCC Inc., web site or presented at venues, maybe the personal opinions of the relevant writers or presenters, and are not necessarily representative of those of SCCC Inc.