Free Really Good Applications -
Free Apps - Yes, Really Free Apps! -
Please take note and save yourselves some money!.
Libre Office instead of Microsoft Office -
If for some reason you do not have any version of Microsoft Office or feel you need to update, you can use LIBRE OFFICE from Oracle. This is a FREE OPEN SOURCE office suite program with the same features as MS-Office, and is in some respects more complete. It can read and/or create any type of MS-Office file, recent or new. It works on Windows, MAC and Linux. It also comes with an easy-to-use database program very similar to MS-Access.
=== o0o ===
FOXIT PDF reader instead of Adobe PDF Reader -
The best FREE alternative is FOXIT PDF reader for the Windows or MAC operating systems, which has many more features, allows reading multiple PDFs at once, allows text selection and export (cut & paste), direct notation within documents and especially, it has a PDF printer which can be used from ANY program, including browsers, on your machine to create PDF files. It is also fast, so it is to be preferred over Adobe PDF reader.
While this is not Open Source, it is free. The free and legal version has as meany features as most of us can handle. One of its most interesting features is that is has a system printer, which means that any and all printing from spreadsheets, browsers, regular documents made in any program can be sent to this printer, and thereby made into PDF files. So even if your printing system does not allow you to print on both sides of the paper, you can use Foxit Printer to print first the EVEN pages, then take this result and replace it in the printer the other way around, then print the ODD pages, thereby printing both sides of the paper.
It is also worth noting that most modern browsers support printing to either a PDF, or directly, accessed by clicking on the Three-Line Menu Icon at the top right of the browser page. Usually one can access a series of printer settings for font size, complexity, headers and footers, and portrait or landscape. This way, once you have a PDF file made, you can determine which pages you want to send to the printer, as often there's lots of unnecessary guff.
=== o0o ===
GIMP - A photo and image editing tool -
GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done. You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins.
Think Adobe Photo Shop - but for free, and legally so. What BitMap workers using Microsoft imaging software often do not know, is that decent image handling apps use LAYERS (not lawyers, ok?), and each can be made partly transparent or brought higher or lower as needed. And there are plenty of well documented HELP files and tutorials on YouTube.
Now, please understand that almost none of the image handling vocabulary in digital image processing is common to regular paper and ink drawing, so there is a serious learning curve involved here. Nevertheless, since so few people become adept, once YOU have become adept, your future is all-but guaranteed with full-time employment.
AUDACITY - Studio-level recording, editing &
This is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and
recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating
systems. The interface is translated into many languages. You
can use Audacity to:
Record live audio.
Record computer playback on any Windows
Vista or later machine.
Convert tapes and records into digital
recordings or CDs.
Edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg
Vorbis sound files.
AC3, M4A/M4R (AAC), WMA and other formats
supported using optional libraries.
Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
Numerous effects including change the speed
or pitch of a recording.
Write your own plug-in effects with
And more! See the complete list of features
KDENLIVE - Studio-level Video Editor -
Kdenlive is an acronym for KDE Non-Linear Video Editor. This is an Open Source Free app. It is primarily aimed at the GNU/Linux platform but also works on BSD and MacOS. It is currently being ported to Windows as a GSOC project. Non-linear video editing is much more powerful than beginners’ (linear) editors, hence it requires a bit more organization before starting. However, it is not reserved to specialists and can be used for small personal projects.
Through the MLT framework, Kdenlive integrates many plugin effects for video and sound processing or creation. Furthermore Kdenlive brings a powerful titling tool, a DVD authoring (menus) solution, and can then be used as a complete studio for video creation.
In Windows you'll need the latest FFMpeg codecs installed for it to handle MP4 files and you may have to tell Kdenlive where to find these files, as follows >> Kdenlive >> Settings >> Environment >> (Enter your equivalent in the top line, e.g.) C:/Program Files/FfMpeg/bin/ffmpeg.exe
Between these two above you can do almost anything in video & audio - but you will surely have to learn from YouTube or their own documentation to become good at them.
LINUX OPERATING SYSTEM -
Bill Gates is/was no fool - he took the world for fifty thousand million dollars with Windows and MS-Office. It could have been fifty million dollars, which would still have been daylight robbery. As it stands, words fail to describe the extent of the planetary rip-off that has, and is, taking place. Consider that the German Democratic Republic looked at using Microsoft with MS-Office for their official government office computers. During their review, Microsoft bounced in with heavy bribes of multiple millions of dollars to influence the outcome. Happily, they failed, and the GDR decided to use LINUX.
Their reasoning was simple - Not only is Linux free, but it is virus proof and is extremely difficult to hack. Linus Benedict Torvalds saw what was happening with Microsoft and Apple and came up with Linux in the early 1990s, so by now, it has had thirty years of development, and with its GUI interface, is just as easy to use as Windows. There are for-fee versions, such as Red Hat, but the fees are mere tokens compared to Microsoft or Macintosh Apple.
Best of all, you can dig as deep as you like according to your knowledge and daring, inspecting and editing any internal elements; such activity is deeply discouraged in Windows and MAC systems, while actively encouraged in Linux.
Why LINUX is so tough -
When Microsoft decides it has a new version of any program, it hands it out to a selection of smart employees for testing. They find bugs, they report them, they are fixed - and then the whole is released. Woe betide the unfortunate employee that finds a bad bug late in the game!. When Linux has a new version ready to go, it invites hundreds of thousands of users around the world to become Beta testers. Those who find bugs and suggest good fixes get their names implanted in the final release - which is as near bullet-proof as can be. Why is it that voting machines in the USA run on Windows? - Well, let's not get into politics here, but suffice it to say that any of them can be hacked to vary their results any way you like. What a shock. My personal favorite is LINUX MINT - but I am no specialist. UBUNTU LINUX is the most popular.
So why are you using Windows, I hear you say? - I became enmeshed in using MS-Access in 1995, and by 2003 I was pretty good with it, and had written application(s) that I still use today - and I am damned if I will write them in another database system - I have already changed database system three times, and am too damned old to move to another system. And it will not run on LINUX, sadly (as of 2020 - but hope springs eternal).
OPEN SOURCE APPLICATIONS -
The increasingly popular system of FREE OPEN SOURCE apps are always worth looking into before spending money on a proprietary system when perfectly reasonable alternatives exist. A major example is using the free LINUX system instead of the costly Microsoft Windows Operating system. Among hundreds of sites, this is one of the better ones here - and another good one here.
=== o0o ===