So I have been researching alternative software lately. Primarily focusing on free, open source applications such as internet browsers, office suites, photo editing, and even operating systems. It has proven to be a fascinating and rewarding endeavor.
For starters I explored alternative internet browsers. It is now common knowledge, it seems that Internet Explorer is deplorable at best when held up to any of many other options available to us. Among those I have tried were Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Maxthon, Opera, K-Meleon, The World, and Nubonyx. Trying them all was a lot of fun and yielded useful results. However, I have not yet discovered my perfect browser. Each one of these has many redeeming qualities but not one has proven so far to perfectly suit my taste. In fact, on a normal day I use anywhere from two to five different browsers simply because they all have different functions that appeal to me. I must add that IE is NOT on that list and I really never use at all. My most used browser so far has been Google Chrome, for its speed, reliability and friendly interface that I enjoy using. Firefox is also among the top and is arguably the best all-around alternative browser available. Maxthon and Opera also have nice features that I use frequently.
For day-to-day software I have found a multitude of useful, free programs. It would take too long to list them all but a few worth noting are Paint.net for photo editing, also Gimp for more advanced users, Audacity for audio recording, Open Office for any office projects, GreenFish Icon Editor for creating fun .gif images (like the simple one at the top of this post), Undelete Plus for recovering deleted files and FS Capture for snagging screen shots into simple image files.
Lastly, and most radical of all, I am looking into other operating systems BESIDES WINDOWS!! Yep, that’s right. I was looking for a way to set up my home PC with a new OS but wasn’t willing to shell out the dough for anything from the lords of the realm at Microsoft. I then discovered what may prove to be my answer: Linux. Many versions of this frequently updated and altered open source OS are comparable or better than any Windows OS and here’s the clincher….it’s FREE!! Sounds like a winner to me. As soon as I do a little research on compatibility I will be ready to make the jump to a totally new world of computing. Fun stuff.