Software I use

Date: 04 Jul, 2019
Posted by: admin
In: hints & tips|linux, open source & software

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Some software. Jump to the end if you just want the raw list. Of course we call sofware applications “apps” now!

Software that I use(d) and endorse(d)

Why do you care? I don’t really know … but we’re here so, lets have at it.

2007 called and they want their list back

Recently I came across this list from 2007 in an archived post :

Favourite Open Source Applications

  • 7-Zip; 7z442.msi – nearly universal zip application
  • Firefox; Firefox_Setup_1.5.0.4.exe – high quality browser, highly secure, excellent standards compatibility, very fast too
  • SketchUp; GoogleSketchUpW-EN.exe – 3D sketching program from Google
  • Inkscape; Inkscape-0.44-1.win32.exe – vector graphics package
  •; OOo_2.0.3_Win32Intel_install.exe – replacement office suite for Microsoft Office
  • Thunderbird; Thunderbird_Setup_1.5.0.4.exe – great email application, warns you of scams, excellent junk mail filtering
  • AdAware; aawsepersonal.exe – run this to remove adware from your computer, an essential maintenance task to do each month
  • Abiword; abiword-setup-2.4.4.exe – a MS Word replacement with a clean crisp interface
  • Audacity; audacity-win-1.2.3.exe – sound editting application
  • AVG; avg71free_385a721.exe – antivirus program that doesn’t use up all your computers resources
  • Celestia; celestia-win32-1.4.1.exe – extreme star-gazing
  • GIMP; – complex but fully featured graphics program
  • IrfanView; iview392.exe & irfanview_plugins_392.exe – best ever graphics viewer, views nearly any type of graphics file, the interface is a bit clunky though
  • jEdit; jedit42install.jar – good Java based programmers editor, made excellent by installing the extensions
  • nVu; nvu-1.0-win32-installer-full.exe – full featured web page editor
  • Opera; Opera_9_Eng_Setuo.exe – another killer browser, this one looks good, is fast, can be controlled (in XP and 2000) by voice commands!! “Computer, make tea”??!
  • Picasa; picasa2-current.exe – a photo viewing and editting package from Google, enables upload of pictures and easy tweaking. I’ve used this for thousands of pictures
  • Scribus; scribus- – exceptionally good DTP package that can create SVG and PDF files. Does require getting used to. It’s not great unless you have the text already to hand, IMHO
  • Spybot; spybotsd14.exe – finds and removes spyware, use in conjunction with adaware
    … more soon

That’s about 250MB of great applications, and it won’t cost you a penny.

and thought it would be fun to look at the list and see what I’d recommend now instead. Much has happened in the last 12 years. But enough about that, on with the show. The same list with notes and additions replacements based on my current, 2019, usage and experience.

What I endorse in 2019

My primary operating system is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, Kubuntu 18.04, which uses KDE’s Plasma desktop as the DE. But, after much pressure from the kids — to enable easier gaming, particularly for Epic’s Fortnite game — I have a Microsoft Windows 10 install on a new computer too.

The list, updated, comments in italics, still used apps in bold, no longer used apps struck out:

I’m still a huge FOSS nut

  • 7-Zipwhilst it’s still a popular zip too, and I installed in on MSWin recently, I have hardly used it in years, my main compression tool is tar (a linux command line tool) nowadays, followed by the Dolphin file manager’s built in uncompress options.
  • FirefoxI’ve upgrade from 1.5 to version 67.0 and do most of my browsing via Kubuntu now, recently I’ve been using Brave Browser (0.65) too.
  • SketchUpstill around but I never really got in to it
  • Inkscape – vector graphics package; now using version 0.92 on both MSWin and Kubuntu
  • – replacement office suite for Microsoft Office; there were various changes with this one, name and ownership changes and splits, so we now have at least two codebases based on what was once Star Office, now I use
  • LibreOffice 6.2 — as this is the successor to, and I was using it before that, it gets to be bold.
  • Thunderbird – great email application, warns you of scams, excellent junk mail filtering; “still” using Thunderbird, but it’s kinda, and not really as I’ve used a few MUA in the interim including Kmail, SylpheedClaws, and whatever, but returned to Thunderbird and am now on version 60.7.
  • AdAwareit’s still around but I use a pihole nowadays along with uBlock Origin
  • Abiword – a MS Word replacement with a clean crisp interface
  • Audacity – sound editing application; version 2.2.1 now, still use occasionally but due to not doing sermon recordings I don’t need it often
  • AVG – antivirus program; again it’s still around, on MSWin I use Microsoft’s Windows Defender along with extreme cynicism, and a pihole.
  • Celestia – extreme star-gazing; the choice now is the very excellent
    Stellarium 0.18
  • GIMP 2.8 – complex but fully featured graphics program; still in regular use on both MSWin and Kubuntu but I also rather like Krita for raster image work and Inkscape for vector image work.
  • IrfanView – best ever graphics viewer; I don’t use it anymore, Okular for viewing docs, or just the file manager
  • jEdit – good Java based programmers editor; again not something I use anymore, moved around a lot of editors and IDE’s including simply Kate, PyCharm, NetBeans, and am currently using Visual Studio Code aka “code” most of all (on MSWin and Kubuntu) at the moment.
  • nVu – full featured web page editor; never really used it that much, used Dreamweaver and Bluefish a bit a long time ago, but always happier with a simple editor, now that browsers have developer tools I’ve given up on any other visual tools.
  • Opera – another killer browser; Opera Unite was my great hope for the future of the web (see link for blog post) , but I no longer use Opera anywhere, Firefox, Brave, Chrome, and other browsers for testing but that doesn’t include Opera anymore as now it’s primarily a wrapper on Chrome AIUI.
  • Picasa – a photo viewing and editing package from Google; I think Google, or Alphabet their parent company now, killed this one, but in any case I’ve been using the following excellent KDE based photo manager for ages now, it’s really great (but the facial recognition still isn’t up to the standard of Picasa from 10 years ago IMO). I don’t do photo management under MSWin, I think my in-laws still have Picasa.
    Digikam 5.6
  • Scribus – exceptionally good DTP package; don’t use this as much now, as Inkscape has developed it’s become better for my needs from the design side and LibreOffice fills in from the documents side, but I still have it installed and have still designed advertising copy in it recently.
  • Spybot – finds and removes spyware; never had an issue with such things using Linux.

What other apps am I using now

Not, now-now, I’m not really a big multi-tasker, but you get the gist.

The main additions to the list would have to be:

  • Steam [for Linux] | Steam [for Windows 10] — a game installer and manager; use this on both Kubuntu and MSWin, quite a lot.
  • KDEnlive 17.12 | OBS Studio 23.2 — video editing suites; I only recently found OBS Studio when doing my first proper Windows install for myself, KDEnlive I’ve used for a long time now, on and off. I’ve also used Blender as a NLE (Non-Linear Editor).
  • Dolphin 17.12 — I use Dolphin a lot, it’s not the only file-manager I use (sometimes I use Krusader, or even Midnight Commander [mc], FileLight probably counts here too) but it does get a lot of mileage. I’m still not sure it’s better than the KDE’s previous file-manager (Konqueror) but it’s useful, and usable, and used, nonetheless.

Plus I spend a lot of time on the command line in Kubuntu for which I use the Yakuake drop-down terminal. I spend quite a bit of computing time using BASH, I grep, ack, find, ssh, sshfs, fusermount, git clone, sudo apt install (or aptitude), cat, tail, lsof, locate, pgrep, htop, … and all of that jazz. Recently I’ve started to use Chocolatey on MSWin too so I can choco install firefox, or whatever, and then updates are as easy as with apt.

Then there’s phone apps, … but that’s a different kettle of fish.

Web apps, are they the now/future?

The way things have developed the browser has become much more powerful, both in itself and as a link to web applications. We use a lot of web apps, including the main social sites like Facebook, media sites like YouTube, and gaming sites like Roblox or (favourites of my family), in 2019.

I wonder how things will change in the next 12 years.

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