I want to break free

It was one of those lazy afternoons, when a discussion about free software started. We got discussing whether it is feasible and sustainable to use only free software, but we couldn't quite come to any conclusions. A few days later, I got my new netbook, and decided to try and prove that it is possible to rely totally on free software. Hence this experiment. I will use only free software for the next one year on my netbook for my personal use.

My netbook came pre-loaded with Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Office (free trial version), McAfee Anti-Virus (free trial version), Microsoft Works (bundled).

For now, I am keeping the Windows XP (since it's bundled with the laptop). Right now, I am in no mood to switch to Linux. I will keep my serious eye open for Chrome OS.
I decided not to buy the licenses for MS Office (I hate the 2007 version anyway) once their trial period expires. Instead will keep Microsoft Works for office productivity suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc) as it is bundled - the other option was to go for OpenOffice (which I have used earlier).

In addition, I installed the following software, all of them free, for my everyday use:

Firefox - My browser of choice. With those killer add-ons (like DownloadHelper for YouTube videos), I don't think I am going to use IE anytime soon.
VLC player - to play all kind of video files including the YouTube ones.
DivX - to play those HD videos.
Picasa - for organising photographs and minor edit jobs. Easiest way to upload to picasaweb.
GIMP - for major edit work on photographs. In fact, my friend who uses Photoshop professionally now wants to try GIMP as it is doing certain jobs much faster, and better than Photoshop. Example - the current "Bohemian Rhapsody" title pic was created in a couple of minutes using GIMP.
Google Sketchup - this one is for 3D modeling. I use it primarily to design my home furniture.

Wish list:

AVG - Anti-virus program once my McAfee license expires. Any other free anti-virus programs I should consider?
Jing - Video capture software instead of Camtasia Studio. I have the installer, just don't need it yet.
Apache + MySQL + PHP - If I decide to develop any web application project at home. I will also need a PHP editor software for that. Preferably one with HTML editing capability.

Help me with this experiment: Please let me know if you use any free software which really helps you. And wish me luck.

11 comments:

lightworker said...

no wisdom on the software..except that i use open office....and have been taught by some common friends how to download/ watch free movies :)

the title is wonderful...very innovative..i like the clean lines ..and uncluttered simplicity of the white page too :)

AKS said...

I second the opinion. the title is wonderful. I am planning to buy a desktop and install Linux on it. In my organization, they try to strive on free softwares as much as possible. wants some leads? :D

B. O'Hemian said...

@Jyoti
Open Office is a good choice :)
Was trying a few things with the look of the site - glad you like the uncluttered simple look. There is a poll about this I introduced, hope you take it.

@Aseem
Glad you like the title - it's a song by Queen.
I am not going for Linux as I haven't used it for almost 10 years now (the installation was a nightmare at that time). I like your organisation already :)

lightworker said...

just did :)

~ ॐ ~ said...

Bahut achcha kar raha hai bhai :)

To rip/copy/burn software you can use

1. Any Video converter to well... convert videos
2. Ashampoo Burning studio for CD/DVD/Blue Ray writing
3. Filezila for FTP

and I voted too... "who cares" i am going to read it irrespective of what you do to this page :D

And Linux is much easier right now... try getting a copy of Ubuntu... it installs fairly easily except the fact that you would have to get a partition of your hard-drive separated/unformatted for it. Its amazingly fast, and has a very neat UI too..

http://www.ubuntu.com/

Rohit Talwar said...

My Macbook came with everything I needed. And guess what, they weren't trial versions. :P

B. O'Hemian said...

@Jyoti
Thanks :)

@Prashant
A netbook doesn't have a DVD/CD reader / writer :)
I have a copy of Ubuntu. Maybe will try that on the older laptop.

@RT
Now are you going to compare a 18K netbook with a 80K Macbook?
What do you mean by "everything I need"? Some of the software I listed are for a specific purpose. Does the Macbook contain 3D modeling software and Raster graphics software?

Anjuli said...

Greek and Latin...hmph!

B. O'Hemian said...

@Anjuli
Aise mat bolo yaar... software hai... you must have used some of them!

Butterfly said...

Ok, wish you luck!:-)

B. O'Hemian said...

@Butterfly
Thanks :)