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.
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.
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