Free Software, Free Society - the Free Software Thread

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radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Not sure about this Brian, but just from looking through the sites of a few programmes this one... XML Copy Editor appears to be one that's been worked on most recently.    The latest version 1.2.0.4 came out in April this year...so fairly recent.    Some of the others I looked at hadn't been worked on for a few years.

It's available for Windows and Linux.   They seem to have binaries for a number of Linux distros...so possibly available in the distro repositories through the package manager software.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

"Free Software" is not quite the same as "Open Source Software". It's good to know the difference.

 

Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software: by Richard Stallman

 

Let freedom reign.

Brian White

I have a sourceforge account (not that I ever did anything there). their project of the month in october is Sweet Home 3D which allows you to arange a house and look at the result in 3d. http://sourceforge.net/community/potm-200910/

7zip always gets a mention (a zipping program for everything). the reports from sorceforge come out once a month with their 25 leading projects mentioned

Brian

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

"Free Software" is not quite the same as "Open Source Software". It's good to know the difference.

 

Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software: by Richard Stallman

 

Exactly...and it's why I'm in the "Stallman camp" on this issue ;)    The free software movement is a movement about changing the politics of software.   The open source movement is about removing the politics from free software.

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

For anyone needing to create a .pdf file on Windows there's:

PDFCreator

You can also use it to create .png's, .jpg's, .bmp's etc.

 

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Late last week Version 9.10 (code named "Karmic Koala) of the Ubuntu family of GNU/Linux distros was released.

You can download from these links:

Ubuntu    -  The "standard" Ubuntu using the Gnome desktop environment

Kubuntu  - Kubuntu uses the KDE desktop environment instead of Gnome

Xubuntu -   Xubuntu uses the lightweight "XFCE" desktop environment...it's a good distro for somewhat older computers...say a Pentium II or III machine.   If you have a machine with low RAM...say less than 256 MB,  you're best to use the "alternate install" CD...so that you have a text-based installer instead of a graphical one.

Ubuntu Studio - A special version of Ubuntu targetted at multimedia creators...they "package" all sorts of audio, video and graphics applications with this distro.

Edubuntu - A version of Ubuntu targetted at classroom usage.

Mythbuntu - A version of Ubuntu designed for turning your computer into a PVR (personal video recorder) using the "MythTV" software.

 

 

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Here's an interesting article from Free Software Magazine that's in response to this article here.

I think the author does an excellent job explaining the merits of using free software both from a technical and political point of view.  He also explains the difference between the "free software" movement vs. the "open source" software movement.

Quote:

Eric Raymond and the OSI chose the term open source for a reason - that it did not convey the moral, ethical or social aspects of Free Software. In this way it appealed to business players whose support was valuable in spreading the prevalence of FOSS. Open Source is something that big business can understand and on occasion even accept. It is a development model, and for thousands of companies a business model too. It means very little when compared to Free Software. Open Source projects abound with a mess of different licenses, restricting freedoms here and there, ensuring the control and commercialisation of the project in question. Open source is the hip new buzzword of marketing execs - its a get rich quick scheme for businessmen all over the world. There is no depth to the term, there is no responsibility implied or association with freedom. Some companies and individuals may assume a greater meaning to the term open source, but that is superimposed by them - it is not part of the meaning of the phrase. Open source is the sanitised, baggage free version of Free Software. All the business benefits, none of the responsibilities or inconvenient drawbacks.

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Testdisk is a free software (GPL licensed) tool designed to help you with data recovery if you've got a corrupted hard drive or other storage media.  It can help you recover files that you thought were "lost forever".  It can run under DOS, Windows, MacOS, GNU/Linux, and various Unix operating systems.

It's also available on various live CD's and/or you can create bootdisks.   You'll find info here

Testdisk is also in the "repos" of various Linux distros like Ubuntu, Debian and Mandriva.

There's a companion programme called "PhotoRec" that can recover files from corrupted camera cards.

I haven't used these programmes myself, but I've got a corrupted camera card or two and I know that I'm going to need this programme to bail me out ;)   When I test it I'll let you know how well it works.

Brian White

That is awesome. Thank you. I have to try it. I have  corrupted pics from a card and maybe video too of a brave lady recovering from a cancer operation in hospital.  I always wanted to show her but they corrupted when I transfered them to the computer.

I have kept them a few years in the hope that something could fix them.

Thanks

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

radio rahim ... is the Caped Crusader for free software. Ooh Rah!

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Embarassed

 

If the hard drive is physically damaged (i.e. it isn't just a software issue) here's a trick that sometimes works.

It's the "freezer trick".   You stick your hard drive in the freezer!

But first...you have to prepare your hard drive for freezing.   Put it in a sealed plastic bag and make sure that you squeeze all of the air out of it before freezing.   This prevents condensation building up on the drive.

Then freeze it for 10-12 hours.

Remove it and then either install it as a "slave" drive or put it in an external USB drive caddy and connect it up to the computer.   If it works...it'll only work for maybe 10-20 minutes until the drive heats up.   In that short space of time, you'll want to pull off as much important data as you can till the drive fails again.

Once it fails again, freeze it again and repeat until you've got whatever data you need off the drive.

This doesn't always work and if it further damages your drive, I'm not responsible ;)

If you really, really need something off the drive and have alot of money to spend, your best bet is to take it to a drive recovery service where they've got the necessary lab equipment to recover your data.

But most of us, don't have anything important enough on our drives that it's worth a thousand bucks to recover...so this is a "last ditch" possible fix before you toss it in the garbage.

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

If you want to totally erase all of the data off of a hard drive to the point where no publicly available software can recover it you can use DBAN (Darrick's Boot and Nuke).

You just create a boot CD or floppy and it boots into a very tiny GNU/Linux operating system.   From there you can launch DBAN and it will fill in every sector of the hard drive with random numbers.

After you've done that, it's impossible to recover any data off the drive...unless maybe you're the CIA or the U.S. National Security Agency.

This is a useful tool if you're selling or giving away an old computer.   It's also useful as a drive repair tool...I've used it that way.

Contrary to popular belief, deleting a file and even reformatting a hard drive doesn't truly delete data.   It can be recovered through drive recovery software.

DBAN is the software that alot of governments use when they're putting a computer out to pasture.

Here's the Wikipedia article on it.

 

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Brian White wrote:

That's very useful to know.  Computers are destroyed a lot  from universitys and colleges because they are security risks.   When they could maybe be DBAN ed and then shipped off to poor countries or given to poor seniors.  I never had a new computer except my netbook and they all lasted at least 3 years. So presumably a lot of scrapped computers could be saved for a few years with DBAN.  I know Comosin College in Victoria  scrapped lots of decent slower computers last year because they were security risks and a little too slow for whatever they were doing.

 My girlfriends mum still uses win 98  on the net so there is a need among seniors. (She will not let me put linux on it) because of one stupid windows game that she might lose).

There are alot of computers that are "put out to pasture" prematurely simply because of some Windows related screwup...or due to very minor hardware problems.

A couple of years ago I came across an entire stack of Pentium IV class machines in a local dealer that had been removed from a local hospital.  Of course the hard drives had been removed...understandable...but the biggest pain in the ass was that these little plastic hard drive mounting rails had been removed too...so it made it difficult to install a "new" hard drive unless you bought these little rails (sometimes available on eBay).

As for the Windows 98 vintage game, what you might want to do is to try installing it on your GNU/Linux machine and see if you can run it using "Wine".  As long as it doesn't need DirectX, there's a chance it'll run.

 

Brian White

That's very useful to know.  Computers are destroyed a lot  from universitys and colleges because they are security risks.   When they could maybe be DBAN ed and then shipped off to poor countries or given to poor seniors.  I never had a new computer except my netbook and they all lasted at least 3 years. So presumably a lot of scrapped computers could be saved for a few years with DBAN.  I know Comosin College in Victoria  scrapped lots of decent slower computers last year because they were security risks and a little too slow for whatever they were doing.

 My girlfriends mum still uses win 98  on the net so there is a need among seniors. (She will not let me put linux on it) because of one stupid windows game that she might lose). (Edited to add) It uses directx.  It is the only thing she is allowed to use internet explorer for on that computer.. (I do not want to keep posting and wasting your thread)

radiorahim wrote:

If you want to totally erase all of the data off of a hard drive to the point where no publicly available software can recover it you can use DBAN (Darrick's Boot and Nuke).

You just create a boot CD or floppy and it boots into a very tiny GNU/Linux operating system.   From there you can launch DBAN and it will fill in every sector of the hard drive with random numbers.

After you've done that, it's impossible to recover any data off the drive...unless maybe you're the CIA or the U.S. National Security Agency.

This is a useful tool if you're selling or giving away an old computer.   It's also useful as a drive repair tool...I've used it that way.

Contrary to popular belief, deleting a file and even reformatting a hard drive doesn't truly delete data.   It can be recovered through drive recovery software.

DBAN is the software that alot of governments use when they're putting a computer out to pasture.

Here's the Wikipedia article on it.

 

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Although Ubuntu is a very popular GNU/Linux distro, there have been a couple of other major GNU/Linux distros that have released new versions over the last couple of weeks.

Mandriva 2010

Open Suse 11.2

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Fedora 12 was just released this week.   Fedora is Red Hat's "community" project.   It tends to be on the "bleeding edge" side with lots of new software and new ideas incorporated into it.   It's also a bit more geeky than other GNU/Linux distros.     But with dozens of distros available for download...some are very geeky and some are very easy and user friendly.

Unlike proprietary operating systems, free software gives you choices. :)

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Linux Mint 8 codenamed "Helena" was just released this week.

You can download the .iso image file (688 MB) from here.

Mint 8 is based on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)...alot of folks consider Linux Mint "the better Ubuntu".   Mint 8 is only available in the "Gnome desktop" version now, but give it a month or two and you'll probably see the KDE and XFCE desktop versions out.   Right now the KDE and XFCE versions are still at Version 7.

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Ran into a friend today who's big into astronomy.   He was raving about the free software astronomy programme "Stellarium". 

I've got it installed on my Linux machines and have played around with it a bit...but not seriously because I'm not that big into astronomy.

My friend however, told me that he had used one of the major proprietary astronomy programmes (he told me what it was, but I forget what it's called).   Anyway, he said that the the proprietary programme was a "piece of sh*t" and did not have many of the features available in Stellarium.

Stellarium is available for Windows, MacOSX and of course GNU/Linux and is (mostly) licensed under the GNU General Public License.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Today's release of yet another iTurd (all hail radiorahim for that one!) is a demonstration of efforts by Apple to make the technology ever more proprietary. Read the article by the Financial Times on that issue.

Hence the stronger and stronger need for genuine Free Software.

 

ETA: That article is behind a proprietary firewall. Gah.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

 

  deleted accidental double post

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Looks like the Danish Parliament has voted to ditch Microsoft formatted documents in favour of the Open Document Format for all government documents.

The move apparently had "cross party" support.

This means that the Danish government is now free to use whatever office software it wants to...be it proprietary or free (as in freedom) software.   They will no longer be in a "vendor lock-in" trap just because they have to deal with Microsoft's ever changing file formats.

It's a good move in favour of open standards based computing.

Michelle

radiorahim wrote:

This means that the Danish government is now free to use whatever office software it wants to...be it proprietary or free (as in freedom) software.

Well, except for Microsoft software.

(ooohlookatmeI'mtrollingtrollingtrolling...)

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Michelle wrote:

 

Well, except for Microsoft software.

(ooohlookatmeI'mtrollingtrollingtrolling...)

Actually, Microsoft announced some time ago that they'd provide native Open Document support in Service Pack 2 of Office 2007.   Mind you  you other than in workplaces large enough to have IT departments most of the time the MS Office patches and service packs never seem to get installed.    I understand Sun Microsystems has put out some ODF plugins for earlier versions of MS Office.

In any case, standardizing on using ODF instead of .doc does give you the freedom to move away from MS Office if you want to.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I picked up the following from a Linux users list locally. It relates to "the mother corporation" (i.e., the CBC in both Quebec and RoC) and may be of interest to supporters of free software. it's in the form of a blog entry from F. Rodriguez.

 

Thank you Ubuntu Quebec and Facebook

Brian White

My girlfriend has had a super experience on her laptop with ubuntu so far. (She is on 9.something, I think) I should know exactly which  but I left the cd at her place.  It seems quite a bit sweeter and probably faster than the one I have.  And my desktop should be faster than her laptop but it is about the same.

I am on  8.something on my desktop.  I am afraid to upgrade in case of incompatibilities.  BUT I have a partition with debian or knoppix on it, that screwed up in a version upgrade about 3 years ago. Could I put the ubuntu 9 there?  and have the option to go ubuntu 8 or 9 in the startup at grub?

I am just asking because years ago I had mandrake and knoppix on my computer, but mandrake used to take off  the knoppix reference in grub. I guess to only have me using mandrake.  I am just afraid of hardware incompatibilities.  About 2 years back, I went from ubuntu 7 to ubuntu 8 by the upgrade path and for about 3 months, my monitor was set at huge icons and I could not change it. Eventually a software update must have fixed it but I am afraid of something like that happening again.  (Because I have a lot of my stuff on the computer and I do not want to lose track of where I am in my projects).

O yeah, when I am at it,  I probably have several versions of the same photos and videos in files and folders on my computer now. Is there a way to  automatically delete identical versions and just stick in links to one version instead?

Thanks in advance,

Brian

nancy2009

commercial spam

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

I picked up the following from a Linux users list locally. It relates to "the mother corporation" (i.e., the CBC in both Quebec and RoC) and may be of interest to supporters of free software. it's in the form of a blog entry from F. Rodriguez.

 

Thank you Ubuntu Quebec and Facebook

That's great work!

Yes Flash is a problem in that it's a proprietary video format controlled by Adobe.

Ogg Theora would be a much better solution as I understand it's an HTML5 standard and can be freely implemented in web browsers so that you don't need a "plug-in" or "add-on" programme to view video.   With Ogg Theora, video support can be built right into the browser.   I understand that the Mozilla Foundation is lobbying for this standard.

Recently Google purchased "On2", owners of the "VP8" video codec and the Free Software Foundation issued an open letter asking that they a) release it as a free media format and b) implement it on Youtube.

http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/google-free-on2-vp8-for-youtube

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Brian White wrote:

My girlfriend has had a super experience on her laptop with ubuntu so far. (She is on 9.something, I think) I should know exactly which  but I left the cd at her place.  It seems quite a bit sweeter and probably faster than the one I have.  And my desktop should be faster than her laptop but it is about the same.

I am on  8.something on my desktop.  I am afraid to upgrade in case of incompatibilities.  BUT I have a partition with debian or knoppix on it, that screwed up in a version upgrade about 3 years ago. Could I put the ubuntu 9 there?  and have the option to go ubuntu 8 or 9 in the startup at grub?

I am just asking because years ago I had mandrake and knoppix on my computer, but mandrake used to take off  the knoppix reference in grub. I guess to only have me using mandrake.  I am just afraid of hardware incompatibilities.  About 2 years back, I went from ubuntu 7 to ubuntu 8 by the upgrade path and for about 3 months, my monitor was set at huge icons and I could not change it. Eventually a software update must have fixed it but I am afraid of something like that happening again.  (Because I have a lot of my stuff on the computer and I do not want to lose track of where I am in my projects).

O yeah, when I am at it,  I probably have several versions of the same photos and videos in files and folders on my computer now. Is there a way to  automatically delete identical versions and just stick in links to one version instead?

Thanks in advance,

Brian

Brian...you've got alot of questions!

I've not done alot of "multi-booting" so can't help you alot there right now.   If you're upgrading from one version to another you're usually best to do a clean install...that's the case with any operating system as there are always two many incompatibilities and too many chances for there to be glitches.

That's especially the case if you're using any distro that's using the KDE desktop.  There are big changes between KDE 3.5 and KDE 4.x

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

nancy2009 wrote:

Free PDF to Text converter which can convert pdf to text document.

 

This might be "freeware", but it is not "free software"...it is non-free proprietary software.   The license does not guarantee the user the "four freedoms".

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

On April 1, 2010 Sony issued a "firmware update" for it's Playstation 3 gaming console.   What does this firmware update do?

It removes a feature called "other OS" which allowed you to install another computer operating system on your PS3 and used it as a "regular computer" in addition to being a gaming machine.  

A number of versions of GNU/Linux had been ported to the PS3...probably the best one for this purpose is "Yellow Dog Linux".

When Sony first released the PS3, the "other OS" feature was used in Sony's marketing of this device.   Now, Sony has decided to wipe this feature out with this firmware update.   While you can always choose not to install this firmware update, if you don't, many Sony services will no longer be available to you.

The question for the end user is, do you really own your electronic devices?  Or are you just a tenant?   Corporations like Sony, Apple and Microsoft would prefer you to be a tenant.

Brian White

Just a note that I put the cd of ubuntu 9 in mine, upgraded and they have gone to version 10 now so when asked if I wanted to go to 10 instead,  I decided to go to that.  It was a bit of a pain. Next time I will just download a version 10 CD. Anyway, now I have version 8 and 10 on my puter along with windows and that knoppix that went wrong all those years ago and all are in the grub list.  Thats really nice because there is some software in version 8 that is  worthwhile to keep. GTK record my desktop records your desktop to video in both versions, but it records to .ogv in the new version and .ogg in version 8

This matters because youtube can work super well with .ogg videos but it cannot convert .ogv videos yet.

The cpu is  under pressure in version 10 around 100% usage with just firefox going! but in version 8 it is at about 30%

I do not know what is going on there. I did have firefox, an image viewer, and scribus and gtk record my desktop open when I recorded my last video in version 10 and it seemed to work fine.   It took much longer to process it though and this even after the other programs were closed.

It starts up and shuts down really quickly and that is awesome.  Some of the effects are much sweeter and I am surprised that Kaffene and other programs are working differently.  If you get scribus, get the stable version.  Make sure! The develloper version is not compatible. It is not altogether clear which is which unless you use the synaptic package manager. Files saved in develloper cannot be opened with stable.

I am starting to find out that scribus is a very nice piece of work. Anyone who publishes a newsletter will love it after a bit of practice.

So thats the report.  You CAN have different versions of ubuntu on the one machine and if you can, you probably should have different versions.

If one screws up in an upgrade, you can always fall back on the other one.  (It happened to me with Knoppix or debian).

Brian

Brian White wrote:

My girlfriend has had a super experience on her laptop with ubuntu so far. (She is on 9.something, I think) I should know exactly which  but I left the cd at her place.  It seems quite a bit sweeter and probably faster than the one I have.  And my desktop should be faster than her laptop but it is about the same.

I am on  8.something on my desktop.  I am afraid to upgrade in case of incompatibilities.  BUT I have a partition with debian or knoppix on it, that screwed up in a version upgrade about 3 years ago. Could I put the ubuntu 9 there?  and have the option to go ubuntu 8 or 9 in the startup at grub?

I am just asking because years ago I had mandrake and knoppix on my computer, but mandrake used to take off  the knoppix reference in grub. I guess to only have me using mandrake.  I am just afraid of hardware incompatibilities.  About 2 years back, I went from ubuntu 7 to ubuntu 8 by the upgrade path and for about 3 months, my monitor was set at huge icons and I could not change it. Eventually a software update must have fixed it but I am afraid of something like that happening again.  (Because I have a lot of my stuff on the computer and I do not want to lose track of where I am in my projects).

O yeah, when I am at it,  I probably have several versions of the same photos and videos in files and folders on my computer now. Is there a way to  automatically delete identical versions and just stick in links to one version instead?

Thanks in advance,

Brian

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

9,000 PCs in Swiss schools going Linux ONLY.

Christopher Dawson wrote:
9000 computers in Swiss schools have been dual-booting Windows and and Ubuntu for some time now in anticipation of guidelines from the Switzerland's Department of Public Instruction, whose motto is "Long Live Free Software." The Tribune de Geneve featured a story on Friday about the elimination of dual boot capabilities in all of these machines and a migration exclusively to Linux.

Why should babblers care (esp. if they use proprietary software, etc) ?

The Swiss educational authorities note  "a real convergence" between the foundations of education practiced (there) and free software. Through their community development, "they encourage the sharing and democratization of knowledge, as well as autonomy with the acquisition of skills."

Quote:
This move also levels the playing field for students who may not be able to afford computers with the latest Microsoft software:

Another advantage is not inconsiderable: Students can work at home by using free programs at the same school, which "strengthens equality of opportunity," says Manuel Grandjean... And then he says with a touch of irony, "it avoids providing captive customers for large companies ..."

Oh yea. Let freedom reign.

RosaL

Well, it's kind of the same argument as "do your own canning" and "spin your own yarn". All good ideas but not really the road to revolution - despite what the knitting enthusiasts say. 

Fidel

I think it's important for people to start pushing for free software now as technologies are advancing rapidly. The old world capitalist economy of heavy industry and making useless widgets and baubles of poor design is coming to an end. Computer software and the hardware it runs on will someday work in everyone's favour. There will be revolutionary technologies developed within the near and foreseeable future. And I think there is a strong possibility in future for those technologies to make worker and community ownership of the means of production more realistic than ever before. As Radiorahim says we should aspire to use software that fulfills the four freedom requirements of truly free software. This is an idea which we can hand off to the next generation. I think it's an important idea which deserves protecting from capitalists who have tried to murder left wing ideas still in the cradle time and time again. People may not think it so important today, but ideas sometimes have a way of taking on lives of their own. Let's hope so in this case.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

More democracy in social life IS the road to revolution, Rosa. And I understand that knitting can be lethal; just check out Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. heh.

RosaL

Surely the co-op experience tells us something about what's wrong with this as a strategy. But I'm not going to argue about it.... Carry on with your 100 mile diets, "ethical shopping" and cultivation of inner peace Wink

 

p.s. I belong to a couple co-ops, garden a bit, and do some programming. I do see some value in these things. 

Fidel

[url=https://lwn.net/Articles/388191/]Building DVD discs with Open Source Bombono[/url] for Linux, Ubuntu

Fidel

bump

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Unionist

Maybe the wrong thread, but it's a subject close to my heart - free information:

[url=http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/02/2012227143813304790.htm... disappearing virtual library[/url]

It's about the shutdown of library.nu and similar sites which share "pirated" scholarly books.

 

Brian White

I will be putting on a video shortly about Stellarium "for earth bound people". "Stellarium is a planetarium software that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars. It's easy to use, and free.".  (I am not planning any trips to the stars). In the CR4 engineering forum, a guy used the starry nights (expensive planetarium program) to show how much sun my lean away greenhouse would collect in the morning and evening from the north east and northwest sky. Over 6 hours in the middle of the summer and he was also to prove that the sun spends less than 12 hours every day in the southern half of the sky in a northern hemisphere summer.  I got a lot of shitty contemptuous responses for even SUGGESTING! that it spent less than 12 hours there!   Later another question on the forum clued me in to stellarium. It is a VERY powerful tool!   I am most specifically concerned with the greenhouse thing, and solar cooking reflective dishes for unattended solar cooking.  These things are much most efficient if you aim them a half hour or hour ahead of the sun and IN LINE WITH THE SUN"S PATH across the sky.

The sun does not leave a trail so path is especially difficult!  I think that with solarium, it becomes possible.  Solarium is available for linux, PC.  Mac and Blackberry.   Solarium also allows you to put your base on other plantets and moons and see the sky from them.

For a later video:

I want to put my base on earth's Twin.   So can anyone draw out a surreal Venus, with a half melted frack tower in the background?  You can upload it as a picture  to the stellarium website at http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Landscapes  People keep talking, mars mars mars as our nearest neighbour planet. It isn't.

Brian White

I will be putting on a video shortly about Stellarium "for earth bound people". "Stellarium is a planetarium software that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars. It's easy to use, and free.".  (I am not planning any trips to the stars). In the CR4 engineering forum, a guy used the starry nights (expensive planetarium program) to show how much sun my lean away greenhouse would collect in the morning and evening from the north east and northwest sky. Over 6 hours in the middle of the summer and he was also to prove that the sun spends less than 12 hours every day in the southern half of the sky in a northern hemisphere summer.  I got a lot of shitty contemptuous responses for even SUGGESTING! that it spent less than 12 hours there!   Later another question on the forum clued me in to stellarium. It is a VERY powerful tool!   I am most specifically concerned with the greenhouse thing, and solar cooking reflective dishes for unattended solar cooking.  These things are much most efficient if you aim them a half hour or hour ahead of the sun and IN LINE WITH THE SUN"S PATH across the sky.

The sun does not leave a trail so path is especially difficult!  I think that with solarium, it becomes possible.  Solarium is available for linux, PC.  Mac and Blackberry.   Solarium also allows you to put your base on other plantets and moons and see the sky from them.

For a later video:

I want to put my base on earth's Twin.   So can anyone draw out a surreal Venus, with a half melted frack tower in the background?  You can upload it as a picture  to the stellarium website at http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Landscapes  People keep talking, mars mars mars as our nearest neighbour planet. It isn't.

sknguy II

LibreOffice, is, opensource crossplatform, and an OpenOffice.org offshoot of the office suite. Its development and updates are supposed to be more active than OpenOffice. It comes preinstalled with the Ubuntu operating system but has installs for other operating system platforms too. Here's the wikipedia page about it.

For those interested in opensource engineering software: CAELinux is a Linux based computer aided engineering suite that includes several other features such as CFD modeling (computational fluid dynamics). A wikipage on that here.

I'm pretty sure these follow the definition of free, but I could stand corrected.

Fidel

FreeFileSync 

Awesome software for backing up and synchronizing your precious files to an external hard drive. 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Nice to see this old thread alive again!

Quote:
LibreOffice, is, opensource crossplatform, and an OpenOffice.org offshoot of the office suite. Its development and updates are supposed to be more active than OpenOffice. It comes preinstalled with the Ubuntu operating system but has installs for other operating system platforms too. Here's the wikipedia page about it.

Libre Office is where most of the community energy is these days around free software office suites.  Most GNU/Linux distributions install it as the default office suite.   Of course "Open Office" still exists. It's now been assigned to the Apache Foundation, the organization behind the Apache web server software that about 70% of web sites use. So right now it's "Apache Open Office"

I understand Libre Office is in the process of being ported over to the Android operating system.

Right now there aren't alot of differences between Libre Office and Open Office, but as they develop, the changes will become more apparent.

The other free software office suite that appears to be coming along is "Caligra", formerly known as "KOffice"...part of the KDE Desktop.   Right now it's only fully functional on the GNU/Linux and Free BSD operating systems.   There's a Windows version that's highly experimental and the MacOSX port is still a work in progress.

Calibre is a pretty incredible e-book management programme licensed under the GNU GPL Version 3.    There's a video on the site that explains how to use it.    It's available for GNU/Linux, MacOSX and Windows.

Sigil is a cross platform (Windows, MacOSX, GNU/Linux) programme for creating e-books in the epub format.

Clementine is a cross platform (Window, MacOSX, GNU/Linux) music management programme.   It's a "fork" of Amarok 1.4, an older version of a GNU/Linux music player.   The one feature from Amarok that isn't yet included is podcast feed support.   I understand it's in the works.  I loved Amarok 1.4 but I find the 2.x versions of Amarok a little too bloated for my taste...too much like iTunes.

 

 

 

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Quote:
The European economy is saving around 114 billion euro per year by using open source software solutions. Apart from direct costs savings, other benefits of open source result in reduced project failure and lower costs for code maintenance. Reinvestment of these savings leads to an increase in productivity and efficiency worth at least 342 billion euro a year, according to estimates published by open source researcher Carlo Daffara. "Decidedly not a marginal contribution to the European economy."

The rest here

While I prefer the more political term "free software", this study outlines the benefits of using free software in the EU.

Residents of Toronto will recall the MFP computer scandal during the reign of Mayor Mel (bring in the army to shovel the snow) Lastman.   Here in Ontario we've had the "E-health" software scandal.  The British government had a similar computer scandal in their National Health Service.    All involved the use of proprietary software.

The Ontario government directly employs 67,000 people.    Let's assume that 50,000 of them have desktop computers.   Let's assume that all of them have Microsoft Office installed on them at a heavily discounted price of $100 per computer.

Replacing this single programme with either Libre Office or Open Office would save the government a minimum of $5 million.  And that's a cost the government gets hit with every time they upgrade this software.

I'm not even including other software, server side software, maintenance and training costs etc.

sknguy II

When I have to download a torrent for peer to peer downlaods, like a linux distro or what have you, I like to fire up Peerblock during the download. It help in managing peer to peer connections and is a firewall type program. Peerblock replaced the older program Peerguardian 2.

6079_Smith_W

@ skinguyII

Good tip, thanks! I had never heard of that one before.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Open Whisper Systems

Private messaging For iPhone and Android

  • Say Anything - Send high-quality group, text, picture, and video messages, all without SMS and MMS fees.
  • Be Yourself - Use your existing phone number and address book. There are no separate logins, usernames, passwords, or PINs to manage or lose.
  • Stay Private - We cannot read your messages, and no one else can either. Everything is always end-to-end encrypted and painstakingly engineered in order to keep your communication safe.
  • Get Organized - Archive functionality makes it easy to keep track of the conversations that matter to you right now.
  • Pay Nothing - The development team is supported by community donations and grants. There are no advertisements, and it doesn't cost anything to use.

Use anything by Open Whisper Systems.

Edward Snowden, Whistleblower and privacy advocate

 

 

Signal is the most scalable encryption tool we have. It is free and peer reviewed. I encourage people to use it everyday.

Laura Poitras, Oscar winning filmmaker and journalist

 

 

After reading the code, I literally discovered a line of drool running down my face. It’s really nice.

Matt Green, Cryptographer, Johns Hopkins University

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

"Signal" is indeed a very worthwhile project, even if the developer is a bit of a dickhead.

He refuses to allow distribution of Signal through anything other than the official "app stores" i.e. he opposes distribution through the "Fdroid" repository of libre software for Android.   Only supporting distribution through multinational tech corporations is highly problematic for a libre software project like this.

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