To learn more about free and open source software, please see our previous blog on the benefits of this here.
Here are 5 recommendations of free and open source software:
1) Libre Office – this is a free, and better, alternative to Microsoft Office. All the packages you get on Office – including Word, Powerpoint and Spreadsheet – you can get via Libre Office (albeit with different names) and it doesn’t cost you a thing! We were using Libre Office before we even moved to a Linux operating system (see below for more on this) which often comes with it, as you can download, install and use Libre Office on a Windows, Mac and Linux computer. You really do not need to spend money on Microsoft Office when you have Libre Office available!
2) GIMP – this is perfect for designers and people who like editing photos; you do not need to pay for Photoshop or similar applications, you can instead use GIMP which is totally free and awesome!
3) Thunderbird – this is a great tool for putting multiple email accounts into one application making it easier to access and use your emails. Again, totally free.
4) Linux operating systems – there are so many Linux operating systems (or OS’s) that you can use and install onto your computer/laptop rather than using Windows. You can also install it as a partition so that your laptop and computer can dual boot, meaning you can access the Linux OS or the Windows OS if you still want to access the latter given how expensive it is to buy a laptop or computer with this on. Linux OS’s are safer, securer, more customisable and totally free and also speed up slow, ageing tech!
5) Firefox – arguably the best internet web browser there is, developed by Mozilla Foundation and can be used on all operating systems with some really useful security and advert blocking add-ons that can be installed.
Libre Digital’s FreeTech Project are selling FTPkeys which are USBs that contain all this free software and more that you can access remotely via plugging the USB stick into your computer/laptop, the keys also contain lots of FreeTech Project workshop resources and information – please get in touch with Libre Digital if you are interested in buying one.
We are big fans and users of open source technology, using this at home and also at work with both Libre Digital and AFC Unity making use of it where possible too. We can provide help with using open source and free technology via Jay & Jane – please get in touch for more.