Meme: How open source are you?

January 9th, 2005 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

Here’s a little geeky meme from Neil:

“Below are a series of headers for different programs you use on your computer. For each one, say what program it is, whether it’s open source or not, and what you like about it.”

Score of: 3.5 open source programs out of 12.5 (“Compression” category counts as 2x 0.5 as I tend to use two programs)
Score of: 5.5 free programs out of 12.5 (“Compression” category counts as 2x 0.5 as I tend to use two programs)

Operating System: Windows: Not Open Source
I use Windows XP (with the “Classic 2000” style) as it’s what I’m used to “on the desktop” and for compatibility purposes (as the majority of the customers I support in a tech support capacity and my Dad tend to run Windows XP). I do have RedHat Enterprise Linux installed on the server which hosts my blog and a few other sites (that’s only accessible via the command line/SSH though) and running RedHat Fedora Linux on my home server (mainly operating through the command line, but it does have the Gnome desktop installed which can is very very similar to Windows).

Web Browser: Firefox: Almost Open Source (Free)
Well, I say it’s Open Source, but Neil does point out the source code (which I’ve never bothered to download) doesn’t contain the trademarked name and logos. Why do I run it? Because it’s secure, a bit faster then Internet Explorer and multi-platform (I’ve got it installed on my Linux box as well). And, at least when FF crashes (which I’ve had it do on me a few times – only once a week though on average), it doesn’t take the whole machine down with it.
I also like the Plugins it supports – I find the “Web Developer” and the “AdBlock” plug ins very useful, along with the Spellbound spell checker (although IE has got IESpell) and SecurePassword Generator (ideal when trying to think of a new password for customers).

Email Client: Outlook 2000. Not Open Source (Commercial)
I’ve downloaded Thunderbird for my home machine, my work machine and my laptop – but it’s only in use on my laptop. Why? Well, I can’t use it at work as it hasn’t got a “Forward email filter/ruleset” which I need (when you handle several thousand emails a day, you need a good ruleset which can do nearly everything) and I’ve found the display of emails a bit “wrong” (the folder display seems to have too much empty space around them, the fonts used don’t “feel right”). It’s probably a case that I’m use to Outlook, but I am planning on giving TB another try once the Forward Email rule is included.

FTP: LeechFTP: Not Open Source (Free)
I find LeechFTP to be one of the best FTP programs around – but it hasn’t had any development work done on it for nearly 6 years! It’s fast, it’s easy to use, it’s got bookmarks, it doesn’t try and “take over your machine”, it’s compact/small, and it’s really easy to configure.

Instant Messaging: Trillian: Not Open Source (Commercial)
I’ve got GAIM installed, but I haven’t got round to configuring it or setting it up yet. I’ve had Trillian installed for around 3 years now as it’s a lot easier than having multiple IM clients installed, but I’ve really cut down my IM usage in the past year or so.

Media Player: VLC: Open Source (Free)
I use VideoLan (VLC) for everything – from videos, to movie clips to MP3s. I especially like the easy to use Playlist and full screen options.

Office Suite: Microsoft Office 2000: Not Open Source (Commercial)
I use OpenOffice at work, but Microsoft Office at home. Why don’t I use OO at home? Well, I installed Office when I got my PC (nearly 2 years ago) so I can import in my emails and use Outlook (Thunderbird wasn’t an option then), and I just haven’t had a need to uninstall Office. Since I don’t make much use of the office suite (apart from Outlook- see above), I’m not that bothered about it.

Image Viewer: Irfanview: Not open source (Free)
Superb little utility and copes with practically any image I through at it. Does it’s job well, and it’s free.

Photo Editor: Adobe Photoshop: Not open source (Commercial)
I got a copy of Photoshop cheap (ok, it’s an old version, but I didn’t want to pay “big bucks”), and it does what I need it to do. It’s not too complex (I only really edit simple images) and reasonably easy to use.

Anti-virus: Symantec Norton Antivirus 2003: Not open source (Commercial)
Just about the only commercial piece of software (apart from the OS) we use at work. It’s good, it does it’s job, it’s regularly updated, I’ve never had a major problem with it (although occasionally the email scanner engine fails), and it’s quite cheap. My Dad uses Grisoft AVG Free (not open source, free) and we offer ClamWin (open source, free) to our customers if they want it.

File sharing: Azureus: Open Source (Free)
It supports multiple torrents at once, has a decent display and easy to use. (for downloading either Linux ISO’s and “legal” TV programs only – such as the PGSM series which will probably never air outside Japan and of which I own DVD copies of, but without the English fansub subtitles).

Compression: WinZip: Not Open Source (Commercial) and UnxUtils Open source (Free)
Most of the time, I use the gzip/unzip/tar commands supplied in UnxUtils as it’s sometimes easier and more convenient for me – but I do use Winzip a bit as sometimes I just want to “drag and drop”.

This post is over 6 months old.

This means that, despite my best intentions, it may no longer be accurate.

This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".

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