Thursday, June 09, 2005

Open source

On my system I decided not to install any "pirated" stuff, so thought I should give some open source/free softwares a try, here's what I have on my system : -
  • OS: Windows XP Professional (I am very tempted to install Debian Linux also; just pushing it back as I only have 40GB HDD, perhaps I should look at installing Linux on External Hard Disk).
  • Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox, firefox wins over IE in leaps & bounds. It's more lightweight (only 4.7MB installer), more stable, and above all keeps spywares and those annoying pop-ups away (more so with Adblock extension installed). I was very very flustered with IE after getting idiotic pop-ups even after installing Google/Yahoo pop-up blocker ( is one such site for instance on which the Google/Yahoo pop-up blocker fails) . I think the other reason why lotsa users are switching to Firefox from IE apart from the above features is due to the fact that Firefox's look & feel and keyboard shortcuts are more or less similar to IE which makes transition pretty simple.
  • Development Tool(s): MS C# 2005 Express Edition CTP, Web Developer Express Edition CTP. I love .net and all those folks who think Java is better than .net, I think both are good in their own way. (aside: I would love to install Mone once I get Linux installed, it sure seems promising!)
  • Database: Sql Server 2005 Express Edition CTP (new avatar of MSDE).
  • Office suite: Open Office 2.0 Beta, another cool open source app with backing from Sun. I have been able to open all MS Word/Excel 200x documents in Open Office w.o. any loss of formatting. The only drawback is that even though OO Base opens MS Access files, it doesn't allow you to save it back, you can only save it in Oasis format (some open source frmt). Also the look and feel of Open Office is very much like MS Office making it pretty easy to use for MS Office users.
  • Email Client: No prizes for guessing, has to be Mozilla Thunderbird with Calendar extension installed :-). It has pretty strong Junk/Spam filter which you can make better by training it. The biggest drawback is that the keyboard shortcuts don't map to Outlook or Outlook Express so Outlook users have to search for Keyboard shortcuts! Though it does a good job in synch-ing Tasks/Events from Outlook (which I use in the Office).
  • Anti Spyware: MS AntiSpyware, guess it's the best though I would also recommend Lavasoft.
  • MP3 Player: MusicMatch Jukebox basic with DFX installed.

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