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Offline Dulcamara

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« on: January 25, 2010, 03:26:08 PM »
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  • So... you're a writer, and HATE Microsoft word or notepad, but... haven't got a couple hundred to drop on a professional word processor?

    Or, maybe you're into art, and can't live another moment with Microsoft Paint, but... you still haven't got several hundred dollars to drop on photoshop.

    Well, whatever you are, if you're an artist of words, sounds or images, and you're broke, poor or just plain frugal, and the software Windows provides you with just isn't cutting it... this post is for you.

    This software is rising in popularity, not only because they're better than what the folks at Microsoft are willing to give you even though you actually PAY for windows, but... because they're also nice and FREE. And that makes them even better. So here they are...

    So... You want to write...

    Okay, most of us have probably heard of it, but for those who haven't there's a powerful new tool in town for writers, and while it may take a little getting used to, I think you'll find it well worth it once you have. I used to be a die-hard Lotus Word Pro fan, until I started using it. Now I would have a hard time using anything else.

    Open Office is it's name, and if you've been wanting to leave notepad and Word in the dust for some time now, I think you'll be glad to get acquainted. It costs a whopping zero dollars... which is more than I can say for your therapy bill if you're trying to write a book in notepad. And if you've never heard of it, you can learn more about it right here.

    EDIT: An alternative is Lotus Symphony, which is based on the Open Office code, from what I understand, but which is also free. I am switching to it in the hopes of finding a different word processing solution, after loosing my files to some unknown error in open office, that has turned all of my text documents repeatedly into nothing but "##############" (pound signs). While open office would remain my first choice if all I wanted to do was type up the occasional letter, for those who need long term stability, you miiiiiiight want to look elsewhere. When Open Office has this particular error, you loose ALL of your Open Office, if not all of your rich text documents to it. Which is fine if you just use it to write letters to aunt Jane, but not so fine if you're a novelist on page 477 of your latest novel.

    Lotus Symphony may share a lot of the same code, but apparently Lotus Symphony is releasing their versions BEHIND Open Office... meaning that while you might not get upgrades as quickly, you might also (I'm just guessing here) get more stable releases when you DO get them. Here's hoping.


    So you're an artist...

    All right. So it DOES take long enough to load that even the women may grow a long, flowing beard by the time it's done... but who cares?! The fact of the matter is, it's a full $699 cheaper than Photoshop, AND... almost as powerful in terms of features. Actually, while it lacks a few others, it has some features Photoshop doesn't have! So while you may have to find something to do while it loads, it certainly beats Microsoft paint hands down, and being ALMOST as good as Photoshop, and almost $700 cheaper... you might find it worth the wait.

    GIMP is the name, and you can get it here.

    And, you can pick up additional brushes, patterns and what have you, without the headache of having to find stuff for the particular version you have (like you have to do with Photoshop).

    For anyone who needs/wants to do VECTOR GRAPHICS, this is the name I've heard the most: Inkscape.

    And for all of the LITTLE artists out there... there's TUX Paint, which used to be only for Linux (not windows), I think, but now you can get it for windows, too.


    So you're into music...

    I don't have much information on this one, but I have heard of it a lot. And again, the price is right. It's Audacity, and it's yours from these guys.

    Or if that's not your thing and you want something a bit simpler, there's Wave Editor, right here.


    So you're into video...

    Then this might be your thing...

    "Cinefx is an offline editing and visual effectstool that allows you to work with any file format in real time on your desktop."

    OR if 3D animation is your thing, it's probably Blender you're after.


    Hope everyone found something for them!

    [NOTE: Please check your computer's specs before downloading anything. If your computer has a fit because it's old and you were downloading this souped-up, modern software... don't blame me!]
    I renounce any and all of my former views against what the Church through Pope Leo XIII said, "This, then, is the teaching of the Catholic Church ...no one of the several forms of government is in itself condemned, inasmuch as none of them contains anythi

    Offline Catholic Samurai

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    « Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 08:02:51 PM »
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  • THANKS DULCAMARA!  :jumping2:
    "Louvada Siesa O' Sanctisimo Sacramento!"~warcry of the Amakusa/Shimabara rebels

    "We must risk something for God!"~Hernan Cortes


    TEJANO AND PROUD!


    Offline Matthew

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    « Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 12:20:04 AM »
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  • I try to use as much open source software as I possibly can with a few exceptions.

    For example, my wife already owned 2 copies of MS Office, so I'm using that (plus Office is really, really good even if expensive) Nevertheless, Office 2001 is plenty advanced for me -- I'm not tempted by the latest Office in the least.

    I'm using Windows XP -- I paid $90 for an OEM version back in December 2003, and I've been using it ever since. As of today, I've paid $15 a year to use Windows XP. Not bad for such a rock-solid OS with a huge software support base. And I continue to use it! I might switch to Windows 7 once the kinks are worked out...

    If I wasn't a computer programmer, I could probably get by with Linux. But if your client(s) use Windows, you have to use it as well. But there's no reason why average users couldn't switch to Ubuntu, Mint, or another Linux distribution.

    Word processing, e-mail, and web browsing is easy to set up on Linux.

    Matthew


    Start your Amazon.com session by clicking this link, and my family and I get a commission on your purchase!

    Offline Ladislaus

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    « Reply #3 on: February 25, 2010, 08:17:34 AM »
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  • Yeah, I too like Linux but need Windows (Office and .NET) to do my work.

    Offline Lybus

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    « Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 08:39:44 AM »
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  • I wonder if it's in the nature of trads to do everything anti-mainstream, including secular parts of life like food and the software we use on a computer.

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon


    Offline Dulcamara

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    « Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 10:23:20 AM »
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  • Quote from: Lybus
    I wonder if it's in the nature of trads to do everything anti-mainstream, including secular parts of life like food and the software we use on a computer.


    I think there are some who will always automatically do what's not mainstream, but that's essentially no better than doing everything that is. Then, I think, there's another class of people who look at the facts, and make their decision based on that.

    For a lot of people, for instance, they'd never dream of leaving Windows. It's easy, it's familiar, and best of all, all the plugins actually WORK, and you don't have to learn any text commands to install things. For a lot of people, that = better. Never mind that over time your system will eventually come to a virtual grinding halt. Or that it has like... ZERO customization. Or that it costs $100 or more to even buy (yeah, even if it's tacked "secretly" onto the price of a store bought "bundle" computer). Or that nearly every piece of software for it costs $100 or MANY hundreds of dollars. Or that you have to buy multiple copies to use it on multiple computers, or you may go to jail for it. I could go on. But for SOME people, they look at the pros of windows (all your plugins install effortlessly and work right off), and the cons of linux (that they don't, and that you may have to step out of your comfort zone and even learn a couple lines of text commands), and decide ultimately that the CONS of windows far outweigh the pros of it... or the cons of linux... a perfectly free, extremely customizable, very stylish OS for which you get pretty much EVERYTHING for free.

    That's an example of what I'm talking about. If you look at the pros and cons of both, and you spend more time on your computer than just checking your email, the frustration (along with those hundreds of dollars) can, for some, add up VERY quickly.

    For me, using non-mainstream stuff is because of two factors... the price, and how restricted I am in it's use in terms of what the software does for me. I used to be a Lotus Word Pro junkie. Now I use open office. Why? Not because it's not mainstream, but because Word Pro got updated like... once every century, and cost a lot of money. The graphics were ancient, and in retrospect, it had it's limitations. Open office is updated like... every two seconds. And you can add features if the tons of them it already has doesn't suffice, such as if you really can't live without that French dictionary or oodles of clip art.

    So while it's true that some merely go against the flow as blindly as others go WITH it, for me (and I believe for others as well), it's a matter of looking at the facts... such as cost, features, etc.... and making one's judgment based on those facts. In this case, the pros and cons... what you can live without, and what you can't.

    In the software world, you get your choice between companies trying to pinch pennies, who therefore very often pinch features on "new versions" (virtually nothing changes in them) while raising price tags. In the open source world, you've got people doing all the work for free, and adding to it everything they themselves wouldn't want to do without. And since the work is all free, the sky's the limit. There's no release date when the product is simply done for good. It's always getting better, getting fine-tuned, getting bugs fixed, getting new features.... AND... unlike most paid software, you often have the option of adding all kinds of features they didn't want to put in the original software package everyone downloads.

    The main con of open source is that sometimes it misses a feature or two that you get in the most well known (and high priced) paid software. In time, that CAN change, though, since the open source software is always being developed. But the price is right, and sometimes it has other features that the paid software did not have (or that you could never find in it if it did)! But who can afford to pay hundreds of dollars for a couple features they may not even really, literally NEED to have?

    One example is, I abandoned a very, very awesome Japanese word processor (99% of the way, anyhow), though it had COUNTLESS features the free one did not, and looked a hundred times better too. Why? The paid one... you guessed it... starts out at $99 or $100. And the ancient version I have can no longer use the ever-growing files for the best Japanese dictionary anywhere. And that price does not include additional true type fonts. The free one CAN use the world's best digital (and free) Japanese-English dictionaries... but regardless of their file size! It does what I need it to do (unless I have to look up kanji by radical), and... it's free. Yeah, it can't even do bolds and italics... but it writes in Japanese, and that's the main feature I need, even if what I write looks about as exciting as something written in notepad.

    In software and everything else, just "going with the flow" (or blindly going against it) is never a good thing. God gave us the ability to reason and look at facts and make judgments based on various factors presented to us. This is the way we ought to live and look at everything. Not, "what would other people do?" (whether to go with it or against it), but rather, "what makes the most sense here for me?" In morality, it's whatever is right. In software, it's very often whatever is free, just as long as we can accomplish what we need to on it. If not, we'll opt for the paid software.
    I renounce any and all of my former views against what the Church through Pope Leo XIII said, "This, then, is the teaching of the Catholic Church ...no one of the several forms of government is in itself condemned, inasmuch as none of them contains anythi

    Offline Lybus

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    « Reply #6 on: February 25, 2010, 07:41:08 PM »
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  • Hey Dulcamara, you must be really into writing. You wrote an essay in response to my one sentence statement, providing your argument and then very explicate examples. Do you write novels?

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline Dulcamara

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    « Reply #7 on: February 26, 2010, 01:25:35 AM »
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  • Quote from: Lybus
    Hey Dulcamara, you must be really into writing. You wrote an essay in response to my one sentence statement, providing your argument and then very explicate examples. Do you write novels?


    Yeah, but... as you can see, I often have a hard time keeping that skill exclusive to my word processor. (Especially if I'm tired or not paying much attention to what I'm writing.)

     :facepalm:

    I guess I thought it was kind of an interesting question, so I wanted to give it a good response. It does seem like a lot of Catholics and "christians" do just go against the flow in the same way everyone worldly goes with it. But I think what's interesting about Catholicism in this sense is that it does kind of train one (or should, at least), to think of things more critically, not blindly. It's really the opposite of what people say about us, "blind obedience," "blind faith" or what have you. Catholicism is very enriching in a special way because it, being truth, opens our eyes and teaches us to not just take things as they seem. For instance, we don't believe "just because." We believe because the all-knowing, all-perfect good God has revealed certain things to be true. It's not like believing for no reason, or just believing for the sake of believing, without grounds. No... rather, there is a perfectly good and sensible reason for everything we believe in our Faith. All of it makes sense, even mysteries being what they are (since we understand by reason that our minds are not capable of grasping them, and yet God revealed them).

    Yeah, that ability is most important in moral judgments (eg, choosing rightly, not according to others, or the way we feel, for example), but also, it seems to come out in our lives in general if we really embrace our Faith and try to live it and understand it. So little, everyday choices like this... seemingly so unimportant... are still effected by that same sense of not just taking things as everybody else does, but actually trying to look at them logically.

    If someone asked me, "how can I become a great writer?" I would respond, "become a saint." This is why. What we do, how we think, how we train our minds in our religious life, will ultimately effect our whole lives, the way we think about everything, how we make our choices, the clarity with which we can examine facts before us, and more. The very act of abstaining from sins by developing virtues, in itself removes the cloud of dimness sins and vices cast over our minds and hearts and thoughts. Everything of the soul will effect our whole lives, I think. So the question just struck me as one worth answering.

    Yes, lots of people blindly go one way or the other, but... I guess more than saying we DON'T all do so, I probably should have stressed that we really SHOULDN'T do so. As Catholics, our minds should be well trained to look at reality, to look at facts, and then to act based upon those things. The software question as I looked at it was just a quirky little example of what a Catholic mind SHOULD do automatically with everything.

    Also, I'm tired today, and therefore especially prone to rambling, even if it's very poor rambling.

     :faint:
    I renounce any and all of my former views against what the Church through Pope Leo XIII said, "This, then, is the teaching of the Catholic Church ...no one of the several forms of government is in itself condemned, inasmuch as none of them contains anythi


    Offline BitDudeX

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    « Reply #8 on: June 11, 2011, 11:20:50 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    I try to use as much open source software as I possibly can with a few exceptions.

    For example, my wife already owned 2 copies of MS Office, so I'm using that (plus Office is really, really good even if expensive) Nevertheless, Office 2001 is plenty advanced for me -- I'm not tempted by the latest Office in the least.

    I'm using Windows XP -- I paid $90 for an OEM version back in December 2003, and I've been using it ever since. As of today, I've paid $15 a year to use Windows XP. Not bad for such a rock-solid OS with a huge software support base. And I continue to use it! I might switch to Windows 7 once the kinks are worked out...

    If I wasn't a computer programmer, I could probably get by with Linux. But if your client(s) use Windows, you have to use it as well. But there's no reason why average users couldn't switch to Ubuntu, Mint, or another Linux distribution.

    Word processing, e-mail, and web browsing is easy to set up on Linux.

    Matthew




    oooh! Linux. Awesome. Linux is awesome.

    Offline herbert

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    « Reply #9 on: June 12, 2011, 09:06:44 AM »
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  • good suggestion dulcamara! i bookmark this website recently that has many good ideas for open source stuff:

    list of freeware: http://www.econsultant.com/i-want-freeware-utilities/

    list of open source: http://www.econsultant.com/i-want-open-source-software/index.html

    it important that people use software that help them and dont hold them back from the opportunities that technology open up for people in the 21st cnetury

    Offline theology101

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    « Reply #10 on: May 04, 2012, 02:22:10 AM »
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  • I use LibreOffice productivity suite, the GIMP for image editing.


    Offline Ascetik

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    « Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 10:22:07 AM »
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  • LibreOffice and GIMP are great.

    You can practically turn GIMP into Photoshop with a few plugins.

    Offline theology101

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    « Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 08:39:56 PM »
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  • Quote from: Ascetik
    LibreOffice and GIMP are great.

    You can practically turn GIMP into Photoshop with a few plugins.


    I keep trying to turn my sister to GIMP- she is a digital artist and does great work with PS, but pays sooo much for it. She says GIMP just doesn't have all the same features as PS, but I think it has enough to not really make a difference. Who uses every single feature of any program?

    Offline theology101

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    « Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 12:04:38 AM »
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  • PS for maths and science fans-

    GNU Octave (http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/) is an open source alternative to Matlab. I use Matlab a lot, as it is the most popular math/engineering software in the world. Octave is just like Matlab and Matlab users can immediately pick it up. Needs *nix OS...

    LTSpice (http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/#LTspice) is an open source alt to circuit simulation software like PSPICE and Multisim. Windoze. Never used it, there is another in the *nix repos that I forget the name of, but should be easy enough to find.


    Offline HiddenServant

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    « Reply #14 on: December 09, 2015, 02:15:54 PM »
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  • Thank you for sharing this.

     

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