[Novalug] Free Software Tools Unavailable
alan at patriot.net
Thu Jan 18 12:21:54 EST 2007
On Thu, Jan 18, 2007 at 11:18:21AM -0500, Theodore Ruegsegger wrote:
> Dan wrote:
> > It makes sense to use free software when you've got it, but what do
> > you do when you have work to be done and no free software tool to do
> > it with?
> This is hardly a new question and detailed answers are easy to
Hmm . . . maybe I need to be pointed at such.
But IMHO it is a good question: what can not be accomplished with
free SW tools? This is not meant to be pugnacious: there may be
good answers. But let me review a few areas:
Internet tools: I'm no expert, but I've been using E-mail, ftp,
and the Web for many years. Re MTAs: between sendmail, exim, and
postfix, I think we're well supplied. Re MUAs: mutt is very good;
I can't say it's better than Outlook because I've never used
outlook. Is Firefox as good as IE? For me, Firefox, and lynx,
Imaging: ImageMagick displays and manipulates wonderfully, no? I
have been told that GIMP and PhotoShop have different strengths;
can anyone give a comparison? xpdf is great, as is gv, I find.
I don't know about Office stuff; I use emacs(vi is also fine) when
I have to edit, and when I have to put something neat on paper,
TeX is available.
Which brings us to DBMS: I am hoping that Uncle Greg will put together
a panel of Experts who will devote at least one meeting to considerations
of if/whether MySql or Postgres are as secure, fast, and robust as
Oracle or Sybase. I shall be there, listening intently.
There is, I'm told, very good free accounting SW for professional use.
Whether it is as useful as Quicken I can't say. And, sadly, if you
want to do your taxes by computer, you have to buy one of the
shrink-wrapped packages at your Office Depot, or Staples.
The above thoughts are just a start. I'm sure that Dan and Ted and
likely many others will have different, and likely more complete,
Alan McConnell : http://patriot.net/users/alan
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