Archive for September, 2003

Software Gratis

Monday, September 1st, 2003

An arbitrary top twenty

It’s great to hear about some handy tool or program that you haven’t tried before. And it’s all the better if you can get it gratis. This top twenty was collected from the opinions of friends and workmates who were asked to suggest their favourite useful programs. The top twenty were chosen from those that:

  • cost nothing,
  • don’t require “registration” of any sort,
  • are fully functional and may be used indefinitely, and
  • are not known spyware (or any other nasty).

The list is completely arbitrary - it is neither review nor recommendation - but hopefully there’s something here that you will want to test-drive.

There is also another more recent list available.


Open Source at Home

Monday, September 1st, 2003

Are you thinking about taking the plunge and installing an open source operating system? Or would you prefer to enter open source waters more gradually? Either way, you need to consider a few issues before you do. (more…)

It depends on what you mean by “free”

Monday, September 1st, 2003

Freeware. Shareware. Free software. Open source software. What’s the difference?

Everyone loves getting something for free. And with software licenses being the way they are these days, “free software” sounds pretty attractive.

The trouble is that the word “free” is somewhat problematic - at the time of writing has 17 primary definitions for the adjective “free” and only definition 7a (”Costing nothing; gratuitous: a free meal.”) refers to money. What’s more the term “free software” actually has a specific definition that has nothing to do with money.

So maybe we should start there. (more…)