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This page last updated: Sun Apr 27, 2014
Free Software and Open Source Software Recommendations
Sometimes money is tight and you save money wherever you can.
When this is the case, why pay for high priced software when you can legally use
Open Source Software or Free Software to do the same tasks.
The CompuWizard has migrated between operating systems, and now sticks to software that will
run on both Linux and Windows whenever possible. Macintosh availability is useful, but
the cost of Macintosh hardware is beyond our current or expected budget.
Open Source Software
Open Source Software is free for individuals to use and generally free for companies.
Some open source companies and projects do make money from companies paying for support, but do not charge for the
software. Individuals get support from help forums, generally run by volunteers.
This software normally runs on multiple platforms such as Linux, Windows, and Mac.
Open Source Software usually has its source code readily available for inspection.
You can contribute to the product development team, and you SHOULD if you find the product useful.
This business model keeps things much more affordable than standard software companies.
Open Source Software For Windows, Linux, and Macintosh.
The CompuWizard has tested for Windows and Linux, but can only comment on Macintosh availability.
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:
Record live audio.
Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
See the complete list of
Plugins create great versatility. See next table for plugins for Firefox. Firefox with the correct plugins
can be the safest broswer to use. The CompuWizard recommends using Firefox with plugins to add safety for
The open source version of Google Chrome is Chromium.
The CompuWizard recommends using Chrome or Chromium without plugins for the web sites you know to be safe.
Chrome and Chromium are very fast with generally good security.
The CompuWizard never trusted Windows Encryption software, and want to be sure financial
information, identity information, and credit card information cannot be read by someone
who steals a USB key or a laptop. When TruCrypt is set up with a long password, the FBI
is reported to be unable to read information saved in a secure "virtual disk".
That is secure enough for the CompuWizard. Passwords can be long, secure, and easy to remember.
An example is "L0ud+++---===++++----===="
The word Loud with a zero instead of an "o" then 3 plus, 3 minus, 3 equal, 4 plus, 4 minus, 4 =.
You need at least one upper case letter, one lower case letter, one number, one special character,
and use a pattern that is easy for you to remember with a total length of 20 or more.
See the transcript of the Security Now
Password Haystacks Podcast and
Password Haystacks Meter to get a handle on how easy
it is to have a password you can remember but one that cannot be guessed.
Use this approach with TruCrypt and your data will be safe.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is the main way to transfer files across the internet.
The Compuwizard uses this tool to transfer files for TravelingMorgans.com updates.
Filezilla meets any needs we have had.
You can checkout the features.
Do you want all the features of a major office suite but without the expense?
LibreOffice is the best bet today.
When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, Open Office appeared it would not receive much attention.
The development staff formed LibreOffice and forked the Open Source Project. Open Office is still alive, but
the innovation is now at LibreOffice.
You will find word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, database, math equations and all of the other
features you would hope to find. You can import from and export to most major office suite formats.
Neat additional features include the ability to print to PDF format. The CompuWizard uses this regularly.