A long weekend leads to free software

April 10th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Over the weekend I was still on the web and I found some alternative free software to replace some of the applications on my machine.

To start it all off, I'm now a Abiword user. I discovered this word processor when I ordered the latest Ubuntu CD for my dad's new notebook. Abiword is a GNU word processor that isn't in the OpenOffice suite. It's a stand alone program that replaces Microsoft Word. Like Word and OpenOfficeWriter, its features are the same and for regular word processing and it's enough. The reason I prefer AbiWord over the two more popular word processors is its being lightweight on the machine and storage. Of course, it's free.

After that, I tried to see if there's an AbiSpreadsheet, unfortunately there isn't. So I searched again for something to replace Microsoft Excel and OpenOfficeCalc. In the same directory where I found AbiWord, there was Gnumeric. It's a spreadsheet, free and lightweight. Similar to Excel, Gnumeric can do most spreadsheet work but I cannot replace my Excel because the shortcuts and hotkeys aren't as easy. Though for simple tables, graphs and other functional calculations, I highly recommend it.

Then I tried my luck with a replacement for PowerPoint. Aside from OpenOffice, I found none, so sad.

So I ventured out of the office suite and set my eyes on Adobe Photoshop. Sure enough, I found another GNU program aptly named GNU Image Manipulation Program or GIMP. It's THE free version of Photoshop. Really! Downside is, the shortcuts and more notably and harder to ignore is its pallete, they open and minimize in separate windows, really irritating. Though it would be great if I knew nothing about Photoshop so I could have gotten used to it.

With GIMP installed, I went out to 3d and installed Blender to replace 3DSMax. For Adobe Acrobat Reader, I'm now using Foxit Reader. For Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape and for WinZip and WinRAR, 7-zip.

I've nothing against Licensed and expensive software, believe me, I could get it cracked, but using GNU free software is quite exciting knowing that it's all lighter on the machine and guilt-free. So in the name of World Peace and let's use GNU free software if we can't buy the real thing.