The "other" kind of software

Tech Talk with Devaka

Hello readers! It's an honor to be handling this page, taking over from Harendra, and am looking forward to providing you with some up to date information about software, hardware and everything in between. Harendra, you've done a tremendous job over the last seven years on Techno Page and I hope I'll be able to keep up to your high standards!

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has come a long way since its beginning back in the early 1980's and has spawned applications of various kinds suitable for end-users (like me), software developers and enterprise systems. Here are some easy-to-use open source software for you to try out.

  • Ubuntu – This, in my opinion is the closest you'll get to "Windows" look and feel Linux. Highly customizable obviously because its open source and on top of that, comes with all the cool yet essential applications like Instant Messaging (IM), browsing, Music/Video players and many more. Here are some:
  • Evolution Mail – Email
  • Kopete – IM
  • Amarok – the hottest juke box on Linux
  • K3B – CD/DVD writer
  • Beryl – Desktop graphics
  • gParted – Disk Partition Utility
    (Google keyword search – Ubuntu)
  • OpenOffice – Considered as the best alternative to Microsoft Office, providing the same set of applications to create spreadsheets (MS Excel), presentations (MS Power point), and writing (MS Word). However, a quick look at Open Office shows that it is not as feature "rich" as Microsoft Office. For example, trying to animate presentation slides using Open Office is difficult compared to doing the same with Power point. But the obvious question is, do you need all of these features? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. It's up to the user to decide.
    (Google keyword search – OpenOffice)
  • Mozilla Firefox – The fastest growing Internet browser to-date. The new version 3.0, comes with improved performance which helps to view web pages faster, using less memory and also has a full zoom feature to see any part of a web page up close which I think is pretty cool. "Awesome bar" is another highlight of Firefox 3.0, where the address bar learns as you use it and over time adapts to your preferences using browsing history and bookmarks and provides you with matching sites to choose from.
    (Google keyword search – Firefox)
  • Apache HTTP Server – The worlds #1 web server with over 90 million web sites hosted on it which is 50.24% from the overall web server market. Commonly known as "Apache," it is developed and maintained by a community of developers under the Apache Software Foundation. Because its been developed by developers "for developers," this software is extremely easy to use and available in a wide variety of operating systems including Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Unix and Solaris to name a few.
    (Google keyword search – Apache)
  • Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program) – Software for editing photos, which can be used as a basic tool like Paint in Windows or advanced formatting like Adobe Photoshop.

(Google keyword search - GIMP)

Spot interview with Mr. Google Chrome

Hi there Mr. Chrome, can you give us a quick introduction to yourself?

Sure. I'm the newest web browser out in the market today and the first of its kind, from Google. I was released in September of this year (2008) as a beta version. I'm an easy to use, extremely light weight and a pretty fast browser.

Interesting. What was the reason behind your making? I ask this because the browser market is pretty much stable with Microsoft IE and Mozilla Firefox and to be honest "another" browser just sounds too crowded.

<Chrome tries to throw a round house punch, but I expertly avoid> Most of us use browsers practically every zsingle day for chatting with friends, reading latest news, shopping or even settling bills and making bank transactions. This also shows how the web world has evolved over time from being a simple text page to rich and interactive applications. My objective was to be more than "just a browser" and be a complete platform for web pages and applications. So far as a beta release, you've only seen the tip of the ice berg.

<I take a step back> Ok. So tell me what are your coolest features?

Sure. First off, my address bar is also a search bar which will give you a list of popular sites to visit based on the query you enter. We call it "One box for everything"

Every new tab you open you will give summarized samples of the most recent sites you've visited. For example, if you are a Facebook fan everytime you open your browser or tab its just a click away.

One of the coolest features I have is the "Crash control" where each tab is isolated from the browser. So if one of the tabs were to crash, it wont affect the others.

Web application shortcuts lets you create regular shortcuts to access web applications. For example you can have a Facebook shortcut on your desktop which you can double click and get to the homepage straight away in Chrome! And that's just a few. That's really impressive. I'll be sure to check this out. I guess typing "Chrome" on Google search will get me to you. Thanks for your time!

Free your mind with"FreeMind"

Mind-mapping is a technique in which you can generate, visualize and structure ideas. Its a great tool for studying, organizing work and brain-storming. Whether you are a student or a professional this can be very useful. Freemind is a free mind-mapping software which follows the terminologies of mind mapping and is very easy to use. Try it out!

(Google keyword search – Freemind)

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