Thanks to a vast selection of open source software, sweet finds are plentiful. In case you're a non-techie, open source means the software is not only free for users to download and share, but also that the source code (the code that makes the software do what it's supposed to do) is public and can be modified or improved by anyone. So open source software is both, "free, as in beer," and "free, as in speech," as the saying goes.
Here are a few of our IT department's favorite open source programs which you can download and use in your home or business for free.
Reduce Clutter and Save Space
KnowledgeTree is a document management system to help get you a few steps closer to being paperless. You can organize your documents by scanning, then tagging them with keywords for easy retrieval later. You can use multiple key words that apply to the document so if you forget what you called it, you can still locate it quickly with the detailed search feature. You can also specify user access to certain documents to keep personal information, like payroll records, for instance, secure.
There are a wealth of features to this software, so you'll want to play around with it to use it to its full potential. Download and try it out HERE. Make sure you select the "Community Edition" option because there is also a paid version which has a few more bells and whistles.
Customize your Web Experience
Almost everyone knows that Firefox is a web browser, like Google Chrome, or internet Explorer, but with its downloadable add-ons, it can be oh-so-much-more. your research can be quicker and more comprehensive, your bargain shopping more frugal, your socializing more current, and your web browsing more secure. There's even an add-on that turns any web page into the ultimate stress buster - a game of destruction. What more could you want?
Download Firefox for free HERE, then browse the thousands of add-ons HERE. Finish reading this post before you start browsing though, because you're going to be awhile!
Streamline your Instant Messages
No matter which chat network your friends (or customers) use, you can communicate with them from one place with Pidgin. It's compatible with AIM, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, yahoo, MySpaceIM, and many more, and with plugins the list is even longer. Download Pidgin HERE and try it out.
Watch all your Media on One Player
VLC is a free media player that plays all types of media files and has more functionality than Quicktime or Windows Media Player. It's simple, customizable, and intuitive. You can download it free HERE.
Create your own Server for Media Storage
If you have an old computer and some extra hard drives, you can use FreeNAS and have a home file server that allows you to store a ton of data. This can serve as the digital home for your movies, music, pictures, or any other files. It's fairly simple to do, although it does require a bit of technical know-how. Download the FreeNAS free HERE.
If you would like assistance downloading and configuring any of these programs for your home or business, just give us a call or email our IT department and we would be happy to schedule a service call.