Free Software For Windows - Wordpress Wordpress by shuifanglj


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FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) for MS
Windows Users
For almost every proprietary program which runs in MS Windows, there exists a free software
(open source) alternative. In order to replace the proprietary software on your MS Windows
machine, here is a list of possible software replacements. For a more comprehensive list of every
program available, see the OSSwin Project. For Spanish speakers, see the comprehensive list at If comparing costs between proprietary software and its FLOSS alternative, see
this list of software prices.

If you would like to download all these programs at once, The Trinidad and Tobago Computer
Society has compiled a WinOSS CD with the latest versions of most of these programs. For
Spanish versions of these programs, offers a DVD and several CDs with most of
these programs. If you just want a basic introduction to free software, try The Open CD (no
Spanish version available).

    Software         Proprietary      FLOSS                     Comparison                  Platforms
    Category          Programs      Alternative
                    (Cost in US)
Web Navigator    MS Internet       Mozilla FireFox   Internet Explorer is a security       Win, Linux,
                 Explorer ($0)                       nightmare and should only be used     Mac
                 AOL Netscape ($0)                   when a webpage has been
                 Opera ($0)                          programmed to only work with
                                                     Microsoft's proprietary extensions
                                                     of the standard internet formats.
                                                     Most spyware and other forms of
                                                     malware has been designed to take
                                                     advantage of the gaping security
                                                     holes in Internet Explorer.
                                                     According one test, an Internet
                                                     Explorer user will receive 21 times
                                                     more malware than a FireFox user.
                                       SeaMonkey     SeaMonkey uses the same               Win, Linux,
                                                     codebase as FireFox but is a          Mac
                                                     complete suite that uses less
                                                     memory and has more tools than
                                                     FireFox, although it doesn't
                                                     support as many extensions as
E-Mail           MS Outlook Express    Mozilla       MS Outlook is a security hazard       Win, Linux,
                 (in Windows XP:       Thunderbird   which can be a vector for             Mac
                 $199, $299)                         dangerous scripts in email.
                 MS Outlook ($109,                   Thunderbird doesn't have all the
                 in MS Office: $399,                 features of MS Outlook, but is
                 $499)                               much more secure, since it has
                 Qualcomm Eudora                     built-in spam filters and doesn't
                 ($0, $49.95)                        allow dangerous scripts to run.
                 Corel WordPerfect     SeaMonkey     SeaMonkey Mail is very similar to     Win, Linux,
                 Mail ($29, $35; in    Mail          Thunderbird but supports a couple     Mac
                 WP Office: $99,                     more advanced options.
     Software          Proprietary        FLOSS                   Comparison                   Platforms
     Category           Programs         Alternative
                      (Cost in US)
                   $299, $399)

Internet Instant   AIM (AOL Instant    Gaim            Unlike the proprietary internet chat   Win, Linux,
Messenger          Messenger) ($0)                     programs which can only                Mac
                   MS Windows Live                     communicate in their own chat
                   Messenger ($0)                      protocol, Gaim can handle all
                   Yahoo! Messenger                    protocols so you don't have to
                   ($0)                                switch between programs if you
                   Jabber ($0)                         want to talk to people using MSN,
                                                       Yahoo, Google, IRC, ...etc. It even
                                                       supports spell-checking.
FTP Client         InternetSoft FTP    FileZilla       A fully featured FTP client based      Win
                   Commander                           on the PUtty command-line tool. It
                   ($29.95, $49.95)                    is very useful for long uploads and
                   Glub Tech Secure                    downloads when you want to
                   FTP ($25)                           pause and later resume.
                                       WinSCP          WinSCP is an FTP client also           Win
                                                       based upon PUtty with a simpler
                                                       interface than FileZilla.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) EDonkey2000 ($0) BitTorrent         For almost all the P2P networks,       Win, Linux,
                   KaZaA (FileTrack)                   there are free software clients        Mac
                   ($0)                                available. Use aMule for eDonkey
                   Napster ($0)                        networks, Gnucleus for Gnutella
                                                       networks, and KCeasy for
                                                       FileTrack networks. In place of
                                                       Napster, use OpenNap. BitTorrent,
                                                       however, is the best of the P2P
                                                       clients in the opinion of many free
                                                       software users. Many free software
                                                       projects prefer that their software
                                                       be downloaded by BitTorrent.
Podcast Receiver PodFeeder ($0)        Juice           Juice is a handy program for           Win, Mac,
                 nimiq ($0)                            receiving podcasts automatically       Linux (in the
                 Doppler ($0)                          from many different sources.           future)
                                                       Essential for people who follow
                                                       the alternative news on the internet
                                                       from shows like Democracy Now!
                                                       and CounterSpin.
Internet           Skype ($0, charge   Speak Freely    Speak Freely is dificult to            Win
Telephone          per call)                           configure, but if both the sender
                   Symantec                            and receiver have it installed, they
                   pcAnywhere                          can talk to each other for free,
                   ($99.95, $199.95)                   unlike Skype which charges for
                   Iready DigiPhone                    each phone call. In order to use
                   (monthly fee)                       Speak Freely, both the sender and
                   VocalTec Internet                   receiver need an IP number, which
                   Phone                               can be tricky if the IP number is
                                                       automatically assigned and can
Plain Text Editor MS Notepad (in       Notepad2        Quite frankly MS Notepad is a          Win
    Software         Proprietary         FLOSS                   Comparison               Platforms
    Category          Programs          Alternative
                    (Cost in US)
                 Windows XP: $199,                very inadequite as a bare text
                 $299)                            editor. Notepad2 is far superior,
                                                  yet maintains a simple design.
                                                  Unfortunately Notepad2 like MS
                                                  Notepad can only open one
                                                  document at a time.
                                     Notepad++    Notepad++ has so many options          Win
                                                  that many programmers use it in
                                                  place of the text editors found in
                                                  Integrated Development
                                                  Environments. It recognizes and
                                                  properly highlights almost every
                                                  programming language. A real
                                                  delight to use, although the non-
                                                  programmer probably won't ever
                                                  need most of its options.
                                     emacs        This programmable text editor that Win, Linux,
                                     xemacs       can do everything, including check Mac
                                                  your email and run LISP. It has a
                                                  steep learning curve and is almost
                                                  a culture within itself, but it can do
                                                  some amazing things--it has
                                                  accumulated a lot of functions over
                                                  the last 25 years.
Word Processor   MS Word ($229, in OOo Writer is better than MS           Win, Linux,
                 MS Office: $399,    Writer       Word according to many                 Mac
                 $499)                            reviewers. In my opinion,
                 Corel WordPerfect                WordPerfect is slightly better than
                 (in WP Office: $99,              OO Writer, but WordPerfect is
                 $299, $399)                      more liable to unexpected crashes.
                 IBM Lotus Word                   OO Writer runs in Windows,
                 Pro (in SmartSuite:              Linux/UNIX, and OS X, unlike
                 $281 per year)                   MS Word and WP. It can export
                                                  documents as PDF and saves in a
                                                  text format, so documents can
                                                  easily be recovered or exported. It
                                                  exports to HTML better than any
                                                  of the other major word
                                                  processors. Its only major
                                                  drawbacks are a lack of reveal
                                                  codes like in WP and its non-
                                                  intuitive search features which are
                                                  designed for people used to UNIX
                                                  regular expressions. OO Writer
                                                  can also open and save in many
                                                  formats including MS Word's
                                                  DOC format.
                                     AbiWord      AbiWord is small, fast word            Win, Linux,
                                                  processor. The upcoming version Mac
                                                  2.5 will support internet
                                                  collaboration editing like Writely
    Software          Proprietary        FLOSS                     Comparison                   Platforms
    Category           Programs         Alternative
                     (Cost in US)
                                                        does. AbiWord runs on all
                                                        platforms and can open and save in
                                                        many formats including DOC
                                                        format. Its major drawback is that
                                                        occasionally the formatting on
                                                        screen will appear out-of-whack
                                                        until the screen is redrawn.
Presentations     MS PowerPoint   Impress is just as user-friendly as    Win, Linux,
                  ($229, in MS Office: Impress          PowerPoint and creates nice            Mac
                  $399, $499)                           presentations, but Powerpoint has
                  Corel                                 a few more advanced options than
                  Presentations (in WP                  Impress. Occasionally you will
                  Office: $99, $299,                    need to reformat imported
                  $399)                                 PowerPoint documents in Impress.
Spreadsheet       MS Excel ($229, in     OOo Calc is just as good as the        Win, Linux,
                  MS Office: $399,     Calc             proprietary spreadsheets, although     Mac
                  $499)                                 graph manipulation is slightly
                  Corel Quattro Pro                     better in MS Excel.
                  (in WP Office: $99, Gnumeric          Gnumeric uses the R statistics         Win, Linux
                  $299, $399)                           language, so its statistical and
                  IBM Lotus 123 (in                     scientific functions are better than
                  SmartSuite: $281                      those found in the proprietary
                  per year)                             spreadsheets. Its graph
                                                        manipulation, however, is rather
Tax Accounting    Intuit TurboTax  OpenTaxSolver        OpenTaxSolver can calculate            Win, Linux,
                  ($9.95, $39.95,  (OTS)                federal taxes for the US and           Mac
                  $59.95)                               Canada and the taxes for
                  H&R Block TaxCut                      California, Massachusetts, New
                                                        Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia,
                                                        Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania,
                                                        and Ontario. In the future, check
                                                        the Tax Code Software Foundation
                                                        which plans to have free software
                                                        for preparing the 2006 US federal
Personal Finance/ MS Money ($19.99 - Grisbi             Grisbi is a personal accounting        Win, Linux,
Accounting        $89.99)                               application developed by a French      Mac
                  Intuit Quicken                        group which is easy to set up and
                  ($29.99 - $79.99)                     use. It doesn't support double entry
                                                        bookkeeping and some other types
                                                        of advanced accounting.
Business Finance/ MS Small Business Currently none      In GNU/Linux, GnuCash offers
Accounting        Accounting ($149)                     more advanced accounting, but
                  Intuit QuickBooks                     only preliminary attempts have
                  ($99.95 - $3000)                      been made to port it to
                                                        Windows. SQL-Ledger
                                                        is accounting software that can run
                                                        on Windows web servers.
ERP (Enterprise   Oracle PeopleSoft   InfoSiAL          FacturaLUX manages the                 Win, Linux,
    Software          Proprietary         FLOSS                   Comparison               Platforms
    Category           Programs          Alternative
                     (Cost in US)
Resource          ERP                 FacturaLUX    accounting and all other kinds of Mac
Planning)         SAP mySAP ERP                     data in the management of a
                  MS Project ($599,                 business. The version for Windows
                  $999)                             XP is not yet stable. The
                                                    Windows version should only be
                                                    used in Windows NT and
                                                    Windows 2000.
Statistics      SAS                  JGR (Java Gui JGR (pronounced as "jaguar") and Win, Linux,
                SPSS Base ($1599) for R)            R Commander are graphical user Mac
                Insightful S-PLUS R Commander interfaces for the R statistics
                                                    language, which is a free software
                                                    implemention of S. Although the
                                                    SAS and SPSS are nicer GUIs,
                                                    many statisticians like R better that
                                                    the languages which come with
                                                    SAS and SPSS. In addition,
                                                    Gnumeric provides an easy way to
                                                    use R functions inside of a
Web Page Editor MS FrontPage         Nvu            Nvu is a web page editor with a       Win, Linux,
                ($199, in MS Office:                nice user interface, but fewer        Mac
                $399, $499)                         options than FrontPage and
                Adobe                               DreamWeaver. Its table editing
                Dreamweaver                         needs improvement and there is no
                ($399)                              option to see both the HTML code
                                                    and the web page at the same time
                                                    while editing. Nvu is prone to
                                                    frequent crashes and still has a
                                                    number of annoying bugs, but I
                                                    still prefer Nvu to FrontPage,
                                                    because it adds less garbly-gook to
                                                    my html code. In GNU/Linux,
                                                    many use Quanta Plus, but its
                                                    interface is much less intuitive
                                                    than Nvu.
                            Writer has a web page mode so         Win, Linux,
                                     Writer         you can edit web pages, but you       Mac
                                                    can't see the HTML code, so it is
                                                    rather limited in its web editing
PDF (Publishing Adobe Acrobat Although there is not free software Win, Linux,
Format)         ($299, $449)                        program for editing existing PDF Mac
                                                    documents like Adobe Acrobat,
                                                    you can edit your documents in
                                                    OpenOffice and save them as a
                                                    PDF. OpenOffice PDFs support
                                                    hyperlinks, but do not support
                                                    forms and the other advanced
                                                    features of Adobe Acrobat.
                                     PDFCreator     PDFCreator converts documents in Win
                                                    a print format such a postscript
    Software           Proprietary        FLOSS                    Comparison               Platforms
    Category            Programs         Alternative
                      (Cost in US)
                                                     into PDFs. It doesn't support
                                                     hyperlinks, forms, and other
                                                     advanced PDF features
                                      xpdf           Although the main xpdf viewer          Linux,
                                                     doesn't run under Windows, its         (Command
                                                     programs to extract images from Line tools:
                                                     PDF files and to convert PDF files Win, Mac)
                                                     into postscript or text do run in
Desktop           MS Publisher ($169, Scribus        Scribus is fast approaching the        Win, Linux,
Publishing        $209, in MS Office:                utility of Pagemaker and has           Mac
                  $399, $499)                        already bypassed Publisher,
                  Adobe Pagemaker                    although it isn't as user-friendly.
                  ($499)                             Before installing Scribus, make
                  QuarkXPress ($749,                 sure to first download and install
                  $1499)                             Ghostscript for viewing postscript
Simple Graphics   MS Paint (in OpenOffice Draw is better than         Win, Linux,
                  Windows XP: $199, Draw             MS Paint by all measures. It also Mac
                  $299)                              supports basic diagramming. It's
                                                     only drawback is its poor export
                                                     quality to other image formats like
                                                     png and jpeg.
Diagramming       MS Visio ($199,     Dia            Dia lacks some of the advanced         Win, Linux,
                  $499)                              features of Visio, but will handle Mac
                                                     the diagram drawing that most
                                                     people want. For its code size, it is
                                                     an amazing program. Currently
                                                     Dia can't open Visio files and there
                                                     is no easy way to share files
                                                     between Dia and Visio users.
Advanced          Adobe PhotoShop GIMP (GNU          Some people say that the GIMP is Win, Linux,
Graphics          ($649)              Image          more difficult to use than             Mac
                  CorelDRAW ($399) Manipulation      PhotoShop, although it may just be
                  Corel Paint Shop    Project)       that they are used to PhotoShop. In
                  Pro ($99)                          any case, the GIMP has the same
                                                     graphical editing capabilities of the
                                                     PhotoShop, although some things
                                                     like red-eye removal are harder to
Vector-based      Adobe Illustrator   InkScape       InkScape is a vector image editor. Win, Linux,
drawing           ($499)                             It doesn't support all the features of Mac
                  Corel PaintShop Pro                the proprietary SVG editors, but it
                  ($99)                              is rapidly improving.
Animation         Adobe Macromedia Blender           Blender is a 3-D modeling              Win, Linux,
                  Flash ($399, $699)                 program which can be used to           Mac
                  Corel Animation                    create animations, although it is
                  Shop ($39)                         harder to use than Macromedia,
                  AutoDesk Maya                      especially for creating web page
                  Complete ($1999)                   animations. It has steep learning
    Software           Proprietary        FLOSS                  Comparison               Platforms
    Category            Programs         Alternative
                      (Cost in US)
                                                     curve, but you can make animated
                                                     movies with it.
                                      GIMP with      GIMP supports SVG animation          Win, Linux,
                                      extension (See with an extension, but is            Mac
                                      above)         significantly harder to use than
Computer Aided AutoDesk AutoCAD RibbonSoft           QCad is a 2 dimensional drafting Win?, Linux
Drafting          ($899, $3995)       QCad           program and circuit board designer
                  RibbonSoft QCad     Community      which is easier to learn to use than
                  Professional (~$31, Edition        AutoCAD. Although it doesn't
                  ~$44, ~$287)                       offer the 3-D modeling and some
                  MathSoft                           of the advanced features of
                  Pro/ENGINEER                       AutoCAD, it will serve for most
                                                     drafting needs. RibbonSoft has
                                                     released a free software edition of
                                                     its software which is the same as
                                                     QCad Professional except for
                                                     support for the scripting and
                                                     polyline modules. QCad is widely
                                                     available in Linux, but to use it in
                                                     Windows, you have to download
                                                     the source code and compile it
                                                     with the Qt library which isn't free
                                                     in Windows. Although other Qt
                                                     programs for Windows such as
                                                     Scribus are available for
                                                     download, I have been unable to
                                                     find a compiled version of QCad
                                                     for Windows. If you have access to
                                                     Qt in Windows, please compile it
                                                     for the rest of us who can't afford
                                                     Qt licensing fees.
Photo Manager     Apple iPhoto (in    Currently none Picasa is decent freeware (not free
                  iLife: $79)                        software) for Windows. In
                  Nero PhotoShow                     GNU/Linux, F-Spot, gThumb and
                  ($39.99)                           KSquirrel are nice photo
                  Sonic Roxio                        managers, but they haven't been
                  PhotoSuite ($29.95)                ported to Windows.
                  Google Picasa ($0)
Multimedia Player RealNetworks        VLC            VLC has a couple of novel features Win, Linux,
                  RealPlayer ($0,     (VideoLAN      that no other media players          Mac
                  $19.99)             Client)        support. As good as RealPlayer
                  MS Media Player                    and Media Player for watching
                  ($0)                               movies, it falls short as a music
                  Apple QuickTime                    player. VLC doesn't support
                  ($0, $29.99)                       ripping, and its play list features
                                                     aren't very user-friendly. It uses
                                                     normal menus and buttons, unlike
                                                     some annoying media players
                                                     which try to imitate physical
                                                     stereos and VCRs, but users who
    Software         Proprietary      FLOSS                   Comparison                 Platforms
    Category          Programs       Alternative
                    (Cost in US)
                                                   like skins may find its selection
                                                   limited. If a video has multiple
                                                   sound tracks, VLC won't always
                                                   auto-select the correct sound track-
                                                   -you have to select it from the
                                   MPlayer         The Hungarian answer to                Command
                                                   RealPlayer, but it doesn't have a      line: Win;
                                                   GUI interface in Windows yet.          GUI: Linux,
                                                   Some free software advocates           Mac
                                                   don't like it because it supports a
                                                   lot of proprietary formats, but it
                                                   will play just about every format
                                   MediaFrame      A nice Java-based media player, Win, Linux,
                                                   but it should be avoided since it      Mac
                                                   supports Digital Rights
                                                   Management, an industry plan to
                                                   restrict your digital rights.
Music Player     Nullsoft Winamp   MusikCube       MusikCube is an excellent music Win
                 ($0)                              player and ripper with a very
                 Musicmatch                        intuitive interface and nice play list
                 Jukebox ($0,                      features. It supports MP3, but is
                 $19.95)                           uses Ogg Vorbis by default which
                                                   is a superior sound format.
                                                   MusikCube doesn't support
                                                   “skins”, which some may see as a
                                                   drawback. Unfortunately its GUI is
                                                   programmed in Visual Basic, so it
                                                   isn't portable to other operating
Sound Editor &   Sony Sound Forge Audacity         Audacity is a well-designed and        Win, Linux,
Mixer            ($69.95, 319.96)                  easy-to-use sound editor, but it       Mac
                 Sony ACID ($69.95,                doesn't have track indicators, so
                 $374.96)                          you can only do very basic multi-
                 Steinberg Wavelab                 track mixing. There are better
                 ($149, $649)                      proprietary sound editing programs
                 Adobe Audition                    but they priced beyond the reach of
                 ($349)                            most amateur musicians and
Video Editor     Adobe Premiere    VirtualDub      There is no free software              Win
                 ($99, $849)                       replacement for the proprietary
                 Apple Final Cut                   movie editors, but VirtualDub is a
                 ($299, $1299)                     handy video capture/processing
                 Ulead MediaStudio                 utility designed for AVI video. It
                 Pro ($399.99)                     can read, but not write, MPEG 1
                 Avid Pinnacle                     video as well. If you want a
                 Studio ($69.99,                   freeware movie editor, check out
                 $99.99, $129.99)                  Zwei-Stein Video Editor.
                                   CinePaint       CinePaint edits bitmap images for Win, Linux,
                                                   tradition movie formats which use Mac
    Software          Proprietary       FLOSS                  Comparison                Platforms
    Category           Programs        Alternative
                     (Cost in US)
DVD player       InterVideo       See VLC above. VLC occasionally has problems          Win, Linux,
                 WinDVD ($39.95,                 with DVD menus and doesn't deal        Mac
                 $49.95)                         very gracefully with bad spots in
                 Orion DirectDVD                 DVDs, but it will play most
                 ($99, $149)                     movies just as well as proprietary
                 CyberLink                       DVD software. The big problem is
                 PowerDVD (49.95,                that there are ridiculous legal
                 59.95, $69.95)                  restrictions on decoding MPEG
                                                 formats and decrypting the CSS
                                                 (Content Scrambling System). If
                                                 you believe as I do that most forms
                                                 of intellectual property are morally
                                                 wrong or if you believe that you
                                                 should have the legal right to
                                                 watch a movie which you paid for,
                                                 then watch movies with a clear
                                                 conscience with VLC. If you
                                                 believe that big media companies
                                                 should have the right to charge you
                                                 for the act of decoding and
                                                 decrypting information in their
                                                 proprietary formats, then don't use
CD/DVD Burner Nero ($79.99)       CDRDAO (CD CDRDAO is a command-line tool              Command
              Sonic Roxio         Recorder Disk- for burning CDs which runs in just     Line: Win,
              DigitalMedia Studio At-Once)       about every platform. To use it        Linux, Mac
              ($69, $99, $149)                   requires creating a text file which
                                                 contains information about how to
                                                 burn the CD. Unfortunately
                                                 CDRDAO can't burn DVDs and
                                                 doesn't have a graphical interface.
                                                 Burn-At-Once has created a
                                                 graphical front-end for CDRDAO
                                                 which is free for non-commercial
                                                 use. CDBurnerXP Pro is a decent
                                                 freeware CD burner for Windows,
                                                 although it is not free software.
                                                 Annoyingly, it defaults to ISO 1,
                                                 so you have to select ISO 2 if you
                                                 don't want shortened filenames. In
                                                 GNU/Linux, K3B is an excellent
                                                 CD/DVD burner, but it hasn't been
                                                 ported to Windows.
First-person  ID Software Doom Cube              Cube doesn't have any artificial       Win
shooter game  ($20, $25) & Quake                 intelligence, so you can only play
              ($40, $50)                         against other human beings in
              3D Realms Duke                     internet multi-person play, but the
              Nukem ($19.99)                     graphics engine is rather nice.
War Strategy  Blizzard Warcraft   Wesnoth        Not as slick as some of the            Win
Game          ($19.99, $29.99)                   commercial games, but definitely
    Software           Proprietary         FLOSS                  Comparison                 Platforms
    Category            Programs          Alternative
                      (Cost in US)
                  MS Age of Empires                    an enjoyable battlefield strategy
                  ($49.95)                             game.
Personal Database MS Access ($229, in OOo Base is currently only a         Win, Linux,
                  MS Office Pro:        Base           limited replacement for a visual     Mac
                  $499)                                database like Access, but it is
                  Corel Paradox (in                    rapidly improving. Although there
                  WP Office Pro:                       are a number of excellent free
                  $399)                                software databases, none have as
                  MS Visual FoxPro                     good of a GUI interface as the
                  ($649, in Visual                     proprietary databases. There is
                  Studio: $299, $799)                  certainly no visual programing
                  FileMaker Pro                        database program like Visual
                  ($299, $499)                         FoxPro in free software.
Enterprise        MS SQL Server         MySQL          MySQL is a small and quick           Win, Linux,
Database (Server) ($3899, $5999,                       database that outperforms most       Mac
                  $24999)                              propriety databases in small and
                  Oracle Database                      medium scale server applications.
                  ($400, $4995,                        Before version 5 it didn't support
                  $40000)                              many of the functions used by
                  IBM DB2                              large enterprise databases.
                  SAP                   PostGresQL     According to test data,              Win, Linux,
                                                       PostGresQL is faster than Oracle.    Mac
                                                       It supports all the advanced
                                                       database functions and is an
                                                       excellent large-scale enterprise
Web Page Server MS Internet             Apache         Apache is faster, more secure, and   Win, Linux,
                Information Server                     has more configuration options       Mac
                (in Windows XP                         than IIS. Roughly 70% of webpage
                Pro: $299, in                          servers use Apache.
                Server: $999,
Email Server    Magic WinMail           SendmailSendmail is more configurable and Win, Linux
                Server ($129 -                  is faster than its proprietary
                $1299)                          competitors. Sendmail was one of
                Merak Mail Server               the first email serving programs
                Engine ($264 -                  and is used by over 40% of email
                $980)                           servers, making it the market
                                                leader. If looking for a highly
                                                secure email server, check out
                                                postfix for UNIX-like systems.
C/C++            MS Visual C/C++ Bloodshed Dev- Bloodshed Dev C/C++ is an           Win
Programming      (in Visual Studio: C++         integrated development
                 $299, $799)                    environment (IDE) like Visual
                 Borland C++Builder             C/C++ in Visual Studio. It uses the
                 ($1090, $2490,                 MinGW (or alternatively Cygwin
                 Turbo: $399)                   compiler which is based upon the
                 Freescale                      gcc (GNU compiler collection).
                 CodeWarrior                    Bloodshed can only compile
                                                C/C++ code, but in GNU/Linux
    Software          Proprietary          FLOSS                   Comparison                  Platforms
    Category           Programs           Alternative
                     (Cost in US)
                                                       there are nice multilingual IDEs
                                                       like KDE Developer and Anjuta
                                                       DevStudio which are comparable
                                                       to MS Visual Studio. For cross-
                                                       platform programs, write C/C++
                                                       programs using free libraries like
                                                       GTK+ and wxWidgets which will
                                                       run in almost any operating
                                        MGWin          MGWin Developer Studio is an           Win, Linux
                                        Developer      IDE for the MinGW compiler. It
                                        Studio         comes with a nice resource editor
                                                       for creating visual components for
                                                       your programs.
C# Programming MS C# (in Visual         Mono           Mono is a free software                Win, Linux,
               Studio: $299, $799,                     implementation of C# that runs in      Mac
               $2499)                                  both Windows and Unix-like
               Borland C#Builder                       systems. It hasn't implemented all
               ($1090, $2490,                          of the MS C# libraries yet and
               $3490, Turbo: $399)                     doesn't come in an IDE like Visual
Pascal           Borland Delphi         Bloodshed Dev- Bloodshed Dev-Pascal is an IDE         Win
Programming      ($1090, $2490,         Pascal         which can use either the Free
                 $3490, Turbo:                         Pascal or GNU Pascal compilers.
                 $399)2                                Although it doesn't have the Rapid
                                                       Application Development and
                                                       other visual programming features
                                                       of Delphi, it is a good tool for
                                                       teaching programming.
BASIC            MS Visual Basic (in    GNU/Liberty    There are a number of free Basic       Win, Linux
Programming      Visual Studio: $299,   Basic Compiler interpreters/ compilers available.
                 $799, $2499)           Collection     Probably the best for general use is
                                        (GLBCC)        the GLBCC, although it doesn't
                                                       come with an IDE.

                                                        The next version of wxBasic for
                                                        wxWidgets programming looks
                                                        promising, although the current
                                                        version is incomplete and difficult
                                                        to use. Mono's Basic.NET
                                                        Compiler also bears watching for
                                                        people who program in MS Visual
                                                        Basic, although it is currently not a
                                                        complete implementation.
Java Programming MS Visual J++ (in      GCJ (GNU        Although programmers can              Win, Linux,
                 Visual Studio: $299,   Compiler for    develop Java programs without         Mac
                 $799, $2499)           Java) +         paying licensing fees, SUN has
                 SUN Java ($0)          ClassPath       been roundly criticized for not
                 Borland JBuilder                       releasing Java as free software. It
                 ($499, $3500,                          appears that SUN will give Java a
                 Turbo: $399)                           free software license in the future,
    Software             Proprietary        FLOSS                    Comparison                  Platforms
    Category              Programs         Alternative
                        (Cost in US)
                                                          but in the meantime, the GNU
                                                          Compiler for Java (GCJ) and
                                                          Classpath can replace SUN's Java.
                                                          Unfortunately, Classpath hasn't
                                                          implemented all of SUN's java
                                                          libraries yet, so some Java code
                                                          won't run with it. For a good
                                                          development environment for Java,
                                                          check out Eclipse.
                                         Eclipse          Eclipse is an IDE and toolkit for Win, Linux,
                                                          12 different languages, including Mac
                                                          C/C++, Fortran, PHP, Perl,
                                                          Python, and Ruby, but it most used
                                                          for Java programming. The Eclipse
                                                          SDK uses a different widget
                                                          toolkit than standard SUN Java
                                                          and has a number of GUI tools to
                                                          simplify the construction of
Compression         Corel WinZIP      7-Zip               7-Zip can decompress 15 different Win,
                    ($29.95 - $59.90)                     compression formats, so it can         (Command
                    RARLAB WinRAR                         open just about any compressed         Line: Linux,
                    ($29)                                 file. It has a unique compression Mac)
                    PKWARE PK-ZIP                         format which is 10% more
                    ($29)                                 compact than RAR and 75% more
                    WinAce ($29, $39)                     compact than the standard ZIP
                                                          compression used by most
                                                          programs. It's only drawbacks are
                                                          its odd interface and the fact that it
                                                          can't decompress multi-volume
                                                          ZIP files.
Anti-virus          Symantec Norton      ClamWin Free     ClamWin is based on the ClamAV Win
                    AntiVirus ($39.99)   Antivirus        scanning engine which has a
                    McAfee AntiVirus                      relatively high rate of virus
                    Plus ($39.99)                         detection. ClamWin does not an
                                                          on-access real-time scanner like
                                                          some of the proprietary anti-virus
                                                          programs, but it does have a
                                                          scheduler for regular anti-virus
                                                          scanning and a plugin to scan
                                                          email in MS Outlook for viruses.
Internet Security   McAfee Internet      currently none   Since most forms of internet
(anti-spyware,      Security Suite                        malware simply don't function in
etc.)               ($49.99)                              GNU/Linux, few free software
                    Symantec Norton                       developers feel the need to develop
                    Internet Security                     counter-measures for a threat that
                    ($69.99)                              doesn't bother them. If you need
                                                          freeware to protect against
                                                          spyware, try .
Network Security Tenable Network         nmap             nmap scans networks for security Win, Linux,
Scanner          Security Nessus                          problems. In Linux, nmap can be Mac
    Software           Proprietary        FLOSS                   Comparison               Platforms
    Category            Programs         Alternative
                      (Cost in US)
                  (version 3) ($1200                 used with the GUI front end
                  per year)                          nmapFE, but in Windows it can
                                                     only be used from the command
                                     Nessus (version Nessus is an excellent network        Win, Linux
                                     2) / OpenVAS security scanner which used to be
                                                     free software, but Tenable
                                                     Network Security decided to turn it
                                                     into proprietary software with
                                                     version 3. Open source advocates
                                                     are developing a free version
                                                     called OpenVAS based upon the
                                                     old version 2 code, but it is not yet
                                                     available for download.
Scanner and OCR Nuance OmniPage GOCR                 There is no free software in          Win
                  ($149.99, $499.99)                 Windows for controlling scanners.
                  ABBYY FineReader                   For OCR, GOCR is a very
                  ($199, $399)                       rudimentary command-line tool for
                  NewSoft Presto!                    converting image files into text
                  ($99.95)                           files. Nobody has created a
                                                     graphical interface for it and
                                                     people who aren't used to the
                                                     command-line will find it difficult
                                                     to use. If you want the help files,
                                                     you have to download the source
                                                     files as well.
Voice Recognition Nuance Dragon      currently none None of the current free software
                  NaturallySpeaking                  voice recognition projects are
                  ($99, $199, $899)                  developed to the point that they
                  IBM ViaVoice                       can be used by normal Windows
                  ($29.99, $49.99,                   users. IBM recently released some
                  $79.99, $189.99)                   key code as free software, so we
                                                     may see something in the distant
Command Line      MS-DOS (in         Cygwin          DOS is extremely limited as a         Win
                  Windows XP: $199,                  command line interface, which
                  $299)                              should be avoided when possible.
                                                     Cygwin is a UNIX emulator which
                                                     provides the basic command line
                                                     capabilities of UNIX inside
                                                     Windows. Cygwin can be used to
                                                     manipulate Windows files, but
                                                     can't run BAT files or Windows
                                                     programs, so it can't fully replace
                                                     DOS in Windows.
                                     FreeDOS         FreeDOS is a free software
                                                     implementation MS-DOS. It works
                                                     fine as a DOS boot disk, but it
                                                     won't run inside of Windows 95 or
Installation of Spanish Versions of the software
Most of these free software programs will automatically detect the default language in
Windows and set it as the user interface language. Some programs however require
special downloads or the user interface language needs to be selected.
After installing the English version of OpenOffice 2, download and install the Spanish
Language Pack. It should automatically put interface in Spanish, but if not, go to go to
Tools->Opcions->Language Configuration->Languages and select Español as the
User Interface Language.
To add Spanish spell-checking, go to Archivo->Assistantes->Instalar diccionarios
nuevos. Select Español and click Ejecutar DicOOo. After downloading the Spanish
[es_ES] dictionaries for spelling, silable separation, and sinonyms, exit and restart
OpenOffice. If you have set up OpenOffice for quickstart, you will have to exit that as
well. Look for the OpenOffice icon in the expandable tray on the right-hand side of the
taskbar in Windows and right-click on it. Select the option Salir de Quickstarter. After
restarting OpenOffice, go to Herramientas-> Opciones-> Configuración de idioma->
Lingüística. Under Modulos disponibles de idioma, click Editar. In the Editar
Modulos dialog box, select Español (España) under Idioma.

To spell check in Spanish, select the text, then go to Formato->Carácter and select
Español (España) under Idioma. To set Spanish as the default language for spell
checking, go to: Herramientas-> Opciones-> Configuración de idioma-> Idiomas.
Bajo Idiomas predeterminados para los documentos, select Español (España) for

If Espanol does have check mark next to it when selecting it from the list of language,
then OpenOffice can't find the dictionary files for Spanish. Exit OpenOffice, and go to
the C:\Program Files\ 2.0\share\dict\ooo\ directory and make sure that
you see the files es_ES.dic, es_ES.aff, hyph_es_ES.dic, th_es_ES.dic, th_es_ES.aff. If
not, you will have to download these files and place them in the directory. Then add the
following lines to the dictionary.lst file in the same directory:

DICT es ES es_ES
HYPH es ES es_ES
THES es ES es_ES

Save the file as bare text and then restart OpenOffice. Now it should be able to spell-
check in Spanish.

If you want to set your documents to spell check in Spanish from another country, you
will have to rename your dictionary files to the ISO code for that country. For instance, if
you want to set Peruvian Spanish as your language, you will have to rename the
dictionary files to es_PE.dic, es_PE.aff, hyph_es_PE.dic, th_es_PE.dic, th_es_PE.aff
and change the dictionary.lst file to:
DICT es PE es_PE
HYPH es PE es_PE
THES es PE es_PE

Mozilla-based Software
NAVE offers full Spanish versions of Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird,
SeaMonkey, and Nvu for download. Or you can install the English version and then later
install a separate XPI Spanish Language Pack.
Mozilla Firefox
After installing the XPI Spanish Language pack, go to: Tools-> Options-> Advanced->
General. Click "Edit Languages" and in the "Languages" dialog box, click "Add" and
select "Spanish [es]" from the list. Then click on "Move up" to put Spanish first on the
To install the XPI Spanish Language Pack go to Edit-> Preferences-> Appearance->
Language/Content. Click "Download more..." and select Spanish. After downloading,
select Spanish as your prefered language, click "OK" and then restart SeaMonkey.

Currently there is no spanish translation of the latest version of 7-Zip, but older versions
have been translated. See for the latest available version.

Currently there is no Spanish version of MusikCube, although somebody has started a

MGWin Developer Studio
There is no Spanish translation available.

                 This document has NO copyright and is PUBLIC DOMAIN.
                                Please share and modify freely.
                        Amos Batto <amosbatto AT yahoo DOT com>
                       If you have suggested changes, please email me.
                                  Last Revised: 30 Sept 2006

  Free software has been around since the dawn of computing, but it was formally coined as a term in 1984
with the beginning of the GNU project and the later creation of the Free Software Foundation. Today
roughly 70% of free software uses the GNU General Protection License (GPL) created by the Free
Software Foundation, although there are over 60 other free software licenses such as the BSD, MPL, and
MIT. Free software is often referred to as "Open Source" in the press, a term coined in 1998 to woo the
business community and to distance the movement from the Free Software Foundation which trenchantly
insists that the "4 fundamental freedoms" of software users are paramount to any technical or commercial
considerations. If you care about the ethical and social implications of technology, use the term "free
software" to signal that choice to others. If you care about things like peer review of the code and superior
development methodology (or you just like to pander to business interests), use the term "Open Source".
 Since speakers of Romance languages like Spanish, French, and Italian don't have the confusion between
"free" and "gratis" in their languages, they generally use the term "software libre" or "software livre"
without controversy. If you want to use a neutral term for the software, refer to it as "FLOSS"
(Free/Livre/Open Source Software). Whatever you do, don't refer to it as "freeware" or "shareware"
because those types of software don't give you the right to freely use, study, modify, and redistribute the

  For people who want to use Delphi without paying a license fee, Borland recently released a version
called Explorer which can be downloaded for free. Unlike the old Personal version, Explorer can be used
for commercial projects. Unfortunately, Borland has abandoned development of Cylix, its version de
Delphi and C++ Builder for Linux. Cylix can still be used with old versions of glibc and some special

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