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Posts Tagged ‘open source’

Scribus

January 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Scribus is an open-source desktop publishing program that can be used for a variety of purposes. Common products designed with the software include but are not limited to fliers, brochures, posters and newspapers. In utilizing WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) forms of page composition and layout, Scribus aims to compete with the likes of Adobe InDesign and QuaekXPress, both of which are its main commercial competitors. Support for the CMYK color model and Scalable Vector Graphics also help to establish its presence as a well-suited alternative to said programs for those on a tight budget. Though, for better or worse, it lacks support for proprietary file formats used by its competitors; users should still be content knowing that this is free software and, after all, it’s the final product that matters, and Scribus delivers on that with ability to export to PDF and various other print-ready formats used by the industry at large.

Blender

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Blender, an open-source 3D graphics program, constitutes a viable alternative to the likes of 3D Max and Maya. The fact that it’s free only extend its appeal to amateurs as well. In short, it is more than capable of filling in the basic roles that proprietary software accomplish, which spans from 3D modeling, texturing, simulation to that of CG effects creation and animation. But it doesn’t stop there, you may also use Blender to create 3D games or whole films from scratch if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. While it may not have the most intuitive user interface around (none does, really), by virtue of price and a relatively powerful feature-set, Blender easily trumps the competition in accessibility and general-purpose use. Though, before you do go experimenting in the dark, be warned that Blender is not (yet) suitable for professional use for its lack of adherence to proprietary and industry-standard formats, and the fact that it would take weeks or sometimes months before you can nail down the basics.

Do more than just home movies

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment

There comes a time when iMovie or Windows Movie Maker just won’t make the cut, and when that happens you’ll probably be relieved to know that there is Avidemux for the more complicated tasks. Built from the ground up as a free and open-source project, Avidemux trades usability for functionality, making up for what would normally be lacking in an amateur-oriented editor such as iMovie. Tasks that range from extracting an audio track from a video source, transcoding a clip (converting formats or compression methods), or removing black bars via the crop filter are all easily within the scope of this program. While it lacks polish and the subsequent user friendliness, Avidemux does give amateurs or those on a tight budget a taste of what’s to be found in proprietary editors without the hefty price tag (think Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas), and for some that might just be enough.

VirtualBox

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

When you install a new operating system, it will overwrite the existing one and thus make the process irreversible. VirtualBox, an aptly name free and open-source program, aims to solve this through virtualization. The process takes an operating system and installs it within the current operation system, creating a sandbox environment where one exists within the confines of the other. You may use this to try out Linux on a Windows setup, or emulate Windows software on a Linux/Mac setup. Then there’s the age old issue of getting legacy software that works only on older systems (XP comes to mind) to function on Vista/7, which can be solved by installing the older OS right inside the one you are currently using. Still, you should be aware that the proper activation key are needed to install a proprietary OS as well as a med-high end system to smooth facilitate virtulization (at least a dual-core).

Gimp

May 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is a free image editor comparable often touted as a viable replacement to Photoshop. It boasts a powerful feature set that is beyond most, if not all freeware editors available to the general public at this moment. This bold claim is backed up by its immense capability such as through the use of layer editing, channel mixing and customizable brushes. Built-in filters and image creation tools are also of noteworthiness; or if you find its default selection lacking, extensions can be used to improves upon or add to the functions of GIMP. Though the absence of certain features would have some deeming the software inferior to Photoshop, its progress so far will still impress amateur artists, photographers or those in favor of open-source development in general.

KompoZer

March 28, 2010 Leave a comment

KompoZer is a HTML editor that utilizes WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) authoring of web pages. Originally intended as the successor to the now defunct Nvu editor, it has the potential to become an open source alternative to Adobe’s Dreamweaver. Creating your very own web page is as easy as typing up a word document, though more advanced options such as importing images are also available to the end user. Those familiar with HTML will be happy to know that you can also view&edit the source by hand if desired. Given the fact that it still has a long way to go to rival Dreamweaver, the program would make a nice addition to the amateur library of any curious web designer should you be in the market for a freebie.

Glest

June 14, 2009 Leave a comment

glestSure there are plenty of free online games out there, but what are the chances of a RTS strategy title fitting the category? Glest, as it would seems, fills up that gap pretty nicely without being a drain in your wallet. Bearing acceptable 3D graphics, players can expect to find a wide range of units to play across the 2 default factions. And while it doesn’t stand up to the commercial titles in terms of its polish and content, the low download size and system requirements more than make up for it. As it is an open-sourced game, there are the obvious mods and custom maps for users to enjoy, further remedying the aforementioned flaws it may have.