Burn CDs, DVDs open source style with Infra Recorder

Categories: CD and DVD
Infra Recorder is a very good software that I use to burn CDs and DVDs on my Windows machine. I’ve used it to burn data CD/DVDs, and work with iso files. Which means, bye bye proprietary Nero. According to the site, its full features are: Create custom data, audio and mixed-mode projects and record them to physical discs as well as disc images. Supports recording to dual-layer DVDs. Blank (erase) rewritable discs using four different methods.

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Instant Messengers, unite! (with Pidgin)

Categories: Messaging
Over the years I’ve created several email accounts and shared them with some friends and family to be in touch through Instant Messengers (IM). Being online for each account meant I had to open 4 different programs, each for one specific IM (AOL, MSN, Google Talk, Y!IM). That was before all before I found Trillian, a proprietary program. It has a free version, I’ll give credit to that but the application was starting to slow down my computer a lot.

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Burn your video DVDs with open source

Categories: CD and DVD
Want to burn a movie DVD with files from your computer? Do it ever so easily with DVD Flick. I’ve yet to find another program that is better and easier to use then DVD Flick. You can even add subtitles (and edit its appearance), add different audio tracks, and adjust some other settings of your DVD project. The process really couldn’t be easier. For a simple burn just select the file and click on “Create DVD”.

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GIMP – Image editor

Categories: Imaging
Have you hear of Photoshop? Who hasn’t, right?! Although this piece of software is incredibly good, it is too powerful for the vast majority of users. Why spend so much cash on such software if you’re only using about 10% of its real functions? GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) handles image manipulations task extremely well. It works for the newbies who just want to resize or convert an image file, up to more advanced users who would like to build complex images.

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Thunderbird – open source PIM

Categories: Office
Now it is time to say goodbye to MS Outlook, MS Outlook Express and start giving your email a fresh new home free from constraints. Mozilla’s Thunderbird is extremely handy to organize your email, contacts, and even appointments. Thunderbird can handle well the task of managing your emails with POP and IMAP accounts. For those who don’t know by the way, IMAP is used to synchronize your email account directly from the server.

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OpenOffice – your free office suite

Categories: Office
This is one of the most popular, and most essential, open source projects currently available. OpenOffice.org, or just OpenOffice, or simply OOo, is your multi-platform alternative to MS Office. For the basic and intermediate users, OpenOffice will suffice as an office suite. Don’t think you’ll be loosing productivity if you used OpenOffice, it has a lot of the same features that the proprietary solutions. When you start using OpenOffice, you will spend a bit of time to find where the functions are, but don’t worry, you’ll find them.

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Universal file archiver – 7-zip

Categories: Utilities
Get rid of WinZip, WinRAR, and stick with 7-zip. Why? 7-zip is pretty much the only file archiver you’ll need, it works with several formats such as: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, MSI, WIM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS. This is an utility I install on every computer I can. Once installed, you will have a menu of options available when you use your mouse right-click on top of any file.

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Websites to start turning open source

Categories: Tips
A couple of websites that have helped me greatly to find excellent open source projects: osalt.com (open source as alternative): here you will find a good list of open source alternatives, a description of each program and the rating readers have given to each project; SourceForge: the home of the majority of open source projects, you will also find statistics of the most downloaded programs and their “pick of the month”.

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Opening Post!

Categories: Our updates
OpenComputer.net is a project I’ll start on my spare time to help users gain familiarity with open source programs. I admit, not too long ago I wasn’t much aware of open source softwares and the benefit of using them. With open source I’ve now been able to work productively between two operating systems, doing as much as I did before with freeware or proprietary projects. On a Windows machine, prefer open source since it is much safer from spyware and you can use many of the programs in Linux if you decide later to change (like I have).

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