Brian's Blog

I’m not sure what you will find here; general musings and maybe some technical stuff spattered here and there.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Move to Open Source

For a while now I've wanted to rebuild my Windows PC and load only open source software on it. I have a FreeBSD box already, so I'm somewhat familiar with the open source alternatives.

Thanksgiving week was the perfect time for me to start my project. I have a 9 day weekend, and the apartment to myself. I set off by backing up my data and begin to format and reload.

I wanted to use Windows XP as the OS simply because I'm not the only one that uses this PC and I don't feel like confusing anybody. I will only use open source software as an alternative to popular expensive applications like MS Office, and Photoshop.

Here is a list of the software I would normally install, and its open-source replacement.
That's my main list. Of course there are other smaller programs I use for odd jobs, but there is no real point in listing those. These applications will build a suitable home office PC.

So far my experience has been a good one. Every thing I could do before I can do now. There is a little learning curve, as there is with any new software, but I'm a quick study.

There has only been a couple issues that have either pushed me to use a non open source solution, or have made me consider it. 1) ClamWin Antivirus does not offer an on access scan engine. I have seriously considered loading McAfee and dropping ClamWin. Instead, I have scheduled multiple virus scans to kick off at certain times during the day. I will see how this works, and at the first infection I will probably go back to McAfee. 2) There is no open source replacement for Nero. I've looked. I've found some freeware alternatives, but no open source. (If you find one, let me know.)

Here are some links to help you find other open source alternatives for windows.


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