Software for Free/Software to Buy

Photoshoppish keystroke shortcuts for gimp. Cool. It’s funny. I’m not a bigtime graphics creator by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve been using the gimp version of windows for about a year or two. At first, it was a bit of a struggle, but now it’s becoming almost effortless. I haven’t really tried to do anything fancy, but I’m learning things a little at a time.

The advantage of learning open source tools is being able to parlay your knowledge into any work environment you find yourself in. Sure, Photoshop is the flagship graphics program, but how often can you count on a company having a Photoshop license (or more relevantly, be willing to buy a license for YOU)?

Working in the high tech world is about leveraging/transferring your knowledge into new situations. Pydev may not be the best Python IDE; on the other hand, it happens to be a IDE my dayjob company is developing for, and one which I can pretty much expect other software companies to know about or use.

I make exceptions sometimes. Here’s the software licenses I have bought in the past year or two:

  1. Abby Finereader ($150-200)–top of the line Windows OCR program for Project Gutenberg scanning. Time is money!
  2. Oxygen XML Editor ( academic/noncommercial license 75$)…..platform neutral XML Editor. Not the best for docs, but still, lots of functionality.
  3. RSS Radio ($15) great and easy RSS podcast downloader. Quite frankly, I had a lot of problems getting the free podcast programs to work, and this was the easiest.
  4. I would consider buying the WingIDE Personal program ($40) just to compare productivity with Pydev (and because it allegedly allows remote Zope debugging, which would be really cool).
  5. Dreamweaver MX (paid $200 on academic license). Useful at the time, not necessary now.
  6. StyleMaster CSS Editor ($60). Great program, unfortunately only for Windows. Makes Dreamweaver unneccessarily for basic web design.
  7. Also, because I use NotePadLight heavily as my main text editor, I am seriously considering paying the $30 or so dollars for the Pro version.
  8. Breeno Ebook organizer ($15). Powerful windows only ebook organizer and converter.
  9. I will probably get Vegas 6 when I start editing video (though I’d like to try the linux/open source equivalents at some point).
  10. Pocket Informant: POcket PC Organizer program (30$)
  11. Sprite Backup ($30) for backing up PDAs.

Free Productivity Programs

  1. NotepadLight
  2. Gimp
  3. OpenOffice–mainly for its spreadsheet more than anything else
  4. Pydev
  5. Winmerge
  6. obviously, a lot of others that are less about productivity but utilities (Putty, etc)
  7. Audacity, CDEx, Winamp