Open Source or Free web aps that make your life easier

There are many free open source or web based graphics programs out there. Like all teams, the last thing we need to spend money on is software. Can we make a list here of your favorite free open source or web based applications that make your life easier. Let us know what you use them for and tips on how to use them.

I’ll start with 4 image manulipation programs.

Sumo Paint I just found this. Web based application. Photoshop stuff

Gimp I have this on a flash drive. It is a great photoshop clone. There are many programs that you can run from a flash drive. Our school does not allow installing software on the computers, so running applications from a flash drive works for us.

Inkscape VECTOR GRAPHICS… If you want an image to scale, you need inkscape. The takes the place of Illustrator. This is a perfect tool for making logos.

Irfanview Nice image editing. Best feature is the ability to batch process images. Want to make all images the same size for a web page? Use this.

What’s in your toolbox?

I have many different portable apps, but this is what i use.

OpenOffice Portable-Replaces MS Office, but can save as MS Office compatible
Opera Portable-My favorite web browser
Firefox Portable-My second Favorite web browser

I get most of mine from
They seem to be really useful at school…considering some of the school computers wont even let us download anything…

As far as graphics programs, I second Gimp and Inkscape. I also like Blender as much as I don’t know how to use it. Also:

-Hugin - Panorama creator
-Xara Xtreme - Vector graphics program in case Inkscape doesn’t work on your computer

Other open-source programs I love:

-Audacity - General purpose audio editor with thousands of available plugins
-Rosegarden - MIDI composition program, similar scale to Finale
-Avidemux - Basic-function non-linear video editor
-VLC - Media player and converter (through Transcode)
-Pidgin - Multi-service IM client. Supports Jabber through MSN.
-Rhythmbox - Audio manager similar to iTunes, but free. Maybe only Linux, not sure
-Firefox and Thunderbird - Web browser and e-mail client. Obviously, just mentioning.
-Piklab - Clone of MPLab. Unfortunately, no clone of C18 yet.
-pictools - Java version of IFI Loader, works on Linux.
-Ubuntu Linux - Free operating system, some of the best compatibility of all the Linux branches.

- - Fully functional public Windows 32-bit C++] compiler.

I love open-source, so if you want some more lists, send me a message.

Everyone seems to have their IDE of choice, but this one is mine. It’s great for HTML/PHP, but with a bit of tinkering, you can link it to a compiler for Java, C, C++, etc.

A powerful and free zip archiver.

A free FTP client and a free FTP server. I’ve used both and am very happy with them.

The king of all webservers, and it’s free.

Free, very useful, easy to use, and functional firewall.

The Scanner
Gives you a cool concentric pie chart of your drive usage. Great if you want to see what’s taking up all that space.

7zip- is a great file compressor that can compress and decompress a variety of file types

MPlayer is my favorite media player. it can play almost any type of media file and is very quick to start up

Gimp, thats all I can think of for images.

Gmail - I can’t live without Gmail.
Google Docs - Online manager/editor of a world of documents. Our whole team runs off Google Docs
Quicksilver(mac) - An app launcher and can MANY other things just using keystrokes
Firefox - enough said
Open Office(.org) - MS office replacement
Notepad++(windows) - My favorite free text/code editor
Netbeans - Mainly a Java IDE but also has others.

Thats all I can think of for right now. I’m not really into image editing software. Although I do want to download Blender sometime soon, and start learning that.

MS has a ton of powertoys tools.
The best I use all the time to easily resize pictures for uploading to web applications, is called Image Resizer & can be found here:

I don’t have any web specific apps, but i have a list of open source ones.

#1. GIMP - nice all around image manipulator
2.Inkscape - vector images
3. 7zip - great zip archiver/decompresser
4. Scribus - nice pamphlet and document program. (microsoft publisher replacement)
5.Blender - 3D animation, but hard to learn
6.Ubuntu Linux - great OS (especially if you need a system with practically no down time (ie. no viruses))

Scribus is a professional quality desktop publishing program. Definitally a Microsoft Publisher replacement. I have both Pagemaker and Quark and Scribus is better than both.

NVU is a free WYSIWYG html editor. Writes very clean code. Renders floats better than Frontpage.

Notepad++ Text/html/php, etc editor. This is a must if your coding goes beyoud WYSIWYG

Foxit Reader A lighter weight alternative to Adobe’s PDF reader. The free version works wonders on older machines. Not Open source though. :frowning:

For really great ad blocking and pop up blocking lynx works for me.

I will throw another vote in for Ubuntu, having a system be up all the time is a nice thing. My current uptime is about 42 days and the last time I turned it off was due to a power outage.

On Ubuntu my list of handy apps are:
libsensors - Command line tool for checking temperatures.
grep - Command line text searching tool. ( is done entirely using grep at the moment)
curl/wget - Command line tools for getting web pages.
Apache - Best Web Server EVER
Webmin -For people who dont like terminals, web based server configuration.
MySql - Amazing database for storing info, many commercial sites use this as their back end.
PHP - widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

That is all I can come up with at the moment.

Dia a diagram program like Visio.

Gaim portable, and Firefox portable…IE sucks so badly, and thats all they have installed in the Free library of Philadelphia…and web-based im software is soooo slow…

FastStone Photo Resizer - Batch editing/resizing/renaming, massively useful for galleries
IzArc - Decompresses Zip/Rar with a right click, batch decompress

RocketDock - Mac-style program dock for Windows.
CCleaner - Cleans up Windows temp files, uninstalls, and scans registry for invalid keys.
XmlPad - I use this over Notepad++ for XML documents because it has built-in DTD checking.
FileMenu Tools - Great program for tweaking Windows Explorer.
Everything - Very quick index-based search for Windows.
Active@ ISO Burner - Free ISO burning utility.
avast! Antivirus - Free antivirus. I find it more responsive than AVG.

Forgot to mention a couple of command-line things:

-Timidity++ - MIDI sequencer with some of the best voices I’ve heard.
-Rhythmbox - iTunes replacement for Linux.
-apropos - Type in a keyword and it’ll give you every program, library, or general topic having to do with it
-aptitude - Linux package manager, fast, automatic, no dependency hell.
-motion - Connect any webcam and this program will detect a moving picture and interpret it.
-occrad - Optical character recognition program, the computer-based version of what we have on this year’s controller
-wget - Command-line file download program, takes the headache out of writing programs based on server files

All of these are on Linux, sorry, but I think a few of them have Windows ports, and you can force them into Apple/Darwin if you’re determined enough.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned Evernote yet. Keeps notes and things available on all your devices.

or Remember the Milk

Sounds really useful.

I can’t put into words how much I love aptitude. I cringe now whenever I have to install software on a Windows machine.

SDCC has at least some support for PIC18s as targets. That said, it doesn’t like the C18-specific extensions in the code for the old control system.

My contributions:
-> Eclipse can be a bit daunting, but it’s really useful, if only because it, through plugins, supports more languages and development tools than you can shake a stick at.
-> GNU find is amazing. If you’re unlucky enough to be tied to Windows, install Cygwin right now even if it’s just to run find.


A very useful (if slightly bloated) application that links social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and others), IM clients (AIM, MSN, and others), and E-Mail clients (Yahoo, G-Mail, Hotmail, and others). It is nice to have everything in just one program, without having to open 4 different programs and 6 different browser tabs just to get caught up with the morning news. RSS feed integration is in the works, and I can’t wait.

Best of all, it’s free.

You can also get the GIMP plugin David’s Batch Processor.