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Open Source Software

When contemplating a new software to use, try to find the Open Source Software variant if available.

If you are a provider or consultant, do the research to find your customers the Open Source variant of accessible software if possible, you may not make any mark-up on the software product itself, but you'll gain benefits from open source longevity and client satisfaction.  Client satisfaction will turn into client retention in time, and you will benefit the Open Source community by using their products. It may take a bit more ingenuity to be profitable with promoting open source technologies, but good behavior goes a long way.

If you are an end user, do some searching, or ask your vendor if there is any Open Source alternatives to the software you need/use.  Closed source software may very well be the only option, but if an open sourced option is available, request that variant for maximum software longevity and usability over the course of your business life.

Further Details

We are huge fans of open-source software here at Mindpack Studios and we do our best to promote (F)OSS whenever possible.  Mature open source software can save time and money for most users, and in many cases offers a superior option to the closed source alternatives when measuring all costs.

Most importantly though, (F)OSS presents a type of software freedom that isn't found when dealing with proprietary establishments.  That Freedom is presented in a clear indication that the software, written as is, will be around indefinitely.

That freedom comes with some costs. Moving to Linux from MacOS/Windows can be a learning process, as well as a trial of patience as lots of commercial software packages are only available for Mac / Windows. In many cases that isn't the road that people want to travel, asking an employee to re-learn an entire operating system isn't usually in the job description.

We can fully sympathize with why using closed source software is beneficial to many corporations. This doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing approach though. Using a commercial operating system, but then using something like Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail, or LibreOffice as a daily office suite, will still yield benefits to productivity and cost.

FOSS Examples

Below, we've tried to include a single application from each genre that is universally available for Windows / Mac / Unix, any software that we have regular use with, we will post here.

Desktop Operating System: Ubuntu

Yes, we could list dozens of linux variants here, but if we had to choose just one, Ubuntu is one of the best for newcomers.

Office Suite: LibreOffice

An office suite that very quickly has become a competitive variant of Microsoft Office, and a godsend for those of us that use multiple operating systems and want an office suite that works with all of them.

E-mail Application: Thunderbird

One of the best mail clients on the planet (sorry mutt!)

Web Browser: Firefox

No introduction needed.

Graphics Editor: Gimp / Krita

A couple of fantastic graphic editor programs.

Video Transcoder: HandBrake

Maybe not something everyone needs, but a convenient way to transcode video formats.

Sound Editor: Audacity

Still the best audio recorder.

File Transfer Programs: Filezilla / WinSCP

Code Editor: Visual Studio Code

One of the best free code editors out there.

Mac Only Utilities

Unix Tools: Mac Ports & HomeBrew

Use many unix tools on a mac!

Windows Only Utilities

Unix Tools: WSL & Cygwin

Enjoy many unix tools on a PC by installing WSL or cygwin:

Text Editor: NotePad++

A very simple and powerful text editor we find ourselves installing to replace notepad / wordpad.


Windows based SSH Client