Mukt Software Sources

Someone asked me about where to buy Mukt software. These days most people get their software from internet. Android phone users will probably have used playstore, similarly there is Microsoft Software download center. Apart from these “official” stores, there are countless other stores from where you get your software. For Mukt software, biggest repository is Sourceforge.net.   There are a huge list of software for almost every category. Let me share a few that are available for both Windows & Linux Computers and  I have found them useful. To see source of the software, click on the link.

Graphics & Multimedia: These are tools to edit and play multimedia files

  • GIMP is a Adobe Photoshop replacement. It allows you to do some heavy-weight editing of pictures.
  • Inkscape is for creating vector graphics, useful for logos, diagrams etc.
  • Blender is used for 3D model creation.
  • Scribus is for Desk-top publishing. I find it useful for making brochures, posters, invitation cards etc.
  • Audacity is to record and edit audio files
  • Musescore is to write music notation and play them on midi device
  • Istanbul is to record a desktop session. Unfortunately this work on only Linux. For windows users there is CamStudio.
  • LightWorks is for movie editing.

Office Application: Typically these are Word processor, Spread-sheet type softwares

  • Open Office :  This is like Microsoft Office suit.  Supported by Apache
  • Libre Office: Very much the same like Open Office. Essentially these two have branched off from same software. Currently it is hard to tell the difference.
  • GnuCash is for accounting. It is good for mainstream account keeping.
  • Money Manager Ex is another good application. It is simple but good for tracking personal finances
  • RedNoteBook is for keeping a diary
  • Mozilla Thunderbird is good for mail, calendar and task tracking

Creative Writing & Publishing

  • Bibisco is an excellent tool for planning your novel
  • Tex/Latex is a big group by itself for layout, formatting etc. There are some good Latex editors that make the task of writing on latex even easier. Ones I find useful are TeXstudio, TexWorks, LyX
  • Mendeley is an excellent tool for reference management. It has both mobile and desktop version, that helps me to keep my references handy and synchronized

Education (K-12)

There is a full OS specifically targeted for school kids in Ubuntu. It is called Edubuntu. Those who can give a separate computer to kids may explore the suit. Here I list some of the software that are also available in Windows.

  • GCompris is for small kids of 2-10 yrs, targeted for basic learning in the fun way. It has number of games that teach kids while playing
  • Celestica is a planetarium on desktop
  • GBrainy is for IQ test type of puzzles
  • Kalzium is for periodic table. It also offers molecule visualization and echemical equation solver
  • Klavaro is a touch typing tutor
  • Turtle is to teach computer programming

Engineering

  • FreeCAD is to make 3D solid modelling for engineering drawing.
  • LibreCAD is good for 2D drawing
  • SweetHome 3D is for making lay out for buildings. It has a good library of common household objects. By placing the furniture one can get a realistic feel of the room.
  • Freemat is for mathematical analysis. It is a drop-in replacement of Matlab software
  • GnuPlot is for plotting graphs
  • R is a language with huge collection of software libary. It is aimed at complex mathematical analysis

 

Mukt Software is all that you ever need

Since 2015 I shifted completely to Mukt software. Mukt software is also known as Free-Libre Open Source software, shortened as FLOSS. This is a type of licensing policy that allows owner of the software to share and modify the software they use. If you like a FLOSS software you can give a copy to your friend, it will not be a criminal act of piracy. You can view Mukt software movement as a gift economy. Where you may use a software developed by others. You are honor-bound to give back something that you are good at. It can be helping to spread the movement, by bug fix, developing new features or sponsoring the developers.

In English, free is often used as something which has no price. Richard Stallman, the pioneer of Free Software movement, often uses the phrase “free as freedom” to explain what he means by free software.  When he was in Kolkata, I proposed the word Mukt, which sort of caught his fancy. He recommended to use Mukt software where people understand what the word means. That gives us the name as Mukt Software.

If you visit any computer store you will be given a big list of software that you can buy.  I use Ubuntu, I can actually download virtually most of my software that I need. I do need a big many of them. In the world of Mukt advertisement do not work well. So it has been a kind of exploring to find the software that work well. I thought the list maybe useful for some of you. I use Ubuntu, but most of these software are available for other operating systems like Windows and OS/X as well.

In term of use perhaps my most used software in Mail. I use Mozilla Thunderbird. I has a mail, calendar, task list, news feed reader all clubbed into one. This mail reader lets me keep all my mails in my computer, nicely categorized. I use the mail filter setting extensively to remove junk mails.

Perhaps next in the importance list will be office pack categories of software. I use open office. It comes pre-installed in Ubuntu.  I has Word processor, spread sheet, presentation making, diagram software. all in one pack, nicely integrated.  I use another nifty software “Dia”. This is useful for making flow charts. Biggest advantage with Dia is its ability to export the diagram in SVG format.

I write books and article. Tex / latex editor is another useful tool that I use. There are several options. Often, for big books the matter is best handled in multiple files. There,  I just use a text editor and compile them using a small program. For smaller article that fits in one file, I use TexStudio. This helps me to concentrate on my writing instead of spending my time on fussy formatting. Typing mathematical formulas, giving citation, indexing etc.  on Latex is as easy as typing. Best, it produces pdf on the go.

To keep track of my finances, I use GnuCash.  This is a great tool that can even be used for keeping track of finances by even small business. I like its reports and charts.  For my personal account keeping, I do not need all its features. Frankly, I have not yet explored all the options it has.

I do use some other softwares. Like listening to music, text editors etc. I use the standard ones that comes with Ubuntu. Next important software that I use is a sketching tool, that I use to make engineering drawing. There are actually two of them. LibreCAD and FreeCAD.  I beats me on why people can’t choose some different names. I get pretty confused on what is for what. One is for making 2D and other makes 3D.  I remember it as that easy sounding one is for complex design.

FreeCAD
LibreCAD

FreeCAD can not only make 3D modelling, it has been used to generate CNC programs, feed the data to mesh generating tools and perform basic strength simulations.

Next in line is a cute journal keeper – RedNoteBook. This I use to keep notes of my days.  Perhaps I would miss the other important tool – KeePassx, that I use to keep all my passwords in safe place.

The list is not exhaustive. There are other less used sundry tools like Gimp – for image editing, inkscape – for SVG diagrams, Mendeley – for book reference keeping, gedit – for textediting, shutter – for screen shots,  bibisco – for keeping track of book writing, Freemat and R for complex mathematical calculations, gnuplot for graph plotting, Fritzing – for electronics circuits, KDiff3 for checking file changes.  There are a few web based tools that I deploy for automation and managing my work. But those are a different category of tools that I will cover some other day.