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 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.