State of my FOSS, 2015 – The Essentials

There are some basic things that you need to be able to do, and here are the FOSS tools to get you there.

Essential Software – Gets the work done

Libre Office -> Replaces Microsoft Office Suite

Okay, I have to get the boring one out of the way first, you have to have Libre Office. Does what Office Does. If you are an Office power user, you’ll probably find something to quibble about here, but I seriously doubt it. Obviously this is not a cloud version like the newest Office products, your mileage may vary as to that being a pro or a con. Also, this does not have a mail component, but people only use Outlook because they have to (work email), anyway.

Scribus -> Replaces Adobe InDesign / Microsoft Publisher

I hate Publisher, so I didn’t want to put that up there, but a lot of people don’t know any better, because InDesign is so expensive. Welcome Scribus, a desktop publishing software that does what you need. No more wrestling with Publisher to put a text box where you want it, or have to recreate stuff that you’d like on a template page, and no subscription. Best of both worlds. This is a really powerful program, and as a previous InDesign power user, I can tell you, you won’t miss a thing. Top that off with great documentation and a decent Open Source community, and this program is gold.

Geany -> Replaces {text editor}
If you aren’t jumping to Linux, then NotePad++ is your go to for a text editor. If you are, then you’ll have more of a headache than it’s probably worth trying to install NP++, so go with Geany. Lightweight, straight text editor with a few hattrick function. Easy to manipulate to a useable GUI editor, if you aren’t in for a jump to Emacs or VIM (it’s okay if you aren’t.)

VideoLAN VLC -> Replaces Windows Media Player (and just about everything else media wise.)

I debated about where to put VLC Media Player, but it’s an essential enough software that it belongs here. Forget about downloading codecs for crappy, resource hog media players. VLC gets the job done fast and efficiently. Even if you aren’t interested in pursuing the rabbit hole of FOSS, you need to download this program. If you have a media file format, VLC will play it. Period.


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