Becoming a nerd – open source software

Since I’ve started a new job as a PhD student, I am doing my best to become a proper nerd. I have switched from Windows to Ubuntu, and I have been testing many software applications under Ubuntu to find alternatives to what I’ve been used to. Here’s a list of what I am currently using for which purpose. I try to stick to open source software. If you click on the link, it will open in a new window/tab. So far I am very happy with my choices.

  • FreeFileSync – syncronizing data between computers. Simple and robust tool.
  • Krusader – file management made easy!
  • Mendeley – managing, sharing and indexing research papers. Makes referencing a joy. And you can share papers with your group online as well.
  • JabRef – reference manager integrated with Mendeley.
  • digiKam – photo management. i used to miss the Windows Live Photo Gallery. But now I’ve dicovered that digiKam offers the same and much more so who needs Windows?
  • Firefox – web browsing. Works fine. Epiphany or Chrome are an alternative, but Firefox works fine for me so why switch?
  • Thunderbird – Email client that I find way nicer than Outlook.
  • Lightning – calendar extension of Thunderbird. Syncronized via Dropbox!
  • Libre Office – document production and data processing, faster than Microsoft Office and completely free. I usually make my documents in Lyx, a document processor that is LaTeX integrated.
  • PDF-Xchange viewer – PDF viewer and editor. The newest Adobe Reader X is unfortunately unavailable (yet) under Linux. Unfortunately because no other PDF viewer/editor I’ve tested, and I tried most of them, offers the same level of sophistication in a user-friendly interface. PDF-Xchange works OK, but it has to be installed in Wine, so its an ad-hoc measure. Printing from PDF-Xchange viewer does not work properly, perhaps due to the Wine layer between the program and Ubuntu. I guess it could have been set straight, but I just use Adobe Reader for printing jobs.
  • Sciplore – a mind mapping tool based on FreeMind. It is supposed to be fully integrated with Mendeley via JabRef but its not working properly yet. Hope they will fix it soon. In the meantime Sciplore is my “workhorse” for keeping all my information together. Notes, links, people, ideas – all organized in one big mind map.
  • Getting Things Gnome – simple and efficient task manager.
  • PdfMod and PDF-Shuffler – simple applications for modifying PDF documents – reorder, rotate, and remove pages etc. They are both doing the same job, so I just keep both.


Filed under Work

4 responses to “Becoming a nerd – open source software

  1. anthonyvenable110

    Very informative and I definately agree with you on libreoffice as it is the software that I am the most familiar with out of the list it is awesome indeed!

  2. anthonyvenable110

    Reblogged this on anthonyvenable110 and commented:
    such a great post

  3. There are enough PDF readers full featured, Adobe is only the appearence nothing more.
    From LibreOffice you can even make great ones, like in OpenOff.
    Thunderbird with Lightn. calender is the combo i also use daily, they are indeed great.

    For PDF viewers : Xpdf, Mupdf, ePDFviewer, ViewPDF, Document Viewer, Zathura, Calibre (which is e-book reader, full featured, also for pdf of course),

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