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Chitu Okoli chitu.okoli.org

Posted on Aug 29, 2010 in Computers and the Internet

Lenovo ThinkPad T510: Windows 7

Programs with no adequate Linux equivalent

iTunes

I hate iTunes. On my iPhone page, I explain that one of the things I hate about the iPhone is the fact that you have to use iTunes to interface with a computer. This wouldn’t be so terrible except that there is no iTunes for Linux. Thus, I am forced to boot into Windows in order to synchronize my iPhone with my computer. I hate this Apple limitation. For my past smartphones (all Palm-based), I wasn’t forced to use their installer unless I wanted to, and the system was sufficiently open that there were Linux alternatives. At least now, Rhythmbox does provide some iPhone syncing, which I mainly use for MP3s.

eMedia Guitar Method v5

I mostly run this program in VirtualBox under Linux. I comment on it in my Ubuntu page, so I won’t repeat the comments here.

Microsoft Office

I mostly run MS Office under Crossover Linux. I comment on it in my Ubuntu page, so I won’t repeat the comments here.

Microsoft Money

I mostly run this program in VirtualBox under Linux. I comment on it in my Ubuntu page, so I won’t repeat the comments here.

PhotoFiltre

I often need to do simple image manipulation tasks. I loved the Microsoft Office Photo Editor, a simple yet surprisingly functional little piece of software for manipulating images. I have no idea why they stripped out a lot of its useful features in the present version, Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Anyways, if you want a simple image editor (that is, something that is not as heavy-duty as GIMP or PhotoShop), then the freeware PhotoFiltre does a lot of useful tricks like image resizing, format conversion, simple MS-Paint-editing-type features, transparency, and so on. It’s certainly worth taking a look at. The only somewhat comparable Linux program I’ve found so far is gThumb, which isn’t nearly as functional; for PhotoFiltre-type features in Linux, I have to jump to the Gimp, which is overkill for most of my desired image editing.

Programs with fully adequate Linux equivalents

FileZilla

This is the same software as for Linux. I comment on it in my Ubuntu page, so I won’t repeat the comments here.

IZArc

IZArc is a file compressor. There are tons of them out there, but I chose to use IZArc since it got high ratings on SnapFiles; I have found SnapFiles ratings to be very reliable. Linux default archiving programs are more than adequate for my needs.

Mozilla Firefox

This is the same software as for Linux. I comment on it in my Ubuntu page, so I won’t repeat the comments here.

Mozilla Thunderbird

This is the same software as for Linux. I comment on it in my Ubuntu page, so I won’t repeat the comments here.

PSPad Editor

The Notepad text editor is very limited, to say the least. To do anything useful with text files, you’ve got to replace Notepad. My favourite Windows replacement is PSPad, which has extensive code formatting and editing functionality. I also love its regular expression functionality. It is a great tool for programmers. Notepad++ is also a good alternative, but I prefer PSPad. In Linux, I use Geany, which I comment on it in my Ubuntu page.

Skype

Skype is a well known Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony client. I use it. The Linux version is pretty lame, and is a couple versions behind the Windows version. It’s not lame enough to cause me to use the Windows version from within Linux, but I like the Windows version, while I tolerate the Linux version. There are several excellent equivalent Linux programs, but VoIP clients have very much to do with your friends’ networks. My friends mostly use Skype, so that’s what I use.

PDF-XChange PDF Viewer

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the default PDF viewer on most systems. While it is very functional, it has two huge problems: First, it loads very slowly, which is unacceptable considering the ubiquity of PDF files on the Web today. There are tons of free PDF viewers, most with relatively limited functionality, that can replace Acrobat Reader. Second, when you have a PDF form that can be filled out, Acrobat Reader doesn’t save your changes. You have to buy the super-expensive full version to do that. As far as I know, there are only two freeware PDF viewers that allow you to save changes. My preferred one is PDF XChange PDF Viewer (their free version). It is very functional, and saves PDF forms. This takes care of 95% of my PDF needs. For editing PDF forms, see what I use on Ubuntu and on my work computer (coming soon). The second freeware PDF viewer I know of that saves forms is the Nuance PDF Reader. I used it for a while before I learned that the PDF-XChange viewer could save forms. First, they require registration for download, and seem a bit overly afgressive to obtain users’ informations. Second, their saved forms seemed to not be fully compatible with other PDF readers like the Acrobat Reader, which is a major no-no. I didn’t test it thoroughly, but I eventually switched back to PDF-XChange, which has performed flawlessly for me.

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