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Free Download of Open Source Software CD-ROM for Windows

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Tired of the strangle-hold Microsoft has on the software world? There is a viable alternative that people are turning to: open source software. What do open source applications look like? Download this CD-ROM and install some of the applications on your Windows computer to see. The idea behind the CD-ROM is that all the applications are open source, and they also exist to run on Linux computers. Linux is a ubiquitous operating system that can be found in everything from home electronics to personal computers to some of the world's largest and most powerful computers. Much of the Internet runs on Linux servers. I believe that sooner or later, Linux and open source applications will gain a firmer foothold in North America, leading to a multi-billion dollar industry. All the major hardware players offer Linux and open source software, and we're talking about big, established companies like IBM, Novell, Sun, and HP.

Richard Houston has created a CD-ROM of open source software for Windows you can download for free. What's the purpose of offering up the CD? Ultimately, it's to educate people about the phenomenon of open source software as an alternative to "closed source" software. That is, software that you can't download to improve the code yourself. E-mail Rich with your feedback.

According to Wikipedia, "Open source software refers to computer software available with its source code and under an open source license to study, change, and improve its design." I personally love the concept of companies being able to improve upon the software if they want to, and then sharing their improvements for the rest of the community to benefit. Most open source applications are free but that isn't always the case with everything. Red Hat is possibly the best known Linux company around, and they offer up products that you must pay for with subscriptions for upgrades and support: Red Hat Enterprise Edition, versions AS, ES, WS, and Red Hat Desktop. In Red Hat's FAQ, they discuss the ability to download the source code for their Enterprise Editions, which are licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

In fact you can download the source code from our FTP servers at any time. However, Red Hat does not provide free access to the binaries of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and these, combined with an annual subscription to Red Hat Network, access to upgrades, and a selected support service, are the components that comprise an Enterprise Linux subscription.

What follows is based on information found at Rich's blog, "Rich on Linux, OSS and other stuff." These applications can be freely downloaded and generally run on Windows or Linux, but the CD-ROM being offered for download contains software that runs on Windows.

If you're Bit Torrent-savvy, you can use the bittorrent file.

Here are some of the programs you will find on the CD-ROM, with brief descriptions.

3D Animation:
Blender. Blender is open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation, and playback. Available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.

Art Of Illusion. Art of Illusion is a free, open source 3D modelling and rendering studio. It is written entirely in Java, and should be usable on any Java Virtual Machine which is compatible with J2SE 1.4 or later.

7-zip. 7-zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. The program supports 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, LZH, CHM, GZIP, BZIP2, Z, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB formats. Compression with the new 7z format is 30-50% more efficient than the older ZIP format.

Database servers:

MySQL server: MySQL is the premier open source relational database server. MySQL can be found under the covers of many high volume website such as NASA and Yahoo, as well as Blogcritics.org.

PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL is a feature rich and powerful object-relational database manager server.

Desktop publishing:
Scribus. Open Source Desktop Publishing for Linux, MacOS® X, and Windows

Development tools:
Eclipse. Eclipse is an open source community whose projects are focused on providing an extensible development platform and application frameworks for building software.

File sharing:
FrostWire. FrostWire is an open source version of the popular LimeWire P2P file sharing program.

The Gimp. A raster image editor similar in function to Adobe Photoshop.

GimpShop. The Gimp, but made to look and act like Adobe Photoshop.

Inkscape. A vector graphics program similar in function to Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator.

Web Browser:
Mozilla Firefox. The second most-used web browser in the world, and gaining!

Mozilla Thunderbird. A feature-rich email client from the makers of Firefox.

Instant Messaging:
Gaim. A multi-protocol instant messaging client for accessing AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, and others.

RSS reader:
RSSOwl. RSSOwl lets you gather, organize, update, and store information from any compliant source in a convenient, easy to use interface, save selected information in various formats for offline viewing and sharing, and much more. It’s easy to configure, available in many many languages and best of all, it’s platform-independent.

Media Players:
VLC. A very capable media player which includes most common and some less common multimedia files. DVD playback included.

Office tools:
OpenOffice. A feature-rich and Microsoft compatible office suite.

PDF Creator. A free print-to-PDF program.

Security software:
TrueCrypt. A very capable disk encryption tool. Similar to BestCrypt or PGP Disk.

OpenVPN GUI client. A graphical client for accessing the popular and open source OpenVPN server software

Sound Editing:
Audacity. An open source sound editor.

Spyware detection:
Spybot. Spyware detection and removal tool.

Video Editing:
JAHSHAKA. The worlds first Open Source Realtime Editing and Effects System. Jahshaka takes advantage of the power of OpenGL and OpenML to give its users exceptional levels of performance. We currently support Linux, MacOS X, Irix and Windows, and Solaris is on the way! Jahshaka is licenced to the public under the GNU GPL agreement.

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About Triniman

Almost weekly, Triniman catches new movies, and adds one or two CDs to his collection. Due to time constraints, he blogs about only 5% of the CDs, books and DVDs that he purchases. Holed up in the geographic centre of North America, the cultural mecca of Canada, and the sunniest city north of the 49th, Winnipeg, Triniman blogs a bit when he's not swatting mosquitoes, shoveling snow or golfing.
  • Excellent article!

    There is no substitute for Linux, but if you are tied up with your arms and legs to MS-lock-in this is the second best choice!


  • I’m glad you included PostgreSQL in this, but perhaps it would be best if you used the PostgreSQL logo instead of the MySQL one? 🙂

  • Nice, useful article and introduction to open source software…I think it is a good idea to have this CD give all the details on Windows, since that will enable lots of folks enslaved by Microsoft to know linux and open source better

    At eIT.in, we also have a page that provides lots of web resources for free & open source sofware . Hope this link is of help too


  • Two months since this article came out and it still shows up once in a while in the Most Popular article listing. Clearly, people are interested in alternatives to MS, especially when they are at no cost.

  • Eye-opener! Thanks for the update,must needed info to be had. Once again there is HOPE.

  • Thats because open source will always have the majority vote. Where else can we get improved versions of previous softwares for free? Even phones are now coming out with Linux software 🙂

  • Jayesh

    The reason Is simple Linux is strong competition to Microsoft and this new thing about the source code is unknown to me we can get it but i think We still need to get it done from the linux website.Well thanks for providing this wonderful info