From The President December 2020
10th December 2020
Your Favourite Windows Apps
10th December 2020

Hugh Macdonald

Two issues ago I detailed my switch to using a Linux distribution on some of my computers and a good number of other members also shared their Linux stories, and the reason they use the various distributions that they do. As was outlined in these articles, one advantage of Linux over Windows is the ‘out of box’ experience you get when you install your chosen distribution. Rather than having to find a lot of applications to get up and running with, they are included by default. Things like an office suite, PDF viewer, and image manipulation program are all quite often there waiting for you to use in addition to the standard things that even Windows provides like a web browser and email client.

But I was curious to know from the members who were long-standing Linux citizens about what else they used on a regular basis. So I once again turned to Yammer, and specifically to the Linux Chat group, to find out.

So here are some of the less common ones that you might not have used on Windows (if you are switching) or Linux and you might want to explore these further over the holidays:

Midnight Commander – a brilliant dual-pane file manager with full copy, move and edit facilities. And if the worst happens and you can’t get into graphics mode, mc is still available to fix your problem because it runs in the terminal.

Evince – if your distribution doesn’t have a built in PDF viewer then this is a good choice. It also handles other types of documents as well.

Xsane – a handy utility for scanning documents.

Fwbackups – a full featured backup program for keeping your system secure.

Catfish – a very useful file search tool. If you’ve come from Windows, it’s a bit like Everything.

Skrooge – a personal finance management program.

Calibre – Ebook management software. It imports lots of different formats, allows you to catalogue them and they can be exported in other formats such as EPUB and PDF.

There are quite a number of applications there that might be useful to members. Remember that if you are coming from Windows, you don’t have to go searching for these applications, you can generally find them in the software store of your distribution and install them with one click. While you’re in the software store looking for these, check out the many categories of different apps that you can install on your chosen Linux distribution.

Thanks to Dennis Parsons, Roger Brown, Neil Barker and Gordon Loughnan for their contributions to this article.