Category Archives: Open Source

View all posts listed under Open Source.

Inkscape resources to take you from newbie to power user


The vector editor Inkscape is what some might call a best-kept-secret among open source projects — in part, because few people outside the graphic design community have any experience working with vector artwork; also, in part, because it’s so powerful that it can seem intimidating at first blush. Here are a collection of Inkscape resources you may find helpful in learning Inkscape and in expanding your skill set.

Continue reading

Be Your Own Tech Support: 8 Free PC Troubleshooting Apps That Work

Are you the resident computer expert among your family or friends? If so, there may come a time this holiday season where at some point between dinner and dessert someone asks you to troubleshoot their ailing computer. Take a few minutes to get familiar with these free, open source repair tools and load them on a USB flash drive. You can diagnose and fix many pesky computer problems in the time it takes to clear the dinner table, and look like a hero by the time coffee is served.

Continue reading

Label & Card printing resources with TeX and LaTeX

Fans of OpenOffice, Abiword, and KOffice, and Scribus dominate the open source document printing discussion, because traditional office suites and desktop publishing apps account for the lion’s share of the pages in our paper trays. But for a lot of old-school typesetters and writers, nothing in the WYSIWYG realm can hold a candle to the performance and flexibility of TeX, and its popular LaTeX and BibTeX derivatives. Although TeX is most often used to create structured documents like research papers, it can be used to generate any document type — including specialty items. For the unfamiliar, here are some resources for using TeX to print envelopes, labels, badges, and cards.

Continue reading

An Open Source Toolkit for Your Small Business

Whether your small business has been around for years or you’re just starting out, it simply makes good sense to use open source software for everything from managing your office network to putting together slide decks for your next client presentation. Open source software is inexpensive (and often free!), secure, and easy to customize to the unique needs of your company. Unlike many commercial applications on the market today, you can even find in-depth, no-cost tech support from within the user community.

Continue reading

Finetune digiKam by Tweaking Its Settings

While you can start using digiKam without tweaking its settings, you might want to spend a few minutes modifying the application’s default configuration to make it work your way. digiKam features dozens of settings, and which ones you want to adjust is up to you. Here are a few examples to get you started. First off, choose Settings | Configure digiKam to open the Configure window which provides access to all digiKam’s settings.

Continue reading

Barcode Writer in Pure PostScript

We recently took a look at KBarcode, GUI application for Linux desktops that lets users create and print a variety of barcode formats. But KBarcode isn’t the only option. Terry Burton’s Barcode Writer in Pure PostScript (BWIPP), which is one of the GUI app’s backends, is a fast and flexible barcode generating tool in its own right.

Continue reading

Quality Printing with GIMP

In spite of Silicon Valley’s best efforts, it is still not a paperless world. On a free software desktop, this is rarely a problem, because significant work has gone into making CUPS, Foomatic, and other parts of the printing tool chain work well and integrate seamlessly into the application suite — at least, for the typical “office” document. There are still a few things the average user can do to enhance the quality of prints from graphics applications like GIMP. Some are common to all raster image editors but which you might need a refresher course on, and some of which are more specialized. Given the price of high-quality inks and photo paper, though, a little preparation can save both time and money.

By Nathan Willis

Continue reading

50 Open Source Tools to Make Your Life Easier

The open source community is vibrant, continually growing, and just loves to create applications and tools to make lives easier. Here are 50 of our favorite open source apps that help us do everything from managing pictures on our computer to learning about Jupiter and Mars.

Continue reading