Priceless and dependable

Here is my list of worthy Netizens that, at least to me, have been priceless, dependable and have stood the test of time.  I use and depend on them heavily.  It goes without saying, they come highly recommended.  They’re not in yer face about asking for money, they hardly bombard you with ads.  Be sure to donate, buy, or just use and support them!

  • Thunderbird by Mozilla - cross platform email client, that I’ve been using on more OSes and years than I want to count.  First used 1996 (as Netscape Messenger).  Last used: today!
  • Firefox by Mozilla - cross platform browser, after IE killed Netscape, was the browser that woke me up from a walking dead.  Still going strong, but possibly had its heyday!  First used: 1994 (as Netscape Navigator).  Last used: this week.
  • Truecrypt by Truecrypt - cross platform file encryption, and highly recommend it if you want to encrypt your files whether on Windows, Mac, or Linux, and probably a lot more.  First used: 2005 (on Windows) 2007 (on Linux), 2008 (on Mac).  Last used: this week.
  • VLC by VideoLAN - not only is free a cross platform movie player, but its so much more, a streamer, web server, remote control.  First used: 2006.  Last used: this week.
  • Handbrake by Handbrake - a very dependable cross-platform video transcoder, with a pretty easy to use GUI, and a awesome command line interface.  First used: 2005.  Last used: this year.
  • CentOS by CentOS.org  - a red hat compatible linux distro, sometimes feel a bit guilty about this one, but I’ve paid my fair share to RH.  First used: 2001 (as Red Hat).  Last used: last year (as admin), this month (as user).
  • Wikipedia by Wikipedia - my trusty all-knowing elder, a true god-send when I first started using this.  And they still have no Ads!   Everyone who depends on this free service should consider contributing or donating to this worthy cause.  First used: 2001.  Last used: this week.
  • FileZilla by FileZilla - such a simple (s)ftp client I can’t believe I still rely on these after all these years.  First used: 2001.  Last used: this month.
  • Putty by Simon Tatham - whenever I’m on Windows, this is my go to SSH client.  First used: 2002.  Last used: last year (I use Mac terminal these days)
  • GIMP by GIMP - Another great cross-platform image editor going back years from the early days of KDE / GNOME.  First used: 1996.  Last used: this month.
  • OpenOfficeOrg by OOo / Oracle.  Had depended on this for many years, and is still a viable office suite with word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and other common apps.  Difficult to replace MS Office, and hard to recommend on Mac now that iWork is free.  Since they are now owned by Oracle, donations are not as encouraged.  First used 2005.  Last used: last year.
  • DropBox by DropBox – I’m mentioning these guys, although they are a paid service, because I can’t believe I’m still on the free 2G plan, which I’ve absolutely no complaints about.  Am expecting to convert to paid though to get more storage.  If you like them, buy some extra storage!  First used: 2009.  Last used: today.
  • Disk Inventory X by Derlien - Mac version of a Tree Size viewer.  Really useful when you want to clear stuff from your nearly full hard disk.  First used: 2008.   Last used: this month.
  • WinDirStat by Bernhard - Windows version of a Tree Size viewer.  Really useful when you want to clear stuff from your nearly full hard disk.  First used: 2005.   Last used: this month.
  • Notepad++ by Don Ho - Windows focused open source text editor, light weight and fast text editor, which is also open sourced.  First used: 2005.  Last used: this year.
  • ImgBurn by ImgBurn - Windows focused free and very lightweight CD / DVD burning utility which you can use to create iso’s from a disk, burn iso’s to a CDR / DVDR.  First used 2007.  Last used: this year.
  • SysInternals Suite by Mark Russinovich - Technically owned by Microsoft now, so donations are not really necessary, but still available as a free download, there are too many super useful utilities for managing and maintaining a Windows based computer.  Highly recommended.  First used: 1998.  Last used: this year.

There are of course many other great products and resources that I use regularly, but are not listed, most often because I have paid a fair price to use it, or they are community or otherwise free, but have been bought out by a for profit company for suspicious intentions, possibly to shut it down later, or otherwise inhibit the community spirit.  For the above, however, not only do they provide great products and services, often for free, they also ask for little in return.  For some companies, they’ll give you free products and services, while great, you can imagine and see how they sustain their business, such as through subsequent sell-through, or through heavy advertising and possibly even selling your personal information.  This is fine of course, a business is a business, but for that reason they are not in the same league of greatness.  However, for the above, they don’t seem to do that, and in fact I’m often puzzled at their business case, how do they make money and survive?  Hence, I happily conclude they are true Netizens that are so passionate about what they do that they’re delighted just to spread the good.  For this reason, I’m often compelled to donate generously if they have a PayPal button.

Shout outs to the following, and by implication, I think they’re excellent.  Check them out!