Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Useful Applications

Today I’d like to highlight a few programs I find extraordinarily helpful. If you’d like to give them a try simply click here (Run or Download and Run the program) and a folder will appear on your desktop with shortcuts to all the programs below.

A few highlights: these programs can help you manipulate PDFs, Pictures and Audio files. There is a tool for creating Webpages and Page layouts for flyers or magazines. I’ve even included one that is just fun, I hope you get as much use out of them as I do (and have fun doing it).

FotoGraphix - Image Editor (more powerful than paint easier than GIMP)
GIMP - Image Editor (Powerful but complex)
GreenShot -ScreenShot Tool
Scribus - Desktop Publishing (more powerful than Microsoft Publisher)

PDF Manipulation
Foxit - PDF Reader (Quicker than Adobe reader)
PDF Viewer - PDF Reader (Quicker than Adobe reader)
PDFTKBuilder - Simple interface allows you to Combine, Rotate and Split PDFs

Office Utilities
Nvu - Simple Webpage Creator
OutlookAttachView - Helps you manage your email attachments
PeaZip - Archives and Un-archives .zip .rar and a host of other formats
Snowbird - Alternate File Explorer (lets you quickly browse your files breadcrumb style)
Toucan - Program to help you backup/sync your files.

Sound and Video
VLC - Media player that plays almost any Video or Audio file
ImgBurn -Cd or DVD Burning, Nice and Simple
Audacity -Allows you to edit sound files such as .mp3s

Just for Fun
Stellarium - A Constellation Viewer (needed a fun program in the list I mean … um, it’s useful for calculating religious holidays and stuff…)

Disclaimer: These programs are not guaranteed or supported by ITS in any way. I seriously doubt it but if they do cause your computer to act strangely ITS can’t help you. Fortunately most of these programs have active forums which I have linked above. If you do run into trouble please check on the appropriate forum.

If you are offsite or using a laptop the click-here-link above will not work for you. Instead you may download the pack of programs here (110MB Download). Once you’ve downloaded the file simply unzip the file. You’ll find shortcuts (that will work) inside.

Finally these programs are made to work with windows only (sorry Mac and Linux folk)

The disclaimers and addendum's are just to keep ITS from getting swamped with questions we can’t answer. I have been happily and productively using these programs with no ill effects for some time and I’m sure you will have much the same experience. Have fun!

As always contact the helpdesk if you have any questions (617-948-6109, ext 109 or helpdesk@uua.org)

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