Programs I use, and why
[This page is under heavy development – Think of it as a beta]
I intent to make a kind of list of free software programs I use for different tasks, mentioning alternatives when pertinent, and giving reasons why I use what I use.
This section is actually for self reference, because I keep asking myself once in a “why don’t I use this or that program that looks so good?”. Anyway, it might make for interesting reading for any GNU/Linux user.
I use Xfce. People (even its developers) insist that its best pro is speed. I don’t agree: I use it for style and looks.
- It is clean and simple, with minimal bloat, yet good looking
- Speed. I don’t know why, but starting it takes ages. More than KDE even. And afterwards, opening apps takes as long as with any other DE
- KDE. The upcoming KDE4 looks really good, but up to now I find it bloated and cursi (affected or pretentious)
- It reads most file formats
- It resizes the image automatically to fit the window
- Zooming and rotating is fast and easy
- There are some formats it can’t read properly (SVG, for example)
- It is a bit in the slow side for the first load
- display (imagemagick). It reads more formats than EoG does, and is a bit faster, but transformations are slow, interaction is painful, and automatic resizing is not possible.
I use Konsole. It has everything I need.
- Bookmarks to open terminals in other machines or given dirs with a single click
- Could be faster to load
- Some bugs at configuring, e.g. transparent background (which I don’t use)
- All the features I want
- All features you can think of through addons
- Slow startup
- Sometimes eats up CPU/RAM for no reason
- Konqueror. The idea of “all-in-one”, web browser, file manager and file viewer for a desktop (KDE) seems infortunate to me. When I use it, most of the time I don’t know what I’m doing, and the interface should be different for browsing and file managing.
- Epiphany. It’s certainly fast, but lacks features. And its looks are horrible, please.
- Opera. Nice browser, but it is proprietary, and this sucks.
Photograph collection manager
See also List of image organizers at Wikipedia.
I use digiKam. I have used it and F-Spot, and I like this one better.
- It’s full of features. It has all I need
- Slow on startup
- A bit bloated
- I haven’t managed to generate “default” styles (e.g. for spreadsheets)
- PROs: you can easily generate default styles for documents
- CONs: it’s not possible to “select all cells”. It’s not possible to write superscripts or subscripts, and I use them a lot (e.g. CO2).
- Nice and intuitive graphical interface
- Has most features I need/want: limiting up/down rates at will, limiting up/down rates per torrent, display of current rates, ETAs, sizes, etc. per torrent…
- Previous versions were a bit buggy. Latest (as of Jan 2008), hasn’t crashed on me yet
- Uploads are slow when donwloads are going on (for no reason)
- Statistics are limited
- Total uploaded/downloaded amount of data is reseted at closing. You can not have “historic” up/down totals
- aMule. Not BT, but eD2K
- Azureus. It has a nice GUI, and the features are great, having even historic statistics. However it is extremely heavy on computer resources. It is a pain in the *ss to run, put bluntly.
- Transmission. Looks good. Haven’t given it a serious try, because KTorrent works so well
I use Thunar, the default FM of Xfce. It is really fast, and gives me all I ask of it.
I use Amarok.
I use Evince.
I use gFTP.
Disk usage analyzers
I use Filelight.