14 open source software to discover to create, work, optimize and have fun

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The Internet is full of software whose authors make the source code available to the public. In this abundance, we find real nuggets. We invite you to discover 14 of them in different fields.

Beyond the great classics like Mozilla Firefox internet browser, LibreOffice office suite, GIMP photo editing software, Blender modeler or the essential VLC video player, there is a lot of free software. a formidable efficiency developed by a handful of passionate programmers. . Let’s take a look at some of these nuggets, whether you’re looking for screenshot software, a VPN, or a game. And you, what is your favorite open source software? Feel free to share your findings in the comments.

1 / 0AD: go to conquer the world, with total freedom

If you like RTS (Real Time Strategy), I like it Command and win, 0AD should give you some (good) sleepless nights. The principle is simple: you have to gather the resources you need to raise a military force and dominate your enemies. Undoubtedly, the realization does not live up to current productions such as Age of Empires IV, but the fun is there. Above all, it is possible to organize online Dantesque games with several friends, whether on Windows, Linux or macOS. Along the same lines, we also invite you to give it a try The battle for Westnothanother turn-based strategy game.

0AD © screenshot / Les Numériques

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2 / VeraCrypt: protects your sensitive data

If you want to protect certain computer data in an encrypted space, VeraCrypt is probably the software for you. Derived from the widely used TrueCrypt (abandoned by its creators and suspected of containing security flaws), VeraCrypt is on the list of free software recommended by the French state as part of the global modernization of its information systems. The software allows you to create an encrypted computer storage volume in which all types of documents can be stored: photos, PDFs, movies, programs, etc. VeraCrypt uses the following encryption systems: AES, Camellia, Kuznyechik, Serpent, and Twofish. If you deposit your VeraCrypt volume on removable media or on a remote server, you can easily access sensitive data from different locations or devices. Too bad there is no version for Android or iOS.

veracripta

© Screenshot / Digital

3 / WinDirStat: search for occupants

After scanning a hard disk or other computer media, WinDirStat displays a graphical representation of the tree structure of the files. This allows you to quickly “see” which software or documents take up the most space on your computer. It is certainly not the fastest in the task and WizTree is much faster, but the latter is not open source even though its use is free. Essential to free up space on your hard drives.

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WinDirStat

Here’s a “nice” representation of files on a hard drive. © Screenshot / Digital

4 / Bulk Crap Uninstaller: for spring cleaning

The name is certainly not very attractive, but this open source software allows you to cleanly uninstall most Windows applications (Windows Store applications, Steam). In fact, Bulk Crap Uninstaller not only removes software, but also folders, registry keys, and various files that are generated during installation. It is especially effective for getting rid of preinstalled software on computers. In addition, it allows you to choose which software will run when your machine starts to optimize its operation.

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Bulk shit uninstaller

Let’s go to the spring cleaning of your computer. © Screenshot / Digital

5 / Snappy Driver Installer: Stay up to date!

Keeping your computer up to date is essential to ensure its proper functioning and especially to limit security breaches. Of course, you can use Microsoft’s Windows Update utility, but this isn’t necessarily the most up-to-date, and it can sometimes take weeks for your system to offer you a download. Snappy Driver Installer is a software that lists the different components and peripherals of your computer and offers you an update according to the instructions found on the Internet. Well, Snappy Driver Installer suggests that you create a Windows restore bridge. If a driver malfunctions, you can easily go back. This is a good solution for people who help their loved ones to keep their computers in good condition.

Snappy driver installation

To keep your Windows computer up to date. © Screenshot / Digital

6 / RustDesk: so far, so close

If you want to help family members remotely help with computer maintenance, RustDesk is an easy-to-implement and effective solution if not the fastest. Installing the solution is child’s play, as you only need to start the software on the machine to be controlled and communicate the username and password to the remote person, who will then be able to see your computer and take control of the latter. RustDesk requires that you go through an available server for free, but you can, to improve the confidentiality of your connections, host your own system, particularly on a Synology NAS.

rustdesk

© Screenshot / Digital

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7 / Scrcpy: Access an Android phone from your computer

From a marketing point of view, Scrcpy is not the software whose name is the easiest to pronounce and the easiest to remember. But this little software developed in Java allows you to view the screen of an Android smartphone on a computer (Windows, macOS or Linux) and take control. The lines of code also allow you to record the video screen, which can be very useful for tutorials. Please note that using Scrcpy requires the installation of ADB software, which allows you to access a smartphone from a computer.

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scrcpy

Scrcpy requires ADB software to be installed to work. © Screenshot / Digital

8 / ProtonVPN: for surfing covered

Along with Mullvad, ProtonVPN is one of our favorite VPNs (virtual private network). Both are open source, but ProtonVPN has the advantage of offering a free, albeit restricted, version. ProtonVPN, in its free version, allows access to servers in the Netherlands, the United States and Japan. Obviously, it is not possible to connect several devices at the same time. And while the speed may be limited by the request of the servers, it is still enough to securely access an open wifi network in a hotel or restaurant.

protonvpn

9 / Ferdi: a tool to bring them all together (or almost)

Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Gmail, but also ProtonMail or Juggernaut, we are often overwhelmed by an impressive number of communication tools and find it difficult to follow all the channels we have at our disposal. Ferdi, Franz-derived software that is now limited to three accounts in its free version, allows you to centralize your messaging (email, instant communication), but also your social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. This way, you will keep an eye on all your channels in a French interface. Too bad Ferdi isn’t compatible with Signal messaging at the moment. Keep in mind that it is possible to create workspaces to separate your professional life from your private life.

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ferdy

Ferdi concentrates a considerable number of communication services. © Screenshot / Digital

10 / whaleEtcher: to easily create bootable USB sticks

Often, open source applications do not benefit from a crafted graphical interface. This is not the case with BalenaEtcher, which is displayed in a tidy but very functional window. The software allows you to record images (ZIP, img, iso) on different media such as USB or SD keys. To avoid corrupt images, whale Etcher proposes to check the consistency of the data at the end of the recording. How easy it is to install many Linux distributions to try them out!

whaleEtcher

whaleEtcher © Screenshot / Digital

11 / PeaZip: Data compression (and decompression) at a click away

If 7ZIP, another open source compression software, has gained a good reputation, especially in Windows, PeaZip presents itself as an interesting alternative for Windows, Linux and macOS. It has a non-localized, identical graphical interface regardless of the platform. The software handles a large number of compression formats, but also encryption. Advanced users can also install PeaZip to make it accessible from the context menus.

PeaZip

Unfortunately, the PeaZip interface is in English.

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12 / Ocenaudio: the Swiss audio razor

For a long time, Audacity reigned supreme in the world of open source audio. But now, after being taken over by the Russian company Muse Group, suspicions about the use of personal data have outweighed the reputation of the software. Different alternatives were born such as Tenacity, a bifurcated (modified copy) of Audacity, but the development of the latter seems inactive. We recommend that you listen to Ocenaudio, which seems to be unanimous in the open source community, with software with a clear interface (in French) and many features. Too bad there is no online or manual help to get you started quickly, your wealth deserves some literature.

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ocenaudio

The interface of Ocenaudio is reduced, which simplifies its handling. © Screenshot / Digital

13 / Joplin: share your notes

With Joplin, Zettlr, or Boostnote, a new generation of software is available, including word processor, code editor, and note-taking. Joplin, available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, lets you quickly create text files whose design is based on Markdown. Completely in French and displayed in a quick and easy to use interface, Joplin also offers the ability to retrieve information (text, image, etc.) from your Internet browser using an extension. Your documents can be synced to your different devices by taking advantage of online backup (Nextcloud, OneDrive, Dropbox) or at home by hosting the server.

Joplin

Joplin: a powerful document editor for technical documents. © Screenshot / Digital

Before sending an email, letter or CV, it is important to check that they do not contain misspellings. You can use the correctors included in Microsoft Word or your Internet browser, but there is also LanguageTool. This spell checker is available online directly on the website, but also as an extension for your browser. Just copy the text to be corrected to start the analysis. A subscription of € 4.99 / month allows you to exceed the limit of 10,000 corrected signs and get advice on how to improve your writing style, also offering modules for Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

language tool

LanguageTool also allows you to correct the punctuation of a text. © Screenshot / Digital

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