good quality free applications for mac

First of all, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to this skribit suggestion!

The original suggestion asked for “freeware” applications for mac, but I reckon you get better quality by going for open source applications, for a variety of reasons which I won’t go into here.

This is a list of some of the open source and free applications that I have on my mac:

April 5, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

error messages

I was reading Hari’s blog, talking about a difficult problem on his computer, which he worked out from clues from an error message.

Error messages always frustrated me. What does it actually mean?! Then I realized that error messages are just symptoms. For example, a ping error might be “Server not found” – this doesn’t necessarily mean there is a physical disconnection, there could be another problem, like your network settings might be borked.

I began to understand error messages when I had to write them for my programming class. It’s difficult to write understandable, useful error messages- for one you are way too involved in the code, to you, it’s obvious what the problem is, with just a couple of words. Also there are so many different things that could be causing a problem- a verbose error message is too difficult to write for each situation.

So I am now beginning to appreciate error messages for what they are- clues. You must take a deep breath, and think like a computer, and you understand a bit more what it is trying to tell you.

So there you go, learning to think like error messages helps you figure out your computer problems.

February 10, 2007 | 1 Comment |

linux networking

It’s not often that you find a resource on the internet that pretty much exactly meets your needs. Usually you find differing opinions sprinkled in a stack of meaningless information.

But if you want to set up a linux server, Linux Home Networking is just what I needed today to start the linux server for the youth website. I’m really impressed- it really saved the time we had left after dismally slow pageload times (but oddly, decent download speeds.)

December 1, 2006 | 1 Comment |

what is linux?

What is linux anyway? Is it simply a series of ones and zeros that a computer interprets to run, or is it something more than that?
Unlike other operating systems, Linux is and has a community. In-fact, the community makes up what linux is, but why is this so? Why is it so important? Community is essential to the very fibre of Linux and key to it’s proliferation in the world.

Linux lore tells of a time when you had to pay for software, and Unix was a crusty old institution reserved for scientists, but there was Minix, a derivative of unix used chiefly in universities. Then one university student, one Linus Torvalds, decided to write his own version of linux, so he wrote the kernel with the help of other ‘hackers’ over the internet. That bit I’ve emphasised is key- the very birth of linux was driven by a community of programmers.

Over time this community became not just of dedicated geeks, but general users as well. They congregate both online at forums and also in the real world at a Linux Users Group or LUG. The foundation upon which these communities are built is help. Not banter or mutual interest, though these have important parts to play- no, help is the fundamental reason these communities exist and the reason they thrive. Linux, while an elegant software solution, often doesn’t work out of the box. There are so many choices, so many things you can do to make it yours, but along the way you might come across snags, a snag that someone else might have come across before, and conquered. The community is there to help.

The idea of freedom is also key to the community- the freedom to do whatever you like with linux, the freedom to modify and freely distribute it and the software that run on it (GPL’d software that is). This freedom allows Linux to be community driven- because anyone can join in. Linux is also accessible because of this freedom- free software often means as in price.

Our Linux community, while having many benefits, also has it’s downsides. Any action taken by a member of the community, that is detrimental, is seen as a bad trait in Linux. When Microsoft does something wrong, it reflects badly on their products. However, a windows user won’t show up windows by their actions. Care must be taken that bad impressions are not made, that stereotypes are not formed. Linux is revolutionary, and is never far from the media’s gaze.

Revolutionary, helpful, geeky and freedom driven, the Linux community is Linux, for without it, Linux would not exist. Though care must be taken to maintain the community and it’s appearance, the community generally maintains an air of friendliness and help to everyone. This attitude is the reason why Linux is not just another set of ones and zeros- it is real.

February 25, 2006 | 2 Comments |

first server

[jeremy’s blog] You never forget your first server
A cool nostalgic article- includes a picture of the first LQ server.

January 8, 2006 | Leave a Comment |

not like Linus

I personally just encourage people to switch to KDE.

This “users are idiots, and are confused by functionality” mentality of
Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will
use it. I don’t use Gnome, because in striving to be simple, it has long
since reached the point where it simply doesn’t do what I need it to do.

Please, just tell people to use KDE.


This is very different than Linus’ no distro favourites stance, I think he might have been up a bit too late. Honestly, this is a comment that did not need to be said, Linus is acting like the common dumpster variety troll.

Personally, I prefer icewm.

[the age] linus wades into the desktop debate

December 14, 2005 | 7 Comments |

new LQ is live!

Hooray! the new LQ has been unwrapped.
jeremy’s blog announcement

December 4, 2005 | Leave a Comment |