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Open Source and Recommended Software Alternatives
There are many alternatives to Microsoft products. The alternatives have as many functions as their counterparts, and in most cases many more simply because they were built to be "open source". So don't be fooled that paying for the name means you get a better product, in this case "You get what you pay for" is laughable.
Android for PC is a full feature Android Operating System Windows Replacement. Start off with the Android 4 Install to get your feet wet and You'll never want to go back to Windows again. Options to run include "Live CD/USB" this does not replace Windows, or the Install Version, this will set up a dual boot scenario. Use your favorite apps on a laptop or PC!. We'll post a page on our install process, which uses a procedure prefered by other Linux branches. The linked "how to" here is not very complicated.
OpenOffice Suite is a full function Microsoft Office Replacement. It has become our prefered productivity suite. It will open and save as Office and all other file formats.
FreeDOS Operating System is an MS-DOS replacement
Abyss Web Server is a complete server for Win and Linux. While there is some setup required, and opening of ports on the router, setting up a server is not actually a complicated ordeal. Especially if you're tired of the hassle of using others server for your webite. Run your own in house web pages to keep your notes, and information. This server is in use from consumers to major business, the only difference in the free version is the 1 server host limit.
Fine Print: Contact the Developers or search the forums for each program for assistance. Functions are so similiar to others that few problems should occur.
Open Source and Recommended Audio and Video Applications
The technology revolution has in simple terms, completely changed the methods Users can access Video, Music, and other content. I grew up in the final stages of the old technology; we had a console Color TV, a VHS Recorder/Player, and Component Stereo. Stereo's were cheap enough that one could be in every room, but TV's were still pretty expensive. I did buy a little Black and White TV to mount in my tricked out 69 Plymouth. Living were we did, the TV signal was rarely clear and VHS rented tapes could be quickly degraded on a popular new release.
The reality is that effective marketing exposes the public to a fraction of what is available, and those are not always the best; they may look great, but lets face it the big players have dropped the ball and we pay because we're stuck behind a "Term of Service" aggreement and statistics. Open Source applications are often on par or better than the big players apps.[an exagerated point].
kodi TV I love kodi, having made the switch to more efficient Android boxes on all the TV's, kodi is on them all. There are a few useful plugins, however do note that some can be problematic in library house keeping [I have many shows showing up as completely unrelated shows]. Personally, I have a very structured and well laid out storage routine, so altering that scheme to allow for some of the obscure information gathering routines to work was not an option. I prefer my \\Server\folder\Series Name\Season\01 Episode name.avi to the TV_Name_s01e01_hdtv_h264-br.avi mess.
Media Portal is a full feature media center.If you have a PC or laptop as your HTPC then MP is the way to go. In some ways it is alot more polished than kodi, however it is not available on every platform. In my recent experience, the information gathering and utilization is a lot less prone to errors.
WinAmp Media player is a full featured Media Player with as much and more functionality than Windows Media Player.
Serviio Media Server is a DNLA media server. Install it on a PC, select the drives with media to be shared and view that media on many Smart TV's, DVD/BR players, consoles, and apps for devices. While it is a simple thing to open up a media file the old fashioned method on a PC or device, many devices do not have file browsers. Many Multi-Media programs on PC will also find and use the stream, many give you a snappy "Netflix" like user interface!
Fine Print: I am not in the employ or retained by any software developer/house. If a app or program is distributed by my server, it is an unaltered distribution, though as a matter of practice I link to the original sources.
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