14 open source software to discover to create, work, improve, and enjoy

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The Internet is full of programs 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.

In addition to the great classics like Mozilla Firefox internet browser, LibreOffice desktop suite, GIMP image editor, Blender modeler or basic VLC video player, there are a plethora of free software with tremendous efficiency developed by a handful of enthusiastic programmers. Let’s review some of those coins, whether you’re looking for a screen capture software, a VPN, or a game, and you, what are your favorite open source software? Feel free to share your discoveries in the comments.

1 / 0AD: set out to conquer the world in complete freedom

If you like RTS (real time strategy, or real time strategy game) like Command and conquerAnd 0AD It should give you a few (good) sleepless nights. The principle is simple: you must collect the resources you need to build a military force and dominate your enemies. Realization certainly not in the current peak production like Age of Empires IVBut the fun is there. Above all, it is possible to organize online games with several friends, whether they are on Windows, Linux or macOS. Along the same lines, we also invite you to try Battle of WestnothAnother turn-based strategy game.

0AD © screenshot / Les Numeriques

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2 / CyberCrypt: Protect Your Sensitive Data

If you want to protect some computer data in an encrypted space, then VeraCrypt is probably the program for you. Derived from the widely used TrueCrypt (abandoned by its creators and suspected of containing vulnerabilities), VeraCrypt is on the list of free software recommended by the French state as part of a comprehensive update of its information systems. The program allows you to create an encrypted computer storage in which you can store all kinds of documents: photos, PDFs, movies, programs, etc. VeraCrypt uses the following encryption systems: AES, Camellia, Kuznyechik, Serpent, and Twofish. By depositing a WordCrypt folder on removable media or a remote server, you can easily access sensitive data from different locations or devices. Too bad there is no version for Android or iOS.

VeraCrypt

© Screenshot / Les Numériques

3/ WinDirStat: Find Occupants

After analyzing a hard disk or other computer medium, WinDirStat displays a graphical representation of the file tree structure. This allows you to quickly “see” which programs or documents are taking up the most space on your computer. Sure, it’s not the fastest in the task and WizTree is much faster, but the latter is not open source even if its free to use. Hard disk space must be freed up.

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WinDirStat

Here is a “nice” representation of the files on the hard drive. © Screenshot / Les Numériques

4 / Loose removal tool: to clean the spring

The name is certainly not very attractive, but this open program allows you to uninstall most Windows applications (Windows Store applications, Steam). In fact, Bulk Crap Uninstaller deletes not only the program, but also folders, registry keys and various files that are created during installation. It is especially effective in getting rid of pre-installed software on computers. In addition, it allows you to choose the program that will be launched when your device starts up in order to optimize its operation.

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bulk crap uninstall

Let’s go for a spring cleaning of your computer. © Screenshot / Les Numériques

5/ Snappy Driver Installer: Always be up to date!

Updating your computer is essential to ensure it is working properly and above all to reduce security breaches. Of course, you can use the Windows Update utility from Microsoft, but this is not necessarily the latest and sometimes it can take weeks for the system to offer you a download. Snappy Driver Installer is a program that lists the different components and peripherals of your computer and allows you to perform an update according to the signals on the Internet. Good point, Snappy Driver Installer suggests creating a Windows recovery bridge. If the driver gets stuck, you can easily roll back. This is a good solution for people who help their loved ones keep their computers in top condition.

Install Snappy Driver

To update your Windows PC. © Screenshot / Les Numériques

6 / RustDesk office: very close yet

If you want to help remote family members with computer maintenance, RustDesk is a simple to implement and effective if not the fastest solution. L’installation de la solution est enfantine, puisqu’il suffit de lancer le logiciel sur la machine à contrôler et de communiquer l’identifiant et le mot de passe à la personne à distance, qui pourra alors voir votre ur et prendre la main sur this is the last one. RustDesk requires you to go through a server that is freely available, but you can improve the confidentiality of communications, and host your own system, especially on a Synology NAS.

rstdsk

© Screenshot / Les Numériques

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7/ Scrcpy: Access your Android phone from your PC

From a “marketing” point of view, Scrcpy is not the program whose name is easier to pronounce and easier to remember. But this applet developed in Java makes it possible to display and control the screen of an Android smartphone on a computer (Windows, macOS or Linux). Lines of code also allow you to record the screen on video, which can be very useful for making tutorials. Note that using Scrcpy requires ADB to be installed, which allows accessing a smartphone from a PC.

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scrappy

Scrcpy requires ADB to work. © Screenshot / Les Numériques

8 / ProtonVPN: For Covered Browsing

Besides 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, multiple devices cannot be connected simultaneously. And while the speed may be limited by servers soliciting, it’s still enough to safely access an open wifi in a hotel or restaurant.

Protonvpn

9/ Verdi: A tool for getting them all together (or almost)

Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Gmail, but also ProtonMail or Juggernaut, we are often overwhelmed with a myriad of communication tools and struggle to follow all the channels available to us. Ferdi, a Franz-derived program that is now limited to three accounts in its free version, allows you to centralize your messaging (email and instant communication), as well as your social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. Thus, you will monitor all your channels in a French interface. It is unfortunate that at the moment Ferdi is not compatible with Signal messages. Note that it is possible to create workspaces that separate your professional and private life.

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surly

Ferdi focuses on a large number of communication services. © Screenshot / Les Numériques

10 / balenaEtcher: to easily create bootable USB keys

Oftentimes, open source applications do not benefit from a working graphical interface. This is not the case for BalenaEtcher, which is displayed in a neat window for sure, but it is very practical. The program allows you to copy images (ZIP, img, iso) to different media such as USB or SD keys. To avoid corrupted images, balenaEtcher suggests checking, at the end of burning, the consistency of the data. What simplifies installing so many Linux distributions to try!

BalenaEtcher

© balenaEtcher screenshot / Digitals

11 / PeaZip: Compress (and decompress) data with just one click

If 7ZIP, another open source compression program, gets a good reputation, especially on Windows, PeaZip presents itself as an interesting alternative to Windows, Linux, and macOS. It offers an uncompiled graphic interface, identical to any platform. The program manages a large number of compression formats, but also manages encryption. More advanced users can also install PeaZip so that it can be accessed from the contextual menus.

PeaZip

The PeaZip interface is unfortunately in English.

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12 / Ocenaudio: The Acoustic Swiss Army Knife

For a long time, Audacity has been the best in the open source audio world. But now, after its acquisition by the Russian company Muse Group, the reputation of the program has been suspicious of the use of personal data. Various alternatives were born such as Tenacity, a forked (Modified version) of Audacity, but the development of the latter does not seem very active. We advise you to listen to Ocenaudio, which seems unanimous within the open source community, with a program with a clear interface (in French) and many features. Too bad there are no instructions or online guide to get started quickly, its richness is worth a bit of literature.

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voice

The Ocenaudio interface is abstract, which simplifies its handling. © Screenshot / Les Numériques

13 / Joplin: Share your feedback

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

Joplin

Joplin: A powerful document editor for technical documents. © Screenshot / Les Numériques

Before sending an email, letter, or resume, it’s important to check that it’s not misspelled. You can use the built-in reviewers in Microsoft Word or your Internet browser, but there is also a LanguageTool tool. This online spell checker is available directly on the website, but also as an extension for your browser. All you have to do is copy the text to be corrected to start the analysis. A €4.99 per month subscription lets you go over the 10,000 markup limit and get tips on how to improve your writing style, as well as provide modules for Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

the language

LanguageTool also allows you to correct punctuation in text. © Screenshot / Les Numériques

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