LibrePlanet Boston Desktop GNU/Linux Users Group Message Board › (Meeting Recap) Free Software Mastermind

(Meeting Recap) Free Software Mastermind

Will R.
user 11531220
Group Organizer
Newton, MA
Post #: 3
We had a great meeting on January 2 to kick off the year. The meeting was organized as a mastermind. More simply put, we went around the room to gather topics that people wanted to talk about and then had a short, loosely moderated discussion on each of those topics.

My notes from the meeting are a bit random, but I'm sharing them here because they may be of interest to those who were in attendance as well as those you couldn't make the meetup.

Favorite Free Software
Some favorite pieces of free software that participants mentioned during the meeting.

  • Freeplan (mind mapping software)
  • Zim (personal Wiki, note taking)
  • Ubuntu
  • Python
  • Emacs Org Mode
  • Task Coach
  • KVM (alternative to VirtualBox, well-suited for servers, but maybe not desktops yet)
  • VMWare Convertor: can be used to create a clone of a live Windows machine, which can then be imported into VirtualBox. Note, may not be free.

Favorite IDEs (Integrated Development Environments)
We discussed the strength of Microsoft Visual Studio and some free software replacements. The consensus was there's nothing "free" that quite compares to Visual Studio, but there are some decent alternatives.

  • Geany
  • Anjuta
  • Ecliplse
  • Aptana (based on Eclipse)
  • Mono Develop
  • Brackets (may not be free)

Dealing with hardware device issues.
In this topic, we discussed challenges predicting whether a hardware device will work with GNU/Linux. A couple of suggestions were made.

  • Dell Small Business Store: avoid Dell's consumer items. If you look in their Small Business Store, you may find items explcitly labeled as working with Linux. You can also call the Small Business Store and a rep may be able to track down for you which devices are Linux compatible.
  • If you are thinking of buying a device (e.g. a laptop), do some Google searches related to the model number, Linux, and problems. If you don't find any problems, it's like (although not guaranteed), it works.

We ended the evening with a discussion of Canonical's direction. Canonical is the company that produces Ubuntu and have recently been accused (accurately I believe) of becoming spyware. You can my blog post on the subject here:
6 Ways Canonical Ubuntu Can Be Profitable Without Being Spyware

Dave H
user 4924040
Watertown, MA
Post #: 7
Agreed re: emacs org mode; will have a look at zim. How is it different from Tomboy? Markup Binder is another good offering in this category. Emacs can be made into a kind of ide. Any thoughts on Ubuntu Phone? I'm sure you've all seen the video and/or read the announcement?
Brendan K
user 7078096
Astoria, NY
Post #: 3
will have a look at zim. How is it different from Tomboy?
It's easy to see when you look at the screenshots. Think of Zim as a file manager with the right-hand pane changed from a file list to a text buffer. On the left you still have the tree view which represents actual folders in the filesystem that are children of the notebook root folder.
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