Free software is great. Almost everyone using a computer will agree.
If it's Firefox, OpenOffice, GIMP, Cinelerra, or GNU/Linux as the entire
operating system itself. People agree it's great.
Firefox has become a very popular web browser for Windows, used at a
similar level on Macs, and, is the default web browser for many popular
GNU/Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, and, included with almost all
GNU/Linux distributions, even if it's not the default browser.
GIMP has made waves in the image editing world for being -- in our
opinion -- the most functional, feature-rich, and powerful free image
editor. As in free beer, and as in freedom of speech. Free software.
Cinelerra is the -- again in our opinion -- best, most functional,
feature-rich, and powerful free software video editor for GNU/Linux,
and possibly better than any free video editors for Windows.
Especially the Cinelerra community version.
With these four programs being among the best, and most used. How
much would you pay for these programs if they weren't free? Here is
our personal answer to that question.
MOZILLA FIREFOX: $25*
*Firefox is a web browser, there aren't many pay-for web browsers; there
many proprietary web browsers, i.e. Internet Explorer, but,
not many pay-for web browsers.
So, the only good way we think there would be to pay for a web browser,
is in addition to a monthly internet bill, from a provider like Verizon
Communications, Inc.. So that would be 25 dollars a month.
OpenOffice.org 3.0: $200 and higher.
OpenOffice.org is compared to Microsoft Office very often. The quality
of this software is -- not only comparable but also -- roughly the
equivalent to one of the versions of Microsoft Office. And, it's free
software. Licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License v3.
OpenOffice.org is more of a cross-platform office application suite
than Microsoft Office. It's available for a number of different
operating systems, such as GNU/Linux, Unix, Solaris, Windows, and Mac
OS X. Where Microsoft Office is only available for Windows, and Mac OS X.
It supports the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data
interchange as its default file format, as well as Microsoft Office
formats among others, and supports over 80 languages. Where Microsoft
Office only supports 35+ languages.
AVG: $40 for a one year subscription.
GNU/Linux doesn't have any wide-spread viruses. Many viruses have been
written for GNU/Linux, but, have been either made incompatible due to
a patch/update, in both GNU software and the Linux Kernel, or in
Firefox, Konqueror, etc.. And many viruses were just to show that
GNU/Linux was vulnerable to viruses, but, none of these viruses
were wide-spread or able to self-install, and some couldn't even be
installed on purpose unless installed in "super-user" mode known as root.
In Windows on the other hand. Viruses are a very big problem. AVG
is worth a 50 dollar one year subscription. AVG has the power of
other commercial virus scanners such as ESET NOD32 anti-virus.
Also, AVG does have a commercial version of their software,
currently priced at $54.99 for a one year subscription, and,
$79.99 for a two year subscription.
AVG is proprietary software. So, free as in free beer only.
ClamAV: $50 for a one year subscription.
ClamAV is at or around the same quality of the AVG anti-virus
software. The one major difference is that ClamAV is free and
open source software, where AVG is not.
Many GNU/Linux and FOSS enthusiasts only use free software, as in
freedom of speech, where the software can be used, modified,
redistributed, and even sold under something like the GNU General
Public License, which ClamAV is licensed under.
ClamAV is a GNU/Linux, AIX, BSD, HP-UX, OpenVMS, OSF, Mac OS X and
Solaris anti-virus program, so it cannot be used on Windows, unless
you use an older version. ClamWin for example.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program): $350.
Compared to the Adobe Photoshop price tag, this price is lower.
For a graphics program nearly capable of the same image manipulation.
With tile based memory management, GIMP has been able to handle
editing of images up to sizes only limited by available disk
space, for a very long time.
GIMP is available for Unix, Windows, and Mac, Unix of course meaning
UNIX itself, GNU/Linux, BSD, and other Unix-like operating systems.
Compared to the Adobe Premiere Pro price tag, this price is currently low.
*CV stands for "Community Version" and the price we would pay for the
Community Version is higher because it is of higher quality.
Cinelerra is a non-linear video editor. It is designed for GNU/Linux,
and has also been successfully ported to Mac OS X. Making it a *nix
only program. Cinelerra is not supported on any version of Microsoft
Windows. It is produced by Heroine Virtual, and is free software
distributed under the GNU General Public License. Cinelerra includes
a video compositing engine, allowing the user to perform common
compositing operations such as combining visual elements from separate
sources into a single video, and special effects, in real-time.
GNU TOOLCHAIN: $600.
GCC (GNU COMPILER COLLECTION): $250.
GNU OPERATING SYSTEM: $800-$1200
complete and using a GNU kernel.
LINUX KERNEL: $300.
Much more free software is worth a pretty penny, but, the software we
listed above is free software. Free software is something that has to
exist, and thankfully it does. So we don't have to pay a cent for this
software, and we are free to do with it as we please, excluding AVG.
Free software should stay free, the GNU General Public License (GPL)
helps with that. If you're a software developer, please consider
releasing your source code under the GPL or something like the GPL.
With that being said. It's possible for our prices to be biased,
because of the positive impression they have for letting us be free,
to use, modify, redistribute, and even sell the software.
And, the price we would pay for free software may not be what you would
pay for free software, this article is our budget for such software.
Please feel free to leave a comment with what you would be willing to pay.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
Heroine Virtual Cinelerra
HV Cinelerra Community Version
GNU Toolchain at Wikipedia
GCC (GNU COMPILER COLLECTION)
GNU Operating System