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Retired, finally, got a new laptop. Need advice for a free software

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  • Retired, finally, got a new laptop. Need advice for a free software

    I am officially done with office work, finished! Now I will have more time for my machining projects.
    However I have to surrender my company computer in a few days and need a replacement. Just recently I have purchased a new HP laptop, which came with several trial versions of the software, which I have zero intention to use. So I am looking for the software, which would not break the bank. Free software is even better. This laptop came with Windows 11 Home Edition preinstalled.
    Here is what I am looking for right now:

    Microsoft Office (need mostly Word and Excel)
    PDF file editor (I have used Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, it is nice, but I am not paying $14.99 monthly subscription fee)
    Antivirus program

    It is interesting that many software companies are not selling software programs anymore. Instead they are selling subscriptions. Don't know about you guys, but I don't like it at all. I just hope my Windows 11 does not expire a year from now...

    I can tell you the Adobe Acrobat story. It is a PDF file editor. I happened to have a retail box with Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Standard software, which I never installed in the past. It dates back to 2004. People say it is not compatible with new Windows, but still works with limited functionality. During installation you have to register and then activate it. But the activation server has been disabled for some time and phone activation numbers have been disconnected. So it looks like I will have to throw it away and try some new free software.

    If you have any recommendations on the cheap or free software, I am all ears.

    Mike

  • #2
    A couple I find handy are Irfanview, PDF-pic/movie viewer, Notpad++, as per its name, Gimp, equiv. to PhotoShop.
    If you work with schematic/PCB's etc, Kicad is also free.

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    • #3
      Libre office is an excellent free alternative to MS office
      No input for the PDF software, I never need to edit them so I don't have anything to edit with. I use Foxit for viewing though

      Windows comes with built-in antivirus, no real need for any aftermarket stuff. Just make sure windows defender is enabled and you're good

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      • #4
        For a replacement for MS Office you can download and install Open Office. I've used it for about 10 or more years now for all my document and spreadsheet needs. It's got the presentation side too but I don't do anything like that. But for opening and edit any MS Office files it works like a charm. Of course it also creates its own documents and spreadsheets. It normally saves it in a special Open Office file format but it can "Export" to many of the current and older MS Office file formats for sending stuff off to other folks. As for features when creating documents or spreadsheets if Office can do it then Open Office can do it too.

        It's free but they do accept donations. I've used mine for so long and so well I'm thinking I might toss them a twenty now and then over the next couple of years to help out.

        I also use GIMP. It too is freeware. Steep learning curve which I've only scratched. I use it mostly for importing hardcopy documents off my scanner. I want to do more with it but never quite seem to get a round tuit.....

        If you do any digital photography and would like to play with some image enhancements the same group that sponsors GIMP has put out a freeware app called Darktable.



        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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        • #5
          You can still get MS Office without the subscription basis
          https://softwarekeep.com/microsoft-o...ff9aa1fdb2e99e
          Saw it for $ 100 pre-Christmas Sale
          Rich
          Green Bay, WI

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          • #6
            A few Gimp tutorial links


            Gimp Workshop Videos.
            https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWR...rLCplLYRVEx1zg
            Course Directory
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...BuZh0f95z6Ny7q

            1 Gimp beginers course.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDMHlPekS3U

            8 Scale or Resize and image
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DHxgkSG_Zw


            Remove Background of picture make it Transparent
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0tg2mRroSY

            .

            Save and Export images
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F94cAAQnZ5Y


            Restore Working Window.

            15 The Paths tool
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS-KuUggyFg


            Designing and creating Shapes
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MbCjYgrCEc
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUwtTz2jvXE

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            • #7
              I found that "Open Office" failed to open many MS Office (MSO) files. That "may" have been due to not yet being updated after a new version of MSO came out. Whatever the reason, it just could not handle the MSO files at all.


              The G-imp (Gnu-imp, "Gimp", etc) recommendation is good. That has always worked well for me.
              Last edited by J Tiers; 12-27-2021, 07:13 PM.
              4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

              CNC machines only go through the motions

              "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

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              • #8
                I can also recommend OpenOffice, it always worked well for my needs.

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                • #9
                  FWIW Open Office is long discontinued, it was forked to the free LibreOffice that is basically the MS productivity suite. Foxit PDF reader is excellent, and does a certain amount of editing. You can create a signature imager file and use it as a stamp to electronically sign docs without printing them out and then scanning them. It also does the legitimate 'e-sign' stuff.

                  I've used Gimp a long time, but I still struggle to do things that were easy in PS. I've not figured out how to select noncontiguously.
                  Last edited by gellfex; 12-27-2021, 09:05 PM.
                  Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                  • #10
                    I think I was actually referring to "Libre Office", not "open office", now that you mention that. Could not open the MSO files correctly.
                    4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

                    CNC machines only go through the motions

                    "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      IrfanView is a good image viewer, recomended to me by my computer guru.

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                      • #12
                        Don't bother with MS Office, especially as they are pushing that subscription based office 365 crap. Yeah I know, we have used Office for 25+ years... I have the paid version of office 2016 and sadly it's cumbersome bloatware. What used to be easy to do in older version now takes more steps to accomplish. Download any office type program which is free. Don't bother paying for antivirus programs, just use Microsoft defender that comes with windows.

                        Actually I wish I was smarter on computers. I'd totally dump microsoft and run a linux machine.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by I make chips View Post
                          Actually I wish I was smarter on computers. I'd totally dump microsoft and run a linux machine.
                          You can! Mint, Ubuntu, etc. are all pretty much 100% "just works" these days. It'll take some getting used to the slightly different interface of the one you choose, but in my opinion well worth it because you aren't a product (where M$ is selling your data) or a customer (where M$ hounds you with terrible advertisements). If you really need to run some Windows software, you can usually do it with Wine (a compatibility layer) or a Windows VM running on your linux machine. You can also try out these operating systems with a "live boot" USB drive that you make. Can take it for a spin without committing to anything.

                          For those wondering, Mint and Ubuntu are both Linux distributions, based on a particular kind of Linux called Debian. All are "FLOSS" software (meaning Free as in Liberty, Open-Source Software). People specify "Free as in Liberty" or "Free/Libre" or "Free as in Freedom" because there's ambiguity in English with the word "free". It can mean no $ cost ("gratis") or it can mean liberty.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by qwerty12345 View Post

                            You can! Mint, Ubuntu, etc. are all pretty much 100% "just works" these days. It'll take some getting used to the slightly different interface of the one you choose, but in my opinion well worth it because you aren't a product (where M$ is selling your data) or a customer (where M$ hounds you with terrible advertisements). If you really need to run some Windows software, you can usually do it with Wine (a compatibility layer) or a Windows VM running on your linux machine. You can also try out these operating systems with a "live boot" USB drive that you make. Can take it for a spin without committing to anything.

                            For those wondering, Mint and Ubuntu are both Linux distributions, based on a particular kind of Linux called Debian. All are "FLOSS" software (meaning Free as in Liberty, Open-Source Software). People specify "Free as in Liberty" or "Free/Libre" or "Free as in Freedom" because there's ambiguity in English with the word "free". It can mean no $ cost ("gratis") or it can mean liberty.
                            Yes but no. I installed a antivirus software to download and scan some files for dad before moving them onto his windows machine. Boy howdy. Took me 3 hours at least. I'm fairly tech savvy. Not like some of you guys though. Linux is great, when it works. Command line is quicker for a lot of tasks. But when it doesn't work easily, good luck.

                            OP, congrats on your retirement.
                            21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                            1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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                            • #15
                              Good luck with Linux if it can't find your wifi or your BIOS only has UEFI boot

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