Open Source

Five open source tools for knocking out business tasks

Introduction

NOTE: If you'd prefer to view this information as a blog post, check out this entry in our Five Apps blog.

What do we need to produce our work? Although it has changed over the years, certain constants remain. We must produce documents, we must create/manipulate images, we must manage money, and we must communicate and schedule. The open source community has done a great job of creating tools perfectly suited to help you get this work done.

Let's take a look at five open source productivity tools. (We'll leave out the browser, since we all know Firefox is the flagship open source browser.)

 

Photo: iStockphoto.com/aaron007

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

11 comments
doceeme
doceeme

Hey Jack just wanted to say thanks for turning me on to Open source several years ago. I started with ubuntu8.04. I still use windows ever so often.

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

I don't know what kinds of businesses you are thinking of for your list but the four listed items are hardly capable of producing any real product. Real products, which by definition are a hunk of something, say a car or potatoes or a computer require something to design and then make them. So the first thing you need is the tools and skills to make that product, this will include some type of financial software and email and documents but more important are things like CADD and software tools, inventory control and automation control. Add to that lab software and hardware (data acquisition and analysis) etc. We can work without word or outlook and paint but we can't work without Labview or MatLab or Eclipse; And computer aided tools like our computer controlled laser cutter or lathes or robots. But fortunately there are open source tools for all of these as well, I am sure you know google well enough to find them. Office tools are great for documenting the real work being done, and they may even help with sales but without manufacturing and development all of the different groups like IT and Finance and Human Resources are incapable of producing a product. Yes I separate IT from software development because mixing the services of networking and providing heldesk, computers, email etc with software development is only hiding the true costs of each by mangling them together. And do you want the helpdesk guy responsible for say a reactor safety system? And I don't want the reactor physics guys responsible for network security but in a lot of companies they would get lumped together in IT.

coxg
coxg

Grab a USB drive & download the Portable Apps Platform from www.portableapps.com & install it on the USB drive. You can then install the open source apps above plus more & carry them to any Windows PC with Windows 98 or above. If you use a large enough jump drive, you can save to the USB drive & carry it with you.

stat30fbliss
stat30fbliss

This could more aptly be titled 'Great Open Source Software for Linux', as I personally use most of these apps already in Ubuntu. Thanks for throwing them together.

david.urano
david.urano

If a tech showed up at my place with an antique block plane and a hatchet I would be looking for a new tech. That keyhole saw IS NOT going to help me access the Internet!

sarai1313
sarai1313

and yet how many techs out there could name the tools let a lone use them .i for one can .so tired of every one thinking that they are experts in computers.and can fix them .but just how many can realy do what they say they can. FEW

timrush-aero
timrush-aero

The T handle leaning on the plane. I know I've seen one around the place as I grew up, but its name slips me. The rest were easy. Used all those before.

muniwizard
muniwizard

It is called a gimlet, used for boring a hole in wood.

alahoski
alahoski

...an auger or a hole reamer. I'd lean towards the former.

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

Each of these tools has different names depending on the people in your local area and what they used them for. The gimlet is also called an auger by some people, lee valley tools calls it an auger gimlet just to cover all of their widely distributed customers.

sarai1313
sarai1313

you just proved that all techs on this site dont talk out the back side.i knew the real ones would know not only what to do with a computer but it would know the ones in the photo.yes it is a gimlet san francisco oh i am sorry muniwizard