Free Open Source Software

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It seems that “Open Source” is one of the industries favorite buzzwords right now, but what does it mean to you and me? Well, many times, it means that great software programmers from around the world collaborate to make FREE software that we can use. This software is sometimes even better than the stuff people pay hundreds of dollars for. A few well-known examples are Mozilla’s Firefox browser, the GIMP image editor, and’s free office suite. What I’d like to do over the next few months is point out great FREE and open source programs that I find useful. Hopefully, you’ll find them useful too.

Today’s tool is called 7-zip. It’s a great little compression tool that lets you open and compress files in many formats (including 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, and RPM). It creates small files and can even make self-extracting archives. I’ve used it a lot recently with gzipped Tar files (tar.gz) for UNIX systems. It’s great to be able to “untar” the files on my Windows machine, edit them, and then re-tar and re-gzip them. It’s also great for everyday usage. Give 7-zip a try - it’s free, why not?