A list of Windows (or possibly Mac) programs, and alternatives available on Linux. Perhaps, with a discussion of pros and cons of each. If you're particularly familiar with some area, mark it with your name.
- Windows --- Ubuntu, Gentoo, FreeBSD
- Ubuntu is generally better, but Windows supports some hardware better (webcams, etc.)
- Hardware support is getting better - Ubuntu supports everything in my (Richard) laptop (wireless, bluetooth, sound etc straight off a fresh install - windows I need to install bloatware to get my devices working)
- The free OSes are much cheaper.
- Internet Explorer --- Firefox
- Firefox is better.
- Why is Firefox better ? - Spyware - Phishing Protection - Less "Drive by" web exploits - Extensions, Greasemonkey - Spellchecking ?
- Both free.
- Add/Remove Programs --- APT, Synaptic, etc.
- The latter is obviously better, and almost a good enough reason alone to convert to Ubuntu or another good distro.
- Stress the ease of use of finding and installing new programs - search for mp3 player, get a list to choose from etc - all automated, most software available on campus - quick to download and use.
- Microsoft Office --- OpenOffice.org, KOffice, Gnome Office
- Both are MSO and OOo are horribly bloated.
- GNOME Office currently consists only of a word processor, spreadsheet and database program.
- OOo works fine for basic tasks, but no VBA, spreadsheet auditing, etc.
- Microsoft Office 2007 is the one thing I (Richard) still use windows for - basic word editing done in OOo, but run into compatibility problems reading office documents in OOo - Much easier to build very slick presentations in Powerpoint 2007.
- Photoshop --- GIMP (Max)
- Quite different: learning the GIMP after learning Photoshop is probably just as hard as learning Photoshop again.
- Probably equally powerful.
- Expensive vs. free.
- Corel Draw, Freehand --- Inkscape (Max, sort of)
- Maya, 3DS --- Blender, Yafray (Max)
- Blender is engineered to be very efficient for experts rather than easy-to-use for beginners.
- Elephant's Dream made entirely with OSS (Blender, GIMP, etc.)
- Expensive vs. free.
- Fontographer, Fontlab, VOLT, AFDKO --- FontForge (Max)
- FontForge was originally based on Fontographer, so has a similar UI.
- Not as pretty as Fontlab.
- Has built-in OpenType handling... no more rotation between Fontlab, VOLT and AFDKO.
- Very expensive vs. free.
- CDisplay --- Comix
- Comix is not as easy to use or efficient as CDisplay.
- Both free.
- WMP, Winamp -- Amarok (Ben), Exaile
- WMP is fail. _Really_ slow with many files, playlist generation.
- Winamp is better, also not very well designed for huge libraries.
- Amarok- takes the best aspects of Winamp, couples them with what
- WMP has stolen from other players and makes a sleek and smooth music player
- Exaile is a GTK+ player, similar to Amarok, but with fewer features.
- Media Player Classic, VLC --- VLC, mplayer (Ben)
- Quite common ground between Windows and *nix. Mplayer is much more efficient than any of the other players.
- VLC is a very well known player and common on most student PC's.
- Slight configuration required to
- Windows Media Centre -- MythTV (Ben)
- Media Player is slow and memory whore. MythTV is far from perfect, but getting there.
- SQL-side install is somewhat more complicated for a n00b.
Mathematics and Statistics
- Matlab --- Octave, KOctave, Scilab
- Octave has most basic functions of Matlab, and is syntactically very similar
- KOctave is a graphical shell for Octave
- I have no experience with Scilab
- Maple, Mathematica --- Maxima, wxMaxima, SAGE
- Maxima is somewhat tricky to use, and the manual is only useful if you already know how to use it.
- But wxMaxima has shortcuts for the most important/basic functions.
- Mathematica and Maxima both use code from the first symbolic maths program, MACSYMA
- SAGE is accessible from the Python language, which may be familiar to physics students and others.
- S --- R
- VPython --- VPython
- It's the same program... just about anything written in the one should work in the other.
- Will remain a leading cause for many Windows to remain Windows users.
- Too few games are created with Linux in mind, although this is changing.. slowly.
- The only really large decent "designed-with-Linux-in-mind" games that I can think of are Unreal Tournament 200x for x in [3,4,7]
- Wine and cedega are worth a mention, but not _amazing_.. they work well with older games especially, although we can get Julian to demo Portal in wine
Some notable OSS/Linux games
- OpenArena and other Quake3 engines
- Guitar Hero-like game, played with keyboard. Portable (Python + OpenGL)
- Chess, Reversi, and all that
- MSN, Gtalk, mIRC -- Pidgin
- Pidgin++ ftw. Theres no debate.
- Gajim for Gtalk
- aMSN, KMess for MSN