Free, Open Source Alternatives to Expensive Programs

Wish you could cre­ate vec­tor art in Adobe Illus­tra­tor, edit videos in Sony Vegas, or just play a game of Halo 2 on your PC, but can’t afford the pro­grams? We’ve all been there, and it sucks, honestly.

Thank­fully, there’s a whole genre of soft­ware com­prised of free solu­tions to the oth­er­wise costly main­stream alter­na­tives. This mag­i­cal genre is called Open Source.

After the break are a few pro­grams that you may find use­ful, with often just as many fea­tures as the costly alternative.

Microsoft Office » OpenOf­fice

The free and open pro­duc­tiv­ity suite.

Autodesk 3ds Max » Blender

The open source, cross plat­form suite of tools for 3D creation.

Adobe Pho­to­shop » GIMP

The GNU Image Manip­u­la­tion Pro­gram, for X Win­dows systems.

Adobe Illus­tra­tor » Inkscape

The vec­tor graph­ics editor.

Tech­smith Camtasia/HyperCam 2 » Cam­stu­dio

The free alter­na­tive for record­ing on-screen video.

Sony Vegas/Adobe Pre­miere » Jahshaka

The world’s first Open­Source Real­time Media Play­back and Visual Effects System.

Tril­lian Pro » Pid­gin

The multi-protocol Instant Mes­sag­ing client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once.

Halo 2 » Sauer­braten

The sin­gle­player (2 game modes, saveg­ames) and mul­ti­player (12 game modes) first per­son shooter.

Gui­tar Hero » Frets on Fire

The open source Gui­tar Hero alternative.

vBul­letin » phpBB3

The most widely used Open Source forum solution.

Microsoft Win­dows » Ubuntu

The free, Debian derived, Linux-based oper­at­ing sys­tem, avail­able with both com­mu­nity and pro­fes­sional support.

By far, the best resource for Open Source appli­ca­tions is SourceForge.net.

14 thoughts on “Free, Open Source Alternatives to Expensive Programs”

  1. Excel­lent blog entry =) Will cer­tainly refer to this in the future ^_^ Thanks for mak­ing it

  2. NO Free Lunch in this world. You need to know How the money is gen­er­ated.
    Have you ever though Why They are giv­ing these free !!
    Hope you get what I mean.

    This is just a way to keep users data / Spy­ware / Secu­rity holes / Ugly Mar­ket­ing prac­tices / Sell them after a year / Poorly coded softwares.

    When you need pro­duc­tiv­ity You need to pay.
    I worked with open source model for 3 years. And found this is just a gimmick.

    1. If you think Unbuntu, Gimp, Blender or even Openof­fice (which is now called Libre­of­fice) are gim­micks, then I have no faith in your judgement.

      Blender eas­ily rivals soft­ware cost­ing thou­sands and has many pro­fes­sion­als using it and con­tin­ues to gain in popularity.

      Gimp is very pow­er­ful and with the lat­est update can be used instead of Pho­to­shop for every­thing but the most demand­ing image edit­ing projects.

      Libre­Of­fice (openof­fice) also does every­thing most peo­ple need in an office suite.

      Unbuntu is gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity along with Linux every day. With even Valve soft­ware recod­ing Steam to run on the OS.

      I can per­son­ally assure any­one that none of the ones I men­tioned have any­thing resem­bling Spy­ware or secu­rity prob­lems in any way.

      Sounds like some­one works for one of the com­pa­nies that can’t com­pete with open source to me.

    2. Uhm, no..

      First of all, money is not “gen­er­ated”, there’s a fixed amount. Because if any­body would gen­er­ate their own money, it would loose value until it wouldn’t be worth anything..

      You’ve prob­a­bly worked with a crap­ware com­pany, prob­a­bly as a jan­i­tor / recep­tion­ist / lawyer, etc.. , and can’t make the dif­fer­ence between open source soft­ware, free­wares and crapwares.

      Putting some­thing like an adware, or spy­ware within an open source soft­ware is utterly stu­pid and futile, since any­body has access to the source code. It would only take a cou­ple of days before some­one that has even the most rudi­men­tary cod­ing expe­ri­ence makes a build with­out that crap. Which is why your affir­ma­tion makes no sense..

      And “poorly coded soft­ware” ? really ? Just last year, I used the open source JUCE library, which is prob­a­bly one of the most ele­gant, well coded piece of C++ code I’ve seen in a long while !!

      And ugly mar­ket­ing mar­ket­ing prac­tices are just a symp­tom of a big­ger prob­lem. A prob­lem entirely unre­lated to open source software..

      The last time I mod­i­fied an open source pro­gram and pub­lished the mod­i­fi­ca­tion with the code, it wasn’t because I wanted to scam peo­ple, it was because I needed those mod­i­fi­ca­tions and thought it might be use­ful to some­one else. That, and I didn’t care about sell­ing the mod­i­fied soft­ware. Besides it had a very lim­ited audi­ence, prof­its would have been neg­li­gi­ble, and sell­ing some­thing as sim­ple as a sound extrac­tor for game files would have made more than one frown at the thought of pay­ing for that..

      If you want free lunch go to some home­less shel­ter, not on the Inter­net, you silly person..

      Also, 4 years dredge :D

  3. Hid­den 10:06 am on Decem­ber 12, 2009 Permalink

    are you work­ing for microsoft, adobe or the like? :)

    win­dows is full of secu­rity holes, spy­ware, and bugs. I don’t pay for any­thing, that was open source in the past

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