Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...

Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: Morgan Sutherland (
Date: Sun Nov 13 2005 - 16:43:07 EST

Where there is a need, Open Source provides. When there is less of a
need, it does not provide, because it does not need to.

Firefox? Drastically superior to everything with the exception of
Opera (in some cases)

OpenOffice? Drastically superior to Microsoft Word. I don't know how
you can think Word is better.----------Insert equations? Do everything
from a right click menu? Auto word completion (if you're lazy)?
Doesn't crash? Doesn't create temporary files everywhere.
For those who are using NeoOffice on Mac, you should try switching to
the regular OO that runs on the X11 platform. It's much much nicer.
Loads fast, looks better, has a version 2.0.

Jack? No competition. Totally essential tool.

Audacity? What exactly does Peak have that is so necessary? I guess
there are some things, but for the vast majority, the simplicity of
Audacity is all that's needed.

VideoLAN? On Mac it's a little buggy, but on PC it is the ultimate
video-centric media player. No competition.

Foobar2000? Ultimate audio-centric media player. No competition.

NetBeans? Best (IMO) for JAVA programming. Don't know any other
languages, so I don't know what to say about that.

Quicksilver? No commercial equivalent. Absolute essential for Mac (IMO).

The Gimp? Only equivalent is Photoshop.

Yeah, some of these applications have commercial equivalents that are
better, but in the instances where the commercial equivalents are
superior, there is no need for an open source.
Photoshop? It's the industry standard. If there was something OS that
came out that was better, still nobody would use it.
There are no superb OS multi-trackers for the same reason... there's
already ProTools and Logic... Live, Traktion, Fruity, Reason etc. for
the poor/progressive folks. And all of them can be had for free via
P2P for those with no money.
I used a cracked version of Ableton from the beginning of v2 all the
way to v4 (at which point I bought the program).

I think companies will always do the big stuff better (Photoshop,
MacOS/Windows, Logic/Protools etc.), but as for small creativity
tools, open source has mostly already taken over.

What's next? Open source firmware. Look how amazing PodZilla is
already. Whoever releases a pretty MP3 player with tons of
capabilities and open-source firmware/software is going to clean out
the geek market.
I was thinking about that the other day. The only MP3 player that
actually looks good is the iPod. All of the others have bad software,
look bad, or are hard to use.

On 11/13/05, Richard Wentk <> wrote:
> At 19:06 13/11/2005, you wrote:
> >umm dinosaur corporations' originality and leading the way... ??
> Depends what you mean by dinosaur. Reaktor, Max/MSP, Metasynth, VST plug-in
> environments, GRM tools, ProTools, PhotoShop, Sony Vegas were and are
> innovative products. If you look at the VST plug-in market there's a
> *fantastic* ferment of creativity happening. There's a vast range of
> projects, from disposable me-too effects at one end to intelligent additive
> synthesizers like Cameleon 5000 at the other. If you look at the TDM market
> there are intelligent pitch correctors, linear phase EQs, convolution
> reverbs, and processors from people like Waves, and so on - overall a ton
> of stuff, some of it really quite cool, clever and funky.
> Where in the OpenSource world can you find anything similar? If you want
> dinosaurs there's Csound, which is a 1960s project currently being
> rewritten to bring it into the 1990s. There's a long list of me-toos like
> Audacity. There are some nice doodads and thingummies like Jack, which are
> useful but not quite the last word in creativity. There's SuperCollider,
> which is a thing of beauty but started life as a commercial project.
> But bigger innovation, in the sense that it's happening elsewhere? Not much
> - no.
> Richard

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