Daniel Goh's Blog
Daniel Goh male Junior Writer
A video game junkie always looking for more convenient ways to do things tech wise. Some say its lazy, I say its innovative. Currently being sucked into the world of social media addiction and will never leave the house without his trusty iPod and headphones.
As an innovator (just another term for lazy bugger), I am always looking for more efficient and simpler ways of getting things done. Now, I am not just talking about taking shortcuts here and there in terms of physical activities, but more of the fact that I am always looking for the best applications online that let me simplify my computing tasks so I can get to the bottom of my workload in the least possible steps.
Here’s a pretty great example of what I am trying to say. At times, I get loads of photographs that need to be resized before I am able to upload it for online publication. Whether it’s for HardwareZone Malaysia, or simply for personal use, there has to be a better way than opening each file individually and resizing them one by one, which will take an insane amount of time. Asking around, a colleague recommended I try Multiple Image Resizer, a simple program designed to let you resize, add borders and even rotate your photos in batches. Which brings me to the first point I am trying to make, if there is a need for it, chances are somewhere out there, the application is already waiting for you, if you know where to look, of course.
So what do you do after finding that neat solution? As we live in Malaysia, where piracy is pretty rampant, I would go out on a limb and say that heck, it’s pretty convenient to just run on over to the nearest (shady) IT retail outlet and buy the software for a couple of bucks and still have enough change to have lunch (or dinner) while you’re at it. However, in light of not ‘hurting’ the industry, I urge you to do what I do and consider an alternative: Open-source software.
Open-source software (OSS) is computer software that is available in source code form for which the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, improve and at times also to distribute the software. It is precisely this open-relationship that almost always lets you get the software for free.
Sure, it might not be as fancy as Photoshop, which has almost hundreds of people working on its development and sure, the UI may not be as polished as expensive software, but the important point to take away from this is that it gets the job done and that is all that matters. Take VideoLAN Connector, for example. While aesthetically it may not look stunning, but it plays more file types than I can count on one hand and even offers pretty in-depth tweaking options to boot.
So head on down to source code repositories like SourceForge and give open-source software a try. You might even be surprised with the amount of stuff out there that you are not aware of. I know I definitely was. And maybe in the long run, you might find something so interesting, so useful, that you will even want to donate some dough to the developers just to see the software live on!