Events

Software Alternatives

Librarians for Software Alternatives

Kate Moody | (920)-748-8750 | [email protected]

Lane Library Staff - Kate Moody

Access Services Librarian Lane Library
Departments: Circulation, Interlibrary Loan, Course, Reserves

Librarian for Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy, Physics, Sociology, Spanish, Studio Art, and Women’s & Gender Studies.

Amy Rachuba | (920)-748-8747 | [email protected]

Lane Library Staff - Amy Rachuba

Assistant Librarian-Resource Services Lane Library
Departments: Electronic Resources, Government Documents, Serials

Librarian for Classic Studies, Education, Environmental Studies, French, Global Studies, Journalism, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, and Theatre.

Free FAQs

Looking for new software? This guide will provide you with several options for budget friendly software. Looking to get a bit more creative on the MakerSpace scene? Check out our DIY and Makerspace area.

What kind of software are you covering?

We have divided this into several sections, as detailed below.

  • Write and Draw: Libre Office, Inkscape, Zotero.
  • See and hear: Gimp, Audacity, VLC Media Player.
  • DIY: Not software, but plenty of great ideas available at Adafruit, Instructables, AntiVirus software and Makerspace links .

Write and Draw

Write and Draw

There are a variety of programs out there that will help you with your getting your thoughts from your head to computer.

Libre Office

Great tool to replace Windows Office, however it does not have an email client or calendar. We recommend Thunderbird to replace Outlook with the add on Lightning to keep track of your day.

Zotero

Useful tool to collect, organize, cite and share your resources.

  • Download here.

    - Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

  • Documentation

    - Installation, FAQs, and basic information

  • Screencast tutorials

    - Need more visual help to figure out how to get around? Find tutorials from Zotero from the basics to more advanced features.

Inkscape

Vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.

  • Download here.

    - Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

  • Documentation

    - Installation, FAQs, and basic information

  • Tutorials

    - Need more help to figure out how to get around? Watch tutorials to walk you through the basics to more advanced features.

See and Hear

See and Hear

Many free programs exist that will allow you to visually project your ideas as well.

Gimp

A raster graphics editor comparable to Photoshop. It is great for retouching and editing, free-form drawing, resizing, cropping, photo-montages, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks. Luckily, there are excellent tutorials to help every skill level harness this tool.

  • Download here.

    - Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

  • Manual

    - A thorough breakdown of all Gimp's features.

  • Written tutorials

    - Need more step-by-step help to figure out how to get around? Find tutorials from the basics to more advanced features.

  • Video tutorials

    - Need more visual help to figure out how to use Gimp? YouTube is full of helpful people who have recorded and uploaded how-to's. If you have a specific need, try typing that into the search box - like "transparent background Gimp 2.8"

Audacity

Learn to edit, create and produce quality audio files.

  • Download here.

    - Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

  • Documentation

    - Installation, FAQs, basic information, and links to tutorials

VLC Media Player

Plays most multimedia files, as well as DVDs and various streaming protocols.

  • Download here.

    - Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

  • Documentation

    - Installation, FAQs, basic information, and links to tutorials

DIY and MakerSpace

Looking to do some things on your own? Check out some of the various websites for ideas, as well as regional Makerspace locations for places to go.
DIY

Many upgrades can easily be done at home for a fraction of the cost.  Gamers, especially, may be interested in building their own computer from the ground up. There is also a world of great electronic projects that can improve your garden, cooking, Easter festivities, self-esteem, parties, pet's twitter presence, and so much more.

  • Build your own computer:
    CNET is a great website for technology reviews. Here they have created a tutorial to teach you how to build a computer from the ground up. For many people it is cheaper to purchase a computer, however gamers or those who use graphics heavily may consider this a worthwhile endeavor.
  • Adafruit Industries:
    A great place to purchase all your hardware needs. I recommend them because it isn’t just a store, they have a very heavy focus on education for all skill levels and sharing knowledge.
  • Instructables: A website specializing in user-created and uploaded do-it-yourself projects, which other users can comment on and rate for quality. Projects span the DIY world, but there are innumerably technology projects among them. You will be consistently amazed at the creativity of others.
  • Make Magazine: Includes projects involving computers, electronics, robotics, metalworking, woodworking and other disciplines. Projects projects which can often be completed with cheap, easily found or household parts.

Video electronics lessons

  • Element 14
    a high-service distributor in the technology sector, a great place to find the answers and parts you need.
  • Adafruit
    Lady Ada's goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels.
  • Make Magazine
    Videos show you how to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will. From electronics to furniture to cat toys.
  • Ben Heck show
    Join master hacker, engineer, and tech hobbyist Ben Heck as he tackles new and fun interesting projects each week.

Malwarebytes
Anti-malware and internet security software. Please note that only one anti-malware/anti-virus package should be used as they don't tend to play well together.

 

Makerspaces in the region

Physical Address: 300 W. Seward St. Ripon, WI
Mailing Address: PO Box 248 Ripon, WI 54971-0248
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 800-947-4766
Campus Map