Wednesday, November 18, 2009

7 cool applications to improve your Karmic Koala experience.

If you are using Ubuntu, you probably know there is some 2000+ applications you can install on your system. Obviously you would not need to install all of those to get the best out of your system, the following 7 applications will help give you more from your setup in case  you have not installed them already. Some of them are available in the revised software management hub called the Ubuntu Software Center.

I am assuming you have already installed the Ubuntu restricted extras that gives you multimedia codecs to play proprietary formats like MP3 and flash. If you have not, just go to the Ubuntu Software Center and search for Ubuntu restricted extras to install.

1. VLC
VLC is the best multimedia player under the sun, period. Forget Totem. With its built in codecs, it can play virtually any file format known to man. If VLC cannot play it, chances are only the CIA or NSA have the right player for it. Check out 7 of its features that should get you to install it right away. It's available in the repos.

2.Opera
Though not Open Source, you really need to have this cool and slick browser on your system. It has some very impressive features that makes it stand out. My favorite two features of this browser are the Opera Turbo and Opera Unite. You will be glad to have Opera Turbo when you have the misfortune of having to use a crowded Wi-Fi or an agonizingly slow net connection. Read more and download it here.

3. Skype
Yea I know, I know. There's Ekiga, but chances are 9 out of 10 of the people you know use Skype. This alone makes it a necessity to have on your Karmic box. And if you are new to Ubuntu and are just wondering, yes the Skype you are used to on Windows works on Linux. Just download it and double click to install the .deb file.

4. Devede
This application transcodes your video files into dvd formats for burning to a dvd disc or cd. Available in the software center.

5. VirtualOSE
There may be times when you want to use another OS for some reason or the other. You should have VirtualOSE around so you don't need to physically repartition your drive. Also available from software center.

6. Scribus
As a DTP tool Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation. It also has additional features not normally found in a DTP tool such as vector drawing tools with SVG support and it even has support for OpenType Fonts. You can follow the instructions here to get it up and running on your box.

7. Deluge
If you are a power torrent downloader like myself, then you really got to have Deluge. It's faster, uses random ports, less resources and has more advanced features than the default Transmission. It is also available in the software repos.

I know there are so many more apps that are not on this list. For gamers, you can check out this post on how to play really awesome games from a liveCD. Your default install already comes with some great apps to get you off the ground, like OO.org. Those on this list are meant to augment the ones you already have. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

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