Resources
for Authors and Others

You do not need to pay for great software. Selections herein are industry compatible. Most are cross-platform and multilingual. 99% are free, though we favor FOSS the most.

FOSS: Free Open Source Software

As with “free” software, you should not pay for such, including with personal information. Donate to projects that benefit you, or they may not continue. Watch for the to spot the ones we favor most.

Disclaimers

  1. NDAS does not financially gain from or take responsibility for your use of any software.

  2. Should you need assistance, see the application's “help” and/­or developer documentation and online support communities.

OS (Operating Systems)

100% of author professional and/­or personal needs can be fulfilled with a FOS (Free Open Source) operating system. For those who need some applications found only in the commercial OS world, there are free options for this as well.


Linux Mint

Linux Mint       

FOSS | Linux­Mint­.com

NDAS Primary OS. “Cinnamon” desktop edition recommended. #1 Linux “personal desktop” globally as of 2018..

VirtualBox

VirtualBox   

Free | Virtual­Box­.org

Used to run other operating systems windowed inside a primary OS.

ATTENTION: Do not allow corporate OSes or software to access the internet. Maintain your privacy by applying updates and patches manually for any virtualized OS.

Office Suites/Applications

The widely claimed necessity of Microsoft products for publishing industry compatibility is false. Office suites herein are used by staff working with professional publishers.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice   

FOSS | Libre­Office­.org

[All NDAS staff use this.] Word-processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Drawing, Database, Formula. Can open, create, edit, convert and save all Microsoft formats except for MS Access; includes PDF print/export. Its native ODF (Open Document Format) is 200% more versatile than DOC(X). A derivative of Open­Office popular worldwide.

Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice

FOSS | Open­Office­.org

Internet Applications

You, your activities and information are the prime commodities (and currency) of today's internet. The following focus on your privacy and security, though you should enhance them as well. [See “Extensions” herein.]

Search Engines

StartPage.com

StartPage.com   

All OSes; All Browsers | Start­Page­.com | Google results privacy secured by IxQuick. Read “Advanced” and “Settings“ to increase security.

WolframAlpha.com

Wolfram|Alpha.com

All OSes; All Browsers | Wolfram­Alpha­.com | Accurate data for fiction or non-fiction; don't waste time on social system hearsay.

Web Browser

WaterFox

WaterFox       

FOSS | Linux , Windows & OSX & Android

[All NDAS staff use this.] Built on the safe version of open source code for Firefox. Removes all new Mozilla telemetry and tracking code.

WARNING: Turn off auto-update settings that overwrite personal customization such as search engines.

WARNING: Firefox is not recommended as of version 57+ due to extensive embedded telemetry & tracking code.

SRWare Iron

SRWare Iron   

[Semi]FOSS | Linux & Android , Windows , OSX

[All NDAS staff use this.] Built on open source code for Chromium; Linux & Android versions based on slightly older codebase. Removes / cripples Google telemetry and tracking in Chrome and Chromium.

WARNING: Turn off auto-update settings that overwrite personal customization such as search engines.

Tor Browser (FireFox) Bundle

Tor Browser Bundle     

FOSS |

[All NDAS staff use this.] Web access through a global network of encrypted relays. Prevents (1) surveillance of sites you visit, (2) sites learning your physical location, and (3) allows access to blocked sites.

WARNING: Turn off auto-update settings that overwrite personal customization such as search engines.

Email

Thunderbird

Thunderbird   

FOSS | Mozilla.org/Thunderbird

[All NDAS staff use this with additional extensions.] Email, RSS, Newsgroups, Messaging, Tasks, Calendar, and more through Mozilla extensions. A communications center in one application.

WARNING: Turn off auto-update settings that overwrite personal customization.

Extensions/Plugins

The following may be installable in other web-enabled applications. Browse to this page in the application and select the links. If the application is not recognized for the top 3 extensions below, then do not use it to directly browse the internet.

 

HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere       

WaterFox; Iron; Chromium, Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, Opera 15+, etc. FOSS | EFF.org/HTTPS-Everywhere

[All NDAS staff use this.] Forces HTTPS encrypted connections more aggressively than your browser.

Privacy Badger

Privacy Badger       

WaterFox; Iron; Chromium, Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, Firefox for (?), Opera 15+(?) FOSS | EFF.org/PrivacyBadger

[All NDAS staff use this.] From the EFF, makers of HTTPS Everywhere. Does not use subscriptions or lists; it analyzes code injections in sites to stop advertisers, etc. from tracking you and what you do. Avoid any browser that will not use this extension.

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin   

WaterFox; Iron; Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Opera, Safari. [FOSS] | uBlock.org

[All NDAS staff use this.] Not a set-and-forget plugin. Does not pander corporate money for an “acceptable ads” list. Can use external blocking subscriptions and lists. Avoid any browser that will not use this extension.

Canvas Defender

Canvas Defender   

WaterFox; Iron; Tor Browser Bundle; Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Opera, Safari | MultiLoginApp.com/CanvasDefender

[All NDAS staff use this.] Created by MultLoginApp.com; hampers new attempts to finger-print your browser/­OS/­hardware. Read instructions in the plugin to use as needed in online defense of your privacy.

User-Agent Switcher

WaterFox; Iron; Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Opera | My­Browser­Addon­.com

Change your browser's User-Agent identified to sites you visit; access full features of your Instagram and others (select iOS or Android OS before visiting) without restriction to a mobile device.

ATTENTION: there are multiple add-ons in repositories with deceptively similar names.

Readium

Readium

Iron; Tor Browser Bundle; Chomium, Chrome | Readium.github.io

Review your unencrypted ePUB3/ePUB2 ebook master file with 95-100% full attributes enabled; your ereader may not do so.

QuiReader

QuiReader

WaterFox; Firefox | Mozilla.org/en-US/FireFox/addon/QuiReader/

Review your unencrypted ePUB3/ePUB2 ebook master file with 95-100% full attributes enabled; your ereader may not do so.

Finance / Accounting Applications

If you establish yourself as a professional by vocation based on income from authorship, you need to document expenses for tax purposes. Doing so should not cost you as well.


Grisbi

Grisbi

(?) FOSS | Grisbi.org/

Home/office finance Management, checking/savings, etc. Can replace most home accounting programs. One of the top three of its kind in the open source community.

GnuCash

GnuCash

FOSS | GnuCash.org/

Home/0ffice/small business finance, accounting, checking/savings, etc. More robust than Grisbi but has a very friendly layout. Use this if you have stocks or a retirement fund. One of the top three of its kind in the open source community.

Money Manager EX

Money Manager EX

(?) FOSS | CodeLathe.com/mmex/

Primarily for home and personal finance. Its simpler layout may appeal to those who have never used financial software.

HomeBank

HomeBank   

FOSS | HomeBank.free.fr

Personal finance, accounts, transactions, analysis, budget, etc.; multi-lingual. Can import/export data for Quicken, MS Money or any applications supporting QIF / OFX / QFX / CSV file formats. Stores its data in international XML format for easy export/­import to more applications.

KMyMoney

KMyMoney

FOSS | KMyMoney.org

Personal finance, accounts, transactions, analysis, budget, etc.; multi-lingual; double-entry accounting. Can import/export data from Quicken, MS Money and other applications supporting the QIF, OFX, QFX, and CSV file formats. Built on KDE support files, it is installable in all Linux distributions.

Security Applications

Protect your system effectively for free. Your OS's default security will not adequately do so in all cases. While our “Resources” section focuses on free and/­or open source software, NDAS personnel with an IT background recommend Symantec (with Sophos a close second) for commercial security applications.

Access

KeePassX

KeePassX (Passwords, Other)

| Kee­PassX­.org

[Some NDAS staff use this.] Securely store login and other critical information; does not integrate with other applications, which is a security risk. Not as convenient and automated, but your information is thereby more secure within its high AES encryption. Create multiple databases for differing needs.

AntiVirus

Sophos Free Tools

Sophos (Antivirus, Other)

| Sophos­.com

Some NDAS staff with a background in IT and network security have deployed this for clients in multiple countries.

Comodo AV

Comodo (Antivirus)

| Comodo­.com

Lesser known but robust, but try Sophos first. Pay attention during install to disable unneeded trial applications. There is little out there that compares in free AV for Windows; Microsoft's default malware utilities do not cover all security needs.

ClamAV

ClamAV (Antivirus)

Other FOSS | Clam­AV­.net

[All NDAS staff use this.] Linux is the most robustly defensible OS, but claims of its invulnerability are false. Not the best AV but long-standing and continuously improved. In Linux, install the ClamTK GUI for convenient control vs. the command line. Both are available through most Linux repositories or Synaptic.

After installing in Linux, open a terminal and enter: sudo apt-get upgrade. This will update both applications. Then launch “ClamTK” and select in the main menu Advanced > Scheduler; this is where you can set the daily time for a full scan and a virus definitions update.

ATTENTION: For important options and increased functionality regardless of OS, see GUI+ClamAV.

See Also:
  • Clam­Win­.com [Windows]
  • Clam­Xav­.com [OS X]
  • Network

    Angry IP Scanner

    Angry IP Scanner (Wireless Monitor)

    Other FOSS | Angry­IP­.org

    [Some NDAS staff use this.] Check if someone is using bandwidth for which you pay. While AIS will not stop them, it will inform you of the need to do so. You can take steps to shut out parasites or find & plug all IP/­Port holes.

    Backup Applications

    Protect past, present and future projects / data. Manual file/folder copies to a USB stick or CD/DVD is a minimum. In system failure or human error, you will still lose on-going work, so take further steps.

    Files/Folders

    Syncthing

    Syncthing   

    Other FOSS | Sync­Thing­.net

    [Used at NDAS, GLOBALLY.] Backup, sync and/­or mirror between storage devices only you control; your files are never stored in accessible format anywhere else, especially on a “cloud” server. All transfers are via the Torrent network, the toughest encryption on the planet; it also seeks local network connections for faster transfers.

    ATTENTION: Syncthing is complicated though improves continuously in usability. Give it a try, if you can.

    FreeFileSync

    FreeFileSync

    Other FOSS | Free­File­Sync­.Source­Forge­.net

    Your OS may have the most versatile backup / sync utility called “rsync.” It is command line only and intimidating for the average user. This GUI gives you convenient access to rsync's most potent features.

    OS/System

    SystemBack

    SystemBack   

    FOSS | Source­forge­.net/­projects/­systemback/

    Systemback makes it easy to create backups of your whole system and/or configuration files. In case of problems, you can easily restore the previous state of your system. Extra features for system copying, system installation and “Live” system creation. PPA install available at Launchpad.

    TimeShift

    TimeShift

    FOSS | Tee­Jee­Tech­.in

    Full system backup. Better and more convenient than default applications in Linux distributions. You may find that TimeShift incrementals also take up [much] less than other backup solutions. You might need a back-up space no bigger than 3x times the used (not total) space on your bootable drive.

    Utilities

    Most file managers come with extensive features; sometimes you need more. These free utilities are more convenient and/­or powerful than defaults in an operating system.

    File Packaging (Archives)

    PeaZip

    PeaZip (Extracter, Compressor, Converter)

    Other FOSS | PeaZip­.Source­Forge­.net

    Free, (semi-)cross-platform, portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX. It can create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, UAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP archves. It can extract nearly 150 others as well.

    Optical Disk Drives

    ImgBurn

    ImgBurn (Read, Copy, Build, Burn, Verify)

    | Img­Burn­.com

    Burn

    Burn (Read, Copy, Build, Burn, Verify)

    FOSS | Burn-OSX­.Source­Forge­.net

    Burn

    XfBurn (Read, Copy, Build, Burn, Verify)

    FOSS | Non­Guru­.org/­synap­tic/

    Burn

    Basero (Read, Copy, Build, Burn, Verify)

    FOSS | Non­Guru­.org/­synap­tic/

    Audio/Video

    Unlike applications you know, these do not invade your privacy and/­or force you into proprietary modes. All are (1) FOSS, (2) easy to download/­install/­try and (3) available for Linux, OS X, and Windows. Entertain yourself for free!

    Media Center

    Kodi

    Kodi   

    iOS Other FOSS | Kodi­.tv

    [Most NDAS staff use this at home.] Kodi® is an award-winning, free and open source (GPL) software media center for use with networked televisions and computing devices. Play/­stream most videos, music, podcasts and other digital media from local/­network storage and the internet.

    Audio

    Amarok

    Amarok

    Other FOSS | Amarok­.KDE­.org (Play / Organize / Rip / Stream)

    Clementine

    Clementine

    FOSS | Cle­men­tine-­Player­.org (Play / Organize / Rip / Stream)

    Nightingale

    Nightingale

    FOSS | Get­Nightin­gale­.com (Play / Organize / Rip / Stream)

    Video (and Audio with most)

    VLC

    VLC Media Player   

    Other FOSS | Video­lan­.org­/VLC

    [All NDAS staff use this as well as others.] Handles more media formats than almost any other application. Yes, it can be used as a full media center, if you take time to learn how. (Play / Organize / Rip / Stream)

    JuceVLC

    JuceVLC

    Other FOSS | JuceVLC­.Source­Forger­.net (Play / Organize / Rip / Stream / Media Center)

    Banshee

    Banshee

    Other FOSS | Banshee­.fm (Play / Organize / Rip / Stream)

    UMPlayer

    UMPlayer

    Other FOSS | UM­Player­.com (Play / Stream)

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