Save Money, Go Open Source (Part II)

In a previous post, Save Money, Go Open Source, I listed various open source (and free) software programs I use regularly. I like the idea of open source software on a philosophical level, in that a variety of people can participate to make a program better. However, my main reason for loving them is that they are completely free! Using open source software really should be an important part of living frugally and embracing financial wellness. Below are a few more programs that I find useful that can save you a lot of money if you use them in place of costly proprietary software:

GnuCash – I posted on Getting to Know Gnucash, but I will summarize GnuCash here. GnuCash is the equivalent to software like Microsoft Money and Quicken. It handles things like mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts, expenses, etc. You can even import Quicken and Microsoft Money files, so you can just download your information directly from your online banking sites, and reconcile it. GnuCash isn’t quite as intuitive as Microsoft Money, and is more advanced software, since it uses double-entry accounting principles, while Money is a single entry system. The former is more thorough, but more difficult to understand. I use GnuCash for business and personal purposes. It can generate handy charts to show your income versus expenses, where your expenses are coming from, etc.

PDF Creator – This is a .pdf printer, which means that you can print any document, image, etc, on your computer as a .pdf file. If you install it, you will see it listed as an option on your list of printers. Once you choose to print with it, you are given a choice to name it, assign an author, etc, and then you can save the document in any folder that you like. This is a handy way to create .pdf files!

Free Mind – Free Mind is an idea mapping software, which reminds me of those “pre-writing” bubble-like diagrams we used to do in English class. It allows you to brainstorm and generate ideas. I haven’t played around with it too much, but it looks cool.

Inkscape – Inkscape is a nice vector graphics design program. It is like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw. You can make some pretty cool logos and art with it, and I haven’t even begun to utilize its many features. If you design art for bulletins, newspapers, e-books, etc, this software is essential, and could potentially save you hundreds on software costs.

CamStudio – CamStudio is a program that allows you to record your actions on your computer screen, which means you can make videos of what you do on your computer. You can also record audio while you do it. You can save the output as various video file formats, so you can post your efforts on You Tube, etc. This software is very helpful for individuals who are making software or computer-related video tutorials. I haven’t used it too much, except to test it, but there is a lot of potential here.

This round of Open Source programs isn’t quite as broadly useful as the last round. The last round included some major programs (like OpenOffice) that help us with common tasks (like word processing). However, these FREE programs I have just listed will help make your life easier!

Fitday 2.0?

I can’t find much about it online, but it looks like Fitday 2.0 has been released. There seem to be no screenshots available of it, and I tried to download it online, but I couldn’t (despite the claim that once you buy Fitday, you get free updates…we’ll see about that I guess). Does anybody know anything about it? I emailed the people at Fitday to see what is going on, and I’ll let everybody know the response I get.

I also found another diet software that looks very comprehensive, Nutribase EZ. I downloaded the software for evaluation, and while it seems more complicated than Fitday 1.0, it is rather comprehensive and powerful. The price is higher than Fitday.

UPDATE:

I received a reply from Fitday, which is pasted below. Their customer service is prompt and friendly. First, a few comments. I don’t think Fitday was very clear when they said updates were free, by which they meant bug-fixes and minor updates were free, whereas major upgrades (e.g. going from version 1.0 to 2.0) would cost . Perhaps that they used “update” versus “upgrade” should have clued me in. Second, there is still nothing about 2.0 on their site, but the site does mention it is the current version, so I am guessing it is on the way. If the upgrade is nice enough, I will definitely be paying for it. I use Fitday a lot, and I am more than willing to pay for it. It is an excellent program.

Hi David,

Thanks for your question. Version 1.0.0.6 is the latest version. We’re in the
process of updating the website and rolling out Version 2. Version 2 is not yet
available for download.

Updates are free that include patches to the current version of FitDay (version
1). But this does not include the next major upgrade to FitDay (i.e. Version 2).
Version 2 will not be free.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

FitDay Support
support@fitday.com