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15 must-have apps if you're new to Linux

Oct 30, 2016   By JENNIFER HARRISON

You’ve decided to take your open-source aspirations to the next level and try Linux. Maybe you’ve installed a Linux distribution like Ubuntu on a brand new PC or you’ve hacked your Chromebook to run Linux. Either way, you’ll need to get up to speed with the best software available to make your computer as capable as possible. Windows and OSX get too much attention sometimes, so we’ve decided to help you get started with our top 15 Linux apps.

We’ve avoided anything too specialist, instead favouring apps that will improve your overall experience and productivity (and gaming). There are some well-known multiplatform apps available for Linux that are must-haves for most people, including Skype and Dropbox, but we’re focusing on the brilliant apps you might not have heard of. And of course everything on this list is completely free, just like Linux itself. Let’s get started!

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The Best Windows 10 Universal Apps of 2016

Oct 31, 2016   By MICHAEL MUCHMORE

Windows has apps and an app store. A lot of people may not realize that, but it's one of the big features that Windows 10 inherited from Windows 8. The apps in the store are lightweight, touch-friendly, and can run either full-screen or windowed. Updates are handled automatically, and you can install apps purchased on multiple devices.

Universal apps have some other benefits over traditional PC programs, too. They can interact with Windows's built-in notification and sharing features. They can display current info on live tiles in the Start menu—handy for things like weather, sports, and messaging. They're also vetted for security and quality, and run in their own sandboxes so as not to affect the rest of the operating system.

 

But the most appealing aspect of universal apps may be their ability to run on a wide variety of devices, from smartphones to tablets to laptops to powerful desktop PCs to game consoles and eventually the HoloLens 3D extended-reality headset. Let's not forget the enormous Surface Hub business conferencing unit, either.

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The Best Free Software for Students

Nov 01, 2016   By Lauren L'Amie

We all know school is expensive, and while we might have to save our pennies to pay back our student loans, we don’t have to spend oodles on software. A lot of software is free online, especially for students. You just have to look past the shiny, expensive boxes. We’ve gathered a list of the best free software for students for when you need to edit that extra-credit video for history, create a presentation on “The Stranger,” learn a new language and apply for internships by the end of the week.

Microsoft Office Home & Student with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and OneDrive goes for $139.99 to download on one computer. That's more than a year's worth of Netflix subscriptions. Instead, LibreOffice is a free download, and you're not restricted to using it on one computer. LibreOffice includes alternatives to all Microsoft Office applications, plus the ability to draw 3D illustrations and create mathematical equations. Download it here.

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Best free photo editing software

Adobe Photoshop has been the grand daddy of the imaging world for years and its blend of tools make photo retouching, image creation from scratch and straight-up image editing the complete package for keen amateur photographers and professionals.

But although the cost of using Photoshop has come down, you have to pay a subscription for Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives that won't cost you a cent, and while they might not rival Photoshop for outright power, they bring simplicity, speed, convenience or one-click effects that you just don't get with Photoshop.

1. Picasa

We start off with some of the more contemporary takes on digital imaging, but if you use Windows and you prefer a traditional, no-frills image editor, you'll find those on our list too.Fast and efficient photo organising tool with rather good non-destructive editing Platforms: Windows, Mac Easily overlooked, Picasa is Google's free desktop image organizing and editing software. It connects to Picasa Web online albums, making it easy to share photos with others straight from your desktop, but you can also use it purely as a desktop application.

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