Free Software

Today, I made my first voluntary donation to a software foundation. I chucked £5 at the amazing people at for their world-leading media center software, which runs my home media computer.

Simply put, I can’t understand how these guys manage to provide so much for free. I was demonstrating it  to my future-brother-in-law a couple of days ago, and he simply couldn’t believe the price tag. When I thought about it, nor could I.

In fact, I use so much software that is given to me for free, and all of them deserve my support. Unfortunately, I’m just not that rich.

So, in what is a terribly bland blog, here’s a list of software, off the top of my head, that I’d like to donate to when, one day, I actually have a real job.

XBMC ( media center

VLC ( – a media player, before VLC I’d always screw up my system with dodgy codecs.

Dropbox ( I cannot describe how awesome dropbox is. It does a simple task flawlessly and automatically syncs and backs-up everything across, in my case, 4 work computers and 2 personal ones. All the lastest versions of my files, everywhere. plus backups of every file version.

R ( I use this every day at work. Its a stats package infinitely better than SPSS

R Studio ( A GUI that makes R look pretty and is so easy to use.

Spotify ( Ok, we all feel they sold out a bit, but its still great.

Mendeley ( Do you use EndNote or other reference management software? You’re wrong to. Mendeley is free, prettier, easier to use and has a ton more features… and its free.

LaTex ( typesetting.

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