Open Source Software: Sharing the Love

Open Source Software

What is open source software?  Open source software is computer software that can be used and modified by the public at no charge.  It allows users to use, contribute and exchange products, information, creations and projects.

In addition, an open source code is, in computer lingo, software that can be enhanced, modified or changed by anyone at any time.  Simply put, this means that those who contribute can make the program better and can fix things that aren’t working too.  Some open source software offer open source codes and some do not.

Open source software has become very popular.  In fact, not only is the software a big hit, often times the site or sites that offer the software become more of a social gathering for sharing passions, projects and progress.

There are many advantages to using open source software.  The first plus is that they are free of charge.  Millions of dollars are spent on software programs every years so the fact that there are quality programs available for no charge is welcomed by the public.

When software is offered but does not include open source programing and coding, they generally place limitations of some form on the user.  They may request that the product of the program not be used for commercial use or other regulations and the user must sign the agreement before using it.

True open source programs allow the public to copy anything from the program and to share it, commercially or individually and to alter it, share it, etc.  Generally, an open source program will require the user to sign an agreement that they will allow others to use what they share on the site.

When a program is open source and open source in code as well is a popular concept for computer programmers as well as the average computer user.  It allows them to use a program in the way they wish to and to customize it according to their needs and likings.

Many also consider it to be more secure than regular programs are because they can actually examine and change the code to make sure it is not doing anything shady.  Regular software programs and sites can access your information remotely which may be in any location, even on the other side of the globe.  How scary is that?  When you are in control of your own programing and programing code, you are able to access the information and change it if you want.

Open source is used by lots of people.  Those who are specifically into a certain realm such as animators, enjoy the wide span of tools they can access while others, such as students, glean from the knowledge that is shared.  With open source software, there seems to be something for everyone.

With open source software has come the catch phrase “open source way” which refers to the community spirit of sharing, contributing and making the cause and the software sharing a better experience for all.  Open source shares the passion and shares the love…and it’s all done for free.

Software on Water

Software is the backbone of the digital, electronic, and computer worlds. There is no better calling, enterprise, or vocation as far as I am concerned, practitioner that I am. You never run out of ideas and applications. That said, let’s take a look at programs used at sea. There is everything from ship navigation to fish finders. Software is always floating around!

I was interested in this because of my love of water recreation (water skiing, scuba diving, canoeing, you name it), and then my brain just kept on rolling about the inventive marvels that abound. To be trite, there are many fish in the sea. I know there are lots of video games and assorted ways to have fun with sea themes and motifs. Listen to this one from Pathfinders, Lost at Sea Strategies. It’s calling my name.

A mysterious and timeless artifact at the bottom of the Atlantic has been activated. Follow a mysterious signal to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with Professor John Darby and explore an island that has magically appeared. Use our handy Strategy Guide as you attempt to discover the truth behind this ancient relic in Pathfinders Lost at Sea, a fun and exciting Hidden Object game.

Now this is what I call a great use of software! But let’s get back to serious stuff. As far as navigation at sea, there are small craft and then there are ocean liners. I am thinking about the average person here, so we will stick to recreational vessels. Raytech delivers electronic charting and total onboard integration. This is what I call a PC software tool! This software is powerful but easy to use. The interface is great and the features get updated all the time.

I promised software for finding fish early on, so don’t stray from this blog. And don’t fret. It isn’t cheating to use it. It enhances the outdoor experience and practically guarantees a big catch. I think of it as recreational sonar that is software driven. With one of the best portable fish finders, you can locate and target fish for a fast start anytime you are on the water. Digital devices with screens reveal what is beneath the depths. Savvy fishermen are getting up to speed these days and the pros are right there with the leisure time guys. You get a great hi-res LED backlit color display for your sonar system, a selector menu, networking compatibility, and broadband connectivity. Fish finders are portable must haves and great gift ideas for your favorite outdoorsperson—man, woman, or child. Get one that works at fast boat speeds for the aggressive motor boater in your life.

So this all adds up to my touting the magic of software in any application on land or sea. If it costs, it may be well worth it, but open source is the wave of the future as there is so much out there to share. My source code is your source code. Go for it, my friend!

Laptop Bags 101

Usually I don’t give my laptop bag a second thought if it does its job. It is a weatherproof tote with a few extra pockets for my smart phone and keys. It’s not fancy, but it is what’s inside that counts. However, I got one as a gift and I started to take a closer look. It had everything a computer tote should have and then some. It was the supreme bag, top tier, and sky high on anyone’s list of must haves.


A stunning leather bag puts you on the track to success with a double-gusseted flapover design that opens to reveal a padded computer pocket, an organizer with dedicated space for your iPhone, a padded iPad pocket and much more.

  • Full-grain cowhide leather
  • Imported
  • Double-gusseted flapover design with secure tuck-lock closure
  • Front compartment features padded laptop pocket
  • Laptop pocket fits screens up to 16″
  • Front exterior features a gusseted pocket organizer with iPhone pocket
  • Rear compartment features a full-length zipper pocket and padded iPad pocket
  • Sturdy top handle for easy lifting
  • Adjustable, removable and padded shoulder strap
  • Weight: 3.6 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 16.13″W x 13.5″H x 5.38″D

I was impressed enough to print the entire promo ad for the Kenneth Cole Reaction Leather Columbia Dowel Rod Laptop Brief. Now that’s a mouthful. It sells for just under $300 at a discount, which isn’t bad for what you get. It is super nice and meets my needs about 200 percent. It makes my old vinyl one terribly obsolete (not to mention dowdy). All you nerds out there, take heed. You may be above quality and design, but don’t be. It houses your precious device nicely and is a definite girl magnet. It says you have taste, and some bucks. Here’s one user’s review.

Perfect gift

“The bag is of very high quality and easy to use/carry. It was a gift for my husband and he loves it. ”

Yes, I recommend this product.

Okay, so now you know what to look for in the latest, greatest of laptop bags. You can spend a lot less on a cheap, cool looking backpack or a lot more on luxe designer products, but this is the right look for the right price. It is on sale from the original whopping price of $500, so that tells you something about real leather. When you opt for black or brown it reeks class. Forget the wild colors and female frills. You can bang it around everywhere and it will take a beating and last. The cheaper ones that look like padded envelopes tend to fall apart, especially if your kids get near it!

I love having a handle that fits my grip. I hate having to force my hand through a narrow one. You can get a rolling one, by the way, if you travel a lot. While a laptop is moderately heavy, you probably get tired of lugging it after a while.

So print out this blog and leave it strategically on the desk of a spouse or good friend, maybe a close family member. You could get as lucky as I was.

Let’s Get Blending: Shaking it Up with Open Source Software


If you are into making animated films, video games or even interactive 3D applications, you know firsthand how expensive it can get.  Furthermore, it’s not uncommon to purchase an animation program only to find you just don’t care for it at all.  As the dollars mount up, you are still in need of a great program.  That’s when you need a Blender!

Blender is one of the best open source software programs available.  It is for the public by the public.  It’s a professional program of 3D computer graphics.  It also supports video game production.  In this program, you can do so much in the way of 3D printed models, special visual effects, sculpting, matching animation movements, video editing and composing and so much more.  Blender does most anything an aspiring animation, video and gaming creator could want and…it’s all for free.

The concept of Blender began as an entrepreneurial endeavor.  Dutch founder, Ton Roosendaal, started the company in 1998 but was bankrupt only a few years later.  He launched Blender as a group-funding effort on the understanding that if the funds were raised, he would provide the program for free to the public.  The group funding was a success.  Thus, Blender remains free for the public to contribute to and to use as well.

While Blender isn’t real easy for beginners, it is for those who know a bit about what they are doing.  The user interface provides for object mode and edit mode editing.  It also operates modes allowing for Vertex Paint, Weight Paint and Sculpt Mode Hotkey.

One of the best features about the open source software program is that the user can customize the screen layout.  That is a lifesaver for those who specialize in one specific area and don’t want to hassle with going through unnecessary motions each time they get on it.

One real downfall of the program overall is that, since is it open source, there have been attempts by other programs to swipe it.  They have attempted to repackage and sell it as their own.  But overall, the program has been left alone and allowed to remain the free program it was designed to be.

The fact that users can not only use the program but contribute to it too has made it a social site in a way.  People are adamant about their artistic creations and the desire to learn and do more and so Blender has become a platform where users can share information and talk about their work, the work of others and the subjects of editing, video, gaming creation and the likes.

Blender keeps the site fresh with continual updates and contest that generate new blood and gives way to a creative flow that keeps on rolling through the community.  Some of the projects in the past have been “Apricot” which was to generate a game creation on the base of the Big Buck Bunny movie which featured a character named Peach.  The requirement for the contests are that the material within be created using the features of Blender.

Blender continues to keep the site fresh and alive and projects excitement as well as a sense of community and common ground.  The program does not set limitations so anything created in blender can be produced for profit or for private use.  The public has made great use of the open source nature of Blender and in turn, the company at Blender has returned the favor and rewards those who use it.  Blender…it’s a win-win in open source software.