CamStudio – Free Open Source Recording Program

What is it?
Back in 2001 the first release of CamStudio was let loose upon the internet. It is a fabulous open source software that is not only free, but it is updated and also maintains a support form on their websites for users having problems. It is written in C++ however the newest version will be written in C# (a language that has a lot of similarities but it is cleaner and more efficient).

It was developed by seven people and you can find more information about the developers and learn more about the program at their website:

What is it used for?
CamStudio is a simple program that allows you to record your computer screen, or a selected portion of your computer screen, and it also gives you the option to record sound from a microphone. This makes it incredibly easy to do online tutorials while giving directions, or just explain anything and then upload that or send the video file anywhere you want.

There are thousands and thousands of users, many of which use this for program demonstrations and you can find most of those up on YouTube.

Where can you get it?
As was mentioned earlier the program is free and you can go to their website for more information, however if you want the direct download link.

Here are the download links:
CamStudio 2.0

CamStudio 2.6 Beta

What common problems are there?
This program is for Microsoft Windows and you can encounter a variety of issues with it.

  1. File size – This program only allows you to record 2GB max file size. If you accidentally go over that then you will not be able to find your file and will have to rerecord, so make sure to split up the files if necessary or shorten the recording.
  2. Sound issues – Sound recording/playback is the biggest issue with this program. Often times your computer will have a mind of its own and turn off your microphone so check that first and ensure that when you speak into it that it is acknowledging there is sound. Next, if you still are not getting any sound from your recordings try going to CamStudio and resetting your settings, they may have become corrupted and generally this will do the trick. If all else fails redownload the program and the sound should work properly after that.
  3. Messed up recordings – Sometimes users will use CamStudio a few times then it will randomly stop working as well as it used to. This phenomenon is probably caused by altered settings or corrupted settings, simply reset them to original settings and it should work properly after that.

If you experience too many problems with CamStudio, or simply want to look at other programs that will record your computer screen then you can check out these FREE alternatives here.

  1. For Mac users:
  2. RecordMyDesktop:
  3. Jing:

Read our previous post on Camtasia Alternative.

Ubuntu – Open Source OS

So what is Ubuntu?

It is a computer operating system that is based on Linux. It is open source (meaning that it is able to be changed and improved by the users through its source code) and is free. The name came from a South African phrase ‘humanity towards others’ translated as Ubuntu.

Ubuntu strictly adheres to the open source philosophy and it will remain 100% free.

What is it for?

It is for personal computers and there is also a server version, but today we’ll only discuss the personal variant. Overall there are about 12 million people who use Ubuntu on their personal computers and it is the 4th most popular web server.

Who sponsors it?

Mark Shuttleworth (a South African entrepreneur) owns Canonical Ltd. and sponsors Ubuntu. He makes money by selling the technical support and any other services related to Ubuntu.

Can my computer handle it?

Ubuntu supports both 32 and 64 bit architectures but you also need to ensure that your computer meets the minimum requirements to run this operating system.

For your desktop or laptop you must have:
Processor: 1GHz
Memory (or RAM): 384 MiB
Free space on your hard drive: 5 GB

So why do people use Ubuntu?

Ya this is a free operating system, but what really does it offer? With any purchased computer or laptop you get an operating system, so how is Ubuntu different?

Well, for starters it’s an open source software. This means it is completely customizable and you can change it however you like. Even if you aren’t some elite coder or programmer there are a lot of people out there who have created unique and completely awesome add ons for Ubuntu! You can check out some of the more popular Ubuntu downloads to see some of the fantastic features that it can integrate into your desktop operating system. Go here to look at top 10 Ubuntu downloads:

On top of that, it’s free! Windows operating systems often get updated, leaving you in the dust without the fancy new gizmos so you are forced to either purchase the new upgrade or find an alternate means of obtaining that new OS.


Free Course / Education Management Software

Moodle is Open source course management software which helps the creation of learning communities online. Moodle can be used by one instructor orPosts multiple instructors and the students can be as much as 200000. The software works on the principle of interaction among the participants being the catalyst for spreading the knowledge.

Moodle community is spread all over the world residing in 196 countries covering close to 70 languages. The customizable software is supported by hundreds of programmers across the world who enhance the value of the application on a continuous basis. Moodle allows individual feedback to be obtained for all the assignments which makes the performance tracking of the students an easy task.

Moodle has collaborated with teachers worldwide who have contributed rich resources in the form of contents and methods of teaching. The latest version of the software uses tagging which links users and the course with external resources such as informative websites such as Wikipedia and YouTube.

Moodle is extremely popular with the user community. The students have found that the usage of Moodle has improved their communication with the fellow students and the other user groups with similar interests. It is also reported that the usage of an interactive tool like Moodle has helped the students with better problem solving skills and improved technical knowledge.

[ Download Moodle ]

Free Video Conferencing, Instant Messenger Softphone Software

The technologies governing communication is changing at a fast pace. The communication over the internet is catching up fast with the telephone as the primary way of communication. Ekiga is an application which makes VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) possible on your desktop. Ekiga supports the currently used protocols for VOIP, namely, SIP and H.323.

Since SIP is becoming the default standard for VOIP communication, Ekiga supports this protocol to the full. The software is easy to install and configure. It takes you through a few steps for the configuration of your VOIP parameters and within a few minutes you can make your first call.

Using Ekiga you can make a VOIP call with both audio and video to any user in the world. You have facilities to stop audio or video or both and you can hold and transfer the call as you require. Ekiga also has an address book with the contact numbers and you can also create your favorites with numbers most often used.

Ekiga is very simple to use and does not come loaded with too many features for you to choose. It is a powerful simple program which allows you to communicate to your heart’s content. The output is very clear and you will not face any disturbance in your communication using Ekiga.

[ Download Ekiga ]

Free Document Management, Collaboration Enterprise Management Software

MindTouch is a popular wiki platform used for creating contents with a wiki interface. It is free open source software used for authoring, organizing and sharing the contents on the wiki platform. It includes a fantastic WYSIWYG editor, LDAP integration and various third party tools to create applications which can be widely used by the online community.

MindTouch can also be used for building collaborative application extracting data from various sources in the internet. The flexible architecture of the program allows its abilities to be added to any of the existing programs without bothering its language or technology.

MindTouch supports two desktop applications which are of prime importance. The first one is Desktop connector which is used for exchanging files with Wiki using a simple drag and drop application. The Outlook connector helps to publish emails and email attachments with a one click operation.

The two desktop tools mentioned above increases the efficiency of MindTouch significantly. It also comes with a powerful search engine which is of enterprise class and can be used to index all the pages and file types.

MindTouch supports multiple languages while building the applications. The language can be specified quite easily while building the contents and one can use different languages in different sections. Web Oriented Architecture (WOA) is used to build MindTouch and this enabled high level of connectivity for this application.

[ Download MindTouch Core ]

List OF Alternative Software For JBuilder

If you are a Java Developer and looking for a powerful Java IDE, then Embarcadero’s JBuilder® is one of your solution. Using JBuilder you can improve your code quality, performance, team productivity as well as individual productivity and at the same time better the comprehension of your existing code or also write better new code.

JBuilder enables Java developers to build, test, optimize, deploy, and maintain enterprise-scale applications. This edition includes support for application profiling and performance tuning, visual EJB and Web services development, UML modeling, code audits and metrics, creating Swing UI’s, and Application Factories to increase code reuse and productivity.

However, a copy of JBuilder costs you close to $1500 in the US of A.

[ Visit JBuilder Homepage ]

List of alternative software to Borland /Embarcadero’s JBuilder:

1> Open Source IDE For Java / C / C++ Applications – NetBeans.

Free, Open Source Reporting Tool With Drag And Drop GUI

DataVision is a fantastic reporting tool which works with almost all databases in the world such as MySql, Oracle and Access to name a few. The generated reports can be easily customized by using the drag and drop tool which is part of an extremely friendly user interface. The reports can be exported to any of your favorite formats such as PDF, HTML, XML, CSV etc.

Several advanced features add to the attraction of this reporting tool. You can have visual table linker and can also tightly link your applications with DataVision. It is also possible to create sub reports using this tool.

Since Java is the underlying language used for creating DataVision, the tool is compatible with almost every platform in the world. It can be connected to any database with a JDBC driver. Apart from the major ones mentioned before it also works very well with Informix, PostgreSQL, Progress and many others.

DataVision can also generate reports from data files in the text format. XML format is used to store the report descriptions which facilitate the usage of any of your favorite text editor for editing the reports.

DataVision has a variety of options available for formatting the reports such as page headers, group headers, footers, various font formats and colors, formulas and the facility for defining run time parameters while the report is being generated.

[ Download Data Vision ]

Free, Open Source IDE For Java / C / C++ Applications

NetBeans provides you an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for producing Java and C/C++ applications. NetBeans can help you build complex J2EE applications through its support for major J2EE application server products. It also has other features such as profiler, GUI builder, CVS support and support for J2ME.

The NetBeans IDE is available for various operating systems such as Solaris, Linux, Windows and Mac. The application platform provided with NetBeans helps you to build enterprise, web, mobile and desktop applications using variety of platforms and tools such as Ajax, Ruby, PHP, JavaFX, Java, JavaScript and C/C++.

The latest version of NetBeans has several new functionalities such as new instant messaging with better features, issue tracking integration in the IDE, full support for JIRA, fantastic C/C++ profiling, web application development with PHP 5.3 and Symfony framework and various improvements on JavaFX projects like better code completion, hints and navigation.

Being an Open Source software, NetBeans can be downloaded and used free of cost. The download happens in one piece and you get the module based standard development environment in one attempt without the need for any additional plug-ins.

The IDE has a new set of functionalities including the capability to create a J2EE application and then deploy it after adding EJB and Web modules. You can also form Session Beans, Message-Driven Beans and Entity Beans.

[ Download NetBeans! ]

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