Monthly Archives: June 2012

Free music studio software

LMMS shown on Ubuntu
Lmms running on Ubuntu

LMMS is in my opinion an okay alternative to those commercial music studio software that is available out there. It is described following at their website:

LMMS is a free cross-platform alternative to commercial programs like FL Studio®, which allow you to produce music with your computer. This includes the creation of melodies and beats, the synthesis and mixing of sounds, and arranging of samples. You can have fun with your MIDI-keyboard and much more; all in a user-friendly and modern interface.

There are some sound demos that can be found here and screenshots can be found here. However, you can not make tracks where you record sounds. But you can use Audacity to fulfill that need. Both LMMS and Audacity works on Windows, Mac and Gnu/Linux but LMMS could need some extra tweaking to work with Mac os.

Free music notation software

MuseScore default screen
MuseScore default screen shown on Ubuntu.

I myself am a musician, and I sometimes need to write sheet music as homework since I also am a music student. And occasionally I also write music of my own, but have not the economy to buy those proprietary products that is quite popular in the music world, i.e. Sibelius and Finale. So I was quite happy when I found out about MuseScore, a completely free score writing program, with some neat features in my opinion.

The features are: Multilingual (my screenshot shows swedish), you can have up to four voices per staff, lyrics and more. So before you decide to purchase the commercial, proprietary score editors you should try this out.

It is both free as in freedom as in no cost. The software is available for Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux.

Some steps to make your web browsing more anonymous and secure.

Mims well

One of the biggest threats in the internet era is the privacy on the web. Websites can track you and make profiles about you depending on search terms you make on search engines. So, how can we make us more anonymous and secure on the web? There is some simple steps that you can make:

Use https whenever you can if you are surfing on the web (this is shown left at the address bar of your browser). If you use ordinary http you are vulnerable for man-in-the-middle attacks. So, when you log in to your email account, you should use https to ensure that crackers would have a difficult time trying to break into your email account.

Disable cookies. Ads and third-party sites uses cookies to track you and makes a profile about you. Note however, websites that require that you login (e.g. email websites) require…

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Next Post

Mims well

As I have said, I am very passionate about free software. But to completely make the change towards a completely free operating systems is like starting to swim at deep water, if you have not swum before. Not always a good idea. So there are some software, that is both “free as in freedom” and “free as in free beer” that you can try out if your operating system is Windows or Mac.

Here are different categories of free/open source software that you can use in your Windows or Mac operating system:

Office software

LibreOffice is a great replacement for office software, such as Microsoft’s proprietary Office software. This includes the programs you need to write documents, spreadsheets and databases (and more). It is stable, and was initially forked from OpenOffice since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems.

Web browsing

Mozilla Firefox is my default browser and I am quite…

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Android – a smartphone amongs others?

There are a lot of smartphones out there and each one of them fulfills a different need. Android is, in my opinion, an unique operating system when it comes to them used in mobile devices. What makes this so unique then? Is it the diversity of apps that you can download? No, not in my opinion. It is that it is free/open source software. Unfortunately, there are vendors that distribute proprietary programs among the Android os itself.

But there are some hope for those of us who want a completly free Android system. FSFE has launched a project called “Free your Android” and the aim is just to take away the proprietary software from your Android device. There are two different Android based projects, CyanogenMod that is not fully “Free as in freedom” and Replicant OS that is fully free as in freedom. Accordingly to fsfe, CyanogenMod is also the most popular aftermarket distro of Android.

So, in my opinion, you should choose Replicant OS if you can. The major drawback with it, is that the supported devices are slim.

Another thing that is worrying when it comes to free software in Android is the source of all apps. In Android market you are bound to have an account at Google if you want to download apps, and the source does not tell you if the software is free or not. Neither does it tell you which license the software is bound to. But there is good news here, too.

F-Droid is a repository containing only FOSS software for your Android device. You can browse through the apps and choose between different versions of the programs.

So, if you would like a completely free Android, there is hope!

More active blog

If you are interested in computers and philosphy about the mind and free will, I could recommend you to visit another blog that I and my friend are writing. He, like me, is interested in computers and also likes to talk about more “heavy” philosophical stuff, such as “is the world deterministic?”. You can visit us here. And I guess it will be more active than this, since we are two people writing on that blog.

First steps to take ACTA away

The EU International Trade Committee has recommended the EU parliament to wote down the ACTA treaty. I have earlier stated that ACTA is not a good thing since it can harm our freedom and integrity on the net in a more negative way. The swedish MPs for the Pirate party, Amelia Andersdotter stated “This shows that citizens can make a difference and that there are institutions that listen when citizens have spoken. It is great for democracy” according to dn.se.

The thing with ACTA has been that it was initially negotiated behind closed doors. It is a “trade agreement” but what it actually does if it is agreed it could make the ISP (Internet Service Providers) some kind of police force. Young citizens could be forced to court when they download music and films home for private use. ACTA states, that if you download a “commercial scale” of music you will put into penalty. But what “commercial scale” exactly means is not defined in the agreement.

Another thing that is mentioned about this is the pirated medicine. Well, I would not be a fan of pirated medicine but I also would not be a fan of putting people that downloads copies of sofware in jail. I think that it is a bit like comparing pears and apples. Medicine is very important to make people live longer (while this is not always the case) And in the matter of music and films are culture that is not as important as medicine but still the makers could feel better if they got paid for their work. But I feel that it is more drastic to send a man/woman in prison for copying a file if you compare it to those making humbug medicine. In my case the ones making medicine that do not work is a big crime rather than a person that justs wants to listen to music or watch a film. Just my opinion =P