What applications should a computer user learn?

If you had to choose and learn a set of applications and tools on a computer which ones would you choose?

I’m putting forward these lists as discussion points, but at the same time advocating them for universal use particularly in education throughout the world.

I’ve set some criteria that I believe are important for it brings us back to the underlying purpose of computer systems, that is to be tools to extent human capabilities not to be money magnets for hardware and software companies who are led by and employ people who either never knew ( a sad observation on the state of education and credentialization ) or ignore key issues such as usability, functionality, purpose, value for money, ethics and a host of other factors. Users should not be concerned over CPUs, chip sets, or other internals of computer systems neither should they select an operating system as their key choice.

It is what you want to do with a computer that should dictate operating system and hardware factors. I propose that the applications that users should learn should be independent of platform issues.

The office user is best served by insisting on using:

  • Libreoffice    Full featured word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and vector drawing tool.
  • The Gimp     Full featured graphics package/
  • KompoZer    WYSIWYG HTML tool
  • Scribus        Desktop Publishing System
  • Firefox         The web browser (or any browser based on it)
  • Thunderbird Email client
  • Audacity      Sound Engineering
  • MoinMoin     Personal Wiki

The developer should maximize their productivity and product marketplaces by using:

  • VIM              Full featured editor
  • EMACS           Yet another full featured editor
  • KompoZer    WYSIWYG HTML tool
  • GNU             lots of ported software including bash for all platforms.

and other cross-platform tools

With these we could all save time, effort, money and share a lot.

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