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fully free software utilities for biz use - discussion

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(various edits to previous post)

Re Lisence terms in general:
Having gone through my portable programmes folder and looking at lisences - many arent specific.
Would it not be up to the author to say in the lisence if there are restrictions on use e.g. if it just says freeware and no other comments about how you use it would that not mean usable anywhere by anyone?

Steven Avery:
Hi Folks,

Word processing and office section added with Jarte, Abiword and Open Office to start. TextViewer from SoftViewer could use a check on the license wording.  Also ToDoList added, and Task Coach. And Xinorbis and Pyxis.

It is interesting how in so many categories excellent or the very best softwares are fully free.

When a program just says "Freeware" it can be included, however I would prefer that there is at least an attempt to find out more, including reading the license with the installer, any notes on the net by the author and most importantly contacting the author.  We simply want to be cautious, look at the ZSoft Uninstaller example where it would be a fine product yet for now the author says "not for commercial use" because of his concerns about his licenses on the other side ! (And while some may prefer to just be quiet about it, to keep some ambiguity, it is our responsibility to at least ask if we want the resulting list to be looked upon with credibility.) While all that is in process the software could be included with a note that more checking is in process or that we are unsure of license nuances.  

Note: generally we are avoiding defunct softwares (figger if there is no forum, no new release, no nuttin for 2-3 years) unless the software really has some significant advantages.  So far I have not seen any that cry out to be included.  A current forum  is a nice plus of course, and when there is one we try to include the forum URL since that tells so much about the software.

We have the DonationCoder wording, which I will include on the front post (since it clearly will qualify for "inexpensive" and easily available for company use) also others who post here (e.g. Veign, are you here?) could make clear their policy.  Even if it is "case-by-case inexpensive" - that would help.

On a lot of the softwares, especially the utilities, it is great to see them on the thread. Many tend to make it to the front post in small packets, I like to check out the genre and alternatives and reputation first.  And a lot of the smaller utilities may be listed in a more condensed fashion.

Since we are covering lots of different multi-computer uses, from personal multi-use to portable apps to businesses with 5 to 25 to more PCs a lot can be included for discussion.  However anything that turns out to be real $$ on a biz install will not make the master list. (Recognizing that $15 per user might be a huge amount for a utility yet pocket change for an office suite or accounting package, the low cost designed for biz stuff might get a little addendum if they show up, or they may just get mentioned en passant like Ace Money and Moneydance and StarOffice.) The thread can still use the info though and a lot of times we have to check out the details.  All assistance and leads and insight appreciated.  


And while some may prefer to just be quiet about it, to keep some ambiguity, it is our responsibility to at least ask if we want the resulting list to be looked upon with credibility.
-Steven Avery (June 20, 2009, 08:32 PM)
--- End quote ---

agree absolutely regards list -
but me, (speaking with self-employed hat):-
I'm going to continue using software unless it states in the lisence, or programme webpages, that it is not for commercial use (or that it's only for personal use, or to contact author, etc)

Did we want to include "enterprise" type software in this list? I'm thinking in terms of: servers, application appliances, gateway/portal software, NAS, etc.? Things many businesses could benefit from, but also a bit "outside the box" for many SB owners. (Which is a shame IMHO.) Or should we primarily stick to discussing desktop apps just to keep things under control.

Also - enter the big issue of platform. Do we (should we) keep it restricted to Windows apps, or should we open it up?

I'm guessing that the desktop apps probably should be confined to software running under Windows, since that's what most businesses are currently using. However, if we open the list up to include the free enterprise category, most of the best stuff (actually more like all of it) is going to run under some version of NIX.

Your thoughts?  :)

Steven Avery:
Hi Folks,

40hz - yep on the Enterprise stuff.  I have been playing with Spiceworks and other programs, considering Untangle, and also added a database Pyxis that is used for monitoring inventory stuff.  Oh, I always wonder about a good messaging system.  Sure we will have to draw some lines, but all this stuff is in the ballpark.

And I was wondering about quick database ad hoc development tools too -- where the runtime is free or almost free, even if the tool is free or has a relatively modest cost (e.g $100). That would definitely qualify. Maybe a nice combo of MySQL tools are available, maybe that Visual Studio Express thing, maybe others.  This is all enterprise or small biz oriented, the key thing is that you can place the results on 5-10-20 or more desks without hitting $$ considerations.

However for Linux (or Mac or other) suggest do another thread.  I simply cannot (at this time) do it competently on the list, so somebody else has to go to town in adding and subtracting and notating.  I will be all ears, and maybe able to contribute in a few days, but on this thread we would get too cluttered !  And I wouldn't know what to do.

Tomos, I agree on using the stuff that looks good but the license is not definite.  It can even be notated in the list, I simply want to be sure that we make the effort. And if we make the effort and still do not know then the software can be on the list with a little note that the details of licensing are not confirmed. However, I am not at all discouraging such use, a lot of such software has a prima facie "OK".

Nothing added today, mainly due to the XP reinstall taking priority (mentioned in the living room).

Steven Avery


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