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Jim's Recommended Links

Last Updated: Mon Jun 25 21:12:10 BST 2007

This page is collection of links (and descriptions) of software and Web Sites that I use on a daily basis.

System | Desktop | Editing | Programming | Graphics | Communication | Security | Audio | Scanning & Printing | Utilities | Web Sites


Linux 2.6.18
The fastest growing operating system in the world and the most popular server platform on The Net. Linux is a clone of the UNIX kernel, originally for the PC platform, but now ported to many other architectures. Started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds and subsequently developed co-operatively over The Net by hundreds of hackers. It beats the pants off commercially available competition.
Jim's Use: Unix since 1986, Linux since January 1996. I use the Debian distribution.
GNU (various)
Along with the Linux kernel, the GNU tools provide a fully operational UNIX clone system made available as Free Software. There are hundreds of excellent GNU utilities (gcc, libc, less, make, find, tar, grep, bash, gzip, ispell, Emacs, GnuPG etc).
XFree86 4.3.0
A freely distributable implementation of the X Window System for x86 (PC) and other platforms. This provides the basic GUI for the GNU/Linux system.
Jim's Use: X since 1988 (X10/X11), XFree86 since 1996
zsh 4.2.5
The most powerful interactive shell.
Jim's Use: zsh since October 1991
Apache 1.3.33
The most popular Web Server in the world.
Jim's Use: Apache since 4th May 1995 (NCSA httpd since January 1994)


GNOME 2.8.3
A GUI Desktop Environment for X11.
Helix Code provide a slick install/upgrade interface.
Jim's Use: GNOME since October 1999
Enlightenment 0.16.5
A way cool window manager that works with GNOME. (Actually I use sawfish now)
Jim's Use: Enlightenment since 1998


XEmacs 21.4.17
Emacs is "The Swiss Army Chainsaw" of editors. And XEmacs is it's most featured incarnation. It has truckloads of useful features that I use every day and I've never seen on any other editor (dynamic abbreviations (M-/), ediff mode, incremental search (on regexps), the ability to have windows editing different places in the same file and lots of other things).
As well as editing files I use XEmacs to read my Email (with VM) and News (with Gnus).
Jim's Use: Emacs since 1988, XEmacs since 1995, VM since 1995, Gnus since 1996


Perl 5.8.4
A superbly pragmatic programming language. Responsible for most of the scripted content of The Web. The CPAN archive provides a vast repository of add-on Perl modules.
Jim's Use: Perl since August 1994
ePerl 2.2.14
Lets you embed Perl into text files. Can be used to generate Web Sites - this one is entirely scripted in ePerl.
Jim's Use: ePerl since July 1999


The GIMP 2.2.6
An awesome program. Professional quality image editing for UNIX. Even better it's fully scriptable (in Perl, among other languages).
Jim's Use: The Gimp since 1997
Mesa 4.3.0
A 3D Graphics Library with an OpenGL style interface. Has support for the 3D hardware acceleration on my Voodoo Banshee (as well as other cards). Excellent for screensavers and Doom/Quake.


Mozilla 1.8b2
A capable cross-platform Open Source browser - what more could you want? Mozilla took the Netscape 4 source code, ditched it and rewrote the best browser available today from scratch.
Jim's Use: Mozilla since December 2000. Netscape since 1995.
w3m 0.4.1
A text based WWW browser (that understands tables).
links 0.98
Another very good text based WWW browser.
fetchmail 6.2.5
An excellent "on-demand" POP/IMAP mail retriever that collects mail from an ISP and delivers it to the local system. Works well with dial-up (modem) links.
Jim's Use: fetchmail since 24th March 1999
leafnode 1.10.8
An excellent "on-demand" local news server. Only gets newsgroups you've visited, and ditches ones that are you no longer read. Works well with dial-up (modem) links.
Jim's Use: Leafnode since September 1999
gFTP 2.0.17
A nice user interface to the FTP protocol. Shows you the local and remote directories side-by-side and lets you synchronise them.
Jim's Use: gFTP since 13th July 1999


iptables 1.2.11
An excellent tool for fire-walling your machine (although it does take a while to get your head round, but once you do it's awesome). It will also masquerade for machines inside the firewall and log "suspicious" accesses by machines outside the firewall. It can also be used to enable transparent proxying of various services. Everyone who runs a machine connected to the Internet should use this.
Jim's Use: ipchains since September 2000, iptables since August 2001


XMMS 1.2.10
A slick MP3 (and other formats) player - fully customisable.
Jim's Use: XMMS (formerly x11amp) since January 1999
TiMidity++ 2.13.2
A MIDI renderer. Play MIDI files using high quality sound patches, rather than the bleeps found on many budget sound cards. (And some sound cards, like my SoundBlaster PCI64V, don't have onboard MIDI at all).
Jim's Use: Timidity since 4th April 1997
Grip 3.2.0
An excellent all-in-one CD player, Ripper and front-end to various MP3 encoders (for example GOGO).
GOGO 3.10pl3
A fast MP3 encoder.
Sweep 0.8.1
A very nice single track audio editor.
Jim's Use: Sweep since 2003?
Audacity 1.2.3
A multi-track audio editor. Originally I came across Audacity in 2002 when I was looking for a simple audio editing package for Mac OS X. Since then it has come along in leaps and bounds and I recently used it (under Linux) to remix a Macaroni Penguins track from the 4-track master and was impressed at it's quality and usability. I hope it will continue to improve in the same way.
Jim's Use: Audacity since October 2002

Scanning & Printing

Ghostscript 7.07.1
Print Postscript to your cheap inkjet. Also includes Ghostview that allows you to preview your Postscript before printing it, and lets you do manual duplexing (see Printing Tips).
SANE 1.0.15
"Scanner Access Now Easy" - lets me use my Epson GT-7000 SCSI scanner with Linux, and version 1.02 supports the Photo Adapter too.
XSane 0.96
An X11 front-end to the SANE Scanner drivers. Also acts as a plug-in for The Gimp.
GIMP Print 4.2.7
A plug-in for The GIMP (and for Ghostscript) that does very high quality image printing to my Epson Stylus Color 740 (and lots of other printers).
Jim's Use: GIMP Print since 24th June 2000


patch 2.5.9
An excellent tool in the hacker's toolbox.

Web Sites

Internet Movie Database
Everything you always wanted to know about films (and lots of stuff you didn't).
The best search engine out there.
Find the latest version of lots of software.

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