We're firm believers in Open Source software. Much of the very
best software available today is either Open Source or it's "free as in beer"...
that is, it costs nothing, though the source isn't available.
We maintain a downloadable
list (pdf) of the best of breed software that we use, and now
we've gone one step further and gathered these favorites into a single
There are some other projects on the web that offer similar
compilations, such as The Open CD and GNUWin
II , and we urge you to look at those projects.
Cratchit.org's PowerPack differs in that, although we greatly
favor Open Source, we are not limiting the compilation to only Open Source
programs; but include the best free programs as well.
Our PowerPack also doesn't try to be comprehensive: Instead
of offering 3 or 4 office suites that do the same thing, we include the
one that we think is the best.
This particular PowerPack is for business users, but we'll be coming
out with a companion CD for personal & educational use shortly.
What's on the disk?
Gee, that would ruin the surprise, wouldn't it? Download the software
list (pdf) to see descriptions of the software in the
PowerPack, as well as other recommended software not on the CD.
Here's a partial list:
This is an excellent office suite, which includes a word
processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation graphics
package, vector drawing program, and more. OpenOffice reads and
writes to Microsoft Office's legacy file formats, as well as to the
newly ratified OASIS OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard
26300) shared by many modern office suites.
Thunderbird. Browsing and email for the 21st century.
Mothball those virus magnets called MSIE and Outlook Express.
to your computers. Combine this with FileZilla, and you've got an ideal
solution for remote troubleshooting, software support, and training.
(client and server). FileZilla is a fully featured FTP
client and server. Using FileZilla you can share files on IP networks
(including the WorldWideWeb) without the overhead, administration, and
security headaches that accompany the installation of IIS.
These days, instant messaging is a business tool, and GAIM connects to
all of the major IM clients at the same time. It's compatible with AIM,
ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu,
SILC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, and Zephyr networks.
This amazing program creates beautiful graphics with a
minimum of bother. Its capabilities are similar to those of
Adobe Illustrator of CorelDraw. If you do any marketing at
all you should consider this program. The results are superb!
Privacy Tools. This is a collection of multilingual
applications for easy digital encryption and signing of content. A
must-have for secure communications across disparate networks.
Easy to use, powerful website management that rivals FrontPage and
Dreamweaver. Except that Nvu creates excellent,
standards-based HTML code. Now you don't need to be a
professional web designer to produce professional-looking results.
simple and straightforward backup tool. Use it to backup disk-to-disk,
or (more importantly!) to securely FTP backups to a remote location. It
stores your files as Zip archives... no more dealing with proprietary
archive files that lock you into some particular vendor's horrible
more good stuff!
What's NOT on the disk?
no nagware, no spyware, no shareware, no pop-ups, nothing that asks you
for money. You'll find no software that puts you on a thousand mailing
lists, and nothing that will re-direct your browser or install some
lame shopping toolbar. We hate that stuff as much as you do.
With the exception of those Open Source programs expressly written and
published by Cratchit.org, the programs in this compilation are the
property of their individual publishers. Prior to using any software,
those terms are agreeable to you. Although we use all of these programs
without any problem at all, computers and computing environments vary,
and what works for us may not work for you. Therefore you proceed at
your own risk, subject to the warranties provided by the software
publishers. Cratchit.org assumes no liability for other authors' works.
(That's just fair, don't you think?)
publishers If we have included your
this list, it's for two reasons: first, because we think it's the best
of the best, and we are offering you
the most sincere compliment. Second, because we interpreted
of use to include the ability to freely re-distribute the files. In
every case we've provided a link to the publisher's own website. If, by
chance, we've misinterpreted the terms of your particular program,
we'll be happy to remove the program from the compilation and provide
only the program description and the link to your location. Just
contact firstname.lastname@example.org and include the word "PowerPack" in the subject line.
The informational content of
this website is copyright 1997-2006 by David F. Leigh
unless otherwise stated. Permission to distribute is granted under the
terms of the
GNU Free Documentation