Software I get from the internet. A new topic

I use all sorts of software from the internet. I don’t have wedges of cash to throw around so I tend to be picky. I want something that does a good job without emptying my pockets.

. . . but first here is a short tutorial about a search engine that doesn’t track you, profile you or share your info. Startpage:

I plan to introduce you to powerful and free software that you should find very useful.

There are alternatives to those I am suggesting but you could always search the internet for them, using a secure search engine, of course.

I will continue. Now you have a search engine, how about trying this web browser I recommend. The video below will tell you more. Brave browser

I have been using Brave for a while and find it easy to use this helpful and good tool in my bag.

Here is a little more about FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)

Here’s a list of some of the other software I use

Audacity for sound
Calibre to store books in library form
Deja Dups provides a simple backup system
Digikam for photographs
Gimp for graphics
Libre Office for office projects
OBS Studio is a streaming recording software
Startup Disk Creator for making bootable thumb drives
Yt-dlp gets content down from places such a youtube
Zim a desktop wiki to write, record, store and view all sorts of data (I create a recipe list here)
Zoom to stay in touch with other internet users

In addition my operating system of choice is Linux
Linus Torvald and Mark Shuttleworth are both heroes of mine.
(see below for a little more)

keep on keepin’ on
:computer: :smile: :computer_mouse:

1 Like

That’s a good pick @Bobbi :slight_smile:

I too have used brave for some years, not as my primary browser - I still use Chrome so use duckduckgo Which can be used as an extension rather than replacing your browser - Although it can be used as an alternative that as well

I also use a number of cookie editors - it’s a faff to remember to delete all site cookies before closing a browser page though :frowning:
browsers like Chrome on phone and PC allow removal of cookies

@fryingtonite mentioned the concept of browser fingerprinting techniques recently.

Is it possible that brave and duck duck go et al have created need for the advertising and bad actors turn to other means to further their aims? I remember reading something years ago, the postulate that viruses etc are an evolutionary necessity of any organisms evolution including software systems!!

Perhaps like sand is necessary for pearls?


Hi @SimonInEdinburgh

Yes I use Brave and Duckduckgo too. after doing a fair amount of reading, it seems that Javascript is your enemy. So just block it right? No, that’s a bit tricky. I used to use Firefox which I quite liked and installed ‘noscript’ plugin. Trouble is, it breaks lots of sites and some sites just behave very weirdly. I now use Brave. This takes a more friendly (to me) approach in that it allows Javascript, but lies. So, if a site is asking for you screen resolution, colours, sound card specs and fonts installed, it just lies and send random values. so works with most sites.
Occasionally, it does break a site, so if you trust the site, you put the shields down and then it works ok.

On the Privacy front, O2 leaked a whole laod of customer data a while ago. I used to be a customer of theirs and now I get frequent calls from ‘O2’ offering me a good deal on phone contracts and asking me to confirm personal information, obvious scams.

I check my O2 account details and was able to log in. There’s my home address and mobile number etc. Then I contacted O2 customer service asking them to delete my account. They said I didn’t have one. When I told them I was logged into my account right ow, looking at my data, they couldn;t explain it. They said I had to go into an O2 shop, which sounded like a fob-off. I did happen to pass one, so popped in and they told me to ring CS. Lol.

Not wishing to be beaten, I’ve ordered an O2 sim and will put that in my phone and hopefully change my O2 phone number to it, then throw the sim in the bin.

My general view is that if a company doesn’t have your personal data, they can’t leak it. They don’t ask you your age, they ask you your date of birth. They don’t need that much information. For example, my Facebook DOB is 1/1/1940. I’m not 84. It’s just a made up date which I’ve documented if needed.

On the same note, I recently got a FB message that my friend was 75 today. So everyone can work out her DOB with a trivial amount of maths.

One site I like is You type in your email address and it checks if you’ve been the subject of a data breach and lists the accounts that were breached. If you have been, the next thing you do is change the passwords to all those sites. Pretty flippin’ quick!

OK I’ve banged on enough, but interesting thread!




Commentary like yours is useful to us all. Thank you.

In addition to the above I avoid Windows and macOS which both trap you into their way of doing things. I prefer the wild and free approach.
Sometimes choices are limited but I can compromise if necessary.

I started with computers because of a mate who had a business supplying and upgrading equipment. He gave me bits and pieces taken out of refurbished machines. It was all good stuff but without the latest specifications.

With his guidance I was able to cobble together very decent hardware at zero cost and get frequent upgrades too. I’ll never forget acquiring my first ‘huge’ 1 Gb hard drive moving up from 250 and 500 mb. In those days t took all night to download an 11 mb file.

Things are so very different these days.

Astronaut, software engineer and philanthropist, Mark Shuttleworth: says a few words

Thanks @Bobbi :grin:

You’ve taken me back a long way now. I’m 64, so seen quite a bit lol. I remember building PCs from scratch, buying all the parts and selling them for a profit. Slowly the prices came down to such an extent, I couldn’t buy the parts for the cost of a new one.

I’m guessing you’re talking about dial-up modems with your 11mb file. They were flippin’ slow. I used to work from home and the line was busy all day, which used to irritate my wife who wanted to chat :grimacing:

I used to work for a company called ACT in Dudley and they made the Sirius and Apricot computers. We used to do the repairs. Hard drives had been 5MB for ages and a 10MB one came in. We all stood around and looked at it. Sad eh? They also had a clean room to repair hard drives. Now you just pig them in the bin. Who would have thought at that time you could make a big hard drive with flash memory? My new laptop will have a 2TB ssd. Things move on…

And even further back (eek!) My mate was used to do consultancy for a lot of the textile companies in Leicester. He showed me a memory board which was core store. You know, a grid of wires, with a ferrite bead at every junction. Now THATS ancient, like me :joy: