100 Open Source Downloads for Windows: Page 4

Posted December 23, 2007

Cynthia Harvey

(Page 4 of 7)


1. PokerTH
Play Texas Hold ‘Em against up to six computer-generated opponents or network with other players from around the world. It’s currently available in 10 different languages with more on the way.

2. Secret Maryo Chronicles
Anyone who’s played one of the Mario Bros. games (and who hasn’t?) will find this project very familiar. It’s a 2D jump and run game where you progress from level to level by avoiding obstacles and collecting coins, mushrooms, and moons.

3. Hero of Allacrost
Hero of Allacrost is a 2D role-playing game where you explore maps, talk to characters, and, of course, fight battles. According to the game designers, it was “made for, and by, fans of old school RPGs.”

4. SokoSolve
SokoSolve includes a library of Sokoban games, a puzzle game where you push (but never pull) crates into scoring position. As you might guess, this app also includes a solver for when a Sokoban game has you completely stumped.

TORCS stands for “The Open Race Car Simulator,” which also describes the game in a nutshell. It features 50 different cars, more than 20 tracks, and 50 opponents, and you can play using either joystick or keyboard.

6. Frozen Bubble
The project developers claim that Frozen Bubble is “the most addictive game ever created,” and they may be right. This simple puzzle-style game was originally developed for Linux, and this Windows version has a few limitations (notably no full-screen capabilities) but feels and plays like the original.

Graphics/Photo Editors

7. Gimp
Probably the most well-known open-source photo editor, the GIMP also offers some of the most advanced editing features you’ll find in a free application. You’ll need Windows 2000 or later in order to run the most recent version though.

8. Paint.Net
This isn’t the Paint graphics program that comes included in your Windows accessories. Paint.Net is a full-fledged photo editor with features like layers, special effects, Bezier curves, and others that you usually only find on much more expensive software.

9. Inkscape
Inkscape offers functionality similar to Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw without the hefty price tag. It includes advanced SVG features, such as markers, clones, and alpha blending, as well as the full set of tools you’ll need to create or edit vector graphics.

Instant Messaging

10. Pidgin
If you talk with friends on multiple IM networks, Pidgin is for you. It lets you log in to accounts on AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr all at once. In addition, you can use many of the special features of each network, as well as some Pidgin originals, like Buddy Pounce.

11. aMSN
Talk on the MSN network without using an actual Microsoft product. This MSN Messenger clone includes many popular MSN features, including photo display, emoticons, and Webcam support.

12. Miranda IM
Miranda works with all of the most popular IM networks and is smaller and faster than many similar projects. It has a library of more than 350 plug-ins, so you can customize it however you like.

13. Nebohodimo IM
Nebohodimo is a Jabber client that works exclusively on Windows-based mobile devices. It works well when you’re on the go, because it’s designed to stay stable even when your connection doesn’t.


14. World Wind
NASA’s World Wind program offers much of the same functionality as the better known Google Earth, with the primary differences being that World Wind is aimed at the scientific community, and it is truly open source (not just free). World Wind also covers worlds other than earth (currently the moon, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter), as well as offering satellite imagery of the night sky.

15. AllChars
Do you use a lot of special characters in your documents or do you translate to different languages frequently? AllChars lets you add accent marks, copyright marks, and other special characters with a couple of easy-to-remember keystrokes.

16. MisterHouse
MisterHouse home automation system interfaces with a variety of hardware to control virtually anything in your house, provided, of course, that you have all the substantial prerequisite hardware installed on your thermostat, lighting, curtains, television, phones, etc. It accepts voice input, so you can say “MisterHouse please turn on the air conditioning,” and MisterHouse will turn on the air conditioning.

17. Celestia
Celestia lets you explore the universe from the comfort of your PC. You can fly to any known location in the galaxy and see what the night sky would look from that point at any particular date and time. And if you get bored with the known universe, you can use the plug-ins to create a new universe of your own.

18. Apophysis
With Apophysis, you can create or edit fractal flames. Fractal flames, of course, are algorithmically generated images. No, they aren’t really good for anything, but they’re interesting to look at, and math buffs love them.

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