Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Windows users, stop complaining and do something!

There is a lot of Windows users that are currently not happy. They do not like Windows Vista, they complain about expensive software and many other issues. If you read their comments you can see that majority of them are dissatisfied with the product they are using. However, very few of them talk about alternatives or do something pro active. It is not enough to complain all the time about Windows. Nothing will change unless these people will finally do something about it. Switching to a different operating system sends a clear message that you will no longer put up with an inadequate product. So, if you do feel unhappy about your windows system and are trying to find an alternative we recommend GNU/Linux. It is a really good operating system that is completely free to download and use. You can choose which distribution you would like to use. When you do find a nice distribution that fits your needs just go to their website and download the image of the operating system and burn it to a CD. You can dual boot with Windows or just try out their Live CD without changing anything. GNU/Linux comes with thousands of applications that you can install and you can tweak Linux any way you want. It gives you freedom from the Windows monopoly and playing by the rules of Microsoft. If you are not sure where to start we have added the top five GNU/Linux distributions below to get you started.

Ubuntu Linux - The most popular GNU/Linux distribution

Mint Linux - A great distribution for beginners

Fedora - Another cool GNU/Linux OS

Open Suse - Has a lot of financial backing

Debian - Easy file format installation

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ubuntu Tweak: Nifty little application

Ubuntu Tweak is a program that lets you easily customize your Ubuntu Linux. The application includes system information and you can add/remove popular software. Also, you can change your settings for icons, windows, gnome, splash screen and compiz. Other settings that can be changed are power management, security and nautilus. Ubuntu tweak is a nice little application that allows you to tweak otherwise hidden settings. It has a feature to clean up unwanted packages from your system. The application can be downloaded from their website in a .deb package and currently it is in development. It is a nice little program for anyone who wants to centralize their control over certain settings. If you just installed Ubuntu Linux than give this little application a try and you will be able to customize your GNU/Linux even further.

Ubuntu Tweak website.

If I switch to Linux do I have to type commands?

New users are a little apprehensive about Linux. They believe that if they switch to Linux they will always have to type commands in the terminal. Today, with great and easy to use distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint the user never has to use the terminal if they don't want to. Everything can be set up and customized just by clicking and selecting. The graphical user interface is well developed and you can use your mouse for everything you need. Even installing applications is pretty easy. In the past and even today some of the Linux distributions are not user friendly. These distributions are geared towards individuals that are familiar wiht GNU/Linux so if you are new to Linux just stay away from them. We highly recommend  Ubuntu and Linux mint if you want to install GNU/Linux on your computer. These two distributions are very easy to use and require minimum tweaking to get you up and running. GNU/Linux has come a long way in the last few years and currently it is very user friendly. If you need additional help there is a lot of information on the Internet for beginners about Linux. So take the plunge and discover a great operating system and thousands of free applications that you can install.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Songbird: The Open Music Player

Songbird is free and open source audio player. It works on GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS. It plays mutliple file formats such as MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WMA and others. You can get cool skins for the application and also add extensions to give it more features. You can download album art, lyrics, concert ticket info, band info etc. Songbird can also be used to play media from the web. This application is comparable to iTunes and you can see some of the resemblance. Songbird is currently in active development and there are many functions that are going to be added so stay tuned.

To download Songbird go to their website.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Free computer software

There is tons of free software on the Internet that is completely free to download and use. Why pay high prices for software if you can get it for free? Below is a list of amazing software that you can install to give your computer additional functionality. Most of the software works on GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS. If you know of other software that should be on the list just let us know in the comment section.

OpenOffice - free office suite (think Microsoft office)

Gimp - image manipulation (think Photoshop)

Abiword - lightweight word processor

Skype - call your friends over the internet

Ekiga - voip and video conferencing

Blender - 3D image creation

Firefox - great browser

Pidgin - instant messenger

Amarok - organize your music

Audacity - record audio files

Miro - internet TV

VLC - plays all kinds of video files

uTorrent - download torrents

Ktorrent - another great torrent application

Picasa - organize your photos

Songbird - music player (think iTunes)

Ubuntu - free operating system

Mint Linux - easy to use GNU/Linux OS

Nexuiz - fast paced FPS

Glest - real time strategy game

Warzone 2100 - RTS and great graphics

Assault Cube - first person shooter

Tremulous - another FPS with elements of RTS

Wormux - Clone of Worms

aMSN: Instant Messenger client

aMSN is an instant messenger application that works on several different platforms. It tries to look and feel as MSN messenger in windows. You can add people to your contact list and open multiple profiles. aMSN has many themes and is customizable. There are also additional plugins that you can install. Other features that this program has is send/receive files, login under different status, nudges, display picture. emoticons and others. Instant messengers are a great way to keep in contact with your online friends. Here is the website for aMSN

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wiggly windows? That's just the beginning!

Compiz is a really cool application. It uses 3D graphics to create really nice desktop effects. A lot of new users to GNU/Linux like the Wiggly windows effect but that is just the beginning. You can do much more with Compiz. One great feature is to create a 3D cube which you can rotate. This allows you to look through several different desktops that are currently being used. There is a feature to zoom in and out from your screen. Another eyecandy is the water effect, it makes it look like it is raining on your desktop. Or, you can choose to draw burning fire on your screen. Window switcher is great way to flip through your open windows and applications. The Expo effect enables you to view your desktops as zoom out screens and you can drag different windows to another dekstop. These effects and many others can all be enabled by installing Compiz. It is awesome eyecandy for GNU/Linux. Compiz is not only for aesthetics but some of these features are practical to use while working on your computer. Compiz brings GNU/Linux to a new level. If you want to make your Windows and Mac OS friends jealous than install Compiz and give them a really cool show.

Compiz website.

Firefox: Excellent web browser

Firefox is a free and open source web browser. Currently Firefox has a market share of 22% world wide. It has tabbed browsing, spell checker, bookmarking, download manager and other great features. You can also add your search engine to the browser for quick searches. There are tons of add-ons for Firefox that add extra functionality and are created by third parties. The browser runs on GNU/Linux, Mac OS and Windows and is available in many different languages. Firefox browser has won many awards and is a great alternative to Internet Explorer. It is quick, full featured and customizable. In the past Internet Explorer was dominant until Firefox took back the web. If you want to download the latest version of Firefox browser just click here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Top places to watch TV on the internet

Now that high speed broadband Internet connections are becoming wide spread video files can be streamed easily. IPTV is becoming a huge trend where you can watch TV and videos over the Internet. In this way you can by pass your cable provider and save a bundle each month. There is tons of content on the Internet ranging from movies, shows, documentaries and so on. Unfortunately not all videos are available in every region. There is a lot of copyrighted material that cannot be streamed to other countries. Also, a lot of the videos come in standard format but recently there are High Definition videos popping up all over the Internet. The new HD videos are nice to watch and you can see them fullscreen without being pixelated. In the future as more content will become available people will choose to watch TV over their Internet connection. Below is a list of great sites to find entertaining videos that will pull you away from your TV set. It is difficult to list all the good sites but if you know of others not mentioned below just post them in the comment section.

Babelgum - A nice collection of videos

Link TV - Television without borders

Free TV - Watch all your favorite TV

Joost - online video

You Tube - Standard and High Definition videos

Miro - free internet TV and nice HD videos

Hulu - Unfortunately only for U.S. citizens

Veoh - watch TV online

ABC - American Broadcasting Company

Comedy Central - Comedians, funny clips, jokes and much more

PBS - Public Proadcasting Service

Blip.tv - Video blogs, podcasts and other original content

Free Tube - Your source for free TV

Monday, June 22, 2009

Banshee: organize your music collection

Banshee is a media management and playback application. It is free to download and is open source. It supports popular formats such as Ogg Vorbis, Mp3 and FLAC. You can also sync your Ipod, T-Mobile G1, Creative Zen and other devices. It plays and manages audio and video files. You can also listen to Last.fm to discover new music that you might be interested in. Album art can also be added and it features a powerful search so that you can easily find your favorite music. You can also create playlists and easily add and remove songs. Banshee is available in different languages and works great on many GNU/Linux distributions.

Banshee website.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stellarium: planetarium for your desktop

Stellarium is a free and open source application that runs on multiple computer platforms. It is a planetarium for your desktop and features very nice graphics so you can observe the sky. It is possible to view distant objects that you would not be able to see with the naked eye or a small telescope. You can view stars, constellations, nebulae, galaxies, planets etc. It has controls to zoom, time control, telescope control and many other features. Stellarium is also available in different languages. It is licensed under GNU General Public License and the lead programmer is Fabien Chereau. This is a very nice educational piece of software. If you are interested in astronomy or would like to teach your children about astronomy than this software is a great tool. Check out their website for additional information.

Stellarium website

Friday, June 19, 2009

90% of computers controlled by one company?

Majority of us reading this article live in a democratic society. Even if you do not, for sure you can realize that monopolies are not a healthy thing for society. A monopoly has a lot of power in business and can stifle its competitors very easily. This is bad for competition and for consumers who find themselves with little choice. Usually, when a monopoly is present, the government tries to step in and open up the market to others.

Microsoft controls 90% of desktop computers around the world. This figure is astonishing and should alarm everyone. How can one company be so dominant? If you look at computers you can see that almost everyone is running Windows. It comes pre-installed on desktops, laptops, netbooks and gadgets. A monopoly destroys competition and stifles innovation. This results in poor products for consumers and higher prices. Bill Gates is one of the richest man in the world and it is amazing to see that his company is able to charge such ridiculous amount of money for his software. The problem is that majority of people are not aware that there are alternatives available. Mac OS and Linux are alternatives to Microsoft Windows.

Mac OS has been gaining market share. It has around 9% of the computer market. It is nice to see that someone else other than Microsoft is becoming wide spread. However, Mac is even a bigger monopoly than Windows. The reasoning behind this is that Mac not only creates its own operating system and software but also the hardware, whereas Windows runs on PCs but the hardware is from various different manufacturers. The rise of Mac computers is nice but also a little alarming. Mac computers are very expensive and the company owns the hardware and the software.

Linux is another great alternative to Windows and Mac OS. A lot of people have not heard about Linux. This is because Linux does not have a lot of money to advertise. Gnu/Linux is a free and amazing operating system. There isn't one specific company or individual who is in control of the whole project. It is developed by individuals, groups and companies. When you explain the concept of Gnu/Linux and that it is completely free, people usually do not believe it. They wonder if this is true or they are looking for some kind of catch. Gnu/Linux comes in variety of flavors. You can choose a free operating system that fits your needs the most. You can do almost anything you would on your Windows or Mac machine. There are thousands of free applications for you to install. If you are an amateur or a professional, Gnu/Linux is right for you.

Let's change the landscape of computing. Most of us can agree that one company controlling 90% of desktop computers world wide is not good for innovation, consumers and prices. Check out our website for a tons of information to get you started with Gnu/Linux. You will be impressed by how easy it is and how much functionality it has. There is an alternative to most of the software you are using today. And, the best thing is that majority of distributions of Gnu/Linux are absolutely free and will stay like that. So make the switch to Gnu/Linux and shake up the computer industry. It is a software revolution in the making.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chromium B.S.U. arcade style 2D shooter

Chromium B.S.U. is a fast paced, arcade style, space shooter. The game is similar to top scrolling 2D games that you play in arcades. You have to shoot the enemy aircraft so that they do not get past your ship. It is also important to pick up power ups to gain advantage over your enemies. The graphics are pretty good for a 2D game and the audio is well done. You are a captain of a cargo ship bringing supplies to the front lines. The best way to control your ship is through the mouse. You have to be fast and have good reflexes especially when you get to the harder levels. Check out Chromium B.S.U.

DVD::rip - free DVD ripping application

DVD::rip is a full featured DVD ripping program. It is easy to use and has a lot of extra functions. You can control almost all aspects of the ripping and transcoding process. It works well on linux and uses additional open source tools to give it full features. You can rip to hardisk or from a DVD image. It is also possible to rip audio tracks from the DVD. It supports a large number of formats for video and audio. DVD::rip is licensed under General Public License 2 and is free software. If you are using Ubuntu all you have to do is go to Applications, Add/Remove and install DVD::rip. If you would like additional information or a manual then visit their website.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mint Linux: Free operating system

Are you thinking of switching to a different operating system? Mint Linux is a free OS that is very easy to use and works well. This distribution of Linux focuses on usability and things work right out of the box. There is minimum tweaking involved. If you are using Windows you will not have a big problem adjusting to Mint Linux. The great thing about switching to Linux is that it is completely free to download and use. However, if you like Mint Linux we do recommend that you donate to this great project. Also, you will have access to thousands of free software that you can install. There is no single company behind GNU/Linux and it is open source. Linux has been around for years and is becoming very popular. You will be able to do most of the things you currently do in Windows. Mint Linux comes with games, picture editor, writing software, web browser, email client, instant messaging and many others. It is very customizable and you can change it drastically. This distribution prides itself on being elegant, easy to use and up to date. If you are new to Linux then we do recommend Mint Linux for you. You will be impressed how easy it is to use and how much functionality it has. To download Mint Linux go to their website.

Mint Linux- Easy to use GNU/Linux distribution

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Best torrent sites

Here is a list of great torrent sites to find videos, audio, pictures and other files. If you are using GNU/Linux we recommend Ktorrent application. It is open source and very easy to use. There are way too many torrent sites on the Internet to list them all. However, if you know of others just leave them in the comment section.

Mininova - The Ultimate Bittorent Source

Demonoid - Private but you can download the latest torrents even without registration

ScrapeTorrent - Searches several popular torrent sites

SeedPeer - It has a verified torrent section

ISOhunt - Comprehensive bittorent search

Yotoshi - Another bittorent search engine

Torrent Reactor - The most active torrents on the web

BTjunkie - Large bittorent search

Torrent Scan - Another search engine of popular torrent sites

Sumo Torrent - Fresh torrent source

Torrentz - Nice bittorent search

Torrent Box - A very good source

MyBittorent - Advanced bittorent indexing site

Fenopy - Yet another site for torrents

Share Reactor - Indexes bittorent and edonkey P2P

Torrent Matrix - Latest bittorent files

Friday, June 12, 2009

Openoffice: Free alternative to Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is expensive and currently costs around $120. Unfortunately, an office suite is essential application for any computer. Thankfully, there is a free alternative to Microsoft Office. OpenOffice is a great office suite that will meet most people's needs. It features a Word Processer, Presentation and Spreadsheet. Also, it is compatible with many formats of Microsoft Office so you can still use and open your older documents. Why waste your hard earn money when you can download a very good OpenOffice suite for free? It is completely legal to download and the adoption of OpenOffice is on the rise. Currently OpenOffice is available in over 80 languages. You can download additional extensions to give open office more functionality. The office suite is open source and licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License. Check out their website and download OpenOffice, you will be impressed at how good it is.

OpenOffice website.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Top Desktop Wallpaper Sites

A selection of free desktop wallpaper sites from around the web. These are high quality desktop wallpapers great for your LCD monitor. Thousands of great pictures to choose from. A lot of these sites feature standard and widescreen mode. If you know of addition top quality sites let us know in the comments below.

Who does not like hot sexy girls in high quality on their computer screen? This site is very good for widescreen and standard format LCD monitors.

Desktop Nexus
This site has a diverse selection of desktop wallpapers. All screen formats are available. Nice vibrant colours and high quality.

Vlad Studio
Cute wallpapers and very nice nature/landscape wallpapers.

Definitely one of the better wallpaper websites out there. Lots of selection and great photographic wallpapers.

Another great site with a diverse collection

HD Wallpapers.net
Nice colours and high resolution

Another site with cute wallpapers and nice cartoons.

A nice collection of various desktop wallpapers.

Lots of original desktop wallpapers that you will not find anywhere else.

Wallpaper Warp
Not a large selection but very high quality

Scorched 3D: free artillery game

Scorched 3D is a turn based artillery game. It is open source and is licensed under GPL. The graphics are very nice and the textures are detailed. Gameplay is simple but it takes a while to master the game. The goal of the game is to blow up your opponents but you have to take into consideration angle, rotation and power. There are a lot of different weapons to choose from and each one has a particular function. Some are very powerful so be careful not to blow yourself up or half of the island. Also, it is important to learn different tactics to gain an advantage over your opponents. There is local and network gameplay available. Definitely a fun game with cool 3D graphics.

Scorched 3D website.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FooBillard: Billiards game

FooBillard is a free billiards game for Linux. The graphics are nice and it features realistic physics. You can play against an AI or play two players. There are several game types to choose from, 8 ball, 9 ball, carambol and snooker. It is also possible to change the size of the pool table. It is a 3D game with detailed textures. Here is a link to the FooBillard page.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pidgin: Universal Chat Client for Linux

Pidgin is a free universal chat application. The project was started in 1999 and is licensed under GNU general public license. There are over three million Pidgin users worldwide. With Pidgin instant messenger you can chat on Aim, Google Talk, MSN, ICQ, Gadu Gadu, Yahoo, MyspaceIM and many others. You can connect to multiple chat networks and have all your friends in one place. There are several features such as file transfer, emoticons, away messages etc. If you would like to have additional functionality then check out the many plugins that are available for this application. Pidgin instant messenger is also available in many different languages and works well on Linux.

Pidgin website.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Linux is ready, but are the people?

Linux has been ready for home computers for a while now. There are millions of Linux users throughout the world. The question is not if Linux is ready but rather, are the people? GNU/Linux is an amazing project and is becoming a huge computer revolution. It is open source which means that anyone can edit, copy and use Linux. Usually, when there is some really good technology available, it takes a while to be adopted by the masses. Human beings are not very quick to adopt new trends. Linux is gaining momentum but the spread of Linux depends on people. Are they ready to change and adapt? Are people ready to think of themselves as not only consumers of a product but as a member of a community? There is not one company behind Linux. It is designed and maintained by groups, individuals, companies etc. Everyone tries to contribute as best as they can. Linux belongs to all the people who are contributing and making the project work. Are people ready to change their way of thinking about their software? Linux is a free operating system that anyone can download and customize to their specifications. You will have access to thousands of applications, ranging from cool games to multimedia editors and much more. Sometimes people don't believe that this is possible because they are used to buying a product from one company. GNU/Linux has been around for years and the project is maturing, growing and working. Are people ready to adopt and perceive their software in a different way? If you have been hearing about GNU/Linux and are interested in getting to know more about this amazing project or want to download the free OS, then check out the links below.

Mint Linux - Very good distribution for newcomers

Ubuntu Linux - Currently the most popular Linux distribution out there

Fedora - Another great Linux distro

Debian -  It uses an easy installation file format

Open Suse - Linux distro with financial backing

Linux information - Wikipedia article about Linux

Linux.com - A good source for Linux info

Free Software Foundation - Important organization for open source

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Buy Ubuntu on Desktop and Laptop computers

Dell is a large manufacturer of computers. If you need to buy a computer and want Linux to be pre-installed than Dell is a good choice. It is nice to see that such a huge company is supporting Linux. More people will adopt Linux if it will come pre-installed on their system. Dell uses Ubuntu 8.04 because it is a very popular distribution and has long term support. With such a reputable company behind Linux the market share will definitely increase. Check out Dell computers that are running Linux. If you are interested in a netbook than Dell is offering the Mini 10 that also comes with Ubuntu.

Avant Window Navigator

Avant Window Navigator is a dock that is designed for Linux. It sits on the bottom of your screen and you can keep track of your open windows. You can customize the dock and change its themes. The dock can be setup to look 3D and you can change the icons effects. Also, it has applets that you can activate to give the dock additonal functionality. You can add weather, system monitor, media control, time and others. If you are using Ubuntu Linux all you have to do is go to Applications, Add/Remove software and search for Avant Window Navigator. Just install and then tweak it to your specifications. Here is their website.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jokosher: Free audio editor

Jokosher is an audio editor that is made for Linux. The source code is licensed under GNU General Public License. It was released in 2006 and the goal is to create an easy to use multi track audio editor. You can create music, podcasts and more. It tries to use concepts that artists and musicians are accustomed to. It has been designed from the ground up to be easy to use and have a lot of fexibility. You can split, trim and move while editing. You can import audio from Ogg Vorbis, Mp3, Flac, Wav and others that are supported by Gstreamer. When you are recording you can also save in these formats. Check out Jokosher at their website.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Every year is the year of the Linux desktop

It seems that every year someone is claiming that this year is going to be the year of the Linux desktop. This statement is pretty broad but usually what they mean is that Linux will gain a huge user base in one year. So far most of these predictions have been wrong. Linux is a great operating system and it is used by more than 1% of the dekstop computer users. In reality, every year is the year of the Linux desktop. Linux adoption will come gradually and not happen in one particular year. As people look for alternatives to Windows or Mac OS, Linux adoption will rise. The sad truth is that even today if you ask majority of people about Linux, they have no idea what it is or how to get it. The average computer user does not even care if they use Mac OS, Windows or Linux. As long as everything works they are content. These people have no clue what is open source or what is proprietary software. However, slowly people are getting fed up with Windows for whatever reasons and are exploring alternatives. Mac OS has become popular but even Linux is gaining market share. Linux has become user friendly and anyone who uses Mac OS or Windows will not have a huge problem adopting to Linux. Obviously, some Linux distributions are much better than others for newcomers. There never will be a particular year of the Linux desktop because this change will come slowly. Each time someone installs Linux on their computer the market share will slightly increase. The adoption of Linux will be a step by step process that will take several years. The most important thing is not when will Linux become popular but that the Linux project is working, maturing and growing. Linux has come a long way in the last several years and will continue to be even more prominent on the desktop as the years progress. The Linux desktop market share will quietly creep up on Windows and Mac OS and be unoticed by the majority. Until one day we will look at the statistics and ask ourselves when did this happen?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wordpress: Everyone can have an opinion

Wordpress.org is a free and open source blogging application. It works on several different computer platforms and is licensed under the GNU general public license version 2. Wordpress focuses on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. However, you will need to find a web host so you can use the wordpress application.

There is also a website at Wordpress.com where anyone can register and start a free Blog. You will have access to templates and a lot of different themes. This is an important service because it gives a voice to millions of people. Blogging has become very popular and some of the blogs on the internet took blogging to a whole new level. In a free, democratic and open society it is crucial that we are exposed to all kinds of opinions on different issues. Blogs are usually not sponsored by large corporations so that people can voice their opinions on anything they wish.

Bing: Another competitor to Google?

Bing has been released and is in preview mode. Microsoft would like to take some internet search market share away from Google. Only time will tell if it will be able to compete with the "King" of search. It is nice to see competition in the search engine market. The more competition out there then hopefully it will create innovation. Try Bing and see if you like the Microsoft search engine. Below is a list of additional search engines you should try as an alternative to Google.

Dogpile - A metasearch engine that started in 1996

Cuil - Pronounced cool shows thumbnails with results launched in 2008

Searchme - Very nice and visual search engine check it out!

Scoopler - Another real time search engine

Lycos - Founded in 1994

Gigablast - Real time retrieval

AllTheWeb - Internet search engine that debuted in 1999

AltaVista - web search engine that is owned by Yahoo

Ask - Founded in 1996 and still going strong

Yahoo -  Second largest search engine

Hotbot - One of the older search engines

Mamma - The Mother of all search engines

Monday, June 1, 2009

New to Linux: Cool software that you should install

Most of the Linux distributions do not come with the coolest applications pre-installed. If yours does, then you lucked-out. Check out and install these application to make your Linux desktop the coolest kid on the block.

If you want to watch DVDs and all kinds of different video formats that you downloaded from the internet then you need to install VLC media player. To listen to your MP3's, you want to get Audacious player. For organizing your large music collection and adding nice album art, Amarok is very popular. Audacity is another application that is really good if you want to record audio files but if you are a professional then try out Ardour for audio recording and editing. For video editing, try PiTiVi.

Then, you probably want cool eyecandy. If you want to have the 3D cube desktop, you need to get Compiz Fusion. Not only do you get a cool cube but it also has a lot of different effects that you will enjoy.

Also, a lot of Linux distributions do not come with good themes. Those pre-installed are aesthetically plain and simple. Go to Gnomelook.org and download some cool themes, icons and a log in screen. You can make your computer look really cool! It is nice to have a dock that can give you quick access to applications and search your local hard drive or the web. Gnome do is a great dock that looks good and has a lot of features. You can compare it to the dock of Mac OS.

For instant messaging, use Kopete or Pidgin and for voip use Skype. Even though Skype is proprietary software, most people use the network and it works on Linux.

Torrents are a great way to download large files from the internet. Ktorrent is a nice application that is easy to use and full of features. For a nice peer 2 peer application check out Frostwire. To burn files on your CDs and DVDs install K3B

If you want to edit and create cool 3D graphics than Blender is for you. Watching internet TV is great on Linux and Miro is a cool application.

Also, if you are new to Linux, you probably want to use your Windows applications that you paid a lot of money for. Install Wine and you will be able to use most of your applications and games.

The most obvious software is OpenOffice suite and Gimp for graphics editing. However, these are probably already installed by default on your Linux distribution.

All of these applications will give your Linux extra functionality and your desktop will be cool as hell! Your Windows and Mac OS friends will be envious.