Thursday, May 25, 2006

Introducing Cratchit.org's Small Business PowerPack

Cratchit.org's Small Business PowerPack is a compilation of the best of the best Open Source and free business programs available today.

Rather than including a broad choice of redundant software, we've collected only the best of the software that we've thoroughly tested and used. Thus, you'll find only what we consider to be the "best of breed," collected onto a professional-quality CD with a menu that gives you instant access to the installers on the disk as well as links to the publishers' websites.

The PowerPack includes essentials, such as the OpenOffice.org office suite, the Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client, Windows Privacy Tools for encryption, Nvu for website management, and Inkscape for outstanding marketing graphics. Also included are the FileZilla FTP client and server, GAIM for ubiquitous Instant Messaging, the Lazarus Pascal programming IDE, 7-Zip archive manager, and Cratchit.org's own TimeTool for Windows, among many other offerings.

Linux users have had access to many of these programs for years, and Linux "run-live" CDs typically contain ready-to-run sample programs. Sadly, the Windows user "eXPerience" is often that software is either expensive and proprietary or full of malware. The Cratchit.org PowerPack is our attempt to expose Windows users to the high-quality, virus - spyware - pop-up and spam-free software that we ourselves use happily every day. Once familiar with these excellent tools on the familiar Windows platform, it's our hope that some of the more adventurous users may take the extra step toward a user- and business-friendly Linux distribution such as Linspire or Mandriva.

Although compilations such as GNUWinII and The Open CD do cater to Windows users, the Cratchit.org Powerpack is targeted specifically toward business users who may not know of the marvellous professional-quality tools available to them for zero cost.

The PowerPack ISO image is available for download from Cratchit.org if you'd like to burn your own copy. Or, you can order a copy of the CD for the cost of production and mailing.

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