Open source alternatives to web apps: Simple Keeper

Simple Keeper logo App: Simple Keeper

Replaces: Google Keep

We all take notes. Some of us more than others. There are a number of free and open source tools for taking notes. And probably just as many closed source ones as well.

One note taking tool that’s been flying under the radar is Google Keep. Although the tech press hailed Keep as a potential killer of Evernote (arguably the most popular note taking tool around), it’s not quite that. And many people have been staying away from Keep out of fear that it goes the way to such Google services as Google Notebook, iGoogle, and Google Reader.

Enter Simple Keeper. According to its developer, Simple Keeper is:

designed to be easy to use and allow a normal user to self-host their own notes manager.

If your needs in a note taking tool are basic, then you might want to give Simple Keeper a look. Why don’t we do that?

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Converting videos with Miro Video Converter

camera Video. It’s become a common part of our digital lives. Few people I know don’t watch video either offline or on.

But not all videos are created equally. Often, you get them in proprietary formats. Or, you might get them in a form that looks great on a monitor or TV screen but isn’t optimized for a mobile device.

In a previous post, I looked at a couple of solid media conversion tools that handle video quite well. Another application that’s been on my radar for a while is Miro Video Converter.

I find it to be an easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, utility for converting video. Let’s take a look at it.

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Creating EPUB files with wallabag

An ebook You might remember a post I wrote a few months ago about wallabag, an open source alternative to read-it-later apps like Instapaper and pocket. If you don’t remember, feel free to go back to that post and read it. Don’t worry. I’ll wait for you.

Done? Great! Let’s continue.

One of the drawbacks of wallabag was that you couldn’t download the articles that you saved as an EPUB file. Well, shortly after I wrote that post wallabag was updated with (among other things) that feature. I wish I could say that I was responsible for getting the developers to include EPUB export, but I’m sure that feature was on the development roadmap for a while.

Let’s take a look at how to create EPUB files in wallabag.

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Open source alternatives to web apps: ownCloud Calendar

calendarApp: Calendar
Replaces: Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, Zoho Calendar

A calendar is more than just something that you use to mark off the days until the weekend. It’s also a powerful tool for keeping organized and keeping track of your appointments and more. One of the apps built into ownCloud is a calendar. While it’s quite simple, it’s also quite flexible. And, if your needs are fairly simple, it’s a great alternative to the popular web-based calendar tools out there.

The great thing about ownCloud Calendar is that it’s easy to set up and use. It packs just enough features for most people.

Let’s take a closer look at ownCloud Calendar.

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Open source alternatives to web apps: ownCloud News

ownCloud logoApp: News

Replaces: goRead, The Old Reader, Feedreader

It’s been almost a year since Google Reader was shut down. Believe it or not, I still hear people whining about that. It’s not that they didn’t have advanced warning and time to find an alternative …

And there are alternatives out there. Some of them existed alongside Google Reader, while others sprang up in the wake of the announcement that the plug would be pulled on Reader.

If you use ownCloud (a web-based open source file storage and sync tool), you can easily host your own RSS reader. How? By using ownCloud’s News app. While it’s not the prettiest application or packed with the most features, News does its job quite nicely.

Let’s take a closer look at News.

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Enhancing your screen captures with Shutter

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA Generally, I like my software to do one thing and do it well. One of the exceptions to that is screen capture software. While I have nothing against a good basic screen capture tool, there are usually a few enhancement that I want to make to my snaps. And I don’t like to add the additional step of opening them in a separate image editor to make those enhancements.

Enter Shutter, a screen capture application that I discussed in a previous post. Not only is Shutter great for capturing images, it also packs some useful tools for enhancing your screen captures.

Let’s take a look at what Shutter has to offer.

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