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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Taking a look at Fogger

Fogger logo A few years ago, one of the applications that I used extensively on my desktop was Mozilla Prism. Prism, as I mentioned in an article about it:

enables you to create desktop shortcuts that open Web applications in their own windows — sort of like when you use desktop software like Microsoft Office or Photoshop. You’re in a browser window, but you don’t have all of the usual distractions like the browser’s menus and toolbar buttons.

Then, as sometimes happens, Mozilla stopped maintaining Prism. A small void appeared, which was filled by Fogger.

Like Prism, Fogger turns web applications into desktop applications. Well, more or less — you still need to be online to access them. But it more than fills the void left by Prism.

Let’s take a look at Fogger.

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Open source alternatives to web apps: wallabag

wallabag logo Application: Wallabag

Replaces: Instapaper, Pocket, Readability

No matter how well you manage your time often, you probably don’t get a chance to read interesting articles and blog posts when you find them. Luckily, there are several web applications that allow you to clip articles and read them later.

The most popular of those applications are Readability, Instapaper, and Pocket. But they’re all closed source. For the open source enthusiast, there’s another option: wallabag. It’s a surprisingly powerful and flexible, not to mention easy to use, alternative to Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability.

Curious? Then read on.

(Note: If you want a bit of background information about wallabag, then check out this article at opensource.com.)

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Taking (another) look at ownCloud

ownCloud logo Online storage and file syncing is an interesting space. You have the big names like Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. You also have scrappy contenders like SpiderOak and SugarSync. But what about the open source side of the fence?

That’s where ownCloud comes in. I took a look at ownCloud about two years ago and was suitably impressed with it. But it was lacking something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. So, ownCloud faded into the background though not off my radar.

Flash forward a couple of years. To February, 2014 to be exact. Around that time, ownCloud 6.0 came to my attention. I took a look at the list of new features in version 6.0 and was immediately intrigued. And, as you’ve probably guessed, I decided to give ownCloud another look.

Let’s go over what I found.

(Note: This post looks at an instance of ownCloud for a single user. It doesn’t go into setting up ownCloud for use with multiple users or look at the app’s sharing features. I plan to look at the latter in a future post.)

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