I've been involved with open source software (OSS) since 2005. My experience began with a broken hard drive on a personal computer. I had NO idea what I was doing and being a college student...a broke college student, I didn't have a lot of money to throw around.
I was at a used computer hardware store and the owner helped me find the right hard drive for my PC. He then mentioned that I'd need to "load the OS". I had no idea what he was talking about!
Me: "What's an OS?"
Owner: [blank stare] "It's the software you use...it's like what you actually use to check email and browse the internet."
Long story short, I decided to take my nerdy friend's advice and use Linux, as it was free...
That began my journey into learning about computers and especially learning how they work, how to fix them, and do cool things with the software that's available to the public via a license-free platform (or free license, depending on how you look at it).
Technology at Axiom Hypnosis
Here at Axiom Hypnosis, we use nearly an entirely open-source or free software stack. This includes the server you're accessing now as you read this post. The PC from which the post was created. The recordings that you can buy from this site. The recordings that are made for my clients and the storage solution we use to keep our data safe.
We use Ubuntu Server for our primary website and cloud solution. It provides a stable and cost-effective solution for us as an organization. Additionally, Ubuntu has a very large repository of applications we tend to use to increase the functionality and security for our use-case.
For our desktop solution, we prefer using Solus Linux. It's a fast, stable distribution and is a "rolling-release"; providing us with new, stable packages and functionality that is irreplaceable.
Now the fun part. As I mentioned nearly our entire stack is free and/or opensource.
Audacity: This tool is widely used by many industries, including hypnosis. It's used in every session and every recording here at Axiom Hypnosis. Audacity's flexibility and ease of use provide us with a tool that allows us to produce high quality recordings on a regular basis. If you're not using Audacity, you really should be. It's available for Linux, Windows and Mac! Check them out!
NextCloud: This is such a cool project! Nextcloud is a cloud solution that isn't Google, it isn't Dropbox, or any other non-free, subscription-based platform. Nextcloud allows us to safely store our recordings and files on our own server(s). We can sync our files straight from our desktops, phones and even log into the web interface to manage shares and add users, as needed. But it doesn't stop there!
Nextcloud can do live video chat! I can't tell you how absolutely cool and useful that is! We use this feature for conducting "webnosis" sessions and it's been fantastic. Streams are crystal clear and the sound is dead on. There's no buffering. No jittering. No static. It's just fantastic.
Nextcloud has calendars, email solutions, chat clients, phone sync tools, bookmark tools, notes, markdown editors, task tools, etc. It's desktop and mobile sync clients are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
If you've never heard of Nextcloud, please check them out. You won't regret it!!
LibreOffice: LibreOffice is a fantastic office suite that available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It provides us with a near drop-in replacement for proprietary office suites and is extraordinarily useful. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations and even simple artwork are all made possible with LibreOffice.
Rhythmbox: During my sessions, I always play some kind of background music. This tool is definitely in use, nearly the entire day, every day. I also use it to check the quality of my recordings and honestly, just to jam out when I'm not in a session with a client. Sometimes, you just gotta get the Led out, know what I mean?
WinFF: This simple, easy to use application is incredibly useful for us here. There have been several occasions when we've needed to convert one file format to another, and this tool just works. It allows you to turn an MP3 into an AAC or an OGG file into FLAC. It's available for Linux, Windows or Mac and it's fantastic. Check it out!
EasyTag: When I create my recordings, I like to have that neat little artwork image available while listening. You know, the album cover? This is THE tool I use to make that happen. It's easy to use and it's available for Linux and Windows. Click here to learn more!
I realize that opensource software isn't for everyone, but it's definitely for me and my company. It's been able to provide us with a better experience and a more stable platform from which to run our business. If you've not ever heard of anything I've mentioned in this post, I highly suggest you check out at least one of the solutions above.
The fact is, this isn't all that OSS has to offer. This post is just the tip of the iceberg and I wanted to be somewhat short in writing. There are alternative solutions to every single application I've mentioned, but these are (and will continue to be) the mainstays of Axiom Hypnosis.
Please take the time to share your thoughts and experiences with me regarding your usage or curiosity regarding anything I've mentioned. Perhaps, you feel like I've missed something. Let me know in the comment section below.