Do you use free or open software? Make a donation!

Shut up and take my donation

Throughout the years, specially during college, I’ve used a lot of free tools. In fact, I even created one. I started to admire these people that invest their time to improve the life of others asking nothing in return.

However, most of them offer you ways to “reward” them for their work. So I made a promise to myself: “when I receive my first salary I’ll donate part of it to these developers that enhanced my life.” On September 26, I got my first paycheck from my first job. It was time to set up a PayPal account and to look for those donate buttons!

I decided to donate to these (open-source) projects:

  • Ubuntu: I used it for several years on college to program in C and Java. At the time I was a total n00b with Linux and Ubuntu was the easier way to get to know the Unix world. Besides, I just like Canonical – what they have done, tried to do and want to do.

  • Eclipse When I first discovered Eclipse I was amazed. It improved drastically my efficiency as a programmer, specially when using Java. You can always extend Eclipse’s (vast) functionality with plugins. And all that free and open to your tweaks.

  • Tomighty: This simple basic program was a life changer. When I was introduced to the pomodoro technique I searched for a Windows virtual pomodoro. Most of them were too invasive or too complicated; I wanted something “just enough”. Tomighty was the perfect fit to my needs: free and open source (Java), no installation required, simple and effective.

  • VideoLAN: Saved me a couple of times, since it can play almost everything I throw at it. No more codecs for me! Another simple and effective solution.

  • Notepad++: IT developers will understand why. It’s the VLC of text files, it just edits everything.

  • NewsBlur: After following more than 20 websites, and some of them publishing dozens of updates per day, I needed an efficient way to filter irrelevant news and read the others. I wished for an RSS reader that could learn my taste and filter the unisteresting news. When I was about to give up and create my own I found NewsBlur. Again an open and free solution improved significantly my life.

Have you ever donated to an open-source project? If so, tell us about it on the comments below.

5 replies on “Do you use free or open software? Make a donation!”

Never did but I’m glad you do =)
And I appreciate the list you posted there, I was unfamiliar with the “Pomodoro Technique” but after reading about it I found it interesting and Tomighty sure is a good app.

You forgot to consider some services, for example our Wikipedia! I’ve donated a couple of times to Wikipedia =), they’re one of the most visited sites in the world while being non-profit.