ITToolBox – Free Software

Free software is widely available via the world wide web. Here is some brief inforamtion on such software:



Adium is an open source messenger app like Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live messenger. It operates on the Mac OSX operating system and supports a large number of services including Google Talk, Yahoo, Windows Live and AIM.  The logo is incredible and the software is useful to those who




Ubuntu is an open source operating system. It’s one of the most widely used distributions of linux that uses only open source software. It uses the GNOME Desktop environment and has developed massively in the past few years. It’s users improve it and new versions are created all the time. Ubuntu has an absolutely amazing online community that help with any problems that you may have and you would never pay for it. It’s probably one of the best web forums I’ve ever used for support with anything let alone something as complex as an operating sytsem.



StarUML is modelling software used to create diagrams for software programmers and project planners. It’s useful for arranging projects and management. It is specifically for windows machines and does not have high system requirements. This is available on the university machines.


Handbrake is a video encoding program that can be used to rip DVD onto a computer for backup purposes. It’s useful because disks get scratched easily and you can always have a digital copy on a hard disk.


Notepad++ is an upgraded, open-source replacement for notepad that supports programming languages that operate in the microsoft windows environment. It’s useful for programming for the Java modules I have in university and useful to students because it’s free.


ITToolbox Major Assignment – Images and Photoshop

I have been given the task of learning how to use an image manipulation package such as photoshop or GIMP. I’ve chose photoshop because I already have it installed on my PC and I know how to use the software quite well. It also means I don’t have to deal with the insufferably monotonous install procedure for programs on a windows machine. This isn’t going to be a picaso, simply a few screen shots and comments showing that I know how to use image manipulation softare for my course.

This is the opening of a new image, from here you can chose the size of the image, the name you are going to save it under, the file types, colours and the majority of save settings. This creates the pre-set ready for your creations.

this is the use of the gradient tool, it creates a simple fade effect in the direction desired by the user, there are options as to how you would like the fade to go such as in a spiral, from the centre to the outside or multi directional. I chose the simple colour to colour fade and drew it vertically using black and whiteThis shows the paint brush menu (top right) there are various types of paintbrushes that can be used and the pressure of which the brush is pushed onto the canvas can be adjusted. There are also various types of shapes and styles.

This shows the base of the image, with a green combined T & F. Similarly to my current logo but a bit more rounded and freestyle.

The use of filters can allow vast manipulation of the basic photo and has a large number of options. These are included with the software and can be applied to various aspects of the image.

This is the image after being throw a number of filters and can be saved as a PNG to maintain quality for use on the desktop, it will also be saved in a slightly lower quality JPEG file to be uploaded to the internet so that it will load faster and reduce the strain on the server.





ITToolBox – The New Economy

The new economy refers to the change in the way content is published. It’s all about cutting out the middle man. It can also be known as “disintermediation”. Examples include websites like Amazon allowing people to publish books to their Kindle service without the need to go through a proper publisher such as Penguin Books.

A further example of this could be the use of software developers distributing their own software via the internet in terms of websites they have built. This is useful for the open source community and indie developers that are not parts of huge developing teams. There is no longer a need for a big publisher like microsoft to put the software on a disk and distribute it to shops. This saves the developer money as they wouldn’t have to pay a large amount to the publisher.

Another way the new economy has cut out the middle man is with online sales such as eBay, A person no longer needs to go to an auction house and auctioneer in order to sell their posessions they can simply do it online.