If a Goodwill truck accidentally spills a bunch of CDs in your yard, or you end up buying some CDs on a whim at some Boomer’s estate sale, you can make them into proper 1s and 0s with asunder.

Calibre – Ebook management

Dia – A free program for drawing graphs and charts.  I’m using it here to build a network of the nearby stars with each connected to its three nearest neighbors.

Dolphin file manager in split screen mode


Link a remote server and your hard drive with a two-pane file manager.


gparted – Partition your storage media. Does everything Partition Magic does for you, but it’s free, as in free beer. One caveat: if you try to set up a disk for Windows 98, the installation disk doesn’t like it so you need to use the ancient fdisk program under MS-DOS for that. EN9SyngUUAEBOTK

Gprename – Bulk file rename program

Hacky Linux

In Puppy Linux you can mix down your current state to a new live CD and boot from there. Lather, rinse, repeat. I called my line of remasters “Hacky Linux” and this is Hacky 1.0.


Kstars – planetarium program for any operating system

Pan – USENET newsreader


Explore the local stellar neighborhood where a lot of science fiction takes place.

Tesseract OCR – Optical Character Recognition


xcowsay –think


Reduce PDF file size to 150 dpi images for reading on a e-book device:

gs -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dPDFSETTINGS=/ebook -sOutputFile=dune.pdf Dune_Encyclopedia.pdf