Setec Astronomy

Security Tools

These are some of the great free and open source software tools available particularly for my friends who live in less free societies. Unless you are a cryptographer, I don’t recommend the Security through Obscurity strategy. Also, consider some of the tools recommended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Surveillance Self-Defense.

  • DuckDuckGo - web search without tracking
  • GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) - open source version of PGP
  • Keybase - site that links social media identities with an encryption key
  • Keyserver - MIT’s PGP keyserver (one of many available)
  • Mailvelope - browser extension for PGP use in webmail
  • Mega - encrypted cloud storage
  • OpenVPN - run your own VPN on Windows, OS X, or Linux
  • Signal Private Messenger - US-based encrypted SMS, MMS, and voice
  • Syncthing - synchronized storage without disk limits using BitTorrent technology
  • Termux - terminal for Android devices
  • Threema - Swiss-based encrypted SMS and voice
  • The TOR Project - a more private method of accessing the Internet
  • Wormhole - command line tool for peer-to-peer files or text transfer with end-to-end encryption


For those that just want to work with free and open source software, check out these alternatives to common applications. They are also useful for living a first world lifestyle on a third world salary.

  • Libre Office - free replacement for Microsoft Office
  • Ubuntu Linux - complete replacement for Windows / running the variant of Ubuntu called Xubuntu enables you to run a modern operating system and applications on minimal hardware such as a 10 year old computer that you can get virtually for free. If you need a graphical interface but want to run at ludicrous speed, check out i3.
  • Portable Apps - you can even get by without your own machine or relying on cloud services
  • Zotero - organize papers and manage citations
  • Hugo - generate static websites that can be hosted anywhere
  • Plex - the best media server
  • OBS Studio - Open Broadcaster Software Studio
  • Muse Score - open source music notation software
  • Qubes OS - operating system for those who are tired of repeatedly wiping their system

Analytical Tools

These are some numerical analysis tools that I find useful. They may or may not be useful for what you do.

  • R - statistical analysis language that competes with SAS and SPSS
  • RStudio - IDE for R
  • Octave - open source version of MATLAB
  • python - general purpose programming language
  • Jupyter Lab - interactive computing platform
  • GRASS - Geographic Information System that competes with ArcGIS
  • VS Code - One code editor to rule them all