Free Stuff

Buying or getting a new computer is great, and it's even better if you get it at an incredible deal. But the deal can quickly be ruined by one thing, and that's software. Yes, software usually comes with a computer and it's necessary to make the computer useful. But, depending on what software you need, things can quickly get very expensive very quickly. If you plan on doing music recording or movie editing and you don't want to get an Apple Mac, be prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on software alone. And we all know Microsoft Office is the standard in productivity software, but it also costs an arm and a leg.

I've set up quite a few computers for friends, for my mom, and I've set up virtual machines on my Mac, all needing software to meet various needs. Thankfully, there are a lot of free software alternatives our there that can meet most, if not all, of the average user's needs. Here's my list of software I think will give most users all the functionality they will need on a daily basis.

  • Avast Anti-virus Free Addition - a great, free anti-virus that's lightweight and uses program behavior monitoring rather than just code analysis.
  • Open Office Suite - Sun's free office suite is a great alternative to Microsoft's office suite and will most likely take care of your needs.
  • Pidgin - Your one-stop chat client. It can sign in to all the major chatting engines (AIM, Yahoo, Google chat, MSN messenger, etc.).
  • Firefox - The most secure and most customizable browser out there. Plus it's a lot faster than IE.
  • Thunderbird - A great email client alternative to Outlook. It doesn't have calendaring or notes built in, but do you really need those for your regular email usage?
  • iTunes - Nothing to say about it, really.
  • Picasa - A great program for organizing photos and for basic editing, printing, emailing, and blogging.
  • GIMP - For more serious photo editing or graphics, this is a great free alternative to Photoshop.
  • VideoLAN (VLC) player - This multimedia player can play just about all audio and video files out there.
  • Audacity - Free DAW with plug-in capabilities. If you want to start podcasting or even making some music demos, try this program.
  • Katmouse - This great little program lets you scroll in windows that are in the background or below the top window.
  • Objectdock - I'm a Mac user and I like the dock, so if you do too, try this program out. It gives you a dock in Windows that looks and behaves like the OS X dock.


Georgie Pie said…
You should also try SSuite Office for a free office suite. They have a whole range of office suites that are free for download.

Their software also don't need to run on Java or .NET, so it makes the software very small and efficient.

You can try these links:

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