I thought I'd post this here because I tend to lose track of where I find
things and then when someone asks about a program or tool, I have to go find
it again. So it's kind of my personal bookmark collection for cool (and usually
Replace standard MS programs for FREE
Firefox Browser (Free replacement/supplement
to Internet Explorer) - This is the coolest browser out there. Not every site
works perfect with it because
a lot of sites are coded to work in Internet Explorer without using clean code
that a "standards-based" browser like Firefox will correctly render.
But for 95% of your browsing, Firefox is the coolest browser out there. If
Firefox, be sure to check out the awesome extensions that enhance your browser.
If you'd like to tweak the browser for some speed enhancements, check out the
free Firetune program.
Thunderbird Email (Free replacement to MS Outlook)
Open Office (Free replacement to MS Office
only missing Outlook)
Art & Graphic programs
Tux Paint (free) - This one's for kids and it's a neat, fun tool for them
to draw and color with. There's lots of different art tools to create with
and our kids love to explore their creative side with this one.
Picasa (free) - This great little program
is free thanks to Google purchasing the original company and releasing the
software to the world to organize your digital
photos. What's their motivation in making it free? They've modified it to integrate
with their overall strategy to take over the world. No wait, that's Microsoft. Or is that Apple? Oh shoot...
Paint.net (free) - From a project started at the University of Washington
comes a cool and free program that's constantly being improved. It's not photoshop,
yet, but they're working toward it.
Artrage (free) - Both Mac and Windows
versions available. This is a slick program, especially for people that have
a tablet PC or digital tablet to write with as the pressure will cause varying
degrees of thickness with what you draw.
Dogwaffle (free-version 1.2) - You have to respect a program that calls itself
"Dogwaffle." I haven't used this one but it's got a lot to it and sounds neat.
Use this link to go to the free
Other really useful programs
Copernic (free) - This is the most useful tool I have on my computer outside
the basics. Copernic indexs all the text based files on your computer including
emails, and the titles of all pictures, songs, and videos, and lets you search
for any of them in an instant. If you've ever tried using Windows' text search,
it's painfully slow especially once you've got quite a few files. Copernic
will instantly display hits as you type and the interface is perfect with the
results displayed on the top and a preview window on the bottom.
Zip Genius (free) - You
know all those programs on the web that come zipped (compressed)? Most programs
that zip and unzip are shareware
but this program is 100% free.
PDF Print Driver (free) - Ever want to convert a file to PDF format but didn't want to buy Adobe's expensive Acrobat? Download this one and you've got a free PDF printer. Very basic, but free.
Other Free Software Sites
listing of free software by categories.