Educating All Parents To Ensure The Future Of Our Republic

Free Software

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 free) software.

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 you're using 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... (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 version.

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.

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