Good Freeware

I use a lot of freeware. Let’s face it; we all do. No one really WANTS to pay for the software they use. Some steal it (which is using it without paying for it) either via sharing a disk around with others or going to a ‘warez’ site and getting a cracked version or a cracked registration code. Isn’t it amazing how some people justify getting their commercial software for free? Me? I use a freeware equivalent, if there is one (there almost always is!).

  • Adobe Reader – Hey, everybody’s got to have Adobe Reader, don’t they? Version 7 is the latest.
  • AVG Free Edition – An excellent free antivirus program Anti Virus from Grisoft. They have recently come out with a new version and it rocks. I have it set to get the latest updates every other night and I have it scanning all new files every night. It scans my email as it is being downloaded.
  • CDex – A great open source program that allows me to rip the songs from CDs into MP3 format easily.
  • Citrix Web Client – I use this to connect to work’s servers; the client is free – you pay for the number of connections allowed by the server.
  • Context Edit – A PC Magazine utility that allows you to add and remove entries from the right-click context menu for any type of file, or all types of files.
  • Crimson Editor – A great text editor that allows me to edit text, HTML, PHP, and any other language with syntax highlighting. Also has an FTP client built in so I can open and edit files directly on the web.
  • Filezilla – An excellent open source FTP client. (There is also an FTP server module with it.)
  • Floppy Image – The version I use is the last freeware version (1.5.2) by the author; the latest version is shareware. Allows you to archive an entire floppy disk to an image file. This is a great way to keep those Windows 98 boot disks on a Windows 2000 platform.
  • Gaim – Instant messaging meets open source; does AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ and IRC — all from ONE client. They are constantly updating it for two reasons: 1) it is open source; 2) the different IM programs are always changing to “keep ahead of the Jones’s”.
  • Inno Setup / ISTool - Lets me create professional installation packages for programs. I use this mostly at work but have used it some at home. I’ve got a package of 20 or so solitaire games that are individual files that I have created a setup for.
  • Irfanview – Simply the best picture viewer/manipulator out there. Will read and write nearly any graphic format. It is even extensible with Photoshop plugins.
  • Java 2 Runtime Environment – No computer should be without this. Excellent use on the web. Mozilla and Firefox require this to run certain things (like Yahoo Games).
  • JS Icon Extractor – A great program to extract icons from all resource files in a folder; where to do you think I got the category images on my web page?
  • Max’s HTML Beauty++ 2004 – An excellent HTML/PHP editor. Allows me to preview what I’m editing.
  • Media Player Classic / Real Alternative / Quicktime Alternative – The open source media player with tons of plugins to play nearly all kinds of video and audio.
  • Mozilla Firefox – The best internet browser out there, and it’s open source too!.
  • Mozilla Thunderbird – An excellent open source email client and a great complement to Firefox.
  • OpenOffice – No computer should be without it. The best home-use office suite. Open source! This will open and save files created by Microsoft Office. As a bonus, it will take these files and write them to a PDF file if you want. Very cool!
  • Password Safe – An open source program that saves your passwords in one protected place.
  • PE Resource Explorer – Allows you to view all resources within any file; especially good for checking embedded images/icons in DLL files.
  • RegCleaner – This one is no longer available from the author, but is a great registry cleanup tool.
  • Send To Toys – A great right-click menu extension that allows me to send files directly to many objects (folders/printers/applications)
  • Spybot Search and Destroy – Kill off what little spyware and malware that I get. (Firefox keeps most of it out!)
  • TightVNC – Saves me a lot of time for support. Allows me to remotely control another computer.
  • Winamp – Listen to MP3′s, streaming audio and CDs. I also use the BlogAmp plugin to post the latest songs I’m listening to.
  • XNews – A great news reader for NNTP servers.
  • YahooPOPs – The open source way to pull email from your Yahoo web client directly in to your email client (Hopefully Thunderbird!)
  • Zip Genius – No, I don’t use WinZip! I’m not going to steal it and I’m not going to pay the $29 when something like Zip Genius does it as well for free.
  • ZPaint – Allows me to create buttons of just about any kind for use on my web page.

So, don’t you think you should start using some of this?