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Freeware Software...


Teddy Rogers

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Teddy Rogers

This is a nice article from SoftPedia about freeware software - if you have run out of money ;)

Let’s say you’ve just bought a brand-new computer with Windows XP, but you don’t have any money left to buy additional software. Windows tries to offer its users most of the applications they would usually need, but the ones included are not enough. In these cases, the best solution is the use of freeware software. A lot of people think that ‘free’ means a lack of quality, but we’re here to prove that in most cases that’s completely wrong.

The best way to start would be with applications that any computer needs. And your computer would need protection against viruses, worms and other types of malware. For home users, the solution is: Avast! Home Edition. With a very powerful engine and weekly updated virus definitions, Avast! will surely take care of any virus attacks. For commercial environments, there isn’t an antivirus solution available, but there are many other highly reliable virus removal applications, such as: McAfee AVERT Stinger, Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, avast! Virus Cleaner, Microworld Antivirus Toolkit Utility, etc.

Now that you’re protected, let’s take a look at your options for office applications. The suite that can replace Microsoft Office and will cover most of your needs is, of course, OpenOffice. If all you need is a more advanced text editor, then you can try programs like Portable Abiword or ConTEXT.

Nowadays, documents are not always sent in a text format, but also as PDFs. And what better way to view a PDF file if not Adobe Reader?

Office files, among many other file types, can occupy a lot of drive space. The problem of large files can be solved with the use of compression utilities. The freeware archivers that Softpedia recommends are: ZipGenius, TUGZip and 7-Zip.

Now, let’s pass on to the multimedia section, starting with video files. To view such a file, you would need a player and sometimes a codec or codec pack. The freeware video players that Softpedia recommends are MV2 Player (perfect for avi, mpg, wmv, asf, divx files) and Media Player Classic (a very good alternative to MV2 and probably the best freeware player for DVDs). If you want to preview an incomplete avi file there are also some freeware alternatives: VideoLan Client (a powerful video player, the only one with a video preview feature) or AVI Preview. Some video files cannot be played without a preinstalled codec. You can either install the most important codecs (DivX, XviD) or install codec packs (K-Lite Mega Codec Pack, Codec Pack All in 1, X Codec Pack) that include all the codecs you need.

Next in line are audio files. A freeware audio player used world-wide is Winamp, but, of course, there are some alternatives like foobar, Quintessential or XMPlay.

As for graphic files, FastStone Image Viewer, XnView, FuturixImager, IrfanView, ForceVision are all very good image viewers and also offer more than the basic image manipulation operations. Please note that some of them are not available for commercial use.

While these applications are necessary on any computer, it’s quite clear that a PC with Internet access needs other programs too. Fortunately, the best options in this category are also free, so let’s take a look.

To surf websites you need a web browser. The freeware browsers that use the IE engine and we recommend are: Maxthon, Avant Browser, Acoo Browser. The two alternatives that don’t use the Internet Explorer engine are: Mozilla Firefox and Opera.

Surfing the Internet has its risks. You might download and install programs that contain spyware and a lot of disk space will be occupied by temporary internet files or history files. To solve these problems, you should install applications that will remove the harmful or useless files from your computer. Please be advised that some of these applications will require a higher degree of knowledge from their users than the programs mentioned until now. To prevent installation of spyware components or detect and remove them, we recommend our users to install at least one of the following antispyware applications: Ad-aware Personal (for home users only), Microsoft Windows Defender and SpyBot - Search & Destroy. To find and remove the useless files on your computer, the best freeware application is CCleaner, but we also recommend other programs such as HDCleaner, CleanCache and CleanMOCache.

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Guest Hawk7

Yeah you're right Teddy there is allot of great free software out there.

And I think more people would use it if they didn't have such an easy access to free cracked software. Not that allot of people aren't already using the free stuff. You make a Good point though.

Edited by Hawk7
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I agree that freeware has it's purpose. But I've found (too many times) not everything that appears to be free is..... we should all be aware of by now, alot of "free" software comes with third party CRAP. It's amazing how many people that I talk to that don't even have virus protection let alone adware / spyware protection. Now, I'm not knocking freeware, just warning others to know what they are installing!

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This is very good info thanks, i dont like my PC full of warez.

For HD encryption - Truecrypt

For secure file deletion - Eraser

For instant messaging - Miranda, Gaim

For FTP - FileZilla

For downloading - Free download manager

For email - Thunderbird

For file encryption - Ripcoder

For Hardware diagnose - PCWizard

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Teddy Rogers
I agree that freeware has it's purpose. But I've found (too many times) not everything that appears to be free is..... we should all be aware of by now, alot of "free" software comes with third party CRAP. It's amazing how many people that I talk to that don't even have virus protection let alone adware / spyware protection. Now, I'm not knocking freeware, just warning others to know what they are installing!

I'm not totally sure about that. Yes there is some dodgy free software out there that likes to install lots of extra garbage but generally it isn't the norm. If it is then its usually crap software anyway.

I've been looking more and more at freeware alternatives and I am fully in to supporting good development work. I think it is very healthy for everyone if there is free software to choose from. There is still a lot of very good hobbiest coders out there which is a good thing. It also looks like some governments and agencies are turning towards free software. I think a lot of people are now thinking of why they are paying dollars for expensive software to run when there is good freeware alternative software that can do the same job...

Ted.

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You make a good point... Why pay the $ when there is reliable software that can do the same job and can be had for free. I also agree with you that it's good to support the hobbiest coders and development work.

Thinking back over the past year and the phone calls that I received from friends and family members requesting my assistance with their computers, I was reminded of my dissappointment in the fact that I found adware / spyware. After using several different apps to clean up their pc's, I installed freeware! I downloaded and installed Lavasoft's AdAware (the free personal version). So, I guess I agree that freeware definitely has it purpose.

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This is very good info thanks, i dont like my PC full of warez.

For HD encryption - Truecrypt

For secure file deletion - Eraser

For instant messaging - Miranda, Gaim

For FTP - FileZilla

For downloading - Free download manager

For email - Thunderbird

For file encryption - Ripcoder

For Hardware diagnose - PCWizard

some really good stuff there I especially like PCWizard, cheers.

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Teddy Rogers

Don't forget; Opera, WinAMP, Page Update Watcher, Windows Defender, ImgBurn, Free Download Manager, PDF Creator, 7-Zip, Gaim.

All are very good freeware applications (of which by-the-way I use) and do not contain adware or spyware... :thumbs:

Ted.

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MaRKuS_TH-DJM

i personally prefer firefox instead of Opera. it is basically not better than opera but there are a lot of good plugins so you can easily enhance it to opera's level and even better. in addition you have pipelining :D

about Page Update Watcher: thanks! that was exactly what i searched!

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Teddy Rogers

Lol! Firefox rules nothing, plugins or not :P

Yes, Page Update Watcher is the best out there. I've tried the commercial and shareware variants and they are just garbage compared to this little tool :)

Another freeware tool I never mentioned is a plugin for WinAMP called StreamRipper. Excellent and very handy tool which has enabled me to get some very cool live mix's from Blank & Jones plus Bobina live in Russia. You just wouldn't be able to find these anywhere else otherwise. Long live online radio, long live Digitally Imported... :lol:

Ted.

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MaRKuS_TH-DJM

i first liked opera too, but it had too much bugs, couldn't display pages as they should be, lost stored passwords from time to time. that were reasons for me to give another one a try :D

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Good example for this is BSPlayer (old version like 1.36 was clean) , new versions (about v1.40+ ) comes with some **** included

I did some comparison between BSPlayer 1.36 and Media Player Classic v6.4.9.0 on several different movies and MPC ate about 10-15% more CPU power while playing.

AV only is not enought , you still need some firewall...

For free firewall i recommend GhostWall ( http://www.ghostsecurity.com/index.php?page=ghostwall )

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Guest ChromeX

As for firewall i'd sugest Jetico Personal Firewall (suggested also by WildersSecurity Forums)

_http://www.jetico.com/index.htm#/jpfirewall.htm

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I find spybot search and destroy also quite usefull. In advanced mode, it has lots of cool extra functions. The startup editor is great.

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This app looks abandon (lastversion: 29. v. 1.0.1.61 Freeware, 19th July, 2005. ;
/>http://www.jetico.com/index.htm#/jpfirewall.htm)

Edited by hosiminh
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Teddy Rogers

There is ZoneAlarm Free I haven't tried it myself but its a popular product. Not sure how it compares to other freeware variants. :dunno:

Some other popular freeware firewalls still in development; Omniquad Personal Firewall, AS3 Personal Firewall...

Ted.

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Here are some which i use

Tiny firewall

Firefox

HijackThis ->Very useful to find some unnecesary stuff

and more..i don't remember now :)

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Tiny is Free for home use :) ........and it's best from all the free available or even better then some paid ones ;)

Edited by yamraaj
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I'm using Zone Alarm Free, seems to have all the firewall features of the the paid version. Other than no automatic detection and setup of your firewall with installed programs. Which I don't want anyways :D

It works rather well, and doesn't hog much resources.

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Tiny is Free for home use :)........and it's best from all the free available or even better then some paid ones ;)

Hey yamraaj, where you found the free version ?

I only found this :

General Information

All downloads work as 30 days trial. You may purchase the license and convert your trial installation into the permanent mode upon entering the license key received after the purchase. Upon the expiration TF2005 will no longer protect.

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Nice topic Ted :)

FreeRIP

FreeRip is a freeware application that lets you save audio CD tracks to Wav or MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. FreeRIP is also an audio file converter since it can convert and encode from WMA, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Wav files to Ogg Vorbis, MP3 or Wav.

FreeRIP is a CD ripper, this means that it can record digital audio tracks directly from audio CD to files on your hard drive (this process is known as "ripping"). You can save tracks as CD quality WAV files or encode them to Ogg Vorbis or MP3 compressed audio format.

h**p://www.mgshareware.com/frmmain.shtml

:thumbsup:

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Guest invalid

Anti-virus: ClamWin, NOD32 or AVGfree

Text editor: Scintilla

audio: iTunes (no you dont need an ipod)

GFX: The Gimp, InkScape

office: doc2pdf

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