Right, in the last few months I have heard from -
* one person who Adobe stole a couple of hundred dollars from for junk he didn't need and could have got for free - and is blocking every effort he makes to get a refund
* another that I introduced to the world of torrent downloads who had all sorts of nightmares playing LEGALLY obtained videos, NONE OF WHICH were even remotely pornographic in nature
* and numerous people who couldn't open Tom Arcaro's survey presentations because they were on Office 2007 format
So, because no one else has done so (and as a selfless public service to the community because I am an all-round philanthropist and humanitarian), here is a list of useful and legally free applications. If you pay for software you hate children, burn a hole in the ozone layer, are a fascist bigot and probably believe in god. All of it runs on Windows and most of it has ports for MacOS and *nix.
- Will read just about any document you throw at, including all of the latest MS Office. You are not likely to find anything you can do in Office that you can't do with it either. Word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentations and more.
- If you can print it, you can make a PDF from it. For free. Hear that Adobe ? FREE.
VLC media player
- multimedia player that will play anything, including CDs, DVDs and embedded video .flv files (you need to steal them first). And if it can't play it, it's pretty safe to assume the file contains malware. This is the shit.
- Simple media viewing and manipulation, IrfanView
. Intermediate, Paint.NET
. Advanced, gimp
. Gimp is for propellor heads, extremely steep learning curve, but pound for pound it is as good as any commercial graphics application.
Comodo Personal Firewall
- Aside from consistently winning the review stakes, this is the only personal firewall I've ever seen that was designed entirely for a) function, and b) the user in mind. Basic things that all the commercial vendors ignore. Simple things like giving you listings of all active processes and connections, and maintaining a list of all new files that have come onto your system since you last checked. Really simple basics. It rocks. Their antivirus component not so - it's not something I would rely on. I use AVG
myself, not necessarily because its best, but its the first free one I've tried that's passed very test I've thrown at it, and it does have quite a high false positive rate. Which is why you need Jotti
- upload a file and it will run it through around 20 different scanners.
. I just like these because I like to do a lot of editing the old fashioned way.
- intermediate WYSIWYG web authoring
This is by no means all of the free stuff I use, it is just the free stuff I consider to be "best of..." and useful to pretty much everybody. I'm sure you folks can contrubute a lot more.