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TR Community tip: Top three free software programs

TechRepublic's moderator, Tammy Cavadias, lists three of her top favorite free software programs. Join this discussion thread to add your favorites to the list!
This tip was provided by TechRepublic's moderator Tammy Cavadias.

With the current state of the economy, who couldn't use a few geeky "freebies?" Here are three of my top favorite programs for Windows (Mac versions are also listed if offered):

  1. OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 (Windows): Open-source office productivity suite.
  2. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.5.339 (Windows): Protect your computer from viruses and malicious programs.
  3. Picasa 3.1 Build 71.43 (Windows): Organize, edit, and share pictures locally or online.

What are your favorite "free" software programs? Chime in the discussion thread, and let us know!

And if you have your own TR Community tip, please send it to trol@techrepublic.com so that we can feature in the TR Out Loud blog.

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Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the several blogs.

110 comments
jemorris
jemorris

I see a lot of them I already use and I'm going to check out a few mentioned. One utility I use a lot is DeepBurner. It has a clean explorer like interface and is fast, good for basic CD or DVD burning. If you want more advanced functions then you can pay for the "PRO" version.

jemorris
jemorris

Open source PDFCreator by http://www.pdfforge.org/ is a very good way to generate PDF documents. It does not watermark your documents like a lot of the free PDF utils do. Also I've used PrimoPDF at http://www.nitropdf.com/index.asp the trial version doesn't watermark your docs and doesn't seem to time out. They say you can get smaller file sizes and faster performance if you upgrade to the "full" version.

jmbrasfield
jmbrasfield

In this same vane, I've used CDBurnerXP for years and have found it to be a most worthy alternative to the Nero if all you need is a recorder. And it prints covers for your CDs/DVDs.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I pay for AVG, so I don't guess that's free for me. I use OpenOffice 3 almost exclusively for office applications and files. I use Irfanview for almost all of my graphics work, but then if I'm going to share an image, it goes to PhotoBucket. I don't use Picasa primarily because I've never needed to. Third choice...it's probably a toss-up between CCleaner and Spybot S&D. CCleaner it is, simply because it is so much easier to uninstall apps in CCleaner than it is in the Windows Add/Remove Software dialog. edit: So I suppose my three are OpenOffice, CCleaner, and Irfanview.

jmbrasfield
jmbrasfield

General Utilities : 1. RevoUninstaller 2. Defraggler or Smart Defrag 3. IZArc Audio Utilities : 1. Exact Audio Copy 2. ID3-TagIT3 3. Audacity Office Replacements : 1. AbiWord (word processor) 2. Gnumeric(spread sheet) 3. Foxit Reader (PDF)

Jaqui
Jaqui

S.C.R.E.E.M. Site CReation and Editing EnvironMent Amaya Live Site Editor, browser, rss reader, publisher .... Codeblocks IDE for WxWidgets though every app I use, including the os is free :p

tcavadias
tcavadias

..you forgot one, so thought I'd help you out! :D -Tammy [_]3

Jaqui
Jaqui

it don't work on anything but winders, so it isn't on my list.

Jaqui
Jaqui

I didn't point out that zero cost proprietary apps don't fit the definition of free from the FSF [ Free Software Foundation ] :p Free, as in Freedom rules out anything that doesn't release the sources.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

She didn't say Flash. :^0 So that's a start. :0 Col 0:-)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

I synced my ipod, then my ipod started to develop issues with skipping and such. I go to Winamp to play on the computer, and it speeds through the list of songs until it finds one, then plays it, no matter what song I choose, it scrolls through them to this 1 song, over and over again I am about to format my ipod and start all over, and remove winamp.

tcavadias
tcavadias

since I don't synch except for applications. I mainly use WinAmp for playing MP3's on my hard drive, aqnd tend to really love it. -Tammy [_]3

Jaqui
Jaqui

ok, me shouldn't go ls -R /usr >> usr.txt 4.3 MB file out of that. 270901 LINES in the file. maybe 300 lines are blank. that be a lot of software, that is all free. :|

.Martin.
.Martin.

Firefox GoodSync

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

have a few more, I know that I will after looking at some of these posts. ;)

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

Spybot Search & Destroy Malwarebytes Ccleaner WireShark WhatsRunning Identifies the programs that run at boot time, including startup folders and registry. Aida32 Provides summary and detail information about the hardware and software installed on your PC plus performance benchmarking.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

whats running and Aida32 -- thanks.

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

AIDA32.ini to save the report to anywhere you like. Even to a mapped drive. ReportFileDirectory="C:\Aida32"

santeewelding
santeewelding

Thank you for WhatsRunning.

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

it gives a pretty good insight and control over a few different areas.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Codestuff Starter, google that :). It is not as detailed as whats running, but it does do a really good job of showing you startup items, services, etc. It has an interface that is more on the newbie style. I generally use starter for quick changes and whats running for the more serious ones.

jdclyde
jdclyde

OO3, FF3, Pidgon. AVG if I am allowed a forth.

jdclyde
jdclyde

used it for the first time. so far, so good.

The Maverick Phantom Wanderer (formerly Macoza, No
The Maverick Phantom Wanderer (formerly Macoza, No

1.1.1 = Avira 1.1.2 = Winpatrol 1.1.3 = Real Alternative 1.2.1 = Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.2.2 = SuperAntiSpyware 1.2.3 = Firefox 1.3.1 = 7-Zip 1.3.2 = Audacity 1.3.3 = Paint.Net 2.1.1 = Peazip (for ACE decompression) 2.1.2 = Install Creator 2.1.3 = Rootkit Revealer 2.2.1 = Open Office 2.2.2 = Foxit Reader 2.2.3 = Opera 2.3.1 = Allercalc (fancy scientific calculator) 2.3.2 = Hijack This 2.3.3 = Revo Uninstaller 3.1.1 = Dev C++ 3.1.2 = Recuva 3.1.3 = Defraggler 3.2.1 = CCleaner 3.2.2 = Icesword 3.2.3 = Gmer 3.3.1 = A Squared Free 3.3.2 = Faststone and finally 3.3.3 = File Menu Tools

OH Smeg
OH Smeg

Crap Cleaner Spy Bot and Malware Bytes I couldn't live without those 3 apps. ;) Col

jdclyde
jdclyde

those are utilities, not applications.

OH Smeg
OH Smeg

No One making mention of Zone Alarm? Though I see quite a few people making mention of the same [b]Utilities[/b] as you call them. No matter they do work a treat. ;) Col 0:-)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

or when looking to see what will change after an app is installed -- RegShot Compare is invaluable. I have used it to figure out which reg entries changed, and to what, to figure out more complex problems many a time. However, your list is probably used by me more as well, but this has been a massive lifesaver more than once.

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

Hmmm, this one is tough... plus I use different apps at home than I do in the office. Home 1. Open Office 2. Avast Antivirus 3. Audacity Office 1. Cain & Abel 2. LanSpy 3. KDiff3 No, that is not 6... I refuse to believe you. :p ;\

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

Only because you separated them. And posted Audacity :D Hmmm, maybe I should post a list of my top 30, since they are scattered on different systems :D

---TK---
---TK---

AVG VisionApp Remote Desktop - you have to register to download it, but its totally worth it when you have alot of servers to log into... Keeps track of them, and allows tabbed RDP sessions! FireFox

Ocie3
Ocie3

I downloaded and installed the commercial version for a 30-day trial. My primary complaint was that the incorporated firewall did not stop any program that was not authorized to have access to the internet. I was constantly wondering whether the firewall was doing anything at all. The design and implementation apparently were meant to insure job security for whomever developed it, because hardly anyone else would ever figure out how to configure the most important features.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Orca browser (constant use) Avira AntiVir (obviously constant use) GOM player (was tough between this is and Spybot... But I use GOM constantly)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Isn't that just Firefox with a lot of plug-ins already pre-installed?

Slayer_
Slayer_

And it was immune ot the MS infection of firefox. So I win :). Hurray for being non mainstream :)

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

Firefox OpenOffice TrueCrypt Based mostly on overall usage, and not 'WOW' factor.

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

Avira Anti-Vir Malwarebytes VLC Media Player

tcavadias
tcavadias

Might have to give that one a try - thanks! -Tammy [_]3

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...for safely storing Christmas shopping lists, among other things! :) http://www.truecrypt.org/

tcavadias
tcavadias

Means I don't have to wait as long! :::rubs hands gleefully together::::: -Tammy [_]3

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

Well, at least you won't know about the TR swag heading your way via Old St. Nick!! ;)

tcavadias
tcavadias

Got to hide that Christmas list from me, so I don't know what you are getting me! You're so sweet! ;-) :D -Tammy [_]3

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