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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Best FREE Software!


Ever since I was a wee boy I've always liked playing with different software programs. I have installed (and uninstalled) thousands of programs but there have always been a few that have stuck around. I do my best to only use free programs, not because I'm cheap but because they're great and readily available. There are a lot of free programs that are even better than the more popular retail versions. I'm going to list my top 5 free programs.

5. OpenOffice - OpenOffice.org is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages.
A popular, but not free alternative: [ Microsoft Office 2007 = $150+ ]

4. Pidgin - Pidgin is an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Instead of only being able to connect to one chat service, you can connect to AIM (AOL), Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, Groupwise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, MySpaceIM, QQ, SILC, SIMPLE, Sametime, XMPP, Yahoo! and Zephyr. Now you can talk to your MSN, ICQ and Google friends all on the same contact list!
A popular alternative: [ Windows Live Messenger = free with advertisements ]

3. Opera - Opera is a web browser that holds a tradition of striving for the fastest, smallest, and most full-featured browser available. Opera covers the basics with tabbed browsing, mouse-over previews, a customizable search bar, advanced bookmarking tools, and simple integration with e-mail and chat clients.
A popular alternative: [ Internet Explorer = Free but slow! ]

2. Frostwire - FrostWire is a fork of the LimeWire source code, and as such, it functions exactly the same. When you search for a file using FrostWire, you get results from LimeWire, and vice versa. It has a sleek blue ad-free user interface and built-in community chat.
A popular, but not free alternative: [ Limewire Pro =$34.95 ]

1. Gimp - GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
A popular, but not free alternative: [ Adobe Photoshop CS4 = $699.00 ]

If I wanted to make it the top 10 I would have added FirefoxXBMCVNC ViewerPS3 Media Server and Avidemux. Please note that ALL 10 software titles are available for Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple OSX (Mac). Let me know what you think, and if I've missed out on a good free title let me know.

IaN

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