Whether I have been in a jam because my work computer doesn’t have a certain program available, or whether I have been too cheap to pay, I have found a vast array of high quality free software online. I thought I would share the best of what I have found.
I was tipped off about Firefox
about a year and a half ago by Dr. James
and have never looked back. It is by far the best web browser available. It is slick, intuitive, and has a built-in search bar. You can select from an endless list of skins to suit your fancy, you can add how ever many search sites you want for your search bar, and you can add a ton of extensions for weather, music, etc. Must have.
If you are sick of Windows, or want a Mac but already have a PC, the answer is Linux
. Linux is a free, open source Operating System that has everything included. It is multi-faceted so you can make it look like Windows or Mac. As a matter of fact, the Mac OS is wrapped around Linux and adds its stuff on to it. Linux takes a lot more motivation and elbow grease, but once you know what you are doing you probably won’t go back.
This is exactly like Microsoft Office, but free. It was done by Sun Microsystems, the same people that do Java
. So if your PC only came with a sample of MS Office or just MS Works, you can snag the OpenOffice.org
program and have everything you need. MS Word is still tough to beat, but this a great alternative and allows you to export files as PDF’s. Plus it’s free.
If you want Bible software but have no cash, or want a program that runs a little quicker and can handle simple searches, get yourself the E-Sword
. You can download the Greek (NT and Septuagint) and Hebrew, as well as good translations like the ESV for free. Also has other classic references tools, like Bible dictionaries and commentaries.
If you like to record stuff or tweak certain audio files that you have, Audacity
is yours for the taking. You can edit to your hearts delight and convert WAV files to MP3 and visa versa.
Want to find directions when you aren’t online or see a satellite picture of your friends neighborhoods? Google Earth
will do this and more. This is almost too much fun.
Also by Google is this nifty picture viewer/editor. It looks sharp and helps you make your pictures look sharp.
If your computer has a CD/DVD Burner but no software, or the software is too hard to use, CDBurnerXP Pro
is more than adequate. It is very intuitive and efficient.
Everybody hates spyware and viruses yet always has them. What Ad-Aware cannot do, Windows Defender
can do. Wouldn’t you want your spyware done by the company that makes your operating system (atleast for over 90% of people)?
I know this pretty much comes on everybody’s computer anyway, but I really think this is the best audio/video player. It is easy to use and can play any kind of file you need played. ITunes is good, but extremely limited, as is Quicktime (both of which you much download together, even if you want one or the other).
Of course there are many more than these, but this is a good place to start. For a great site on free software check out Download.com.