The Best Freeware
Tips on choosing and using Freeware
1. Check reviews of freeware first. Some is laden with adware or even malware. Some doesn't work
2. Check reviews on each programme and download from reputable sites e.g.:
- ZDNET : Also has Shareware and commercial software http://downloads.zdnet.com/
- CNet: Also has Shareware and commercial software http://download.cnet.com/windows/
- Tucows: Freeware and Shareware http://www.tucows.com/
- Gizmo's Freeware http://www.techsupportalert.com
- File Hippo http://www.filehippo.com/
3. When downloading, check you are downloading the free version, and not something else (download pages are often deliberately misleading)
4. When installing make sure you do not install bundled extras and add-ons (like toolbars etc which are often included with the free versions of programs)
5. Check for new versions now and again. There are often bug fixes and updates.
Alternative Free Anti Virus programmes
Most Club members use AVG antivirus, but there are other good alternatives:
See http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-anti-virus-software.htm for a comparison.
Remarkably strong detection rates. It still remains near the top of independent antivirus efficacy tests, but has annoying traits like a pop-up voice that appears whenever a program update has
Avast Anti Virus
Avast Free 5, an A-list freeware antivirus app, provides the same steadfast protection of well-known, pricier antivirus programs. Avast is remarkable for both its effectiveness and arguably providing the most complete free antivirus on the market. Avast Free 5, formerly known as the Home Edition, protects you with multiple guards.
Some of the Top Picks worth trying:
Auslogics Disk Defrag
7/2008/Vista/2003/XP (32-bit & 64-bit)
Auslogics Disk Defrag is a compact and fast defragmenter that supports both FAT 16/32, and NTFS file systems. It is supplied with an advanced optimization engine that will help you to improve system performance and prevent errors caused by file fragmentation.
Note: the program encourages you to download their "pay for" programs such as Boost Speed. These are not necessary.
Photo Pos Pro
If you need an extremely powerful photo and image editor with an enormous load of features, you'd do well to check out Photo Pos Pro. It's important to note that, during installation, you should take care not to associate all image types with the program. Most of the software's features are accessible via buttons at the main screen's top and upper left.
Reading the detailed tutorial is almost a must, as this photo editor has many features too advanced and specific for a novice. For example, when working with a complicated tool such as Layers Properties, the program generates a separate window, and you must click to expand it. As its name implies, Photo Pos Pro is a good tool for professional image editors in terms of both features and interface.
HDClone Free Edition 4.0.2 (Windows)
The Free Edition of HDClone is the ideal tool for moving or cloning contents of entire hard disks. Since it works on physical level it can be used with any operating system and any filesystem. HDClone copies the data for you. This allows you to transfer entire system installations to a newer hard disk quickly and easily (hard disk migration). It also adds the additional disk space automatically if desired. Since HDClone has its own operating system and is self-booting, it can be used even if the installed operating system is damaged. Therefore HDClone is also a great solution for data rescue on damaged hard disks or system installations.
A program that lets you organize your short-cuts and running tasks onto an extremely customizable dock that sits on your desktop.
A program that helps you organize your desktop and can hide your icons when they're not in use.
Scribus - Desk Top Publishing
Scribus is an Open Source program that brings professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of press-ready output and new approaches to page design.
Underneath a modern and user-friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as color separations, CMYK and Spot Color support, ICC color management or versatile PDF creation
System Info for Windows
SIW is an advanced System Information for Windows tool that gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings and displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner.
SIW can create a report file (CSV, HTML, TXT or XML), and is able to run in batch mode (for Computer Software and Hardware Inventory, Asset Inventory Tracking, Audit Software Licenses, Software License Compliance)
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.
All the shell goodies from windows explorer — none of the hassle! The free lightweight version of xplorer² offers dual panes and folder tabs for efficient and trouble-free desktop file management.
BatteryCare is a software created to optimize the usage and performance of the modern laptop's battery
It monitors the battery's discharge cycles and helps increasing it's autonomy and improving its lifetime
CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.
Chris BJ Favourites:
Updates of long-standing Freeware programmes
CCleaner Ver v3.02.1343 (23 Dec 2010)
Cleans up garbage such as temporary files, orphan registry entries etc. Latest version caters for the rubbish generated by more application programmes
It is useful to run this before doing a de-frag.
AVIDEMUX Ver 2.5
Open-source on the GNU license, Avidemux is a breath of fresh air. Cropping a video is as simple as selecting the section you want to remove and then hitting the Delete key. Re-encoding a video is equally painless: select the output format from the drop-down list, save the file, and you're good to go. When choosing where to start and stop a crop, there's both incremental and multisecond advance and rewind tools, There's also a not insubstantial list of video and audio codecs that files can be converted to. Video formats include multiple codecs for FLV, MPEG, AVI, VCD, H.263/4, and others, while audio formats include MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, and one or two more.
VLC Media Player 1.1.5
VLC is available for multiple OSs, including all versions of Windows (98 through Vista), Mac OS X, and many varieties of Linux. VLC can also be installed and run directly from a flash drive. Supports playback of most video files and DVD discs without the need to download external codec packs, including flv files. VLC plays discs from all 5 different DVD regions. Also has the ability to convert videos to formats it supports and you can specify whether or not to use system codecs. VLC also has the ability to take screenshots of your video, even while during DVD playback; can also be used to stream video from a webcam to another computer even over the internet (a DIY camera surveillance system)
Manage twin screen displays - i.e. if you have two (or three) monitors connected to one PC can customize how items are dragged from one screen to another and synchronise wallpaper across multiple monitors.
(Now at version 3.8.0)
Don't need to use anything else for tweaking and managing photos.
Foxit PDF Reader
Now in version 4.3
It's small, loads in a flash, supports bookmarks, has search capability, offers many extra features and even allows you to annotate and print PDF files. Had a Forefox plugin so that PDFs are read inside the browser.