Utilities and useful free software
By Lasa Information Systems Team
The old adage "You pays your money and you takes your choice" in some cases doesn't always apply. In the software world, the dominance of Microsoft might make you think that there's no alternative to only using Windows and Office programs. We beg to differ…
This article contains links to a number of free and free-to-trial software that you can download. Check with your ICT administrator that it's acceptable for you to download and install it or refer to your organisation's Acceptable Use Policy.
In addition, make sure you read the small print on the licensing before installing the software. Whilst what's listed below is generally "freeware", some free software is "adware" in that it displays adverts when you run it - you can eliminate this by purchasing or sometimes just by registering. Also watch out for "spyware" - you might want to check out Ad-Aware privacy software to guard against this.
It is also worth keeping your eyes on the cover disks that come with computer magazines as they often have earlier versions of regular software that you'd have to pay for ordinarily.
- Acrobat Reader - essential if you want to read Acrobat pdf (Portable Document Format) files created by Adobe Acrobat (or PDF Creation software PDF995)
- AVG - excellent anti-virus package (private non commercial single computer use only)
- Belarc Adviser - inventory the hardware and software on your computer
- Blogger - for the budding Samuel Pepys's amongst us
- CutePDF - Free and easy to use PDF creation - works like a printer, but instead of paper, spits out PDF files.
- Eudora - an alternative to the ubiquitous Outlook Express
- Free Foto - online repository of pictures for non-commercial use
- The GIMP - open source image editor - for Windows or Linux
- Google toolbar - integrate the Google search engine into your Internet Explorer toolbar
- JunkMuncher - munch that spam!
- KeyWallet - store all your passwords in one place
- Mailwasher - spam filtering and eliminating
- Mozilla - an alternative to Internet Explorer, this open source Internet browser based on Netscape is constantly under development and also includes the Composer web page creation program
- OpenOffice.org - open source office suite comprises word processor, spreadsheet, drawing and presentation programs
- Opera - lightweight but fast web browser
- Panda - free anti-virus for Linux desktops and servers
- Quicktime Player - allows you to play .mov video files
- Regcleaner - checks your Windows registry for unnecessary entries
- SmartDraw - create drawings, templates, flyers, invitations, maps etc
- TinyURL toolbar - makes long web addresses manageable for sending in emails etc.
- Ultimate Paint - fully featured graphics package
- Windows Media Player - play video clips, audio files etc
- Winzip - compression software which enables you to shrink the size of a file so as to make it speedier to send via the Internet or perhaps fit onto a floppy disk for portability
- WS_FTP - essential ftp client for uploading web pages etc
- Zone Alarm - personal firewall to keep the hackers at bay
More freeware and shareware from www.jumbo.com
Free and low cost nonprofit-friendly web resources from Summit Collaborative.
Published: 1st September 2003 Reviewed: 25th April 2006
Copyright © 2003 Lasa Information Systems Team