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Best Freeware/Open Source


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Simple request...what are your favourite freeware or open source programs at the moment. What gems have you uncovered? I have compiled a few below to get the ball rolling:-


Media Player

VLC Media Player


Can play almost any type of video file.



Grisoft AVG Antivirus


150% better than that Norton (clog up your machine and cause it to crash) nonsense.


Photo Organiser



Does a really good job of keeping your photos organised.


Photo Editor



A very capable program and it costs nowt.


The Gimp


Adobe Photoshop replacement that gets better every release.


Office Suite

Open Office


Sun decided to release the source code to Star Office which resulted in Open Office being created. Can open, view and save Microsoft formats for a good few hundred quid less.


Web Browser

Mozilla Firefox


A similar story to Open Office. Netscape were losing the battle with Microsoft as the leading browser and released the source to Netscape Navigator to the open source community. Out of this was borne Firefox.


Email Client

Mozilla Thunderbird


Similar story again but it beats the pants off of Outlook Express.


Download Manager

Free Download Manager


Have more control and speed up your downloads with this proggy.


Audio Editor



Record, edit and mix your tunes.


Software KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse)



Lets you share a keyboard and mouse between several computers. Works exceptionally well.


Explorer Enhancement/Replacement



Gives you a visual representation of the files on your hard drive. Makes it very easy to see where your hard disk space has disappeared.


CD/DVD Burning Software

DeepBurner Free


The free version lets you do most stuff.


CDBurnerXP Pro


Another free utility to burn CD's and DVD's.


PDF Viewer

Foxit Reader


Allows you to view Adobe PDF files without bogging down your system with the slow Adobe Reader.


PDF Creator



Lets you create PDF's from pretty much any file.


(OpenOffice also has an option to save as PDF).


I could go on, but I think that should be enough to see what utilities/programs everybody else has on their 'must have' list.

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http://www.snapfiles.com/freeware/ is one of the best sites to find freeware.


http://www.photofiltre.com/ An excellent free alternative to the likes of Photoshop. Free version to be found at the bottom of the "english" page.


http://www.gadwin.com/printscreen/ for Gadwin print screen. No need to remember how to capture or print an image on your screen. Set print screen to run from start up and just hit the print screen key when you need to.


Very long url so you will have to find it yourself but if people keep sending you things in Microsofts "power point" format there is a free viewer downloadable from the Microsoft site.




The ultimate freeware has to be a complete free operating system to replace Windows. The best known alternative has to be Linux. Distrowatch has details of most Linux "distributions" as well as some other free operating systems. Forget all the talk of Linux being hard to install and use. Some of the latest variations install faster and easier than Windows. Ununtu might be a good place to start. Not only easy to install but you may even be able to get them to send it to you on disc.http://www.distrowatch.com/

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Graphics program



Great little program, well-regarded, made by a Bosnian student, worth having alongside Photoshop, etc. and free.


Colour picker



For webmasters and designers - very handy, small program, move your mouse over any colour on-screen and it will tell you the hex, RGB, HTML, CMYK and HSV values of the colour. You can then reproduce that exact colour elsewhere in your designs. Invaluable and free

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My video player of choice does almost everything and if you can use the command line you can convert formats.


GNU Emacs


Text editor / SDE / . I use this for almost everything It takes a while to get used to shortcuts / lisp but well worth it I think, you may never need to use a mouse again.




2D vector art package, it works.




2D vector animation, still in the early stages of development!


DVD decrypter


Auto Gordian Knot


Used in conjunction to rip dvd to avi. Arrrrr. Shiver Me Timbers.


DVD Shrink


DVD Backup


Kismet - linux only


Wireless network util, wardriving and stuff.


The Gimp

http://see above

I had to mention it again!


GNU Linux


Go on you know you want to!


=== Programming ===




A portable OO language, Does Flash, Javascript and neko.




used to create Flash asset libs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yea it is Beryl, using aiglx, I was actually quite surprised that it runs so well on the laptop, it doesn't have dedicated video memory and was only £500. It worked straight of the bat, well at first it would only allow me a 640x480 desktop, which meant I had to edit the xorg.conf, but apart from that I did nothing else to it.


There is so much stuff on it my next job is slimming it down I think I can release a few Gb of disk space and speed it up quite a bit.


I love the way windows go up in flames when closed, fun.

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