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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Free Software

I just love free software and I wish there was more support for developers who want to produce software as a hobby (or in some cases, a second job). I think it's awesome that developers are willing to put time and energy into developing applications for the community. Most accept donations, and we should donate to encourage their continued efforts.

With that said, I've put together a list of free replacements for common, often highly overpriced software. Also included is some free software for which I think there are better free alternatives. Obviously, there are a lot of links here - comment if one is broken and I'll fix it. I also have no problem adding to the list, so leave a comment if you see something that I missed!


Product

Free Replacement

Notes


Adobe Illustrator

Inkscape

For vector images.


Adobe PDF Writer

PrimoPDF

PDFCreator

I use Primo all the time.


Paint Shop Pro

Adobe Photoshop

The Gimp

Gimpshop

Paint.net

I like Paint.net best.


Media Studio Pro

Adobe Premier

Lives

CinePaint

Edit your movies.


Adobe Reader

Foxit Reader

Foxit is faster!


Apple QuickTime

QuickTime Alternative

See also VLC.


Beyond Compare

ExamDiff

Winmerg

Easy Duplicate File Finder

Compare stuff.


Defrag (Windows built-in)

UltraDefrag
JkDefrag

Fix those bits.


Family Tree Maker

Personal Ancestral File

For doing genealogy.


Goldwave

Audacity

Audio Editor.


Microsoft Access

OpenOffice Base

Versatile database program.


Microsoft Equation Editor

OpenOffice Math

For fancy equations.


Microsoft Excel

OpenOffice Calc

Gnumeric

Spread out your sheets!


Microsoft FrontPage

Macromedia Dreamweaver

Nvu

No fluff; it just does the job!


Microsoft Internet Explorer

Firefox

Opera

I like Firefox for some very specific Add-ons:

DownloadThemAll!

ProCon Latte

Google Browser Sync

Adblock Plus


Microsoft Money

GNUCash

TurboCash

jGnash

Grisbi

Know where your money goes!


Microsoft Notepad (Windows built-in)

Notepad2

Bigger and Better.


Microsoft Office

OpenOffice

StarOffice (as part of GooglePack)

We're talking a whole office suite here.


Microsoft Outlook Express

Microsoft Outlook

Thunderbird

Lightning

Evolution

I prefer webmail, but maybe you don’t.


Microsoft PowerPoint

OpenOffice Impress

Bore people to tears with your presentations.


Microsoft Project

OpenProj

GantPV

GantProject

Plan your project and make nifty charts.


Microsoft Publisher

Scribus

Make cards, flyers, banners, etc.


Microsoft Task Manager (Windows built-in)

Process Explorer

More robust than taskman.


Microsoft Virtual PC

VMWare

Virtual PC is also free now.


Microsoft Visual Studio

WxDevC++

Netbeans

Code Blocks

Eclipse

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2005 (free)

Ultimate++

Ultimate++ might be a new favorite!


Microsoft Windows

Ubuntu

Freespire

OpenSuSE

I consider these to be the top three flavors of Linux. Opinions differ.


Microsoft Word

OpenOffice Writer

Abiword

Write the next great <insert country here> novel. Just don’t do it in MS Word.


msconfig (Windows built-in)

Autoruns



Nero

Easy CD Creator

InfraRecorder

Express Burn

Burn4Free

HT Fireman

CD Burner XP Pro

I prefer InfraRecorder.


McAfee Antivirus

NOD32

Norton Antivirus

AVG

Antivir

Avast

Comodo Antivirus

I prefer Comodo.


Power DVD, etc.

VLC

Plays them all.


Rational Rose

Microsoft Visio

BoUML

ArgoUML

OpenOffice Draw

Design your projects.


Real Player

Real Alternative

See also VLC.


System Information (Windows built-in)

BelarC

Get more information about your system.


Windows Explorer

XnView

Free Commander

Not the whole shell, just the file navigation functionality.


Windows Media Player

iTunes

Songbird

KMPlayer

Winamp

MusikCube

I’m still not satisfied with any media play so far, but my latest favorite is MusikCube for sure.


Windows Messenger

MSN Messenger

Yahoo! Messenger

Pidgin (formerly Gaim)

One messenger to rule them all.


Windows Update

Windiz Update

Autopatcher

Looks like Microsoft shut down Autopatcher as of Aug 2007 :(


WinZip

Winrar

Izarc
7-Zip
jZip

Compress and uncompress stuff. jZip is my favorite.


Zone Alarm Firewall

Comodo Personal Firewall

Best firewall around right now.


?

AudioGrabber

CD Ripper.


?

Comodo BoClean
Threatfire (formerly Cyberhawk)

Anti-malware products.


?

Filezilla

Free FTP client.


?

Freemind

Mind mapping tool.


?

Google Earth

NASA WorldWind

See the world from home!


?

Octave

For complex math graphing.


?

Picasa

Good photo manager


?

Win-get

It's apt-get for Windows!


?

Finale Notepad

Compose music your way.



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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice little list of software replacements. There are a few missing that I know of, but there are some that I haven't heard of before. Nice job!

Claire said...

If you're trying to save some money from buying proprietary software, you can just look and download open source software that basically performs almost the same as your old ones. With the recommendation of the Ottawa computer support service, this is really a logical choice for frugal people with a computer.

Having the Ottawa computer tech support deal with my computer problems in my business for a long time now, it's a good investment to have them aboard!