For the empowerment of humanity, I’ve compiled a listing of free and open source programs that I use frequently, or have found helpful. I’ve tried to keep the list fairly limited, so there’s a high probability that some of these may also work well for you.
Keep your system in good shape by running each of these once a month.
- Spybot Search & Destroy â€“ Remove pesky spyware/adware/malware and other malicious web content.
- TrendMicro Housecall â€“ A free online virus scanner (works best with IE).
- Avast Antivirus â€“ Free ‘always on’ antivirus software. Perfect if your current antivirus license has expired.
- Disk Defragmenter â€“ This comes with windows but a lot fo people don’t know it exists :) Run it frequently to keep your hard drive running efficiently.
- * For fantastic antivirus software reviews visit http://www.av-comparatives.org/
- * Other valuable advice on maintaining your computer http://www.quepublishing.com/articles/article.asp?p=102215&rl=1.
Audio Editing and Management
- iTunes â€“ I prefer the iTunes interface and appreciate how it sorts my music into folders by artist (makes it easy to backup).
- Audacity â€“ Audio editor.
- Mp3myMp3 â€“ Saves as an mp3 any audio coming from your computer.
Image Editing and Management
- Picasa â€“ Google’s image editor and managment tool.
- Gimp â€“ Photoshop minus filters and layer blending options.
- Screen Hunter HoverSnap â€“ Copys whatever is displayed on your computer screen to an image file.
- Firefox â€“ The original fast, free, customizable, standards compliant web browser
- Aardvark â€“ A firefox addition that lets you delete unwanted content (say an annoying banner add).
- Google Preview â€“ A firefox plugin that gives a thumbnail version of each site in google’s search results.
- Forecast Fox â€“ Adds weather firefox’s menu.
[UPDATE: apparently forecast fox has a fairly significant memory leak and I have thus removed it from firefox, suggestions for a replacement are warmly appreciated.]
- Thunderbird â€“ An email manager developed by the same folks as firefox.
- Mozbackup â€“ Backup your firefox and thunderbird settings (MUCH easier than backing up windows software)
- ZoneAlarm â€“ Firewall utility (limits what programs are accessing your internet connection).
Web Development Tools
- Firefox â€“ The web browser of choice.
- Php Designer- XHTML, CSS, PHP editor.
- Filezilla â€“ FTP program.
- Xenu â€“ Test to see if you site has any broken links
- HTTtrack â€“ Copy a complete website to your hardrive.
- TopStyle â€“ CSS editor (lite version).
Office and Productivity Tools
- Open Office â€“ Sun Microsystem’s free competitor to MS Office.
- PrimoPDF â€“ Converts any document into a pdf, including webpages.
So that’s my list. Please be sure to leave a response if you have any other programs you think I should be aware of or if there is something in particular you don’t see but would find useful.
UPDATE: For more programs check out The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities