Because who wants cheap when you can have free?

If you're looking for free stuff now that you're in Christmas debt and everything, Lifehacker has put together their 2007 Guide to Free Software and Web Applications. It is the Internet's way of holding you close while feeding you chocolate and showing you pictures of Hot British Boyfriends and telling you how much it loves you.

Pretty much the most beautiful words in the English language to me are "Open Source." (The other most beautiful words are "I'm waiting for you by the fountains at Pemberley.") Open Source basically means "Fabulous thing that someone created and which they decided to offer for free rather than finding a way to patent it and take all your money and your soul."

Or, if that's not actually the kind of mood you're in, it's the Internet's way of allowing you to flip off The Man.

Anyway, you should go check out the link. Here are the categories of stuff they've pulled together:

Application Launchers
Backup Utilities
Desktop Search
Disk Space Visualizers
DVD Rippers
File Syncing
Image Editing
Image Viewers/Managers
Instant Messenger
Macro Makers
Media Players
Password Managers/Helpers
PDF Readers/Writers/Editors
Personal Finance/Money Managers
Start Pages
Telephony Managers/Helpers
Text Editors
To-do List Managers
Virus Killers and Malware Cleaners
Web Clippings
Zip File Extractors

I don't know about you people, but that list kind of has me breathing heavily. Has anyone here discovered an Absolutely Fabulous Free Thing online that they'd like to share with the rest of us?


Saxon said... [reply]

spybot. Search and destroy!

It's a great program for getting rid of an spyware that you've picked up.

JennaL said... [reply]

Audacity. It's a great program to edit audio files. It also works great to create audio files since it records any sound coming over your sound card.

My sister used it to convert old records to mp3 files. She managed to hook her record player/stereo up to her computer. Then played the records over the computer and used Audacity to record it.

DanaLee said... [reply]

I realize that there are a million websites with free games for kids. I however, really like this list that has been compiled.


My favorites are #17 Flower Garden and under the "Seasons" category "What Shall I Wear", Nem can actually dress a fine British bloke for herself with that game.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Y'all, don't try Danalee's flower garden unless you are prepared to be sucked right in. That thing is way too much fun.

Jimmy said... [reply]

I'm pretty sure you were the one who turned me on to Zamzar (for PDF conversions) so you rate very highly on the Geek Scale with me (that's a good thing, at least on my planet!). I'll be browsing shortly. Thanks for the heads up!

Benjamin said... [reply]

PrimoPDF is a great PDF printer.

AVG and Avast both offer free anti-virus software.

OpenOffice.org is a great replacement for Microsoft office (for most people).

Mozilla Firefox (with adblock+ plugin of course) is a far better experience than Internet Explorer.

I'm sure I'll remember a few others in a few minutes. :)

Jon Boy said... [reply]

Just to be obnoxiously nitpicky, but "open source" and "free" are not necessarily the same thing. Open source means that the source code is available to users and other developers, though you might still have to buy the software first. On the flip side, some free software is open source, but far from all of it is.

FOODIE said... [reply]

I just found (actually my sissy did, and I am taking the credit) this website to help you spice up your blog a bit. You're a creative wanna be scrapbooker type right???


Nemesis said... [reply]

Ugh, jon boy, there you go with your technicalities and rightness. Everyone, jon boy is right. Please pretend that instead of "Open Source" I said FLOSS instead.

Jon Boy said... [reply]

Well, hey, thanks to that link I learned that "open source" was originally meant as a replacement term for "free software," though it hasn't come to mean quite that. But then some people do use them synonymously, so the whole thing is just confusing.

Obviously I am not as right as I think I am.

emandtrevfam said... [reply]

Hey there! I don't know if you remember me, but I accompanied DesMama to the book club meeting in December. I should fess up that I've been lurking for a week or two, but I love your blog. Love your writing, love your style. Cheers!

Me again said... [reply]

I don't know if its technically 'free' since they do make you watch a commercial or two, but I think its pretty cool.

It's at www.mostfun.com

It gives you access to some of those online games that other sites want you to pay $20 each for. Like Diner Dash, Westward, and Chocolatier.

The commercials come when you launch a game, when you close a game, and sometimes at certain points in the game - like every 15th time you visit the store in chocolatier.

Maybe I'm the only geek who likes these games, but I've enjoyed finally playing the games that I've played the demos for over and over.

And then, maybe I just have to much time on my hands... :)

JB said... [reply]

Best. Blog. Ever. :D

I love Open Source. My whole OS is open source! We do use Flash. . . but we're mostly pure in the Open Source sense.

Anyway, the best thing about open source is that the people who create the software do it for themselves as tools they can use and then the community will generally fix and maintain it beautifully. So they make the software good because they have to use and maintain it.

Unlike with proprietary software, people can go right in and change whatever they can and want to change (bugs and vulnerabilities, for example) and then publish those changes to anyone else who wants them! :D

JB said... [reply]

Oh, and I found this a little relevant to the conversation.

Fired Fox!

blackjazz said... [reply]

My contributions are:

1. Overdisk is a free disk space visualiser. Don't know how it compares with the featured ones, but it works for me.
2. iTunes is a media player from Apple. I'm surprised it's not in the list. I thought it was quite well known and used. Another I use is Winamp which has a totally different style but is still good.
3. Google documents and spreadsheets. I'm finding more and more ways of using this. The ability to have more than one person access and change a spreadsheet simultaneously online and even chat about it is excellent. If you haven't tried this yet - try it.

Can't say I agree with what's said about anti-spyware either in the article or by saxon. (Sorry, saxon - we can argue about it on Sunday if you like!) I've yet to find an effective free anti-spyware program. Certainly Spybot and Ad-aware were both well short of the mark when I last tried them. Reviews I've read have said the same things. Spyware Doctor is very good but costs money, is heavy on resources and a bit buggy. I currently use AVG anti-spyware which costs but I've found to be very effective at both cleaning up machines and keeping them clean but it's not too heavy on machine resources. IMHO anti-spyware is as essential as anti-virus software, and I don't know a free offering that protects a PC properly.

Dick said... [reply]

Does a "Mother's Love" etched on the pages of your blog count???

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