Updated List of Open Source/Freeware

by admin on Feb 20th in Open Source/Free Software

Here is a list of the best software I have found that is either free, open source, or a free version of a commercial package.  It is by no means exhaustive, but I am exhausted…

As stated in my starting post, if you find the software useful–DONATE!!

AntiVirus/AntiMalware:

  • CCleaner – this program is listed on most tech sites as the software to use to clean up temp files, clean your registry, etc.  The company that makes this (Piriform) also makes several other wonderful utilities as well! www.piriform.com
  • MalwareBytes – a commercial program that has a ‘free version’ that is not crippled like many ‘free’ or ‘demo’ versions.  Another package that is often referenced by many tech sites as the anti-malware software to use.  www.malwarebytes.org
  • Microsoft Security Essentials – yes, I said ‘Microsoft’!  This new package from Microsoft is a solid performer in the area of anti-virus/anti-malware.  It is free for home use and is very easy to install and configure.  www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/
  • SuperAntiSpyware– besides its rather hokey name, this is also a very good program for scanning and preventing spyware.  This program will automatically update, but you will have to manually scan.  www.superantispyware.com
  • Immunet – this is a free version of a very powerful enterprise antivirus/antimalware.  I use it often, but it does seem to interfere with some game environments…

Applications:

  • Dia– this program is similar in concept to Microsoft’s Visio.  Used for drawing diagrams, etc.  live.gnome.org/Dia
  • TaskJuggler – this program is similar to Microsoft’s Project.  Used for tracking tasks and progress on various projects  www.taskjuggler.org
  • GIMP– a Photoshop clone that short of doing CMYK color separations does everything you need a image editing software package to do.  My first Open Source software package…ah, the memories!   http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net
  • GNUCash – a Quicken like program for tracking personal finances.  www.gnucash.org
  • InkScape – a program similar to Adobe’s Illustrator.  It is used for creating vector based graphics.  www.inkscape.org
  • LibreOffice – a wonderful Microsoft Office ‘clone’ that ‘took over’ from Open Office.  OO sort of died off, while Libre Office continues on… – www.libreoffice.org
  • SketchUp-3D  – an app from our friends at Google that allows you to create floor plans and then move from a 2d to a 3d version!  Sketchup.google.com
  • SweetHome 3D – WOW!! One of the coolest programs yet…great for making a floorplan that SIMULTANEOUSLY creates a 3D version…again, WOW!   www.sweethome3d.com

Data Recovery/Imaging:

  • DIXML – a drive imaging package that is easy, fast, and effective.  It can create an image from the drive that is currently being used!  It is free for home use, but needs to be purchased for commercial use.  www.runtime.org
  • Partition Master– a wonderfully simple partition mover/resizer.  I’ve tried a lot of these types of programs, both commercial and open source.  So far this one is the hands-down winner.  For home use it is free, otherwise, it is a purchasable product. http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
  • Recuva– while a bit on the strange side from a name perspective, this software is great for recovering data from formatted/damaged flash drives, memory cards, etc.  Another great utility from Piriform!  www.piriform.com

File Management:

  • FileZilla – an easy to use, robust FTP client – www.filezilla-project.org
  • SyncToy – a synchronization program that allows you to setup ‘folder pairs’ and then sync them whenever you want.  Click here for download site.
  • TreeSize – gives you an idea of where all that space went!  Shows all the folders and how much space is taken up by each one.  No installation required…just run the program.  www.jam-software.com/freeware/index.shtml
  • UnstoppableCopy– if you’ve ever tried to copy a large number of files, and Windows stops and complains on a file it couldn’t copy, you’ll love this program.  It is standalone, meaning that just clicking on the kittycat will start the program—no install necessary!  www.roadkil.net

Hardware/Diagnostics:

  • SIW – an excellent program that basically gives an extensive analysis of your computer, its hardware, its operating system, etc.  Great for troubleshooting with a tech support person.  No installation required…just run the program.  www.gtopala.com/
  • Speccy – another program to determine the ‘guts’ of your computer…made by my friends at www.piriform.com!

Misc:

  • Stellarium – a wonderful program for studying the night skies!  Great for the novice as well as the star experts.  www.stellarium.org

MultiMedia:

  • Audacity – an audio editor that is powerful enough for the audiophile, but simple enough for me…great for capturing segments of audio clips, converting to MP3′s, etc. – www.audacity.sourceforge.net
  • Iranview – is a program for viewing nearly every format of graphic files.  www.irfanview.com
  • Quick Media Converter – this is by far the best conversion software I have found…commercial or otherwise.  It will convert between nearly ANY format to ANY format…simply amazing.  This is a must have on any/all computers! www.cocoonsoftware.com
  • FormatFactory – I now use this instead of QMC.  This seems to be a bit more user friendly, and works where others fail…  www.pcfreetime.com
  • VLC – a nuts and bolts video player that plays nearly every format of video.  If you can’t get it to play in Windows Media Player, VLC will probably work.  www.videolan.org
  • Youtubedownloader– a program that does two wonderful things: first, it will allow you to download a video from youtube.  Second, it can convert that video into a format that is usable in PowerPoint!  youtubedownload.altervista.org

Utilities:

  • CuteWriter– this program allows you to ‘print’ any file in Windows to a PDF file.  Basically, this is what people pay lots of money to Adobe to achieve.  www.cutepdf.com
  • Defraggler– a disk defragmenter made by the same company as CCleaner and Recuva.  I like all their software!  www.piriform.com
  • PrintScreen– this program is a great improvement on the PrntScrn button on your computer.  It allows you to select the area of the screen to capture.  Similar to the Snipping Tool in Vista, but with more options.  www.gadwin.com/printscreen
  • GreenShot – while I still like PrintScreen, I now use Greenshot exclusively.  More features, etc.   www.getgreenshot.com
  • Skype– an audio/video conferencing software package that works over the internet with minimal hardware requirements and is free if used from computer to computer.  The paid version allows you to call landlines as well.  To use this, you do have to setup an account, but there is no cost if you strictly want to use the computer to computer mode.   www.skype.com

Web Design

  • KompoZer– a website design tool that offers various ‘views’ of the design as you go along.  If you have any knowledge of web design, it should be pretty straight forward.  If you are a beginner, it will take a little effort, but is better than the horrendous code that FrontPage creates!   kompozer.net
  • WordPress – an amazingly easy program to learn/hard to master.  While it was originally designed for creating blogs, it has blossomed into a wonderful website creation package.  Unlike most web design programs, this is an easy to use content management program that allows even a novice to make changes without having to ‘re-compile’ and re-upload entire sites…  wordpress.org

2 Comments

  1. admin

    4th April 2017

    Dale…thanks for the heads up on OpenOffice. I actually was aware of the ‘switch’ to LibreOffice (it’s what I install on all my clients’ computers), but hadn’t updated my blog…thanks!!

  2. Dale Quigg

    18th March 2017

    Hi,
    (no need to publish this comment)

    Thanks for your blog. I’ve been a volunteer network admin for a few organizations and looking for internet filtering options, and have been “stuck” on https issues for years. Now I find out about skydog, circle, routerlimits (I just bought two minis). Thanks!

    Anyway – the reason I’m writing. Please do people a favor and replace OpenOffice with LibreOffice. OpenOffice is basically a zombie project now and LibreOffice is where all the work and (security) updates are happening.

    Thanks again for your blog!
    Dale

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