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#1 Tue, 22/04/2014 - 11:11

Best free software

I backed up my laptop last night, and whilst doing so I thought that it might be a nice idea to collect a list of some of my favourite free applications.

Paragon Backup Manager - fully featured backup software. Love this program, and find the features you get with it are simply amazing. You can pay to get some extra functionality, but frankly the free version does more than most people need.

Calibre eBook manager - fantastic if you use ebooks. Converts between different formats and uploads/removes books from your kindle, kobo, sony, whatever....

Cameyo - Application virtualisation, enables you to no longer have to install apps on your pc, making them portable. Put them on a usb key to run from any pc, or run them from the Cameyo cloud, and make upgrading to a new pc a trivial thing.

Virtualbox - Operating system virtualisation, enables you to create virtual machines (VM) that run independently of the workstation they live on. Your kids can run games etc on a VM and any changes they make get wiped next time the VM starts. You can use a VM to run an application that you don't trust or perhaps clashes with other programs on your pc. All sorts of reasons why you might want to use a VM.

7-Zip or peazip - archive managers, save space and extract data from all those archive formats out there like zip, rar, tar, etc.

VLC - video player, plays almost any video or audio

Teamviewer - remote desktop [free for person use], to access that pc at home from work, or provide remote support for your parents

Windirstat - windows directory statistics, to find out what exactly is taking up all that disk space

Pocketbook - finances management, to keep your budget & spending under control

isomount - access ISO files as if they are CDs

** Honourable mentions **
Freemake - video and audio converters, to convert files from one format to another to enable them to be played on different devices. Also allows you to download content from the likes of youtube for later access, as well as do things like join video files together, flip video that has been taken on a mobile in portrait mode, and more.
Some restrictions, and need to be careful not to accept defaults when installing otherwise you may end up with the annying 'ask' search bar etc, but can't complain re the price.

ancestry.com - genealogy, to store all that family history info and share it with your family
Many genealogy tools out there, but this wins in my opinion as you can access it for free from the web or via mobile apps. You only pay if you want to access online records, but they have special free access events on regular basis plus you can generally access records at locations like libraries.

Flikr - photo storage, management, and sharing: store those precious images in the cloud to provide a backup should your hard drive die.
Now comes with an insane 1TB of storage for free, although that could run out quickly if you start to upload videos. Only issue is possibly the Ts & Cs you agree to when joining - although those have toned down a lot recently.

This is just a quick list, and I know there are others (like SpyBot, Microsoft Security Essentials, etc) so if anyone has any other suggestions feel free to add!

ninhursag's picture
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Tue, 22/04/2014 - 17:19

Excellent post, ninhursag.

My favourite from the list is Calibre which has always helped me transfer my book purchases across platforms with no hassle.

kb's picture
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Thu, 08/05/2014 - 15:47

great information. Thanks for sharing

ashwood's picture
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