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Great Free Software Hunt

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Freebies (no spend required)
143 replies 60.1K views


  • Prob same as above:

    A big collection of stuff, bit like sourceforge...

    Top 10 on the site as a starting point:

    Guess most tech savy kids take things like open office for granted, never occured to me people might be splashing out when the free stuff is out there. Recommending Linux is prob going to far though ;)!
  • Forumite
    342 posts
    Not software per se, but useful none the less - Open Source Web Design - has masses of free website templates. All are labelled according to their compatibility with different browsers and so forth.

  • MSE_Martin wrote:
    What's it all about?

    The virtual free equivalent of Microsoft Office and other graphics programs can be had for free. It's what's called open source software. This is because often the developing community, much like MoneySavers, like to hunt as a pack and work on constantly improving software rather than being locked into the rigid constrains of commercial software.

    So I'm starting a Great Hunt for the best and I'm putting my own suggestion, Open Office to start with.

    Other site users' recommendations:


    This may have been mentioned earlier but the Firefox link should be
    Now in Gloucester
  • jamjam Forumite
    122 posts
    I see a few people have mentioned, and that's fine. But free software isn't necessarily open source software. It all depends in your definition of free. Popular opinion among geeks is that free as in speech software is a better option than free as in beer software.
    For an idea of what i'm on about see here:

  • ohitohit Forumite
    368 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I think this is a great thread. Selecting open source only might be being a bit too narrow in selections though. Some programs have free versions of their paids ones, which are pretty good too.

    IrfanView is a great image program. You can view slideshows, batch conversios, apply some filters. It's very quick and will view/play anything.

    The Gimp I think has already been mentioned. It's meant to be the open source replacement for Photoshop. Very powerful.

    EditPad Lite from Jasc software. The Lite is the free version and is good to have. It's way better than Notepad.

    AVG Free Anti-Virus:
    Anti-Virus software free for personal non-commerical use (e.g. virtually all home computer users).
    It's certainly not as feature full as the paid packages (they usually include firewalls, email spam filters, etc.) but for simple anti-virus protection, it is perfect.

    Thunderbird and FireFox has already been mentioned. These can also be regarded as being more secure than IE/Outlook. Certainly requires less maintenance in terms of patches/updates etc. just to be secure.

    Great desktop widgets software with loads of useful tools on your desktop for quick access.

    CD and DVD burning/copying software for free. PCs and upgrades to PC might come with paid for versions of burning/copying software, but one could save money by buying the CD/DVD writing hardware device in OEM form which doesn't come with any software - Just the drive. Therefore you could then use this CDBurnerXP software to do copying with. A way to save money - You pay less for the OEM drive as software is not included.

    Spyware Blaser, Spyware Doctor, Spybot-Search&Destroy. Search on for the links.
    All free programs to keep spyware and other junk off your PC. Good programs to have in combinatio with FireFox and the AVG Free Anti-Virus above.

    PuTTY. Free telnet/SSH remote login program. A bit of a specialist use though.

    That's all I can think of for now!
  • ohitohit Forumite
    368 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    jam wrote:
    I see a few people have mentioned, and that's fine. But free software isn't necessarily open source software. It all depends in your definition of free. Popular opinion among geeks is that free as in speech software is a better option than free as in beer software.
    OpenOffice is probably the most significant recommendation here - It just happens to be open source as well.

    The Original post mentions programs like Picasa, which are free, but not open source.

    And so on.

    So, For the purposes of this site I think we should stick with free, as in, of no monetary cost.
  • is a pretty good one too
    see a pin and pick it up, and all that day you'll have a pin
  • for free linux distributions.

    Sourceforge is fantastic. Very useful to us in academia where resources are limited. We use AC3 filter ( and MpegDecoder ( to play DVD's in media player without paying for extra plug-ins.

    Open office is quite good and can open documents created with MS office (

    MySQL is a free database system, similar to MS SQL server 2000. There used to be a good free front-end interface called MySQLFront which you now have to pay for. Unless of course you use SQLYog instead ( which is similar and only has a few limitations on the free version.

    Audacity is a good (not fantastic) freeware .wav file editor.

    We also use ConTEXT - a freeware text editor with syntax highlighters for various programming languages (java, JSP, ASP, VB, PHP, cold fusion and quite a few more). Also 1st page 2000 is another free editor which is geared more towards web-page production with a few nice features (such as a script library).

    If you're going to use TightVNC (remote desktop which doesn't log the remote user out) then I also recommend you look at Fast-push which allows you to install VNC onto a remote computer (you need to know it's IP number and admin password).

    FTP Surfer ( is a great FTP client for people who are new to FTP. The interface is just like a normal window and it works well.

    There is a great selection of admin utilities at Sys-internals ( Well worth a look. As is the utility collection on Analog-X (

    Apache web-server ( if you want to host your own web-sites. If so PHP is a superb free scripting language to produce dynamic content ( This is a bit tech-savvy, especially setting it all up but there are plenty of books on the subject.

    Picture-shark ( is a good freeware utility to add digital watermarks (name, logo etc) to your pics. Just a few clicks and you can add your watermark to a batch of pics in one go. If you are creating web-sites and need to produce thumbnails, also have a look at the excellent Easy Thumbnails from fookes (

    I could spend days listing all the useful freeware stuff I've found over the years. My advice; if you need something try Google first. Stick +freeware on the end of your search and see what comes up. You can save a packet ;)
  • blinkyblinky Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Anything at Sourceforge - the biggest open source depository
    Hug provider for depression thread :grouphug:
    "I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.." - Unwell by Matchbox Twenty
  • Hi
    This is my first time here so please be gentle. I would like a photo editor, but am not very computer literate and would hate to inadvertantly download stuff which clogged up the works - can anyone give advice or help please?
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