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Free Computer Applications

09.01.2010 (9:03 pm) – Filed under: How To Guides

While there is the old saying, you get what you pay for, the world of computer applications sometimes is a little different. There’s a fairly large community of programmers out there that produce useful applications free of charge, relying on either donations or ad revenue to help, some are released by bigger companies that offer their product up for free for personal use and charge for commercial use, and others just do it as a hobby and enjoy providing something useful to others. Whatever the reason, there are many available, and Geek Junk wants to take the time of point out a few of them for your consumption.

I’ll try to update this list as I run into new applications, or people suggest other things to add.

  • Google Chrome:
    • Google’s web browser, extremely lightweight with a nice UI, only downfall is sometimes a lack of support with certain sites that artifically limit what browser you connect with.
  • Firefox:
    • Mozilla’s web browser, first browser to make a serious dent in Internet Explorer. Excellent user community provides numerous plugins to extend functionality.
  • Opera:
    • Another free browser that uses mouse gestures to help navigate around, once you get the hang of them you’ll be clicking all over the web!
  • Filezilla:
    • A free FTP client that allows you to save connections to multiple FTP sites, as well as use a GUI interface to navigate folders on both the local and remote computer.
  • AVG:
    • AVG is a free Anti Virus program that also has corporate versions for purchase. One of the most widely used free Anti-Virus programs on the market.
  • Skype:
    • Skype is by far one of the coolest free applications out there. Skype is a VoIP service that allows you to call from your computer. This is free so long as you call someone else on Skype no matter where they are in the world. There is a fee to “Skype out” and call someone not on Skype, but the rates are competitive with other phone providers. You can also use other devices such as a webcam to enhance your phone calls.
  • VLC:
    • VLC is a free media player, that handles, downloaded videos, music, as well as CD’s and DVD’s. Beyond that it can be used to stream music to other people. Very lightweight but powerful tool, and makes using media a breeze!
  • 7-Zip:
    • 7-Zip is a free program that allows for the compression and uncompression of files. While Windows has been including the ability to zip and unzip files, 7-Zip handles other compression methods such as Tar and Gz allowing a wider range of access to both compress your own files, as well as access files from sources that use compression other than zip.
  • Pidgin:
    • Pidgin, allows you to use multiple different chat accounts from one application. AIM, Yahoo, MSN, IRC, and many many more. Install also comes with an optional program that will provide spell check inside your chat window, very helpful for those tricky words!
  • Open Office:
    • Open Office is an alternative to Microsoft Office. With different products mirroring the major Microsoft products Open Office provides all of this functionality without any cost, perfect for those that either want an alternative, or just don’t want to shell out the money for Microsoft’s ever more expensive products. To increase integration, while they do they have their own native file formats, Open Office can open Microsoft formats as well.
  • GIMP:
    • GIMP is a free, open source alternative to Photoshop. While not quite as robust as the latest versions, it also doesn’t carve out large amounts of money. Great for personal use, or light photo editing.
  • Wordpress:
    • Last but certainly not least comes Wordpress. Wordpress is a blogging tool that is used as a framework for both simple blogs to sites accessed by millions every day. Geekjunk is run off it, as well as CNN to put it into perspective. Check it out and get started on your own blog today!

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