How to do Useful Stuff on a Computer without Spending Any Money
You must have a firewall program. A firewall monitors all Internet traffic both coming in to and going out of your computer.
· Zone Alarm. Keep the bad guys out of your computer.
· More firewalls at PC World
You must have a spyware removal program. Run it once a week to check for and remove spyware.
· ShieldsUp! Check to see how secure your computer really is.
· Drivers. Check at Driver Agent (for free) to see if you have any out-of-date drivers. But you’ll have to pay to get them downloaded automatically.
· Matador: a commercial spam-removal tool: http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20021121.html
· Download and install multiple free apps in one step: http://www.freenew.net/
· Word processor that does everything Word does, even creates PDF files (something Word 2003 doesn't do, but Word 2007 will do if you download an add-on from Microsoft).
· Spreadsheet that does everything Excel does
· PowerPoint-compatible presentation program
· Word processor: AbiWord
· Online office suite: ThinkFree
· Online word processors: AjaxWrite
· Office Accounting Express from Microsoft.
There are better browsers than MS Internet Explorer.
FireFox add-ons. Add functions to FireFox.
· Picasa. A photo organizer from Google
· Apple iTunes. Download music (99 cents) and videos, rip songs, burn CDs, organize your music
· Audacity. A sound recorder and editor
· BonkEnc. Translates audio files from one format to another.
· Mega MP3 Splitter. If your MP3 files are too big to email, you can split them with this tool.
· Findsounds.com: Free sounds
· Orb. "MyCasting"
· Juice. Free podcast receiver.
· Online sharing: YouTube.
· MovieMaker. A video editor from Microsoft
· Photo Story. This makes PowerPoint slide shows look like the work of amateurs!
· Producer. Turns PowerPoint presentations into movies
· Quintessential Player. Multimedia viewer.
· Windows Media Player. Multimedia viewer.
· Codecs are programs that allow you to view video (and hear audio). Here is a collection of them.
· Omniformat. Graphics utility.
· Hulu Desktop—Hulu is the go-to site for on-demand television.
· Boxee—Boxee can pull a lot of multimedia content into one place.
· Cooliris—Find shows and movies from across the Web.
· Livestation—Livestation lets you watch live TV from other countries.
· Miro—It will play nearly any file type. And you can find and download new shows right from the program. You can also subscribe to online content for easy viewing.
· HandBrake—HandBrake will help you rip personal DVDs and convert video files.
· Yahoo! People Search—You find listed phone numbers and addresses. If you already have a phone number, you can do a reverse lookup. You can even search for e-mail addresses using a first and last name.
· PeekYou—Here you can search social networking sites all at once. You'll also get results from blogs, news stories and Wikipedia.
· CVgadget—It'll search Google for images, video, documents, blogs and more. It will also search most popular social-networking sites.
· Pipl—This site claims to be the most comprehensive people search available.
· Radaris—This finds accurate results from Google and Facebook.
· Project Gutenberg. Project to put thousands of books online.
Google labs. More cool stuff!
· Darwin Awards. Stupid dead people.
· Scrappleface. Political humor.
· Copyright issues: Fair use: http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/IntellectualProperty/faculty.htm ,
· Freeware: http://www.moochers.com/whatsnew.html
· Shareware: http://shareware.cnet.com/
· Copyright law currently before Congress: http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/report-200206.html
· Home Network Security. Security info from CERT.
· The Ten Immutable Laws of Security. How your machine can be made vulnerable.