My Favorite Free Software

 

Images & Photos

Image Editing: Paint.NET
Iíve used over a dozen programs and this is the best. Its open source so dozens if not hundreds of add-ons are available to make it do whatever you might want. It also is fairly easy to use.
http://www.getpaint.net/index.html

Image Batch Converter: FastStone Photo Resizer
This program can convert, rename or resize hundreds of pictures per minute. It will even copy and duplicate folder structure.
http://www.faststone.org/FSResizerDetail.htm

 

Sound

Sound Editing: Audacity
Audacity does a great job and is fairly easy to use. It also is open source and many add-ons are available as well.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Audio Format Converter: Zilla Audio Converter
Iíve used this program to convert .AVI movie file sounds to .MP3 sound files which can then be edited in Audacity.
http://www.zillasoft.ws/

 

Firewall & Spyware Protection

Antivirus: Avast!
This program does a great job and has kept my home PCs healthy for years.
http://www.avast.com/ 

Spyware/Virus Killer: Spybot Search and Destroy
My favorite feature of Spybot is its startup tool that lets you delete or turn off malicious or unnecessary programs that run every time you start your PC.
http://www.spybot.com/en/download/index.html

Spyware/Virus Killer: Ad-Aware
Perhaps the best up-to-date free virrus and spyware scanner

http://www.lavasoft.com/single/trialpay.php

 

Movies & Videos

Movie Editing: Windows Movie Maker
OK, this one isnít free but it does come with Windows. Iíve used many video editing programs and I donít think Iíve found a program that does as good a job at compressing movies with sharp images at reasonable file sizes (and in a reasonable amount of time). It also is very intuitive to use, is reliable, uses regular Windows Explorer type file management and is fairly compatible. Itís drawbacks are that it does not have reverse, green-screen and does not recognize some movie file types such as QuickTime and .VOB (DVD).  I am listing it here because I have not seen a better free movie editing program (or a moderately priced one either)

QuickTime Player: QuickTime Alternative - Media Player Classic
Because QuickTime is so invasive and is such a resource hog on PCs, I avoid installing it.
http://www.free-codecs.com/download/quicktime_alternative.htm

QuickTime Converter: The Rad Video Tools
Converts QuickTime to Windows Movie Maker compatible files (and many other things).
http://www.radgametools.com/bnkdown.htm

 

Macros

Macro Scripts: AutoHotKey
This program is very small, reliable and powerful, but the directions are poorly written. Once you figure it out it is not terribly difficult to use.
http://www.autohotkey.com/

 

Google Earth

Google Earth

This is possibly the coolest free program ever!
http://earth.google.com/

 

 

 

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