Get the Most From Your New Computer With These Free Software Programs

Remember how excited you were to buy a new computer? You can’t wait to get it home, and set it up. You check out all the programs that came with the computer, but there’s a problem. One by one, you find out that these programs are “free to try”. They usually come with a 30 day trial period. After that you have to pay a yearly fee to use the program. While others will have a one-time fee. The point is that these fees are not cheap.

Consumers purchase computers for various reasons. They all have tasks that they want to perform on their computer. Only to find that it’s going to cost hundreds of dollars more to perform these tasks. Well I’ve got good news for you. There are absolutely free software programs available that will do everything that the paid versions will do. If you know where to find them.

I’ll show you how I find free software. The first thing I do is head over to download.cnet.com. This is a well established and trusted web site. On the right column of the home page you’ll find the category, “Most Popular Downloads”. This list of downloads is a great place to start our search for free software.

As I’m writing this article the top 2 most popular downloads are anti-virus programs. This is a perfect example of the types of software that were looking for. Because as you set up your new computer you find that your anti-virus program is only a free trial. Here were looking at two free programs. Which one will we choose? This will require a little bit of homework.

Each software program that’s listed in the “Most Popular Downloads”, has a review page. You will find all the information that you need on the review page. At the top of the page, you can read CNET’S review. Next it will be the company’s review of their product. Finally, we want to read the reviews written by computer users who have installed (and used) the program on their computers.

These reviews are rated on a 5 star scale. Also the reviewers list the pro’s and con’s of the program. Based on the reviews, I don’t have to guess if this software is good or bad. They will give the product a thumbs up, or thumbs down. I also count how many stars they gave the product. This is why I trust this website.

But we are not done yet. We need some more information that’s located on the review page. Look for the heading “Quick Specs”. And look at the price. We want “free”, not “free to try”. Next look at the operating systems the program will work on. Make sure your operating system is on this list. Finally we can see how many people have already downloaded the program. This lends some credibility to the program.

After looking through the “Most Popular Download” list, I found a few of my favorites were missing. I always use “Open Office” for creating text documents. This is a complete office suite, that includes powerful applications for making text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, diagrams, and databases. This free software will save you hundreds of dollars. Use your favorite search engine to find Open Office.org.

Do you need personal finance software? “jGnash” is an open source personal finance manager. It will help you monitor and keep track of your accounts including investments. If you need personal, and small-business financial accounting software, try “GnuCash”. Just use your favorite search engine to find jGnash, or GnuCash. Using these free, alternative programs, will save you a lot of money.

Opensource and Free Software Misconception

The terms “open source” and “Free software” are well known among the computer users. Most of people use these terms interchangeably as many of today’s “open source” softwares are available free of cost.

For example, sourceforge.net which is world largest repository of “open source” community software with over 180,000 projects organized under a wide range of different categories. This site having served over a period of about a decade mentions that it offers free “open free source” software. Such mixed use of these terms make them appear one and the same thing at least to the lay man.

“Open source” software term is said by Eric Raymond and its definition is maintained by non-profit corporation named OSI or “open source initiative”. The OSI is also considered as the bastion of what is called “open source movement” in comparison to the free software movement these two movements complement each other in certain ways. Sourceforge.net provide standards if any one wants to release software under OSI approved license. These standards are simply a collection of recommended best practices that a software should have to be labeled as open source. any software license to be termed as open source,it must give complete access to source code,no discrimination against the people or industry to used. Any one can use the term open source as it is not trade mark. this means any company can release its software and term or suggest it as open source. It might allow software author to restrict distribution of modified source code under certain conditions.

Due to these conditions, open source is termed as a software development methodology in which free source code is central theme for review and community participation for improvement of the software. And this does not mean that software itself is free.

The freedom to run the program means the freedom for any kind of person or organization to use it on any kind of computer system, for any kind of overall job and purpose, without being required to communicate about it with the developer or any other specific entity. In this freedom, it is the user’s purpose that matters, not the developer’s purpose; users are free to run the program, and if author distribute it to someone else, then person is free to run it for his purposes, but author is not entitled to impose his purposes.

The freedom to redistribute copies must include binary or executable forms of the program, as well as source code, for both modified and unmodified versions. (Distributing programs in run able form is necessary for conveniently installable free operating systems.) It is OK if there is no way to produce a binary or executable form for a certain program (since some languages don’t support that feature), but you must have the freedom to redistribute such forms should you find or develop a way to make them.

Free software stand for respecting user’s freedom where open source stands to promote a better software development approach against the property, and open source appeals business decision makers as they would not like to go issues surrounding free software. On the other hand,free software has nothing to do with marketing tactics as it considers property software a social problem.

Planning to Download Free Software? First Learn How to Avoid Junk Program Installation?

The web is full of traps for beginners. While they try to download free software, by clicking on “Download” buttons, in reality they click on fake links that download bundle of toolbars and other junk software. This article will help you in learning how you can avoid downloading of junks into your system.

Usually, geeks know how to dodge the junk files while executing free software download. But novice users mostly don’t know this. In fact, many even don’t know that when they download free game or any other free software, they are also downloading many other junks, which can also be malicious. In the temptation of free games and software, people fall for these tricks.

Read below to enhance your knowledge in this regard so that you can avoid the installation of unwanted files in your system:

Fake Download Links

When you download free software, the first trap that you encounter is the fake download link. You must have seen brightly colored, large buttons flashing the words “Free Download” or “Download Now.”

These buttons are just advertisement banners and are mimicking of real download links. It is created intentionally to trick you into clicking those links and installing different unwanted software.

Next time, when you go for free software download beware of such fake download links. Now the question is how to identify fake links? Just hover the mouse cursor over the link and check where it leads.

For instance, you want to download Adobe Photoshop. You get to a page that gives you a Download button. Now, bring your mouse cursor over that button and check where it leads. If it is a fake link, then it will not take you to the Photoshop page rather it will lead you to a page like “googleadservices.com” that is clearly an advertising link.

Junk Selected By Default Installers

Free software comes with software installers. Even the legitimate installers carry numerous junk software and browser toolbars. The catch is that the developer distributes the software for free and he is making money by including this junk. If you download installers bundled with junks, then it might change your browser’s homepage or default search. Of course, you never want that to happen.

You can easily avoid the downloading of these browsers toolbars and junk. While you download the installer, you go through an agreement process, where you tick the checkboxes and accept the Terms and Conditions integrated with the software. In this page, by default, the check box admitting the downloading of these junk files remains checked. Invoice users just neglect that unknowingly and accept the condition that along with the primary software even the additional junk software will get downloaded. So, you must uncheck the checkbox that permits the downloading of additional software.

Uninstalling the Junk software

However, if you have forgotten to keep that box unchecked and as a result of that junk software got installed in your system, then you must uninstall them.

To delete the bad software, you need to hunt it down. For that head to the Control Panel and here check the list of installed programs. You will find many toolbars or programs that you never downloaded intentionally. These are all junk downloads. You need to install a junk removal tool and run that on those extra and unwanted free software.

You should also run an antivirus program installed on your PC. As many of these junks that came along during free software download are removable even by your antivirus program.

Conclusion

It is unfortunate, but it’s a fact that in the Windows software ecosystem, bundling of unwanted software with installers has got widely accepted. So, it is not going to get over very soon. That is why, you can’t have the careless attitude while you download free games or software. You have to be a bit alert and check whether you are downloading a fake link, or if you have unchecked the added software box, etc. Being careful is the only solution here.