Could All Apps be Free?
by Bill Aulepp
Member - Phoenix PC Users Group
Web Tour this month
encompasses a project I have thought about
for some time.
Could you have a computer
with all of the applications being free?
Well here they are.
One caveat is that while the apps are free,
they are sometimes littered
with additional sponsored applications.
For example, you will encounter boxes
with check marks in them
while you are downloading.
At first you might think
this is part of the application you want.
Read carefully what that checked box includes.
My rule of thumb is to almost always
left-click all the check boxes,
and clear the check mark.
That keeps programs I do not want
from being downloaded.
Another caveat is that you should carefully read
and search for the download you want.
Many apps have a free version
and several for-pay versions on the same page.
The objective is to get you
to mistakenly download the for-pay application
and then hope you decide to keep it.
When you get to a page that has
all these unwanted downloads,
think of it as a treasure hunt.
Somewhere on the site,
sometimes in very small print,
you will find the free application you want.
Go for it. It's worth it.
One other point of order.
This list is comprised of my favorite apps.
I know there are many other versions and types,
but I picked these because they all work for me,
and they work on
This is probably the best known of the freebie
apps. It has most of the Office Suite programs
such as word processing, a spreadsheet
and so on.
PDF Creator is a virtual printer,
so it's automatically integrated
and ready for use in all of your favorite
Just think of it as another printer.
The universal standard, free from Adobe
Advanced System Care
I have tried many system cleaners.
I even bought two of them,
but I prefer this one,
and use it at least once a week.
You will be amazed
at the crap your computer collects.
It has a one-click approach
to help protect, repair, clean,
and optimize your PC.
Download the latest driver updates for free for
Windows Vista, or
Driver Max lists all of your current drivers
in a separate folder.
The free version allows only
two driver downloads per day.
Vista and Win 7, however,
are good at keeping your drivers up to date,
so that is not a burden.
Security - Antivirus and Firewall
It's effective, works in the background,
and is unobtrusive.
Probably only required for XP.
Vista and Win 7 have built-in firewalls.
This multi-platform media player
supports most audio and video formats.
Easily competes with the expensive programs.
A complete account of what is in your computer.
A must, as many downloads
are in the compressed form.
Handles most compressed formats.
CamStudio is able to record all screen video
and audio activity on your computer.
create demo videos for any software
create videos answering your FAQ
create video tutorials for school classes
record problems to show tech support
create video products you can sell
A free open source program
to copy and record to discs.
This is a good start,
and there are many more
free programs out there.
We will cover some of them
in future issues.