The Freedom PC
by Bill Aulepp
Publisher - Phoenix PC Users Group
Last month we did not have a Web Tour as our new editor Michael Bishop and I were busy working out the transfer protocol we would use to divide the work we do on the Newsletter.
Michael now has full responsibility for the content
of the Newsletter and I will continue to format, print,
and mail it as I have been doing for the last couple of
I will also continue to do a Web Tour article when I have
material that merits printing, but probably not every
Today we list the programs on my PC as an example of
A Freedom PC
using the free applications we have covered
in previous web tours.
Many commercial applications set the standard, but if you
do not have a business to subsidize the cost, these free
applications are reliable and sometimes even better.
So here is my Freedom PC from A to Z.
If you use other applications and they work for you,
stay with them.
If you are a beginner setting up a new PC,
this list is a good starting point.
If you are a pro, hopefully this list will introduce you
to some new programs.
Gateway to the Internet
Microsoft includes their Internet Explorer
browser as part of their operating system;
however, I prefer to use Mozilla's Firefox.
Of course you will have to use Internet Explorer
to begin your downloading process
so you can obtain Firefox.
Get the latest security and stability release
Keep the Doors and Windows Locked
The next step after a browser is to secure your PC from
intruders. Believe me, the bad people are out there just
waiting to get in. Protect your PC against the latest viruses and spyware
When I used XP, I used ZoneAlarm as a firewall
Get the latest security and stability release
With Win7, and probably Vista, the included firewall appears to work well
Avast Home Edition
I know this isn't the best known antivirus
but for me it works best
Throw Out the Trash and
Put Everything in its Proper Place
We now have a $c Gateway to the Internet $n and we have secured our PC from most intruders.
Even with this security, nasty things happen to your PC along the way.
The first thing I do each day when I boot up my PC is to run Advanced System Care.
Advanced System Care
I have tried many system cleaners. I even bought two of
them, but I prefer this one, and use it daily. You will be
amazed at the trash your computer accumulates. It has a
one-click approach to help protect, repair, clean, and optimize your PC.
Tools of the Trade
PDF Reader - Search Tool - Zip Tool - Text Editor
There are some must-have tools,
and these are my favorites
The universal standard, free from Adobe
A search engine that uses the other search engines for a
7-Zip Compression Tool
7-Zip is fast, efficient, and free
Notepad Plus Plus
Lightweight, fast, and full featured,
boasts an impressive collection of plugins
Open a Home Office
This complete all-in-one office suite contains all that is
needed for a productive day in the home office, featuring
word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics,
databases, and more
You Want to Share with Your Friends, Don't You?
Does it all when it comes to burning discs
A powerful tool for grabbing, burning and mastering CD,
DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD media.
StarBurn supports all types of optical storage media.
Learn the Magic of Image Manipulation
Paint Net Photo Program
Easily competes with the expensive programs,
and it is free
Media Player - Play It Again Sam
From Moovies to Your Own Masterpieces
VLC Media Player
This is a highly portable multimedia player
for various audio and video formats
(MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...)
as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming
PC TV - Enjoy TV Video
It's All Out There - Just Grab It
Streaming TV Programs
Warning - will not work well on slower PCs
Special Situation Programs
Belarc does an "audit" of your PC's hardware, software,
installation key codes (for example MS Office, Windows XP and Vista). Save and print these out as you add and remove programs, devices, etc. Even finds your motherboard's manufacturer and serial number. Very helpful when you call tech support.
Powerful audio recorder, editor, amplifier, noise reduction.
Great for recording support calls,
doing audio note taking, music editing, etc.
Access and back up your home or work computer from
anywhere with an Internet connection
If you have ever lost the manual that came with one of
your consumer electronic items, this is the place to find it.
Try it out now! This site also gives street prices for the
Download the latest driver updates for free. This applies to Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP. 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 if your OS misses an update.
Driver Max will come to the rescue.
From this site you can find many, many free download applications.
The Web Site describes itself as follows:
is a small, yet powerful, software management
tool to help you keep track of the most popular freeware
and open source applications.
It is provided to you absolutely free.
Comodo Free Products
An assortment of free products featured in the August
2009 Web Tour