nearlyFreeSoftware for 7
help for Vista

t h i ss i t e
home (7)
free programs
procedures
do you need Windows?
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n e a r l y F r e e S o f t w a r e ?
nearlyFreeSoftware is a list of free programs that I use and recommend.

This list may not include the very latest because I won't change until I see a clear advantage. However all the programs I recommend will work quickly and well.

My main computer is a tool which serves me. I don't fiddle with it for fun because changes to programs and operating systems often brings trouble. For example, I've been using the same anti-virus software for five years.
w i n d o w s 7
The new Windows7 part of this site is identical to the original XP site, except where there are differences - er... Let me try that again.

The list of recommended programs is very similar, where a program will work under 7, I continue to use it. The list of procedures differs considerably.

update: I've now used Windows7 on my home computer for the last 12 months but not at work. This is because one of my 'mission-critical' programs refuses to save under Win7. Anyone remember MS Word2?
d o n a t i o n s
My hope is that everyone who reads this site saves some money and gets a more reliable computer from the advice on it.

If you feel this site is worthwhile a donation will help cover some of the expenses.

Email and Paypal information is available in the 'contact me' link above.
u p d a t e s
I update this site on a regular basis, so what's here reflects my current kit.

If you find a broken link or a piece of freeware that no longer performs as I describe, please let me know. I'll sort it out. Mail me by clicking on the 'contact me' link at top left of this page.


I N T R O D U C T I O N
F r e ep r o g r a m sf o rW i n d o w s X P ?
Nothing in this life is free. But most things can cost less if you look in the right places.

This is a list of programs which you can use on your computer and which will cost nothing. Well, nearly nothing. By the time you've paid for your computer and web access they're not free. But they certainly won't cost a lot.

T o og o o dt ob et r u e ?
Free software for pretty much any purpose. All you need to know is where to download it.

Surely it isn't as good as the software you pay hundreds of pounds for? Well in many instances it isn't - its better. The reason for this is that free software tends to be simple and easy to use. In addition, smaller programs run faster and are more reliable.

Expensive programs are filled with complexities and features that are never used. These features complicate the user interface until even professional users (like me) despair of finding the function they need. Microsoft Word is a good example of this. Despite the fact that I had twenty years of professional experience using Word it took me 40 minutes to find out how to save a file after installing an updated version. You can live without that sort of thing.

The problem here is in the marketing department. To justify the increasing price tag software companies load in more features and their products become ever more complex and difficult to use.

S n a g s ?
Well, yes there can be. There're lots of so-called free programs on the internet which aren't. In increasing order of nastiness there are:

Ripoffware
Program's whose site declares "FREE DOWNLOAD". You download them and they work for a few days, then they stop working and demand money before they'll resume.
Adware
'Free' programs which badger you with advertising.
Nagware
'Free' programs which pester you to buy the Pro version of the program.
Malware
When you install these programs they put popups all over your screen and won't let you uninstall. These programs may also install other, nastier payloads.
Spyware
These programs hide a function which records your keypresses (passwords etc) and sends them to some remote computer.

None of the free programs I recommend will do any of this.

W h yw o u l da n y o n eg i v ea w a yp r o g r a m s ?
There are a number of reasons. Typically there are two sources of freeware, an individual programmer or a corporation.

For example an individual might put something up for free download in gratitude for all the freeware they have downloaded. I do this myself.

A corporation may give away 'Lite' versions of their paid software to get market penetration. This happens if they want to compete against well-established programs such as Word and Excel.

A third reason is that some people who produce the software believe that software should be free and write it that way. And no, I don't know how they make enough money to live.

W h a tc a ny o ug e t ?
Anything.

I've yet to fail to find what I need as a good free program. In fact with some programs, such as the codecs needed to play movies, new versions are created frequently. These up to date versions are only available as free downloads.
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Last update: 28th June 2012
Site & Contents Copyright 2001-2012 Gerry Parnham BSc - All Rights Reserved


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the bullshit
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