2014


o s
nearlyFreeSoftware for Android
nearlyFreeSoftware for Win8
nearlyFreeSoftware for WinXP
help for Vista

w i n d o w s7
introduction
free programs
procedures

h o m ep a g e s
computing for nothing?
recommended sites
prognostications
contact me
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.
s o u r c e
I don't normally keep copies of programs on this site - instead there are links to the download pages of the copyright owners. This means you always download an up-to-date version of the program. While I don't have any use for continual updating (change = trouble) it seems reasonable to start a new install with an up-to-date version.

The exception to this rule is if I can't find the original author's site.


W I N D O W S7


u p d a t e2 0 1 4 :
Here we are, well into 2014 and WindowsXP is still 30% of the installed PC population. Well, it is if you don't count Android-based computers as PCs. In fact Windows (all versions) is only now 58% of installed Operating Systems with Android (a Linux variant) catching so fast it is likely to overtake in 2014 or 2015.

MS have just stopped unpaid support for WinXP and at long last I'm going to do the same. Personally I've replaced it with a combination of Android, Win7 and Win8. Not very efficient but the Android was free and Win8 was cheap enough that I gambled I could make it work.

So no more WinXP updates. Look instead to Win7 and Android.

F r e ep r o g r a m sf o rW i n d o w s 7 ?
Nothing in this life is free. But most things can cost less if you look in the right places.

Programs
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.

Procedures
Windows of any sort is a right royal pain to use before its been configured to suit the user. I've included my setups to give an idea of what is possible and how to do it. Time spent setting Windows up to suit yourself is repaid a hundredfold.

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 (except perhaps the occasional nag - which I find acceptable).

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: 1st May 2014
Site & Contents Copyright 2001-2014 Gerry Parnham BSc - All Rights Reserved


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