Cool freebie programs...

I was watching an episode of The Screensavers on G4 this weekend that was about Free and Cheap Programs.

I just downloaded SphereXP (which I think is for XP only) and it’s soooooo cool. It changes the desktop to one big sphere with you in the center and you can place your screens anywhere on the sphere.

What else is fun out there?

I have to say, I wasn’t impressed by the sphere. I liked the concept, but I installed it, and immediatley could not stand it.

My latest cool little download is actually from Microsoft. It’s called TweakUI, and it allows you to, among other things, set your computer to use sloppy focus, so a window is highlighted whenever you put your mouse over it. No clicking means more productivity.

Just installed spereXP, and must have the settings set wrong. It just broke up the letters of desktop items, doesn’t look 3-D and is giving me a headache. If you can think of anything to try, do let me know.

One freewar program I use a lot is Audacity - Audio capture, editing, mixing etc - very good and incredibly useful when we ran a community radio station.

I tend to avoid screensavers because a) they are largely unnecessary nowadays b) They are very often contributory to system crashes and instability and c) they very often include spyware or trojans.

My list of free programs I can’t live without:
[li]cdex - for CD-ripping and encoding to mp3 and other compressed audio formats[/li][li]Mozilla Firefox - If you hate IE, then you have to get this free browser.[/li][li]FreeRam XP Pro - Not really needed with an XP system, but if you run Win98, it’s a must have for better memory management[/li][li]The Gimp - For a free, high powered graphics editor that is on par with Photoshop, this can’t be beat.[/li][li]IrfanView - Simply the best freeware image viewer out there. It also can play Macromedia flash files with the appropriate plugin.[/li][li]OpenOffice - I can’t believe they are giving away this for free. An incredible replacement for MS Office[/li][li]rjhExtensions - A free utility that provides enhancements to your Windows machine, including utilities for renaming multiple files, printing directories straight from Explorer, and even a file shredder.[/li][li]SaverStarter - Gives you full control over your windows screen saver by simply placing the mouse on a hotspot on your screen.[/li][li]TMPGEnc - A great little utility for converting avi to mpg [/li][/ul] You can find the downloads for all of these by doing a simple Google search.

I’ll second the Mozilla Firefox browser. I can’t believe I put up with IE’s crap for so many years. :smack:

I just installed the ‘Adblock’ extension that gets tough with annoying ads (even tougher than the browser itself believe it or not).

I third Mozilla Firefox, and second IrfanView.
(Yes, most things can be found via a simple Google search, but it only takes a minute to add the URLs. :slight_smile: )

Hold down your middle mouse button and move things around.

Sphere is a neat little gimmick, but not terribly useful. I uninstalled it after messing around with it for a few minutes.

Firefox is awesome. I dig it.

And I’m downloading Openoffice now. I’ll comment on it when I get home this afternoon.

Is Firefox better than Opera? Does it have mouse gestures (my single favorite element of Opera)?

Yes, by extension. There is also an AdBlock Extension available, though I have not tried either.

Freeware that I can’t do without:
Exact Audio Copy, the standard in deadly accurate digital extraction from CDs.
dBPowerAmp, for converting audio files to and from different formats. Use with the LAME codec for mp3 conversion.
Monkey’s Audio, for one format of lossless audio compression (Windows only at present)
FLAC, Free Lossless Audio Compression (same result, different format, cross-platform.)
TMPGEnc, .avi > .mpeg converter
PowerGrab and PowerPost yEnc, for downloading and uploading binaries

and the following utilities:

Ad-Aware, for spam blocking and spyware detection/elimination.
and several utilities from Karenware. I have a cookie viewer and a directory printer.

Thanks for the cool suggestions, everyone. I’m going to look into them tonight!

Another Mozilla user here (regular Mozilla though, not Firefox). Either one puts Internet Exploder to shame.

Spybots is another good spyware removal utility.
puTTY is a great freeware ssh client
UltraVNC is sort of a freeware version of pcAnywhere has some other good utilities.

One of the finest astronomy programs out there also happens to be free! I spend hours just setting up cool flybys, eclipses, adding new planets and stars…

I pretty much only use Free software.
In fact I do not have a single program on any of my computers that I have paid for (other than voluntary).

Linux I wouldn’t have the job I do today without it.
Mozilla Firefox it’s the best thing to happen in the browser world in a long time.
Vim the editor that I spend most of my day working in.

Objectdock gives you a little bar on the bottom of the screen kind of like the thing they have on Macs. You can put all your program icons on it. Very useful.

How is this any more useful that just putting them on the desktop?

Oh, and stpauler, I can’t acces that article. I even registered, but when I click on the link it just takes me to the same page, with the link to the article, but no article! What gives?

You can access the bar without having to minimize all your windows. Also, I like my desktop to be as iconless as possible. It looks cleaner.

God, this rocks. How did I miss it up to now?

It wasn’t much of an article, more of a collection of links at the bottom (and I don’t recall even registered for it.) But here’s a direct link for SphereXP


It displays a calendar and to do list on your desktop. I find it a very useful little program.