Saving Money from 10 Free Softwares

I recently bought a black HP Pavillion desktop for around 30K INR. It came with a “Starter edition” of Microsoft Vista, and lot of pre-installed HP Junk. It is natural being a techie to start surfing for free software for replacing some of the junk that come with Windows and to save money from buying those expensive softwares. Here is a list of softwares that I daily use, some to increase my productivity, some to replace pre-installed softwares and some to save money instead of buying those expensive softwares :

1) K-Meleon Browser : No doubt Internet Explorer is junk and can be harmful in terms of unauthorized scripts or pop ups. So most people recommend Firefox. I love it, but with FF3, is extremely bloated and eats up huge amount of my RAM. I tries Opera and Safari but didn’t like anything. Then I found K-Meleon, which is based on Gecko layout engine. It comes with few useful extensions too. It is fast and have some unique features too. A simple example is switching proxies with one-click. I use different proxies for my home and office, and using K-Meleon, I can switch between them in just one click. Very useful for me. 

2) CClearner : A pretty neat system optimization software. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. I have used it without any side effects and it helps me keep Windows stable. CCleaner - Freeware Windows Optimization

3) Launchy : Launchy is a free windows utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager. A very handy tool, just press Alt-Space and it pops up, type whatever application you want to open say “word” or “vim”, it even shows various options. No need to go through “Start –> Programs” etc. Very productive and time saving and best mouse-free.

4) GNU Image Manipulation : GIMP is a free image manipulation software. It is extremely rich in features and can be very handy for amateurs as well as professionals for imagine retouching or any manipulations of image. It can be used for fun as well as for business purposes. Lot of people feel that it is very clumsy to use, but once you get hang of it, you will love it. You can do extreme makeover using GIMP, as the following example illustrates :

It surely is a replacement for Adobe Photoshop.

5) VLC Media Player : It can replace the default Media Player on Windows and is very versatile. It can almost play everything. It can play various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

6) Outlook Attachment Remover : If you are stuck with Outlook as I am (although ThunderBird is considered as it’s replacement, for me it botches some of my emails), this free outlook attachment remover is extremely handy, especially if you get lot of attachments in your emails. This became very helpful for my office system too, since it extracts emails from outlook and keeps it in a pre-specified folder and still keeps the link intact in the email. Very very handy.

7) AVG Antivirus : Instead of spending money for Norton/Symantec Antivirus, the same kind of protection can be obtained by installing the free anti-virus software AVG. It provides a really good protection and doen’t consume huge amount of your resources. With Norton, I always had problems that the system runs slower. AVG is super cool and it keeps updating the virus definitions.

8) Office : The worst part of Windows, is that it comes with lot of unnecessary pre-installed products like IE, but it does not come pre-installed with Microsoft Office. You need to pay extra money to get the Office installed. This is where OpenOffice comes into picture. It is as close replacement to MS Office as it can be.

9) PDF Creator : It is a very handy tool, if you frequently write documents and want to share it with everyone. PDF obviously looks better than word documents. Just install the PDF creator and “print” any document to convert it to PDF. Simple!!

10) GNU Cash : If you want to have a software for managing your personal finance or a small business, then don’t go spending those $$ for buying any software. GNU Cash is extremely good and it is free. It uses a double-entry system, which might be confusing at first, but the tutorials are very nice. It will take you just few minutes to install and start going. It will take some time to look into specific features your need, but almost all that is needed is present. I will be doing a full review of the product later in some other post.

1 comment:

  1. You may wanna try these alternatives to the software you listed

    Launchy --> SlickRun
    VLC Media Player --> KMPlayer (I find this much much better than VLC)