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Author Topic: The Freeware Sharing Thread  (Read 9479 times)

Offline MJB

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The Freeware Sharing Thread
« on: December 23, 2008, 06:39:33 AM »
Original post by Zuludelta.

Here's a thread for sharing freeware (free applications). If you know of a free program you think other people might find useful, feel free (he he) to post details and download links here.

THREE IMPORTANT RULES FOR THIS THREAD:

- In accordance with the forum rules, post only links to legal freeware. No links to warez/pirated software or freeware hosted on unauthorized sites.

- only post links to freeware that you are sure is safe. Do not link to free programs that install malware (viruses, rootkits, spyware, etc.). If you're not certain whether a program is malware-free, better to err on the side of caution and not recommend it here. 

- no spamming/advertising.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 08:20:47 AM by MJB »

Offline zuludelta

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 11:37:51 PM »
Hey, the thread was migrated to the new board!

After doing some hard drive winter cleaning, I'm going on record in withdrawing my earlier recommendation for Mozilla's Firefox browser. The current iteration of Firefox has fallen victim to code-bloat (Firefox 3, with a couple of minor browsing add-ons, was taking up 25 Mb on my drive), making it as bad a resource hog as Internet Explorer. I did a casual side-by-side comparison of Firefox 3 and the latest IE7 and found IE7 worked marginally faster when it came to accessing certain graphics-intensive sites, although both were unsatisfactory in terms of their digital footprint (and IE is always more prone to security compromises, as per usual).

Anyways, I've since migrated to Opera (the same browser I use on my portable Linux installation and one of the first non-Netscape/IE browsers I used on Windows), although the bookmark migration process was a bit of a pain (Opera doesn't provide an automated way to migrate nested folder bookmarks from Firefox 3). It doesn't have as large an installed user base as Firefox, much less IE (and thus, will probably be less likely to be supported by some non W3-compliant sites), but it offers all the necessary features for modern content-rich surfing at about a quarter of Firefox's size. 
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Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 09:18:53 PM »
   Hope it's alright if I post this here, but does anyone know of a good image converter that I can use to switch my tga files to dds files? Thanks.
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Offline Previsionary

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 09:23:58 PM »
dds converter and XNView both do that.
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Offline zuludelta

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 09:34:24 PM »
EDIT: ninja'ed by Prev!

Alternatively, you can use the DDS-Import/Export plug-in for Photoshop (assuming you have Photoshop installed) on this page, especially if you want a "lossless" conversion to .dds format.

If you're trying to convert a large number of files to .dds format, try using NConvert (found on this page). It's a batch-conversion utility written by the same guys who made XNView. 
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Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009, 11:02:44 PM »
   Very cool, thanks. I'll give these a try.
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Offline zuludelta

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2009, 10:54:54 PM »
Here's something for the most security-conscious of users:

Eraser - been using this program for a while now but reading it mentioned on Steven Grant's weekly comics column put me in mind to mention it here. Every IT guy knows that a deleted file isn't really "deleted," it just sits in an unused portion of the hard drive waiting to be overwritten by new data, and it's only then that the file becomes unrecoverable (in a nutshell, that's how your PC's OS is able to do system restore operations and recover deleted files, and how file recovery guys salvage lost files). Eraser ensures the total deletion and unrecoverability of a file by overwriting it 35 times with random data patterns. It's probably the best freeware security solution for ensuring that nobody will ever see all those incriminating photos of you at last year's office Christmas party (short of killing all the witnesses and physically destroying your hard drive, of course). Alternatively, it's also a great way to get rid of worms that like to hide in your Windows System Restore partition or to ensure that the old PC you donated to your local charity doesn't retain any sensitive data like corporate documents (I bet Madoff wishes he'd heard of it), passwords & bank PIN numbers.

How effective is it? Well, it's so effective that allegedly the CIA and the NSA use it to "sanitize" their Windows-based computers. Oh, and the source code is also freely available for download at the developer's site.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 11:04:31 PM by zuludelta »
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Offline zuludelta

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 01:00:07 AM »
BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) - What BOINC basically does is allow you to volunteer your computer for processor-intensive computational tasks. When your computer is idle (like say, when left alone while downloading a large file or doing some onerous task like encoding audio/video), BOINC kicks in and "borrows" some of your CPU's processing power. If your computer has a CUDA-enabled NVIDIA video card (GeForce 8100 and above), BOINC can use your GPU as well. Newer versions of BOINC also come with a neat screensaver, so you can pretend your computer room is some sort of high-tech mad scientist laboratory.

Of course, you get to choose when BOINC kicks in (anywhere from after 0 minutes of idle processor time, to 15 minutes, to 60 minutes, to a purely user-determined contingency), and you get to choose which research projects to donate your computer's processing power to. I donate my idle CPU/GPU cycles to the University of Washington's Baker Laboratory, which does basic research into protein structures, knowledge that can be applied to develop treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's Disease as well as infectious illnesses and cancer. Other BOINC-affiliated projects and institutions include the Swiss Tropical Institute (they do transmission simulations and outbreak predictions for malaria), The World Community Grid (an IBM-headed non-profit project which uses networked computers to provide bulk processing power to AIDS/HIV researchers, dengue fever epidemiologists, muscular dystrophy research, and cancer research) and the granddaddy of distibuted computing projects, SETI@Home (The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence basically uses volunteers' computers to search for faint radio signals in different regions of space).     

It's a great alternative for those who can't afford to do traditional volunteer work (either due to time, financial or physical constraints).
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 01:03:07 AM by zuludelta »
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Offline zuludelta

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2009, 03:19:51 AM »
Just noticed that the link to the original thread in MJB's initial post isn't working. Here's a working link:
http://freedomreborn.net/archive/index.php?topic=45830.0

And now, to pimp some more free stuff:

WhoLockMe Windows Explorer Extension v2.0: A nifty little (only 23 Kb) tool that can prove to be a timesaver in the right situation. WhoLockMe adds a new "WhoLockMe?" option to the Windows Explorer context menu (the menu that shows up when you right-click on a file or folder icon in Windows). Clicking on this option generates a small program window that shows which programs/processes are currently accessing the file and gives you the option to immediately "kill" the process, thus unlocking the file and making it available for deletion.

Anybody who's ever tried to delete a file or folder only to be met with Windows' annoying little beep sound and the frustratingly vague "Make sure that the file is not currently in use" error message and spent precious minutes looking for the hidden process using the aforementioned file or folder will appreciate this tool.       

Tested for Windows 2000 and Windows XP only, although it might work on Vista (don't hold me to that, though).
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Offline MJB

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2009, 08:21:59 AM »
I didn't have a link to the original post so thanks for pointing that out. Fix'd. :)

Does anyone have a good free anti-virus program they would recommend?

-MJB

Offline zuludelta

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2009, 11:49:25 PM »
Does anyone have a good free anti-virus program they would recommend?

I always install Avira Antivir as the default anti-virus program on the PCs I help assemble (and I use it myself as well). Don't confuse it with the more popular but much less reliable AVG Antivirus (I've heard many people, even PC hobbysists, confuse the two). It's stable, comes in three languages (English, French, and German), has a pretty idiot-proof user interface and update routine, and there's a lot of community support for it (most of the forums devoted to the program are in German, though, but Google Translate can probably help, even when it does produce mangled translations). It also detects malicious HTML code embedded on webpages that you visit (a feature you have to pay for with most other free antivirus programs). I haven't had an infection take a hold of my system in the 5 years I've been using Antivir (although using a good firewall and being security-conscious 24/7 probably has also helped).
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Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2009, 12:31:01 AM »
Ive always used the free version of Avast
http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html

Offline catwhowalksbyhimself

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2009, 01:15:04 AM »
I always use AVG free edition.  It gets consistently high rating by the computer magazines, or at least did.  It's always worked well for me.
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Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2009, 01:13:54 AM »
   Does anyone know a of a decent freebie program that has a database like Microsoft Access? I have an assignment coming up that Access is required for, but I don't have the program. Thanks.
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Offline zuludelta

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2009, 01:37:48 AM »
Try OpenOffice. I switched to it from MS Office about 8 years ago and haven't looked back since. OpenOffice has a database module called OpenOffice.org Base that offers most of the basic Access functions in a similar interface (at last check, I think the developers said it could do about 80% of everything Access can do), although of all the OpenOffice modules (Writer, Calc, Impress, etc.), I hear it's the one that's most behind in development (but hey, it's absolutely free).
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 01:43:02 AM by zuludelta »
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Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2009, 01:45:25 AM »
   Much appreciated zuludelta, I'll give that a try.
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Offline herodad1

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2009, 07:53:30 PM »
i have ALOT of trouble sending skins/meshes to others that ask for them.what safe,free, and easy to use method of sending files can i use?

Offline zuludelta

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2009, 06:02:05 AM »
i have ALOT of trouble sending skins/meshes to others that ask for them.what safe,free, and easy to use method of sending files can i use?

Whenever I have to send a large file and can't be bothered to upload via FTP, I send it using Sharebee. Sharebee simultaneously uploads the file to other file-hosting services (which include zShare, Rapidshare, and Megaupload). Sharebee will then provide you with the download links to those file hosting sites (a 100 MB file usually takes anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes to upload on a DSL or cable modem connection).

File size is limited to 150 MB, although you can send larger files by splitting them with HJSplit, a free and useful tool for splitting large files into smaller segments and re-joining them (your recipient will obviously need to have HJSplit installed on their PC in order to re-assemble the segmented file).   

Just one note of warning: some of the file-hosting sites that Sharebee uploads to are notorious for pop-up and pop-under ads (a small price to pay for the free service, IMHO), but in my experience, they are free from malicious HTML or third-party cookie installers.

EDIT: I forgot to mention SendSpace, a file-hosting and sharing site that has gotten good reviews and offers twice the file storage capacity of Sharebee's affiliates.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 01:12:55 AM by zuludelta »
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Offline DrMike2000

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2009, 07:02:01 AM »
Synergy is an awesome free Open Source program for anyone running multiple computers.

It allows you to treat two or more PCs as part of the same virtual desktop, controlled by the same mouse and keyboard. You can even copy and paste text between the two.

I ran into it over a year ago and modified it a bit to be able to broadcast keystrokes to multiple computers, so it can be used to dual-box City of Heroes.

Its available on my ever-lovin' website: www.fundamentzero.com
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Offline thalaw2

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2009, 12:58:15 PM »
check out www.portableapps.com to get your portable applications use on.  You can put these apps on a thumb drive and you're good to go on any PC.
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Offline Epimethee

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2009, 12:34:42 PM »
i have ALOT of trouble sending skins/meshes to others that ask for them.what safe,free, and easy to use method of sending files can i use?
www.drop.io is a great site. Simple, no aggressive advertising, etc. It even has a specific Firefox extension available. Highly recommended.
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Offline Gremlin

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2009, 08:37:31 PM »
Hey, is there a good program (or even Excel spreadsheet) that lets you do hourly breakdowns of all the days in a week? You know, a weekly planner dealie?

Offline Midnight

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2009, 02:36:18 PM »
Hey, is there a good program (or even Excel spreadsheet) that lets you do hourly breakdowns of all the days in a week? You know, a weekly planner dealie?

Google Calendar has a good "Agenda" mode. I think Sunbird does too.

Offline Kommando

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2009, 05:23:49 PM »
Foobar 2000 is a nice alternative to WinAmp.  Its just has basic functionality and does not use a lot of resources.  You can find a special edition that comes with equalizer presets (I just downloaded the equalizer presets) here.

For video I use VLC and Media Player Classic.  For codecs I was using CCCP, but recently changed to the K-lite Codec pack.

Offline AdamTheNerd

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2009, 12:52:39 AM »
Here's something for the most security-conscious of users:

Eraser - been using this program for a while now but reading it mentioned on Steven Grant's weekly comics column put me in mind to mention it here. Every IT guy knows that a deleted file isn't really "deleted," it just sits in an unused portion of the hard drive waiting to be overwritten by new data, and it's only then that the file becomes unrecoverable (in a nutshell, that's how your PC's OS is able to do system restore operations and recover deleted files, and how file recovery guys salvage lost files). Eraser ensures the total deletion and unrecoverability of a file by overwriting it 35 times with random data patterns. It's probably the best freeware security solution for ensuring that nobody will ever see all those incriminating photos of you at last year's office Christmas party (short of killing all the witnesses and physically destroying your hard drive, of course). Alternatively, it's also a great way to get rid of worms that like to hide in your Windows System Restore partition or to ensure that the old PC you donated to your local charity doesn't retain any sensitive data like corporate documents (I bet Madoff wishes he'd heard of it), passwords & bank PIN numbers.

How effective is it? Well, it's so effective that allegedly the CIA and the NSA use it to "sanitize" their Windows-based computers. Oh, and the source code is also freely available for download at the developer's site.

Dunno if this has been mentioned, but Eraser does more than just keep your data safely destroyed. It lets you destroy pesky corrupted files and files refusing to be deleted even after a restart or uninstallation.

Offline AdamTheNerd

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2009, 01:04:05 AM »
Sorry to double post, but I thought that Firefox www.mozilla.com/firefox is worth an obvious mention. IrfanView http://www.irfanview.com/ is a huge asset to anyone without access to Photoshop, or a similar program and needs to view pictures with obscure/infrequently used file extensions. WinRAR is also another great, obvious download. And finally, for those looking to "Mac it uP" without wasting precious computer resources, check out www.rocketdock.com for an awesome, versatile, and easy to use application launching program.

Offline thalaw2

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2009, 02:24:12 AM »
Virtualization

You gotta try Virtualbox.  Run an OS within an OS.  It can even run Windows 7...imagine running Windows 7 within Windows XP!?!?!  For Linux users it's a must have if you find yourself switching between Linux and Windows XP/Vista.  With this you can just run a virualization of Windows and not worry about viruses or losing data or other headaches.  It's a great piece of freeware. 
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Offline stumpy

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2009, 03:11:33 AM »
A couple posts here reminded me of more of my favs.

Cygwin is a unix shell that runs under Windows. I am primarily a Windows user these days, but I was long ago hooked on the power of the various unix shells (csh, bash, etc.) and tools (sed, grep, etc.). Among other things, Cygwin lets you open a unix shell in a Windows command box, and provides a wide variety of unix tools (even Make tools, gcc, etc.) from there.

7-Zip is a compressed archive format (like the various zip formats) that usually achieves significantly higher compression ratios than standard zip. Moreover, the 7-zip software at 7-zip.org can compress to standard ZIP, GZIP, TAR, etc. formats as well as to its own 7Z format. It can also extract archives from any of those formats and MSI, ARJ, RAR, CAB, and several other formats one is likely to run across. That makes it sort of one-stop-shopping for compression/decompression tools. And, it can easily install with Windows shell integration so that any of the supported formats automatically use it to open. The application has a Windows Explorer-like interface, so double-clicking an archived file opens it up as though it were just another folder.
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Offline Kommando

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2010, 06:59:12 AM »
I'm looking for something that will let me convert .swf files to another video format.  I have a few utilities that will convert .flv, but when I try them on my .swf files they only seem to recode the audio.  Years ago, WB had a couple of web cartoon series on their site.  I managed to keep copies of the Lobo and Gotham Girls series, and I want to convert them to MP4 so I can put them on my iPod.  I haven't had trouble converting other videos (though I still have to figure out how to hard code soft subs for some anime), and I find that the Youtube Downloader program is a very handy little thing for re-encoding video.  But yeah, converting .swf eludes me so far.  Any help would be appreciate.

Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: The Freeware Sharing Thread
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2010, 04:07:34 AM »
I'm looking for something that can make edits (and also save, of course) .mpg video files.  I mostly just need it for making trim edits at the beginning & end of videos, but a fade-to-black (with accompanying sound fade) would be very useful, as well as being able to edit the audio and video tracks seperately.  So far, everything I've found won't save to .mpg.  I'd rather leave things in that format, mostly for compatibility sake on multiple computers.
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