If you have just purchased a new system and are a little short of funds, you might prefer these free-to-use alternatives instead of the popular applications to save a lot of your hard-earned money!
UBUNTU is free and open source operating system with a Linux kernel. Unlike the usual Linux based application, ubuntu has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) or desktop environment called GNOME. Since it is an open source application, you can create multiple copies or even modify the source code as per the provisions of the GNU GPL license. Version 8.10 is the latest off ering which comes with 18 months free updates and full 3G support. The OS comes loaded with OpenOffi ce.org offi ce suite, Firefox as the Internet browser, Pidgin (formerly known as Gaim) as the default messenger service, and GIMP as the graphics editor. Apart from Several lightweight pre-installed games such as Sudoku and chess, ubuntu also provides the BitTorrent client transmission support for the desktop versions. The OS might however, take some time to get used to for novice users. You can visit www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download to download the operating system.
THE OPENOFFICE.ORG is an open source offi ce suite, available as a free download by SUN Microsystems. OpenOffi ce. org 3 is the latest version available for download. Moreover, the application has been released under the LGPL license. This means that you can use it both commercially and for personal use without worrying about the number of instances installed. The application supports a large number of commonly used offi ce extensions. With a large number of templates, samples and clip arts to download from the site, it is very easy to switch to this application if you are used to the Microsoft Offi ce 97-2003 or XP versions. You can visit http://download.openoffice.org to download the offi ce suite.
3 THUNDERBIRD MOZILLA
THUNDERBIRD is an open source, crossplatform and free to use email client. The application enables you to import critical data from popular email client like Eudora and Outlook. The application also supports S/MIME for secure email, POP and IMAP for push or pull technique of email pooling. Thunderbird comes equipped with a built-in RSS/Atom reader for simple news aggregator. The application available in 37 diff erent languages. You can visit www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird to download the email client.
IF YOU plan to use external devices like fl ash drives, or get an Internet connection for your computer, you require a good antivirus program. AVG Antivirus enables you to protect your system from viruses and spyware applications. You require a constant Internet connection to keep the antivirus program updated. There are however certain shortfalls while using a free antivirus application. While you get virus and spyware protection, you do not get spam and rootkit protection. Also, you can use one instance per standalone desktop; the free version does not work with server operating systems. You can visit http:// free.avg.com/download to download the antivirus.
DESCRIBED as the second most widely used web browser after Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox 3 is a free and open source web browser from the Mozilla Application Suite. This browser is compatible with almost all popularly used operating systems. You can enhance the utility of this web browser by adding functional add-ons created by Mozilla and third-party developers. Firefox has many useful features which include tabbed browsing, a built-in spell checker utility, live bookmarking, a download manager, and an integrated search system that allows the users to search from specifically selected search engines.
PEAZIP is a free-to-use fi le archiving application. PeaZip off ers full support to 14 various formats and an additional 23 formats to open, browse, extract and test archived fi les but you cannot create archives using these 23 additional formats. Supported formats include7Z, 7Z-sfx, ARC/WRC, BZ2/TBZ2, Custom, GZ/TGZ, PAQ/LPAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, Self-extracting, Split, TAR, UPX and ZIP. You can visit http://peazip.sourceforge. net to download the archiving client.
7 ACROBAT READER
AFTER DEVELOPING the Portable Document Format (PDF) for transferring fi les in a standard format, Adobe Systems provides Adobe Reader (formerly known as Acrobat Reader) as a free downloadable application to view and print PDF fi les. The application is available for most of the popular operating system, and also for portable devices. You can visit www.adobe.com/ products/reader to download the PDF reader.
SONGBIRD is a cross-platform and open source digital media player. The application uses the Mozilla’s XULRunner platform which makes it cross-platform. The application can play most of the popular fi le formats without any trouble. You can also download plug-ins which help you stay connected with popular websites like eMusic and Last.fm. the application also enables you to manage your iPod. The application is still on the development stages, and hence it is not really advisable to club it to a didital media player.You can visit www.getsongbird.com to download the application.
9 VLC PLAYER
VLC MEDIA PLAYER is a free open source media player. The application is available under the GNU General Public License. VLC player can play any audio or video fi les with the user requiring to download and install any codecs or add-on packages. The application is compatible with most of the available popular operating system. It is also the fi rst player to support playback of encrypted DVDs on Linux. You can visit www.videolan.org to download the media player.
IF YOU enjoy digital photography, then this freeware is a must have. Picasa3 enables you to carry out a range of various image related activities, including viewing images, basic image enhancements, importing images from external devices, creating gift CDs, movie clips, making photo collages, taking screenshots and carrying out batch editing of images. You can also upload pictures on to your Google Picasa web account, add images to your BlogSpot blog, add Geotags to your images and order for photo prints online. The latest version comes with a ‚ÄúPicasa Photo Viewer‚Äù application to preview images. You can download a copy of the software from www.picasa.google.com.