101 fantastic freebies for your PC

By Paul Michael on 3 April 2007 (Updated 16 November 2011) 11 comments

too many

Software is expensive, right? Well, not today my friends. Those fab guys and gals over at PC World have spent a whole bunch of their very valuable time and energy researching the best free downloads for your PC, and have compiled a list of the '101 fabulous freebies' that you can download today, right now, no problem. And NOW is a great word.

What's on the list? Well, what do you want?

There's everything from security software to games and file management. The complete list, organized by category, is below. I can personally vouch for DVD Shrink, a very quick and easy way to make back-up copies of your DVDs (which are invaluable for taking on vacations, road trips if you don't want to lose your originals). My wife loves organizing her many photos with Google Picasa . And AVG is a terrific free virus application. But, here's the list...you have the right to feel like a kid in a candy store!

System Utilities

Windows XP Tweaks

Windows Vista Tweaks

Security Software

Registry Cleaner

Hardware Utility

Communications and File Sharing

E-Mail for Free

File Sharing

Instant Messaging, Voice, and Video

Blogs and News Reading

Personal Web

Online RSS Reader

Software RSS Reader

Blogging Site

File Management

Desktop Search

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

Backup and File Synchronization

Productivity and Office Apps

Office Software and Services

Time Management

Notepad Replacement

Business Productivity

Music, Photos and Video

Entertainment Software

Image Editing

Web Video Site

Multimedia Tools and Toys

 

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Guest's picture
Guest

How about NotePad++ ?

Andrea Karim's picture

I notice that Google shows up a lot on that list. Don't use Google Desktop, if you can help it.

Paul Michael's picture

...why is it evil?

Andrea Karim's picture

But highly suspect.

http://askbobrankin.com/is_google_desktop_evil.html

I know Bob defends it here, but I just don't trust it.

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39252738,00.htm

And I know people since then have jumped to the defense of Desktop - but look! The link above is from BRITISH PEOPLE. And we all know that superior accents make for superior intelligence. Ergo, they must be correct.

Actually, unfortunately, all I have to back up this claim is the fact that my company flipped out and wouldn't let anyone install Google desktop, much to the chagrin of the documentation department, who could have used it.

Paul Michael's picture

...then it must be true! I actually like Google as a company. Apart from the innovations and sense of humor, their employee benefits look more like something from Scandinavia. They are reallly realllllly good to their employees.

Andrea Karim's picture

I know. I've interviewed a couple of times. The free massages and organic meals call to me, but my resume does not call to them, apparently.

And they are largely a good company - I've objected to some of their complicit actions with repressive overseas governments, but who hasn't?

Guest's picture
IManarchy

The reason people are saying Google Desktop is evil is because when it index's your files it sends a list of the keywords it finds back to google so they know what kind of ads to show you. They do the same thing with Gmail. All emails are scanned and keywords are saved for advertsing purposes.

So for those who think google isn't evil dont be so sure. The company is a great company, but some of the things they do are evil.

A great substitute for google desktop is copernic desktop search. Indexes tons of file formats and is pretty fast to search and displays the entire file right there in the results window. Pretty awesome...

Guest's picture
WiseGuy

they look at keywords in gmail (as ALL email providers do), and they look for keywords when indexing on your desktop. Of course they do! We live in the "targeted marketing age" where everyone does that, whether we pretend to not know about it, or not! People always scream about "oh, the grocery store discount cards are EVIL because THEY can keep track of what you buy, so they can...they can"...what? Sell you more of what you like?? Come on! This decades-old paranoia of a practice which has more than likely NEVER HURT ANYONE is really, well, just paranoia! Get over it, or stay out of stores, and off the Internet!

Will Chen's picture

"In one search log, terms such as "how to tell your family you're a victim of incest," "casey middle school," "surgical help for depression," "can you adopt after a suicide attempt," "Fishman David Dr - 2.6 miles NE - 160 E 34th St, New York, 10016 - (212) 731-5345," "gynecology oncologists in new york city," and "how long will the swelling last after my tummy tuck" appeared in the set of data."  CNet on AOL search scandal .

Andrea Karim's picture

I don't care if Google tracks my web use, for the most part, but searching my desktop is out of the question.

It's not paranoia, it's caution. People should be aware of how their information is being used. If you are happy with your personal documents being scanned by Google, that's fine with me. But I'm not going to tolerate it in my life.

Guest's picture
Guest

No love for Linux users, I guess. As more and more migrate to *nix (Linux/Unix/etc.)-based systems, the term "PC" (as opposed to a mac) will need to be redefined. For all intents and purposes, a mac is a PC -- personal computer, after all.

But, as I'm still learning my way around my Xubuntu desktop, I'll need to keep reminding myself that it still is a Windows-centric software world out there.