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                         This symbol shows the software that I like better than some others.

Below is an "outline" style list consisting of free and open source software. This is a Windows OS based list, but some of software listed here have Mac OS and Linux versions available. I currently run Win2000 (old IBM server), XP/Home (old Compaq desktop), XP/Pro (HP laptop), and Vista Home Premium (Dell laptop) computers. I am constantly looking for free and open source software for these computers and the task they perform for me on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. I am always looking for software that can perform these tasks better, faster, or are just easier to use.  If I find software that "looks good", I try it out, or not. If I like the software or think others might, I then put the software information aside to be added to this page every week, or so.  The Bookmarks section of my laptop's Firefox browser is stuff full with links to potential software for this list.  There are many lists out on the web that have free and open source software, but this one was developed from my personal search for software I need or want.  I try to stay away from the "trial-ware" software that other sites seem to be filled with.  I want software that lasts longer than the 30, 45, or 90 days of their trial.  I do not want to get hooked on a software package and then have to pay someone to keep it running.  I do not like paying for software when there are so many equivalent software that are free.  I do use some paid software, but either I have not found any good replacements or am just so use to them (some over 5 or 10 years now) that I have not changed over to the free versions out there. 

I do not warranty any of the software or how well the will work on your computer. Please read the information presented on the sites that you will find the download options.  

  • Text Editors, Program Editors, Office software, and other related software 

    • Desktop Publishing                                                                                         

      • Scribus - one of the best open-source software for desktop publishing.

    • Office Suite and Word Processors - Free                                                    

      • LibreOffice - is now my first choice for an alternative office suite for of Microsoft Office files.  On January 28th 2011, LibreOffice came out with its first full release, version 3.3.  This keeps the numbering system started by, which is where the original open source code came from.  The developers too time to clean up the base code that gave OOo developers problems with continued updating and upgrading.  With that cleared up, the developers have stated that version 3.4 coming out in the spring of 2011 should be different than the current OOo 3.3 version [which came out a few days later than LibreOffice].  One of the other concerns is that the current owner of the name "", Oracle may not support development of thier product much longer.  That concern is great enough for all the major Linux companies to drop OOo from their future upgrades.  Since the Linus community was one of the biggest supporters of OOo, it looks like OOo could be in trouble in the near future.  Now developers are dropping their support of OOo and going over to LibreOffice, which have over 5 times the number of developers in Jan '11 as it did in Sept '10.  So goodbye OOo.   

      • Jarte - a wordpad replacement.  Wordpad needs one and I have read great things about this software.  I have not had time to test it much.
          Jarte - word pad replacement

    • Text Editors                                                                                                     

      • EM Editor - text and program editor - one for the better text and program editors.

      • NoteTab Light- test and program editor - the text editor I used to write web pages - before I found KompoZer.   I have used this software for many years and like it alot.  I have tried the others listed, but I usually go back to this one.  There are also some add-ons that I just found out about and exploring them on how they can help my using the software.  

      • Note Pad ++ - text and program editor - one of the better text editors.

    • Programming Editors (used for web page editing, other than text editors)

      • JEdit - programmer's text editor - and interesting programming editor.

      • KompoZer - Web Page Editor - used in creating this web page.  This software is currently the best free software I have used in the creation of web pages.  Use it in "normal" view which is what I would call a modified WYSIWYG editor.  Also you can use it in "source" view.  This is the same view as a text or programming editor.  There  is also "HTML Tag" and "Preview" viewing modes.  I am glad that I found this software.  Try it yourself, it's free.  

      • Komodo Edit - is a free, open source editor from dynamic language experts. Dynamic language expertise for Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Tcl, plus JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and XML, and template languages like RHTML, Template-Toolkit, HTML-Smarty and Django. 

      • Jalbum - a free Web Page Photo Gallery software - Jalbum is a very easy web photo editing software with many skins to change the look and "feel" of the gallery you create.  I use it myself for a site with three years worth of photos with over 700 photos in over 45 folders of events/dates.  

    • Text to Speech                                                                                                  

      • DSpeech - a good text to speech software.  Works fine for my use.

    • Dictionaries                                                                                                        

      • Lingoes - dictionary and translator software.  Used it and it does work fine.

      • Word Web - look up and define words via web services.  Used it a few times.  Works well.  Will be working with it more later.  

    • Translators                                                                                                         

      • Lingoes - dictionary and translator software

    • Spell Checkers                                                                                                    

      • tinySpell - free spell checker for those applications that do not include one.  It is not great, but it works if you have no spell checker otherwise.

  • Security software and "Cleaning" and Optimizing
            You need Anti-virus, Firewall, Anti-spam, and other security software
            installed and running to protect your computer from all those threats.

    • Anti virus                                                                                                            

      • AVG - free anti-virus - one of the top 5 anti-virus products.  Best I have used. Best on most of the published lists on any anti-virus software, not just free or paid versions.  It is better than most of the paid anti-virus software I have ever used. I had to try the $300+ versions to find any better, but that one was not better than the paid version of AVG which is about $55. The free version is what I use, but if I had to pay for it, I would.  It is worth it. What can I say more.  
      • Avast! - free anti-virus software  I would suggest that you try this software. Between AVG and Avast!, I would try each one to see which would serve your needs. Both are highly rated and both are free.  I like this one and AVG, but you can only use one at a time. So I choose AVG, since it was the one I found first.

      • Comodo- Here is another good and free Anti Virus package  It is free and they state that their software is award winning.  You can get it alone or with their Firewall software.                        


    • Firewall                                                                                                              

      • ZoneAlarm - free Firewall - one of the top 5 firewall products. This is the best firewall software I have used.  The technology in it is now going into routers, since it is the best.  Free or paid, it is the best. It is as simple as that.  Try it. 

      • Comodo - Here is another good and free Firewall package.  I use ZoneAlarm, but now it does not support XP.  So I now have it load on my XP laptop.  I am doing some testing, so we shall see what happens with it. 


    • Anti spam and Malware { I use the all to protect my computers!!! }    

      • Ad-Aware 2009 Free - free version of an Anti-Spyware software - another updated classic software.       

      • a-Squared Freefree version of a great anti-spam, anti-malware, product  There are several scan options, but start with "Smart Scan".  "Deep Scan" can take several hours to complete.  Though it does catch sofe file that the other software did not catch.  The free software does not have the resident blocker and auto-detecting parts as much as the paid version has, but if you run it every week, then it help alot.    

      • SpywareBlaster - "Protect against the fastest growing threats on the Internet. Powerful protection against spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers and other potentially unwanted software. Trusted and effective."  Their 'Immunize' feature is the best part.  It help prevent the troubles, including suspected web sites are in its protection. 

      • Spybot Search & Destroy - detects and removes spyware - classic software and works great for me.  Their 'Immunize' feature is the best part.        

      • Spyware Doctor - help protect PC from spyware, ad-ware and other threats - great package to use, but their "repair" function ends after awhile, untill you pay them for that part.  It still helps identify and bad things.    

    • "Cleaning" and Optimizing                                                                              

      • Advanced SystemCare Free - formally know as Advanced Windows Care Personal -- computer cleaner and optimizer.  I use this one more than the other ones listed below.  I have used all of them I list and have them all installed.  But you will find that you will use one more times than the others. This software has alot of "searches" for files, registry entries, and other things that need to be searched out and cleaned from your computer.   

      • a-Squared Freefree version of a great anti-spam, anti-malware, product  There are several scan options, but start with "Smart Scan".  "Deep Scan" can take several hours to complete.  Though it does catch sofe file that the other software did not catch.  The free software does not have the resident blocker and auto-detecting parts as much as the paid version has, but if you run it every week, then it help alot.    

      • CCleaner - a popular registry cleaner and other cleaning options  

  • Graphics software - Photo editing, Image creation, Vector graphics, Paint programs, plus image viewers.

    • Image Viewers or Converters (not editors)                                                 

      • XnView - image viewer and image converter -- (English site link)

      • IrfanView - Image Viewer and converter - This  graphics viewer has too many options to show in a small space.  The basics of this program is to view many file formats (including some multimedia) and then do some sort of conversion to them.  There is even a batch conversion option. The web site even states it  supports Adobe Photoshop Filters (8BF).   I installed it on my computer and it did all the things I asked it to.  Works fine.  Batch conversion from CMX (a Corel Draw image format) to JPG works faster than most batch conversion options I have in other software.  The only file type it could not read, that other graphics editor/conversion software I have, was CDR (Corel Draw default output format).  Well it may not be able to read every image file format, but it still works well.

    • Editors                                                                                                                  

      • Artweaver - a Photoshop alternative? - was told so by a national syndicated tech guru.  Looks good and works well for me.  Currently there are not many filters and other add-ons, but as time goes by, I feel that the support community will change that.  Currently, it is a good started system, but the "hard-core" users would go with one of the two "GIMP" software titles or Paint.NET.

      • GIMPshop - a "hack" of GIMP that looks easier to use that the original.  Has all of the "goodness" of the original GIMP (below) but with an easier working environment. This is one of the best, free, non-vector, image editing software that I have found.

        From the web site: "While GIMPshop does not support Photoshop plugins, all GIMP's own plugins, filters, brushes, etc. remain available."

      • GIMP - image and photo editor - the original. It is not easy to work with, but it is one of the most popular for "hard-core" artists using the Linux machines. There is a massice support community and many filters and add-ons to choose from. 

      • Inkscape - vector graphics (like Illustrator or Corel Draw). I have used Corel Draw for many year. Now I use Inkscape for all my vector graphics needs. For me, it is very easy to use and has all the features I need.

        From their web site: "An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.  


      • Paint.NET - image and photo editor.  This is a very good alternative image editing software.  

      • Photoscape - is a fun and easy photo editing software

      • Tux Paint - Tux the penguin has his own paint program for kids.  This seems to be one of the best painting programs designed for kids.

    • Slide Show or other photo to video converters                                            

    • 3D Creation                                                                                                          

      • Blender - 3D modeling, open-source software.

      • DAZ Studio - 3D modeling and editor 

  • Internet Related software

    • Web Page Editors (beyond text editors)                                                        

      • CSS Toolbox - CSS editor and validation via an online site 

      • KompoZer - Web Page Editor - used in creating this web page.  This software is currently the best free software I have used in the creation of web pages.  Use it in "normal" view which is what I would call a modified WYSIWYG editor.  Also you can use it in "source" view.  This is the same view as a text or programming editor.  There  is also "HTML Tag" and "Preview" viewing modes.  I am glad that I found this software.  Try it yourself, it's free.   

      • SeaMonkey - Internet all-in-one Application Suite - from the same people that created Firefox and Thunderbird.  I have not used it so I have not rated it "for me".  I do know people who use it for much of their web work.

    • Browsers                                                                                                              

      • Firefox- browser (more secure than IE) Best web browser I have ever used.  When the 3.0 version came out, over 20 million downloads were recorded from their site in that first month alone.  Add the add-ons and extras and you will get the browser you want to use, not what others say you have to use.

    • Email clients                                                                                                         

      • Thunderbird - email client (better than Outlook Express and maybe Outlook itself.)  I make sure to have it installed on most all of the computers that I setup for friends and family.  The greatest part of the Thunderbird client is the themes and add-ons.  You can customize the client with a large number of security, readability, and usability add-ons.  To my view, this email client is the most secure and customized clients I have used.  Please check the theme and add-on sections [ ]  to see all of the options for yourself.     

    • FTP clients                                                                                                           

      • FileZilla - FTP file transfer client. 

      • WS_FTP (6) LE - over 10 years old, but still one of the easiest ones to use. It is a hard version to find, so I have placed it on my site for download.  Right Click on the following link, and save it to you computer.   
        Download from my site for WS_FTP

    • Other Web Related                                                                                              

      • Mozilla Web Site, all their products and their online store, think gift shop.

      • WOT - Web of Trust browser extension.  Help prevent the access to "bad" web sites that try to give you viruses, trogans, malware, and try to get info to use "against" you.   

      • OpenDNS - Use with Home networks, K-12 School networks, Small/Medium Business, and Enterprise uses.  I heard about this on a tech radio show and wanted to know more.  It seems to be a great way to protect online users from the threats that are out there on the Net.  It works with Windows, Mac, Linux, some smartphone, and even Nintendo Wii.  Place it on your computer, router, or DNS server.  Most people will place it on their computers, I think, but businesses may go with the other solutions.

        "OpenDNS is the leading provider of free security and infrastructure services that make the Internet safer through integrated Web content filtering, anti-phishing and DNS. OpenDNS services enable consumers and network administrators to secure their networks from online threats, reduce costs and enforce Internet-use policies. OpenDNS is used today by millions of users and organizations around the world."

        "Taking a few minutes to unbundle your DNS service from your ISP's Internet connection means a safer, faster, smarter and more reliable Internet experience for everyone in your household."

        "Today's schools make Internet safety a top priority. Use OpenDNS to make access to online learning tools easier, while blocking unsafe and inappropriate Web sites altogether. There's no pricey appliance to buy and you can be up and running with OpenDNS in minutes."    

      • WeatherBug - have an icon on you taskbar that shows live weather information for your area.  I have Vista sidebar widgets installed for a school 3 miles away and the airport 12 miles away.  The differences between those two locations can be profound.  In the morning of 1-17-09 the airport was -12 and the school was at 2.  That is a big difference for about 15 miles from each other. Then there is the software, not widgets, that may show live wind conditions and weather maps like doppler radar, clouds, and temperatures.   I have used it for years on Win2000, XP and now Vista computers.    

      • You Tube Downloader - Download a YouTube file from the URL link then convert it to other formats. I have not tried others, yet, but for my needs, it works fine.

    • Internet Radio Players                                                                                      

    • WinAmp - audio and video player, plus Internet Radio player and other streaming media. My default multimedia player for years. Winamp is the default player for the Internet Radio Service.  

    • Internet Radio web sites (just starting the search)                                      

    • Internet TV players                                                                                            

      • Miro - media player, plus Internet video/TV player

    • Internet TV web sites                                                                                        

  • Audio and Video software - players and editoring

    • Video Players                                                                                                      

      • GOM Media Player - media player that is great for XP and Vista. I use this when not using WinAmp.  

      • Miro - media player, plus Internet video/TV player  

      • Quintessential Player - player, ripper,converter - many plug-ins and skins.

    • Video Editors                                                                                                      

      • Avidemux - video editor - touted as a good one.  I have not worked with it much yet, but hope to have time later.

      • FlasKMPEGfrom their web site: "FlasKMPEG is a free open source digital video converter software that allows you to convert MPEG content into a other formats using your computer. It has a few editing capabilities so you can use to prepare your film or video assets. The program has an open architecture that allows for extended capabilities through the use of plugins."

      • MPEG streamclip - clip a video "stream" and keep only what you want.

      • ZweiStein video editor - I have used it several times.  It is touted as one of the best.  I have not used it enough times to decide that, but I have several video projects that I will test this software to its limits.  "Told" that this software will do most anything a person would need for video editing.  Even some professionals will like it, as I have read.  We will see.

      • VDM - VirtualDubMod - video edition and DVD creation

    • Video Converters                                                                                                 

      • Any Video Converter -                                

      • Format Factory -

      • FreeVideoDub - remove unwanted parts of your video

      • HandBrake - converts DVDs to MPEG-4 and other formats.

      • Quintessential Player - player, ripper,converter

    • Video Ripper                                                                                                         

      • Quintessential Player - player, ripper,converter

    • Video - other                                                                                                       

      • Foto2AVI - converts photos into a video

      • You Tube Downloader - see the description above.

    • Audio Players                                                                                                      

      • JetAudio Player - read great things, have not tried it enough to tell how good it is compared to others I use.

      • Quintessential Player - player, ripper,converter

      • VLC Media Player - multimedia player including DVDs and streaming media

      • WinAmp - audio and video player, plus Internet Radio player and other streaming media. My default multimedia player for years. Winamp is the default player for the Internet Radio Service.  

    • Audio Editors                                                                                                       

      • Audacity - audio editor and recorder.  read that this is the best of the free audio editor and recorder.  What I have seen for myself, I would say it is one of the best I have used, free or otherwise.  

      • FreeAudioDub - remove unwanted parts of your audio files

      • MediaCoder - audio and video converter to many formats

      • MP3Split - split up your MP3 files

      • Wave Pad - WavePad audio editing software is a sound editor program.  WavePad is designed to be a very easy and intuitive to use audio editing package.
              1) paid program's main site (free somewhere here)
              2) the free version at a different site

    • Audio Converters                                                                                              

      • MediaCoder - audio and video converter to many formats

      • Quintessential Player - player, ripper,converter

    • Audio Ripper                                                                                                       

      • Quintessential Player - player, ripper,converter

    • Audio - other                                                                                                      

      • MP3Gain - from the web site:  adjust the volumn of your music files. MP3Gain analyzes and adjusts mp3 files so that they have the same volume. MP3Gain does not just do peak normalization, as many normalizers do. Instead, it does some statistical analysis to determine how loud the file actually sounds to the human ear. Also, the changes MP3Gain makes are completely lossless. There is no quality lost in the change because the program adjusts the mp3 file directly, without decoding and re-encoding. 

      • MediaMonkey - Great way to index {or find} all of your Audio and Video Files, no matter which format.  That is what I use it for.  It found all of the duplicates in my very large MP3 Christmas Collection - how about 30+ version of Jingle Bells? Check it out.  You will not want to use any other music manager/indexer/etc.
        From the web site:   MediaMonkey is the music manager for serious music collectors and iPod users. It catalogs CDs, AAC, OGG, WMA, FLAC, MP3 and other audio files, including contemporary and classical music, audiobooks, podcasts, etc. It offers multiple tools for looking up and editing tags, and an automated library organizer to organize files on the hard drive. - Use the CNET Download link for your downloading.  The other free link is for the trial pay version.   

  • CD and DVD software; Burning, Authoring, and misc. software.

    • Disc Burning software                                                                                    

      • DeepBurner - a "small-ish" in size for burner package.

      • ImgBurn - advertised an an extensive burning application.  Seems an interesting package to me.  

    • DVD Authoring                                                                                                     
      • DeVeDe - free DVD authoring software. This is the best one I have found for both Windows and Linux systems, that is free.  Quote from their web site: "DeVeDe is a program to create video DVDs and CDs (VCD, sVCD or CVD), suitables for home players, from any number of video files, in any of the formats supported by Mplayer. The big advantage over other utilites is that it only needs Mplayer, Mencoder, DVDAuthor, VCDImager and MKisofs (well, and Python, PyGTK and PyGlade), so its dependencies are really small." 

      • SoThink Movie DVD Maker - free DVD authoring software.  

      • VDM - VirtualDubMod - video edition and DVD creation

    • DVD - Misc. other Related Software                                                              

    • Kid and School Related Stuff                                                                                    

      • Graph - a program to display a simple or complex graph from an equation

      • Graph Calculator - a simple graphing calculator (it is not a TI-83 replacement, but it works)

      • Lego Digital Designer - design an object with the software, as you would with the actual pieces.  

      • Tux PaintTux the penguin has his own paint program for kids.

    • Calendar Software                                                                                                     

      • Chandler - a nice stand alone calendar software  

      • Sunbird - Calendar  stand-alone version package for your calendar needs.

  • Utility Software

        • Disk and File Recovery                                                                                    

          • CD Recovery Toolbox - recovers files from damaged CDs.
            Very slow, but it works for free.
            It really help me with a bad DVD and found the files for me. 

          • Free Undelete  - recovering deleted files  

          • Pandora Recovery - recovering deleted files

        • Defragmentation Software                                                                            

          • Auslogics Disk Defrag - Disk fragmentation leads to system slowdowns, PC crashes, slow startups and shutdowns. Auslogics Disk Defrag is designed for fast optimization of modern hard disks.

          • Smart Defrag - this freeware will give you a complete diagnosis of your current hard drives, then defragment and speed up disk performance in minutes.  I installed version 1.02 on a Vista laptop and it worked better than a paid defrag system.  I find it easy to use and it runs fast.  Try it, you may discover how easy it is to keep you computer defragged.   

        • PDF Creation Software                                                                                   

          • DoPDF - a PDF writer/printer - doPDF is a free PDF converter for both personal and commercial use and works on Windows Vista, XP, 2008/2003/2000 Server (32 and 64-bit).  I was using Adobe's product, but it would not install on Vista, and I was not going to buy it again, plus need almost 1 gig of space to install.
                         I am now using this product.    

          • PDF Creator - a PDF software printer - "prints" to a PDF file

          • print2pdf - a PDF writer/printer - download the free software from  Adobe PDF converter (DOC to PDF), creator, writer for Windows. Print2PDF uses print output for conversion into an Adobe Acrobat compatible PDF file.    

        • UnZipping Software                                                                                        

          • 7-Zip - file compression program (replaces WinZip and others).  I use it as my default "unzipping" program.  Works great and easy to use.  

          • Extract Now - extracting multiple files at once.  This program will help unzip many files in a batch operation.  If you have a lot of files to unzip, this it the software you should use.  

          • RarZilla - extract RAR files   

          • IZArc - extract files from compressed file formats

          • Universal Extractor - no frills extracting program that extracts mose types of compressed file formats. If you cannot get your decompression software to work on a file, this software may do the job.  I have not found any compressed file that it cannot open.

          • WinUHA - extracts UHA formats - one of the most "densely compressed" formats.

      Security Software:
      I use AVG 8.0 anti-virus, Zonealarm firewall, Spyware Doctor, Ad-Aware on all my Windows computers (Windows 2000/pro, Windows XP/pro), both laptop and desktops. Each software does a different job at detecting, protecting, and cleaning the computers of all of the nasties to make our online lives a problem to a nightmare.  

      Web Page Software:
      I use KompoZer, NoteTab Light, and Paint Shop Pro 5 (ver 12/X2 is out now) for most of my web page work.  You can use GIMPshop or Paint.NET to  do the graphic work.  I when found KompoZer, I was hand coding all of my web pages.  I never found a free software that work well for me.  After I found it, I starting using it for all my web pages.  The only problem it has is working with standard text files needed for JavaScript and other scripting files.  So, with a web page editor, text editor, and a graphics editor, I can work on most basic (and more complex) web pages.  If you add a vector graphics package like Inkscape, you should do just find.

      Software Warranty:
      I do not warranty these products. I have either used them myself, tired them out a few times (for most of the software listed), or read about them in various online sources.  These are the software that I currently think may be good for the computer used to use on their computers instead of buying any paid version  that would do similar things or tasks.  If you find a better freeware or open-source product, for these tasks, please let me know through the listed email link.