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Ultimate List of Free Essential Software

by ater

Free software can save you hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars. The software listed below is completely free, doesn’t have malware or adware, is completely legal, and I use each of them personally. Most of them are Open Source. If you aren’t familiar with what Open Source is please read The Free Software Definition.

This list includes the most popular software within their categories. You’ll find a software solution for all of your daily needs. If you have any suggestions or ways to improve the list please leave a comment.

Operating System

Ubuntu Logo
Ubuntu - Designed as a Linux alternative to Windows or Mac operating systems. A free operating system makes really cheap PC’s possible. Like the one offered by WalMart for $199. They are running an operating system like Ubuntu to get the cost down. The best part of buying a computer like that is you won’t be sacrificing any of the major things you’re used to.

If you are thinking about upgrading to Windows Vista or getting a new computer Ubuntu is a great alternative. Ubuntu is designed for everyday use. The biggest downside is that it can’t run much of the software written for Windows. The good news is there are many many Linux based free software that is just as good or better than the expensive Windows alternative.

Ubuntu is gaining momentum and becoming more popular each day. If you use Ubuntu and like it please share what you know with your friends and family.

Anti Virus

AVG anti virus logo
AVG Anti-Virus - the most popular free solution available at no cost to home users and provides the high level of detection capability that millions of users around the world trust to protect their computers.

  • Easy to use, low system resources
  • Automatic update functionality
  • Real-time protection as files are opened and programs are run
  • AVG’s Virus Vault for the safe handling of infected files

Note: Avast also offers top rated anti virus protection

Personal Firewall

Comodo - The Award-Winning Free Firewall Software

  • Complete protection from Hackers, Spyware and Identity theft
  • Secures against internal and external threats
  • Host Intrusion Prevention System stops malware ever being installed
  • Delivers total end-point security for Personal Computers and Networks

Web Browser

FireFox Logo
FireFox - I’m an avid fan of Firefox for many reasons. Between the design, usability, and lack of features Explorer had me unsatisfied. Explorer has tried to update their browser but it looks like a thinly veiled ripoff of Firefox. In addition, the new Explorer froze up more often. Works with Windows, Linux, OS X

Most people that start using FireFox can’t live without it. The tabbed browsing and the customizations are very hard to beat. These other features are icing on the cake:
*Improved Tabbed Browsing
*Spell Checking
*Session Restore
*Web Feeds (RSS)
*Pop-up Blocker
*Phishing Protection
*Protection from Spyware

FireFox also has over 1,000 add-ons to choose from. You are sure to find something to make FireFox your own.


ThunderBird logo
Mozilla Thunderbird - It’s now even easier to organize, secure and customize your mail.

Office Software

Open Office Logo
OpenOffice - Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute. Includes a robust word processor (Word), spreadsheet (Excel) , presentation (PowerPoint), and database (Access).

Photo Organizer

Google’s Picasa - The easy way to share and manage your photos.

Picasa is a free software download from Google that helps you:

* Locate and organize all the photos on your computer.
* Edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks.
* Share your photos with others through email, prints, and on the web: it’s fast, easy and free.

Take your photos further with Picasa from Google.

Direct link: Picasa for Linux

Music Player & Organizer

A big thanks to Brian for leaving a lot of great suggestions in his comment. He’s right, iTunes can make me crazy sometimes. I guess I have a soft spot for it because it helped me get into podcasting. But one of his suggestions is a downright winner (sorry iTunes).

Song Bird
SongBird - Not only does Songbird have everything you’d want in an audio program it also comes with a full library of add-ons. Customize your player ’til your hearts content.

Drawing & Photography

Gimp Photo Editing
Gimp - is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.

If you’re used to Photoshop Gimp takes some getting used to. I still use it regularly because there is such a strong community providing great help and resources.

CD & DVD Burning

CDBurnerXP - a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.

Media Player

VLC Player
VideoLAN - VLC media player - Thanks to Steele in the comments for suggesting this one. From the short time I’ve used it VLC supports a huge amount of video and audio formats. The interface is simple and clean. I know this will be a program I use for a very long time. Thanks again Steele!

From VLC’s website:
* It is a free cross-platform media player
* It supports a large number of multimedia formats, without the need for additional codecs
* It can also be used as a streaming server, with extended features (video on demand, on the fly transcoding, …)

Audio Recording

Audacity - a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

* Record live audio.
* Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
* Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files.
* Cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together.
* Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
* And more!

3D Modeling

3D Modeling Software
Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems.

Features include:

  • Revolutionary non-overlapping and non-blocking UI delivers unsurpassed workflow
  • A range of 3D object types including polygon meshes, NURBS surfaces, bezier and B-spline curves, metaballs, vector fonts (TrueType, PostScript, OpenType)
  • Fast skeleton creation mode
  • Automated walkcycles along paths
  • Diffuse shaders such as Lambert, Minnaert, Toon, Oren-Nayar, Lambert
  • Realtime 3D/Game Creation
  • View all the features

Video Editing

Avidemux - a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

Video Capture

vdub logo
Virtualdub - a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video. It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters. VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and also handle sets of BMP images.

File Compression/Zip



  • Supported formats:
    Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
    Unpacking only: RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, MSI, WIM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS
  • For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
  • Self-extracting capability for 7z format
  • Integration with Windows Shell
  • Powerful File Manager
  • Powerful command line version

FTP Software

FileZilla FTP Solution
FileZilla - a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.

  • Easy to use
  • Supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
  • Cross-platform. Runs on Windows, Linux, *BSD, OSX and more
  • Supports resume and transfer of large files >4GB
  • Powerful Site Manager and transfer queue
  • Drag & drop support
  • Configurable Speed limits
  • Filename filters
  • Network configuration wizard

100 reasons why its cooler to be a guy

by ater

i am not a chauvinist but 100 reasons why it’s cool to be a guy!

  1. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
  2. Movie nudity is virtually all female.
  3. You know stuff about tanks.
  4. A five-day vacation only requires 1 suitcase.
  5. Monday Night Football.
  6. You don’t have to monitor your friends sex lives.
  7. Your bathroom lines are 80 percent shorter.
  8. You can open all your own jars.
  9. Old friends don’t give a crap whether you’ve lost or gained weight.
  10. Dry cleaners and hair cutters don’t rob you blind.
  11. When clicking through the channels, you don’t have to stall at every shot of somebody crying.
  12. Your ass is never a factor in job interviews.
  13. All your orgasms are real.
  14. A beer gut doesn’t make you invisible to the opposite sex.
  15. You can talk freely about the foulest things with your mates… and laugh!
  16. You don’t have to lug a bag full of useful stuff everywhere you go.
  17. You understand why Stripes is funny.
  18. You can go to the bathroom without a support group.
  19. Your last name stays put.
  20. You can leave the hotel bed unmade.
  21. When your work is criticized, you don’t have to panic that everyone secretly hates you.
  22. You can kill your own food.
  23. The garage is all yours.
  24. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  25. You see the humor in Terms of Endearment.
  26. Nobody secretly wonders if you swallow.
  27. You never have to clean a toilet.
  28. You can be showered and ready to go in 10 minutes.
  29. Sex means never worrying about your reputation.
  30. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  31. If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend.
  32. Your underwear is $10 for a three-pack.
  33. The National College Cheerleading Championship.
  34. You don’t have to shave below your neck.
  35. None of your coworkers has the power to make you cry.
  36. You don’t have to curl up next to a hairy ass every night.
  37. If you’re 34 and single, nobody even notices.
  38. You can write your name in the snow.
  39. You can get into a nontrivial pissing contest.
  40. Everything on your face gets to stay its original color.
  41. Chocolate is just another snack.
  42. You can be President. (In this lifetime.)
  43. You can quietly enjoy a car ride from the passenger’s seat.
  44. Flowers fix damn near everything.
  45. You never have to worry about other people’s feelings.
  46. You get to think about sex 90 percent of your waking hours.
  47. You can wear a white shirt to a water park.
  48. Three pairs of shoes is more than enough.
  49. You can eat a banana in a hardware store.
  50. You can say anything (”Wow, do my balls hurt!”) and not worry about what people will think.
  51. Foreplay is optional.
  52. Michael Bolton doesn’t live in your universe.
  53. Nobody stops telling a good dirty joke when you walk into the room.
  54. You can whip your shirt off on a hot day.
  55. You don’t have to clean your house if the meter reader’s coming by.
  56. You never feel compelled to stop a pal from getting laid.
  57. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  58. You don’t give a rat’s ass if anyone notices your new haircut.
  59. You can quietly watch a game with your buddy for hours without ever thinking, ‘He must be mad at me’.
  60. The world is your urinal.
  61. You never misconstrue innocuous statements to mean your lover’s about to leave you.
  62. You get to jump up and slap stuff.
  63. Hot wax never comes near your pubic area.
  64. One mood, all the time!
  65. You can admire Clint Eastwood without starving yourself to look like him.
  66. You never have to drive on to another service station because this ones ‘just too yucky’.
  67. You know at least 20 ways to open a beer bottle.
  68. You can sit with your knees apart no matter what you’re wearing.
  69. Same work…. more pay!
  70. Gray hair and wrinkles only add character.
  71. You don’t have to leave the room to make an emergency crotch adjustment.
  72. Wedding dress: $2,000; tuxedo rental; $75.
  73. You don’t care if someone’s talking about you behind your back.
  74. With 400 million sperm per shot, you could double the Earth’s population in 15 tries, at least in theory.
  75. You don’t mooch off others’ desserts.
  76. If you retain water, it’s in a canteen.
  77. The remote control is yours and yours alone.
  78. People never glance at your chest when you’re talking to them.
  79. ESPN’s SportsCenter
  80. You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
  81. Bachelor parties whomp ass over bridal showers.
  82. You have a normal and healthy relationship with your mother.
  83. You can buy condoms without the shopkeeper imagining you naked.
  84. You needn’t pretend you’re “freshening up” to go to the bathroom.
  85. If you don’t call your buddy when you say you will, he won’t tell your other friend you’ve changed.
  86. Someday you’ll be a dirty old man.
  87. You can rationalize any behavior with the handy phrase, “Sod it”.
  88. If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you just might become lifelong buddies.
  89. Princess Di’s death was just another obituary.
  90. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
  91. You never have to miss a sexual opportunity because you’re not in the mood.
  92. you think the idea of punting a small dog is funny.
  93. If something mechanical doesn’t work, you can bash it with a hammer or throw it across the room.
  94. New shoes don’t blister, cut or mangle your feet.
  95. Porn movies are designed with your mind in mind.
  96. You don’t have to remember everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries.
  97. Not liking a person doesn’t preclude having great sex with them.
  98. Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with: “So…notice anything different?”
  99. Baywatch
  100. There’s always a game on somewhere.

And now the down side:

  1. You have to take out the garbage.
  2. The Ferrari 550 Maranello lists for over $200,000.
  3. No sofas in your restrooms.
  4. External genitalia are vulnerable to knees and fastballs.
  5. Even if you get your head caught in an industrial woodchipper, you’re not allowed to cry.
  6. James Bond movies only come out every two years.
  7. Ribbed for her pleasure, not yours.
  8. You have to wear ties.
  9. You can’t flirt your way out of a jam.
  10. “Women and children first”