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Author Topic: FreewareMission.com: 94 Great Freeware Programs For A Freeware Only PC  (Read 11183 times)

mouser

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Nice list here, with mini-reviews of all his choices.  Seems we've been remiss in not mentioning the FreewareMission website in the past..

Quote
Hello folks! As I promised I’m going to release the first Freeware Mission MegaPack for 2009 as it’s been almost six months since the last MegaPack was released, with 72 freeware programs back in December 2008. The new MegaPack has 94 freeware programs, all tested and installed in my freeware only PC. For those of you who don’t know what the Freeware Mission is all about I’m going to explain how and why in a few words.

I have a Windows XP powered PC, it came with the operating system installed when I bought it and I guess this is the case for many of you. Last year I reinstalled Windows XP and I thought about making my PC freeware only, doing my daily PC jobs only with freeware programs and getting rid of all that expensive and buggy paid software. These 94 freeware programs below are the ones that I am using now on a daily basis.


fenixproductions

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No DC there :(

BTW I use 14 applications from their list (4 very rarely). I thought there will be more ;)

mouser

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No DC there

not true -- there are a couple of DC mentions, both as top recommendations and as 2nd place recommendations.  regardless, as we've discussed before it's best to treat these kinds of lists not as definitive statements of top programs, but as chances to discover good stuff.

i'm just ashamed we haven't featured freewaremission before since it looks like a great freeware blog.

rgdot

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Nice list, couple of switches between 93 and 94 in the text and page title though (if there is a reason I guess I have to read more carefully)

fenixproductions

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2mouser
I've focused on 94 list only.

Really nice list but one thing does not fit IMHO:

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BEST FREE IMAGE EDITING PROGRAM

GIMP - The best freeware alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It’s an open source image editor, very powerful and quite stable.

Alternatives: - Inkscape

I can hardly see Inkscape as GIMP alternative. These are too different. I would rather go "vote" for Paint.NET or Artweaver instead. Ink simply sucks in raster graphics editing.

I think the best would be to have two separate groups for raster (called i.e. "photo editor") and vector graphics.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 05:36:19 PM by fenixproductions »

tomos

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I think the best would be to have two separate groups for raster (called i.e. "photo editor") od vector graphics.

absolutely, unless they've changed directions drastically lately

Hah, funnily enough, further down the list
> BEST FREE VECTOR GRAPHICS PROGRAM
> Inkscape - great open source vector graphics editor, a free alternative to the expensive Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.

no alternatives offered :)
Tom

fenixproductions

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Hah, funnily enough, further down the list
> BEST FREE VECTOR GRAPHICS PROGRAM
> Inkscape - great open source vector graphics editor, a free alternative to the expensive Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.

no alternatives offered :)

They can always mention crippled Draw from OO.org or InsightPoint ;)

4wd

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While it is interesting to look at what programs are listed on these 'xx Great/Best Freeware' sites for things that I might find new, I don't think I can take any of them seriously as soon as they mention 'Best Codec Pack'.

I have more trouble over the years with PCs because someone thought, "Oh, I need this codec pack to play this file.", which then installs a lot of other rubbish that's not required and screws up whatever codec's are already installed.

fenixproductions

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I have more trouble over the years with PCs because someone thought, "Oh, I need this codec pack to play this file.", which then installs a lot of other rubbish that's not required and screws up whatever codec's are already installed.

I share the same opinion. I saw a lot of cases of screwed up multimedia handling on various PCs due so called "codec packs". Few years ago, the most common "problem" was "something bi-cubic resizer" IIRC. That is why I recommend ffdshow only (rarely: qt/real alternatives). If someone breaks his system by running something against my "rules", I don't bother to help such user. I am bad, baaad person. I know. But it keeps me safe from headaches ;)

johnnykarpat

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Hello mouser and thanks for mentioning my humble blog :) I tried to correct some of the errors that you people mentioned, thanks for poiting them out. This list is mainly focused on the average PC user, I wanted to give people some good solid free alternatives to the paid software that they are normally using. I intend to publish a new updated list in December since I'll be trying to test other freeware programs until then.
Thanks again for your suggestions and criticism, I'll do better in the future. ;)

Johnny Karp, freewaremission.com

mouser

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great to have you visit us Johnnny, and keep up the fantastic work on your site  :Thmbsup:

johnnykarpat

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I'm visiting quite often but so far I've been undercover :)  8)

Steven Avery

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Hi Folks,

Johnny, nice to learn about your blog and efforts.

That "Software Informer" program is actually quite impressive, normally I bypass those "update" programs but it is surprisingly helpful and solid, a bit like the Belarc of program version and update info, the way it simply loads an excellent web page. (Not that Belarc should be on your list, for various reasons it is borderline with lots of competition, however its web-page interface is very simple and pleasant and informative.) Immediately I saw that I might want to update a couple of programs, and one I have to consider whether my license will take the update and what I want to do.

And fyi, one of the alternatives SUMo, the author got the folks on Wilders upset, that is in a KCleaner thread, having to do with an RK toolbar install, also I think may apply to SUMo. You can easily find the thread (11 pages long, the stuff starts in the latter pages) and decide whether his software should stay on the freeware list.  

Probably have a few more comments later, nice list, appreciated ! 

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 09:37:02 AM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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FreewareMission.com: - security section
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2009, 06:02:00 AM »
Hi Folks,

Johnny, a few comments on the security section.

Under AntiSpyware, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware deserves at least a mention, it is almost universally applauded as a good free scan and removal tool, usually mentioned along with SuperAntiSpyware and ahead of Spybot Search and Destroy.  The toolbar problem with Spyware Terminator is major, I gather it links the Crawler crapware with some functions in order to have less opt-outs.  

Under AntiVirus, folks usually need the company name Avira, Antivir is the product and Avira would be consistent with AVG and Avast. (yes, minor quibble).

Under firewall, Online Armor needs a place at the table, plus Outpost recently has a decent free edition, newly released.  (There are one or two others, but those two softwares are looked upon highly by the Wilders' types.)  Zone Alarm is a surprising first choice, but I have no real objection to that aspect, there are some ways in which its working is more visual. And there are 3-4-5 or more good free firewalls, with personal style being a major aspect.  (e.g. Online Armor Free does not allow port configuration, restricting certain ports, which can blindside the user a smidgen).  So if one is working fine, kewl.

Note though that your articles saying just use a router firewall, you can ignore a software firewall, is dubious information, a router firewall generally does not have the function and configurability of a software firewall.  This is discussed at Wilders a lot.

Plus Online Armor gives you some decent HIPS, a category missing where you might also find some other products (changes to .exe files or sensitive registry entries or windows folders or startup are the types of things that HIPS will monitor and generally this type of real-time protection is not in your three categories).

A separate worthy category would be startup managers, with WinPatrol, Chameleon, Started and Anvir Task Manager having freeware editions. WhatinStartup (Nirsoft) and Autoruns also being among those worthy of consideration.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 08:55:09 AM by Steven Avery »

Darwin

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Hmm... I use 8 of the programmes on the list - more than I anticipated. Note that ProcessTamer is listed as the BEST FREE PROCESS MANAGER.

Thanks for compiling this and welcome to DC, Johnny! Hope to see more of you around DC  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

johnnykarpat

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Hi Folks,

Johnny, a few comments on the security section.

Under AntiSpyware, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware deserves at least a mention, it is almost universally applauded as a good free scan and removal tool, usually mentioned along with SuperAntiSpyware and ahead of Spybot Search and Destroy.  The toolbar problem with Spyware Terminator is major, I gather it links the Crawler crapware with some functions in order to have less opt-outs. 

Under AntiVirus, folks usually need the company name Avira, Antivir is the product and Avira would be consistent with AVG and Avast. (yes, minor quibble).

Under firewall, Online Armor needs a place at the table, plus Outpost recently has a decent free edition, newly released.  (There are one or two others, but those two softwares are looked upon highly by the Wilders' types.)  Zone Alarm is a surprising first choice, but I have no real objection to that aspect, there are some ways in which its working is more visual. And there are 3-4-5 or more good free firewalls, with personal style being a major aspect.  (e.g. Online Armor Free does not allow port configuration, restricting certain ports, which can blindside the user a smidgen).  So if one is working fine, kewl.

Note though that your articles saying just use a router firewall, you can ignore a software firewall, is dubious information, a router firewall generally does not have the function and configurability of a software firewall.  This is discussed at Wilders a lot.

Plus Online Armor gives you some decent HIPS, a category missing where you might also find some other products (changes to .exe files or sensitive registry entries or windows folders or startup are the types of things that HIPS will monitor and generally this type of real-time protection is not in your three categories).

A separate worthy category would be startup managers, with WinPatrol, Chameleon, Started and Anvir Task Manager having freeware editions. WhatinStartup (Nirsoft) and Autoruns also being among those worthy of consideration.

Shalom,
Steven Avery

Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll try to check out those programs sooner or later.

fenixproductions

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2johnnykarpat
Few comments / suggestions for you :)

BEST FREE INSTANT MESSENGER
Vote for Miranda IM.

BEST FREE WYSIWYG HTML EDITOR
PsPad is definitely not WYSIWYG!

BEST FREE FTP CLIENT
Vote for WinSCP.

BEST FREE IMAGE VIEWER
Vote for XnView or FastStone Image Viewer.

BEST FREE TEXT EDITOR
PSPad should be here.

BEST FREE TASK MANAGER
Vote for ToDoList (by AbstractSpoon).

BEST FREE FILE MANAGER
Vote for UltraExplorer or UnrealCommander (or maybe Nomad.NET).

Steven Avery

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Hi Folks

Actually the category "Best Free Task Manager" could possibly be renamed to have "ToDo" in there somewhere, since we often think of task managers as the XP system programs like Anvir Task Manager and DTaskManager (yet another potential category, with those being two of the potentials, along with Process Explorer and System Explorer).

And I want to temper a bit my enthusiasm for Software Informer above, due to some affiliation and history concerns, and I am not in a position to really compare the softwares.  Also Secunia PSI might be an add to the category.  There are some good reviews of these softwares, Gizmo leading the pack with a lot in review, comments and forum.

While there are many good FTP programs, Core FTP might be another one worthy of mention with WinSCP, also Sherrod.  These all seem fairly robust even in freeware versions. Others worthy of compare or mention and Coffee Cup and Cross and many more. (You don't have any alternatives listed to FileZilla).

Shalom,
Steven

fenixproductions

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2Steven Avery
I can't agree about adding Secunia tool. I've used it for a year and must say: that was stupid from my side.

First: resources consumption grows with time. After 3 months it got 300MB in RAM. Why? Reason, probably, below.

Second: I understand that I have IE control used in my BBCeditor but I need it for HTML. So it is understandable. Secunia uses IE to display anything! Come on, Secunia which is security related company uses IE with Flash to present simple data? What is wrong with using tables (or list view) for tables or even simple picture box for graphs? I find it lame. On the other hand, that is the most likely reason for taking so many resources.

Last: installation system is crappy. There is no possibility to use the same account for a very long time. During a year I had to update their tool couple of times and for each time it required from me to create new account. What for? I believed that I will see summarized info about my software since the beginning of using their tool. Wrong. It always worked like never been here before.

P.S. Something could change. Last time I had Secunia PSI on my HDD was little less than one year ago. Sadly, if I had to judge from screenshot I would say: it is still PITA.

Grorgy

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PSI does now have accounts which continue through time and across machines, still i found it annoying and don't really want something like that running all the time anyway, but it has improved a lot over the last 12 months, IMO

fenixproductions

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PSI does now have accounts which continue through time and across machines
So what is it supposed to do except of just existing?

They are gathering your data, of course, but you can't get it anytime you want to? Where is your info stored if you can't see it after update? How can your stats be reliable if there is no "through time" support?

It is not "across machines" case. I wanted to see details from my applications on the very same PC. The same Windows installation for years. If it is "start once just for check" type of software then it definitely does not need to be put in background and keep running there. Or did it change during these 12 months?

Steven Avery

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Secunia PSI moves down the update list
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2009, 12:15:20 PM »
Hi Folks,

Thanks Fenix and Grorgy.  Good points on Secunia PSI, note I only said "Also Secunia PSI might be an add to the category." lacking hands-on experience. Now it will move down the update list, and up the down staircase.

Shalom,
Steven Avery

johnnykarpat

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Thanks a lot to all of you for your suggestions. I made all the necessary corrections in the Best Freeware List page and hopefully the next list that I'll be publishing in December will be a lot better than this one. Thanks again for your help.

Cheers,

Johnny Karp