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Good Free (and Legal) Software Answered

Over the past few years I've had a love/hate relationship with free software. Trying to find it, getting viruses from it, realising that it stinks. I wanted this forum to be a place where people can post their great software finds for PC, MAC or LINUX. No matter how strange or obscure, post it and where you got it.


I forgot this too...

CB Model Pro is yet another 3d modeling engine, only this one is designed to be organic. Not as high-powered as say, Blender, but a lot of fun to play with. Really good for children and beginners.

I forgot...

Alibre Design Xpress is a full featured 3d CAD program. I leaves off a few features for large scale drafting and photo-realistic renders, but I've never hit it's limit. It's great for modeling parts in 3d.

Houdini lets you download their Apprentice Edition 3d Software. It's a full featured program, but it limits you with a small watermark, non-commercial file format and a low render resolution.

I know these limits are a drag, but the modeling tools are pretty good. I bet that there is a file adapter out there somewhere.

hey Goodhart have you got a pic as your avatar that you like or will you keep changing it til you look even more professorial than before

I get bored, especially with the picture of myself (current one) I have a few made but they have my name on them and so I don't really want to use them....I guess I am searching for the one that "says it all" (the Einstein one came pretty close, don't you think ? LOL ).

I'll start.

Open Office: Available at OpenOffice.org. I would say that it's right at par with Microsoft Office. It works great, is available in many languages and for all operating systems. On top of that, it translates to MS Office pretty well.

The Mac equivalent is still terrible, though. I loved Open Office when I used it on my boyfriend's PC, but when I tried to download NeoOffice and use it, I only got tourettes. :(

Ah, nooo, that wasn't what I downloaded. Let me try that. Damn you, NeoOffice!

when I tried to download NeoOffice and use it, I only got tourettes.

LOL sorry for laughing but that struck my funny bone... :-)

I think oogitsmelol is right, NeoOffice looks like it's based on OpenOffice, but it's a different thing.

Unfortunately, it's still not compatible enough for my purposes. I often need to collaborate on a document with other people that using MS Office.

Trust me, you do *not* want to alternate editing in OpenOffice and MS Office on the same document. Sigh...

DVD Flick is a pretty kick ass open source DVD creator. it'll take any file format and encode to DVD and burn in one click. only downfall is there are no menu options. if your burning say an .AVI file it burns as is and starts from the beginning of the AVI file in the DVD player

OpenOffice(.org) (cross-platform word processor),
Google Docs (online word processor),
Amarok [Linux (and maybe Windows--I'm confused) media player]
The Gimp (previously GimpShop) (Linux, Windows, and possibly Mac graphics program)
Audacity (cross-platform audio editor)
(K)ubuntu (operating system)
Gmail (webmail)
Blogger (blog hosting)

]Kubuntu is good, nice installer and style, but I like Debian Linux a little better. I've found Debian a little more of a pain, but the software variety is huge. Right now I'm running Mandriva Linux. It's the nicest looking "right-out-of-the-box" install, really good for beginners, but I feel it has a lot of limitations.

I've never tried Debian, but from what I can gather from the website and Wikipedia, it's pretty darn good. (So good, in fact, that Ubuntu is based on it.) I never got Mandriva to work... I think the disk was scratched. But the most important thing I have to say is: WHY DID MY AMAROK COMMENT TURN INTO A LINK???

Gimp (sorry, i dont know/feel like posting the word as a link) its like a poormans illustrator

Gimp is linux is it not?? (Windows port I'm sure is there though), link button is just above your comment box you type in, click it and enter what text you want to show up as a link, place your url in the obvious url box. Wolla.

Gimp definitely works on Windows and Linux... I've used it on both, but I'm not sure about a Mac port.

Theres a Mac port, but its separate from the main GIMP project.

*huddles in a corner worshipping the wonderful framework of GTK+*

it might be, but it worked on my computer and i have windows lol ok


10 years ago

JetAudio this rocks as a media player. available at www.download.com
Jetico firewall also at download.com
Wolfenstein Enemy Territory/& mod. True Combat Elite the best free nline multiplayer first person shooter. (google for locations)

that's some....

Thanks for the Wolfenstein Enemy Territory hint. I can't believe I haven't heard of this! I can't wait to get home from work and try it out.

In case you're overwhelmed by the game I do suggest looking through this unofficial strategy guide: http://velocity.lunarpages.com

some of the best servers I've found are:

NMAclan@ server.nmaclan.net:27960
to connect to one, Bring down console, The button under Esc, (`), and type /connect 85.25.... or /connect server.nma....

is that true combat game like counter strike? and if so, is it better? ive been playing team fortress alot, but if i can find a game that i can play with friends, i would prefer that over random people online. also its free, so thats a plus. i may have to try it tonight...

Yes, I have only played CS:S once, I didn't do very well. killing a teammate.... but I would say it's better than CS:S as long as you keep in mind there are a few bugs now and then, and it's on the Q3 engine, not source.

irc@ #tc:elite @ quakenet

Inkscape is a vector drawing program like Adobe Illustrator. It's avaiable for PC, MAC and LINUX. I can't really tell you more than that, because I haven't played with it very much.

VLC Is a GREAT video player, there is basically not a single format it can't play, if it can't play something then you're missing codecs from your system. VLC is well known, even if you haven't heard of it.

Oh yeah, codecs? There's actually a big package avalible FREE called K-Lite Codec Pack . There's a lite version and a full version of it when you click the download button. If you have the HD space I'd get the full deal and install it, there's pretty much every single codec in there that you'd ever need and it's easy to install.

Let's face it though, the Government taps into our phone lines, reads our mail, and takes our computer passwords (and the odd hooligan that knows what a computer mouse is). There's a program I personally reccomend that I've been using ever since I got my first computer a long while ago. CCleaner (Crap Cleaner for short) It will clean your cache's, internet history(s). And also offers cleaning options for installed programs it finds you have (that includes clearing recent file history and whatnot). There is also a feature to search your registry for dead keys, or otherwise information leading to files/programs that aren't on your computer anymore, and most people don't realize how many reg keys just sit on your computer doing nothing.

Got Norton Antivirus? Fuckem, that software is grossly unessesary and people spend hundreds of dollars buying yearly liscenses just to keep using software that everyone praises as "The best antivirus eva!". It's a VERY large program, with a large amount of software along with it that is apparently required to run Norton. Aside from that, it's also a HUGE memory hog, and from what I've seen, it just doesn't do that good of a job. AVG on the other hand is one of the best programs I've seen, I didn't believe it myself until I used it, which before hand I was using nothing because there was basically nothing other than Norton. This program is so lightweight that I run it at startup and during gaming and it doesn't seem to slow down my computer at all, not to mention the fact it usually blocks most software that's malicious even before you have a chance to figure out you just downloaded a bad program/file. This is just the free edition (PM me should you wan the professional version) but the free version is all that you need basically, I just use the pro version just because it says pro..lol.

ISO Buster is very handy if you deal with a lot of different downloaded games and movies like I do, and some things just come in weird disc formats. Iso hunter can read/extract data from pretty much any disk image (haven't tested mac .dmg files yet but I'm sure it probably does those too) and if you have the money to pony up for the pro version it includes some features for data recovery, but again, the free version is all you should need.

I'll add more to the list when I get home, but seeing as I'm not on my windows machine right now, I can't remember all the different software I have. For now toodles and enjoy my long (long enough eh) post.

Thanks for the AVG hint. I tired of Norton. It's not even the price that bothers me, it's the fact that my computer would probably run better with a virus than with Norton active.

Norton is too invasive for my taste....a also run Avast!

Hey goodhart, want an example of invasive? Read my reply to blksheep above.

Yep, I had it on my last computer, and never did get rid of it all....as every reboot told me grrr. I had it for about 5-6 years, simply because it was rated at the top when I got it, and it wasn't over-priced (a rebate and store discount made it nearly free, and I got a CAM in the deal; every year after that, it's rebate made the upgrade free). But, like you, most years the thing made my computer run like it was ant powered, plus I had all kinds of troubles with it abending and telling me I needed to reinstall it AND re-update all my signatures (which took about 6-7 hours each time, since I only had dial up back then). I know what you went through as I put up with it for 5 + years.

Every computer I've ever gone on that had Norton running, I would usually tell the owner to screw norton, and usually I wouldn't use it until I shut it down (did I mention how Norton "mysteriously" only allows the program to be "paused" for limited amounts of time??) I know a lady I repaired her computer, it only had 256mb of ram in it, and really baseline onboard video/sound. To add to that, she had Norton installed on it, I ended up wiping it (it was badly messed). Her husband that I hang out with once in a while said she wasn't too happy with me. Guess why? Wasn't the slower motherboard/cpu I put in (old mobo's sound was fried and all I had was a 1.5ghz athlon xp) or the fact that the coveres weren't even attached all the way (she had some weird computer case, could never get the thing to stay together). Turned out she was mad because I uninstalled Norton (that's what happens when you wipe a computer I guess), and I told her I wasn't reinstalling it because her computer isn't fast enough in the first place, then I told her that she wasted her money on norton in the first place. Another thing about the dialup, I noticed that the norton updates were always mb's, 15-20mb sometimes. The biggest update I've ever seen avg ask for was like 8mb or something? I think it was an entire system update for all of AVG, but the daily signature updates are only a few hundred kb's, very easy on dialup.

Well, what happened with my updates was, I bought Norton in the middle of the year, so it had to get all the updates from Jan-July or Aug. It was a mess (it would fail and I had to start it over, and over, and over again). One thing about it, Symantec never did make any money off of me. In the 5 or so years I had Norton, I only paid them about $8-12, one time, and from then on in it was "rebate city" all the way. It was free (and almost worth every penny too) from that first time onwards. :-)

the reason i quit using norton and switched to avg is because norton refused to update. it would go to connect and always fail. i would uninstall and reinstall like they told me to, and nothing. so i said screw it, and put on avg. i will never use norton again.

Yeah, I had that happen one year....it was a different bug each year too

Sounds like Norton alright, that's happened to me too.

avg is great. total, as of right now it has used ~3,000 KB of memory...

Exactly, when I first installed it, I had checked a couple times to see if it was still running because my computer was acting like I hadn't installed any antivirus software. At the time I was so used to the way antivirus software tended to lop your computer off at the legs that I was fairly amazed. It's good when AV software amazes you, doesn't happen as often as you'd thing eh?

If you want to confirm your hatred towards Norton, I have a story. I tried to install Norton onto my pentium 2 a long time ago (obviously :p) and the time Norton's sys req's were actually lower than what I had, so I though why the hell not?? Long story short, I ended up formatting my HD AGAIN (I was installing norton on a fresh install) because it was so slow that I could barely operate it. Not only that, but when I tried to uninstall it, there was shitloads of norton software still sticking around and some active Norton processes (Hmmm, after an uninstall and restart??? Bullshit.) I hope I never meet the CEO of Norton because I would probably shove something sharp and pointy like a flag pole through his head.

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Screw the p2p war, people that offer software like "Limewire", "Morpeus", "Bearshare" and those general p2p titles make it so you need to pay THEM for the pro version just so you can have non-limited speed, and access to features that shouldn't even be restricted in the first place. The solution is called ironically in a sense; Frostwire . Not only does the name sound closely identical to limewire, it's also built on the same code limewire is, the only difference is that it's entirely free, no restrictions, full speed, the whole she-bang. All of these p2p programs avalible don't provide better search results or faster speeds than other's like some sites cite that they do. Gnutella is a global network of peers and all those programs connect you to the same place so if it's slow, it's because the Gnutella network is bogged, not because you have to buy a pro version of what you're using to get faster transfers.

Oh yeah, did I mention Aircrack-NG, it's free but has illegal password cracking features, don't blame me when you piss the neighbours off.

A while ago I had a lot of fun with Lego Digital Designer. Simply put, it's a 3D CAD system for Legos. Available for both PC and MAC.

GIMP and VLC Media Player are my top two picks of the year.