If you are like me, then you don't like to pay for software if you don't have to. I also like to stay legal with the software I use, so I try to find decent free alternatives to mainstream products. When I can't do that, I will pay for software. To me, Software is either free, or it isn't. If you get to use software for free for 30 days and then have to pay for it, it's not free software. Below is a list of sofware that I use and recommend.
*I have not been paid or influenced in any way by the below publishers to promote their products.
- 7-Zip -- A decent alternative to WinZip, although I prefer IZArc.
- AVG Antivirus -- A very decent FREE antivirus solution. I was tired of paying subscription renewal fees with Norton Antivirus, so now I use AVG. Works well with Windows Security Console in XP SP2.
- ColorMania -- Color Picker for easy selection and modification of Colors. Useful for picking colors from anywhere on your screen.
- CutePDF Writer -- Enables virtually any Windows applications (must be able to print) to create PDF documents with just a push of a button.
- IZArc -- IZArc is a free archiving tool that suports many archive formats. A decent freeware replacement for Winzip, although not the greatest UI.
- FileZilla -- FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. If you like CuteFTP, this is an excellent free alternative.
- Metapad -- Metapad is a small, fast (and completely free) text editor for Windows 9x/NT/XP with similar features to Microsoft Notepad but with many extra (and rather useful) features.
- SQL Server 2005 Express -- Free MS SQL Server for developers.
- Windows Defender (formerly Microsoft AntiSpyware/GIANT AntiSpyware). BY FAR the best anti-spyware (detection & removal) application I've used to date.
- Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP -- Pretty handy add-ons to Windows XP.
- Mozilla Firefox -- Mozilla Firefox is an open-source web browser, designed for standards compliance, performance and portability. Has built-in pop-up protection, along with many other great features. Mozilla Firefox is currently my browser of choice.
- Mozilla Thunderbird -- Mozilla Thunderbird is Mozilla's next generation e-mail client. Thunderbird makes emailing safer, faster and easier than ever before with the industry's best implementations of features such as intelligent spam filters, a built-in spell checker, extension support, and much more.
- Spybot Search & Destroy -- The second-best spyware detection and removal tool I've used, but still only detects and cleans 30% of known spyware according to test results I examined. A good compliment to Microsoft AntiSpyware, which detects and cleans around 80% of known spyware. If you have a spyware problem on your computer, it is always best to have 2 or more anti-spyware applications to remove as much spyware as possible.
- Visual Studio Express -- A full suite of Microsoft development products for free.
- Xenu's Link Sleuth -- Xenu's Link Sleuth (TM) checks Web sites for broken links.
- Beyond Compare -- "Beyond Compare®, the advanced file and folder comparison utility for Windows, helps you visualize changes in your code, keeps your directories in sync, and validates copies of your data." Also can compare local folders to FTP folders. Very useful.
- Paint Shop Pro -- A much easier and less expensive tool than Photoshop.
- PhpED -- A great php development IDE with advanced debugging.
- Search & Replace -- Search and Replace for Windows is an award winning, easy to use search and replace utility loved by programmers, webmasters, and novice computer users alike.
- TopStyle Pro -- An excellent CSS/XHTML/HTML Editor, written by the author of Homesite (now owned by Macromedia).
My Favorite Firefox Extensions: