Archive for September, 2005

Free AntiVirus Tool

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

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If you're tired of paying hundreds of dollars for antivirus updates, try Avast! This free program will protect you from "in-the-wild" viruses, Trojan horses, even viruses that arrive your e-mail inbox. It automatically updates itself so it’s aware of the latest crop of viruses, but the most impressive feature is the heuristic analysis system which helps detect possible threats before they’re installed in your computer. You can never know what you are getting into online — and with Avast! you don't have to worry about what your PC might catch. Avast! is free for for home, non-commercial use.

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Classic Arcade Games on your PC

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

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Starting today, Friday is Avoiding Work Day at Free Download A Day. We launch Avoiding Work Day with MAME — the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.

Do you remember the first time you played a video game in an arcade? Joust, Time Pilot, Street Fighter … The graphics might have been a bit chunky, but you had a blast. MAME beings back the video games of yesteryear with a free, open source program. The application emulates several different arcade platforms — thousands of games — with just one program. The player is free, but it is important to note that the game ROM files generally aren't. You can get some ROMs for free from MAME's ROM page and Legal Arcade Games. In addition, you can purchase many game ROMs from StarROMs. So if you long for the days of Pac Man and Frogger, look no further than MAME for a dose of nostalgia.

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Remove Adware for Free

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

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Ad-Aware Personal is one of those programs that every Windows user needs, whether they know it or not. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to use a computer that’s bent on showing you ads and popping up web pages unbidden. Ad-Aware Personal offers an impressive array of features including protection from data-mining, aggressive advertising, software parasites, trojans, browser hijackers, and other “malware.” This program, free for non-commercial use, can help protect your system from known and unknown spyware attacks. Surfing the web is dangerous business — and Lavasoft's Ad-Aware Personal edition is the bodyguard your PC needs.

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Store Your Passwords Securely

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

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Spytech PasswordLock allows you to store all your passwords in one secure place — no more aimlessly browsing directories and running panicked searches. Simply add all your passwords to an encrypted, password-protected list for easy user identification and password management. Forget a password? No problem: use the Password Revealer utility to remind you. If you don't trust yourself to come up with a sufficiently unique and undecipherable password, the Random Password Generator utility will do that for you. You can manage and copy passwords in this quick and easy-to-use tool, which is increasingly necessary in a password-concealed computer world.

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Remote Control Your Computer

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

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RealVNC is kind of amazing: it lets you control any Internet-connected computer from any other Internet-connected computer. Say you’re on a business trip but you need a file from your home computer: you can use RealVNC to access your home computer’s desktop and transfer the file to yourself. Or, you can use it to troubleshoot a friend’s computer from miles away. RealVNC is available for many platforms, so it’s no problem to see and control a remote Windows desktop from your Mac, or control a Mac desktop from your Linux PC. If you’re a network administrator or just someone with more than one PC to manage, RealVNC is a useful tool.

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Free Internet Filter

Monday, September 19th, 2005

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Parents of young children may be worried, and rightfully so, about the hazards and landmines that exist on the Internet, including “Pr0n,” foul language, and hate speech. Naomi was created to help make the Internet safer for kids by filtering the material you deem inappropriate. This application goes beyond a browser filter to give you a wider net of protection for all your Internet programs, including browsers, chat programs, and peer-to-peer applications. It runs quietly in the background — when it notices offensive content, closes the web browser or other program that attempted to deliver it. The program is password protected, so clever little hands have can’t change settings or filters. If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your family safe, give Naomi a try.

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PowerToys for Windows XP

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

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If you’re looking for new and fun ways to tweak your Windows XP computer, look to PowerToys. This set of free add-ons and applications offered by Microsoft adds functionally to the XP system. As the name implies, many of these utilities are geared toward power users, but some are just plain useful for everyone. The varied programs include a RAW Image Thumbnailer, HTML Slide Show Wizard, Alt-Tab Replacement, Power Calculator, Image Resizers, CD Slide Show Generator, Taskbar Magnifier, Webcam Timershot, and more. A new version of PowerToys is released every so often, so check back often for these free upgrades.

Get Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP

Free Flight Simulator

Friday, September 16th, 2005

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Flightgear may be the closest thing to actually strapping yourself in the left seat. This flight simulator rivals commercial software like Microsoft Flight Simulator, delivering beautiful, realistic scenery, lighting, terrain, and flight controls. You can take off and land at more than 20,000 airports worldwide and can take command of dozens of different aircraft including the 1903 Wright plane and military fighter jets. You don’t need a top of the line computer to run the program, but plenty of RAM and a better graphics card will provide better results. Whether you are looking to burn some time flying the open skies, or want to supplement your flight school training, give Flightgear a try.

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Free Printable Stationery

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

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The paper that comes out of your printer is one relentless white sheet after another, which makes your correspondence oh-so-boring. A new site called Free Printable Stationery offers more than 150 stationery designs that you can download, personalize, and print. The selections include business letterhead, informal personal stationery, plus party invitations, animal-themed pages, and more. You can download lined or unlined versions, then use Microsoft Word (or your favorite free word processor that uses the .DOC format) to customize and print the stationery. And in case you forgot the spelling rule like we did: stationary means standing still; stationery is paper you write on. As far as we know, the stationery is stationary.

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Free Widgets for your Desktop

Friday, September 9th, 2005

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What's better than a really great program that, through the wonder of corporate acquisition, becomes a really great free program? Nothing is better than that. Oh look, here's an example now: Konfabulator used to be a $19.95 shareware program, until Yahoo bought it up and decided to give it away for free. Konfabulator is a "widget" program — it can do a lot of things, depending on which widgets you install (and there are more than 1,000 to choose from.) These nifty-looking widgets sit on your desktop (or, if you like, float above your other windows) and provide information. There are, for example, an alarm clock, a wireless network finder, system monitors, webcam viewers, and plenty more to choose from. They look great and — if you choose your widgets wisely — can make you more productive. Even if you don't choose them wisely, they'll make your desktop look much cooler. Konfabulator is available for both Windows and MacOS.

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