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Which type of free application do you find most valuable?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / August 30, 2005 4:54 AM PDT

Which type of free application do you find most valuable?

Office related (which one?)
Security (which one?)
System maintenance (which one?)
E-mail (which one?)
Web publishing (which one?)
Photo editing (which one?)
Other (which one?)
None, I buy everything (why?)

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PDF995, Spybot
by susanva / August 30, 2005 8:33 AM PDT

The free PDF printer from is the best free tool I use. I liked it so much that I paid the $9.95 to avoid the pesky advertising pop up. While I use it to share unchangeable Office docs, I've found it especially useful for saving and sharing Quicken reports.

As for system sw, I think Spybot is great, too.

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by ERIC_G / August 30, 2005 9:31 AM PDT
In reply to: PDF995, Spybot

Spybot is one of them, AVG Antivirus, Spyware-Doctor, Ad-Aware, CCleaner and some more....and all of them works really good. No complains here. I want to say THANKS TO THE MAKERS OF ALL THAT DIFFERENT SOFTWARE.

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You enjoy it? So if you can afford it make some donation.
by hamako / August 30, 2005 12:01 PM PDT

If they have a donation page and I like their stuff, I give some donation, because these guys work their butt off for our computer's health.

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by ERIC_G / August 30, 2005 2:22 PM PDT

Actually I did donate to some of them.

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Good practice!
by hamako / August 31, 2005 9:39 AM PDT

Good practice, because this keeps the "good guys" going.

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(NT) (NT) CutePDF -- great no pop ups no watermarks
by another 1 bites the dust / August 31, 2005 2:45 AM PDT
In reply to: PDF995, Spybot
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Regarding which type of free programs I use...
by psychpilot / August 30, 2005 8:38 AM PDT

I am really sold on FireFox, although I keep MSIE since some sites require it. I also like AntiVir - it's the best anti-virus software I know of, whether free or paid.

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I love Yahoo Messenger with voice
by mustang3 / August 30, 2005 9:59 AM PDT

Now I don't have to worry about the time I spend talking to my friends and long distance charges.
I love Picasa and Hello. I just wish I had got more information on what kinds of free security software I need to be covered for everything. I just bought Norton but I do not like it.

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by sharee100 / August 30, 2005 10:42 AM PDT

I have been buying Norton Antivirus for the past 6 years. I think this will be the last year. It costs too much and does less each year. I'm open to suggestions for free antivirus software. I have heard AVG (?) is good.

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AVG is great
by hamako / August 30, 2005 12:04 PM PDT
In reply to: Norton

I am using AVG for several years now and it is constantly protecting me against virus attacks. The updates are almost daily and the e-mail scanner that scans before downloading, works like a charm.

BUT if you use it for your profession, not as a private person, you should use the paid for service. These guys deserve it!

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AVG is great
by Wadda / August 31, 2005 3:46 AM PDT
In reply to: AVG is great

How do you get the updates to the free version? I cannot get updates. The message keeps telling me I have not updated for 93 days.


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Usually it comes automatically
by hamako / August 31, 2005 9:45 AM PDT
In reply to: AVG is great

Open the Control Center (click on the task bar icon) and click on "Check for updates". The rest is self explaining. If this does not work, soemthing is wrong with your installation and you should reinstall the program.

With the Update Manager - Properties, you can set the update process to automatic at a convenient time, when you are usually online. Its fast and the update files are very small (som hundred K only). You don't even have to restart.

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AVG vs Norton
by tamie00 / June 23, 2006 9:15 PM PDT
In reply to: AVG is great

I have been a Norton Anti-Virus user for many years until my subordinates at my current job found out. They were surprised to know that I used Norton. They emphatically suggested that I try AVG. I thought, why not, what have I got to lose! I went home and uninstalled Norton and went into the internet and installed AVG (free version). As soon as I finished installing AVG, I was prompted to do one manual update. From then on, I watched as AVG scanned my PC and discovered 134 trojans in my PC!!!! I was in total SHOCK! I thought Norton had been taking care of my PC all these years!! I am now a devoute AVG user and want nothing else (Norton) but AVG. It now updates all by itself. When I had Norton, I had to manually thru "Liveupdate" had to do the updates. My computer now runs faster and there's no more delays when I have serious useage of my PC when at home over the weekend. Thank you AVG!!!

Wally P.
Tbilisi - Georgia

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Re; Norton
by axefan / August 30, 2005 12:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Norton

I used to use Norton and then tried out some others but didn't like them. Tried AVG and liked it, but then upgraded to the latest version. Nothing but problems. Got rid of it and now use Avast. It does not cause any trouble. It upgrades almost daily and when you self scan it works great. I recommend Avast !!!!!!

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re: Avast!
by rmjb / August 31, 2005 10:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Re; Norton

I use Avast to and I'd advise that over any other any day.

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AVG vs. Norton
by Braindude / August 30, 2005 6:38 PM PDT
In reply to: Norton

I've had the same issue with Norton. Not to mention it had 10 applications running. I switched to AVG, which has 2 applications and love it. The first scan with AVG actually found several things Norton had not.

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Same happened to me
by hamako / August 31, 2005 9:46 AM PDT
In reply to: AVG vs. Norton

I had the same result. AVG has saved my butt more than once.

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avast 4.6 is a free anti-virus program
by chuckburmester / September 1, 2005 3:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Norton

I am using it on 3 computers and I will never pay for anti-virus again as long as companies like alwil offer programs like avast for free. It gives you a lot of control over the different modules of the program or there is a simple user interface if you like simple operation. I get updates on what seems like a daily basis and there have been several days that I have gotten 2 updates. Avast works great for me because I am a disabled person and my computers is my main source of entertainment and spend most of the day on the internet and have mever had a problem with it and also I like the fact that it is free.

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security system
by Wolfman1932 / August 30, 2005 3:08 PM PDT

I recommend Trend to you. I get at least one update every day.

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Re: I love Yahoo Messenger with voice
by caryyy / August 30, 2005 10:45 PM PDT

What is Hello?

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Me too
by kefta4ever / August 31, 2005 3:31 AM PDT

I like it too, I use Trillian now though. It has all the same features except it works with Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and ICQ. Even IRC.

If its long distance talking with friends thats important, you cant beat SKYPE. Its got the best quality voice of any of them, plus group conversations. Its a bandwidth hog though.

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Most Valuable
by matthew.cheese / August 30, 2005 8:47 AM PDT


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by omygosho / August 30, 2005 8:49 AM PDT

bitpim is an open-source free program to add pics, ringtones, etc to your phone and backup the same plus your phonebook. buy a cable, download and have fun. i use it mostly to put ringtones i make on my phone. I also use firefox for net.

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my favs
by Becky M / August 30, 2005 8:53 AM PDT
In reply to: bitpim

Firefox always followed by OpenOffice and Spybot

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Pretty much everything is I have is Freeware
by Rapt0r9 / August 30, 2005 8:54 AM PDT

I hate buying things. I hate giving up my money. The solution? No, not stealing, that is illegal and although it may work, it'll catch up to you. My solution is simple. Freeware! Almost anything that you can think of or need is avalible onm the internet as a free program. Not that 10 day trial shareware, but free software that works very well. I have Spybot 1.4, Ad-Aware SE, CWS Shredder, Anti-Vir, PC Cleaner, Open Office, Mozilla Thunderbird, Opear 8.01, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape Navigator, dbPowerAmp, Winamp, iTunes, Cheeta Audio Converter, Wavepad, and the list goses on and on. Usually I'l find a program that I need in about an hour of internet surfing and program testing. Of course some of it takes alot longer, Open Office took about 1 and a half, but the rewards? Free software that works at par with retail software.

If I can't find the program and it is simple enough, like a calculator or something, I'll make it. Obviousely I can't make a program like Microsoft Office by myself, so I look for the eqivalent of that online. Simple stuff I make, RTF Editors and such, but I don't buy it. Free legitamate software.

Never buy something when you can find it for free. It may take some looking, but it is and always will be out there and you can find it. (Thank god for google)

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Open office
by sharee100 / August 30, 2005 10:46 AM PDT

Tell me about it...

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OpenOffice, the replacement for MS Office
by r_remco12 / August 30, 2005 7:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Open office (OOo) is a free Office suite that is as good as MS Office, it can do the same things (exept for visual basic, which you likely don't use) and even more.
Especially the current beta of 2.0 is very good: is faster than 1.1.4 and it can do a lot more.
I really recomend this piece of software to everyone, it'll save you loats of money and still gives you high quality software.

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OpenOffice is the best
by libkitty / August 31, 2005 4:34 AM PDT

I agree. I just love OpenOffice. For my use, I find it more stable and easier to use than MS Office, and easier to use. As a matter of fact, if MS Office were free and OpenOffice cost, I might even pay the money for OpenOffice. Free is better, though.

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Open Office
by MavMin / September 5, 2005 4:27 AM PDT

I have set up the computer lab at my church's Christian Academy with Open Office. I have free access to MS Office because of my job but when I retire I will probably switch to the latest version of Open Office.

I also use Spybot and Adaware. I load AVG for my friends and when my Norton subscription runs out I will switch to it as well.

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by mbb / August 30, 2005 9:01 AM PDT

I purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 and have paid to take classes on it's utilization, but I use the free PICASA 2.0 for 95% of the photowork I do. It is simple, fast and produces great results.

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