Every couple months, some software vendor I've never heard of pings me about a new DVD ripper or video converter that they're giving away. I always think there's going to be some kind of catch, like the program's in German or doesn't support Adam Sandler movies. (Actually, that wouldn't be a catch at all.)
Instead, it usually turns out to be a decent piece of software with no strings to speak of. And here's a fine example: From now until September 30, you can get uRexsoft DVD Ripper Platinum (Windows) absolutely free. Normally it would run you $34.95.
To get the program, you don't have to "like" anything on Facebook or wait for a registration code to arrive in your inbox. Just download it right here, then paste in registration code FE3849FF7A7AA1D3FFEB44E95DFF5FBB31D7FBA7. Easy-peasy.
Compatible with Windows XP and later, DVD Ripper Platinum can convert your DVDs (the ones you own, of course) to just about any video format: AVI, MP4, WMV, and so on. Of course, it also comes with a wide range of output presets, including Android, iPad, iPhone, and everyday HD video.
The program even provides some rudimentary editing features, which is nice if you want to rip, say, a certain scene from a movie instead of the entire thing.
I ran a quick test on a season-four disc of "Burn Notice" (great, highly underrated show, by the way), and while it wasn't the fastest ripper I've ever used (it took about 54 minutes to convert a 43-minute episode), it worked just fine.
And here's where it gets interesting: uRexsoft is offering four ways to earn lifetime upgrades for the program. For example, if you have more than 200 friends/followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., all you have to do is share a link to the giveaway, then e-mail uRexsoft to get your lifetime upgrade. (The other options are listed on the giveaway page.) Seems like a pretty fair trade to me.
Ultimately, I dig anything free, and uRexsoft DVD Ripper Platinum not only qualifies, but also requires less hoop-jumping than most giveaways of its ilk. Sweet.
Bonus deal: Powerline networking kits usually start at around $100. Newegg has the TrendNet TPL-303E2K Powerline AV Adapter Kit for $49.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code EMCKAHC23 at checkout. Great way to stretch Ethernet from one room to another without running wires.
Bonus deal No. 2: Speaking of freebies, iPad owners should definitely check out Crimson: Steam Pirates, one of the best free games I've played.