- My number one, top freeware application is IrfanView. I have used this for almost 15 years now. It continues to grow in capabilities and still remains free. There is a DONATE button and a couple years ago I did donate $25. Seemed only fair since I use this program daily, usually several times a day.
I use it to view photos and other images. I can resize (dimensions), optimize (JPG file size), crop, add text, auto adjust colors in photos and a lot more. I use maybe 20% of what is offered. It is my default image viewer. Oh, once you've downloaded and installed it, be sure to download and install the Plug-ins to enhance the functionality.
- I discussed password keepers not too long ago and LastPass is the freeware program I use. I am still learning all it can do for me. No more keeping credit card information unsecured...nope, store it in LastPass and use that to fill in the forms, as well as billing, shipping and other information. Oh yeah, it also stores all my passwords. My next mission is to upgrade to the Premium version and sync the information on my phone (still secured). All I have to remember is my main LastPass login password!
- Foxit Reader is my default PDF reader...I no longer keep Adobe Reader on my computer. Over the years Adobe Reader has become more and more bloated in size. I just want to be able to read a PDF. Foxit Reader does that very well...and it has nothing to do with FireFox. LOL!
- Need to share information easily between computers? Want to share it with your smartphone? Then Evernote is for you. I have found so many uses for this amazing piece of freeware. You decide which notebooks get synced...you determine how often to sync. Easy! I can now update my shopping list on my PC or my phone. I have I.C.E. information on both.
Since I like to write, I have a notebook for writing ideas. We are looking at things we might want to sell while traveling...thoughts and websites go into that notebook. Web pages, images, photos, text and more. I love it!
- If you use chat a lot and have more than one type (MSN, Yahoo, Google, AOL, etc) then Pidgin is for you. It allows you to set up multiple accounts and use one interface to chat with folks. It recently addded Facebook which is now the only chat I use and I still prefer Pidgin.
- For a browser I use Firefox although I am trying out Chrome as well. I have Firefox set where it works well for me (add-ons for Firefox could be another blog by itself.) For email I use Thunderbird with the add-on of Lightning for contact management.
- "Print to PDF" is a must have piece of software and I actually have several installed. The one I use the most is Bullzip PDF Printer. Once it's installed, it will appear as a printer choice. Slick and easy to setup and use.
- Want a great way to talk to family and potentially see them as well? Skype is the answer for you. Phone calls between Skype users is free...no restrictions. In addition for a small charge you can call landlines when you have Internet but no cell coverage. We love actually seeing our grandkids using the webcam on our computer and them using theirs.
- The last two pieces of software are used online, not downloaded. The first is used to scan your computer for viruses and mal-ware. It's Panda ActiveScan and although you will have to download some ActiveX controls, the software runs online. I use Eset NOD32 anti-virus (not the security suite), run Lavasoft's Ad-Aware, scan with Malwarebytes and Panda still found a few things I needed to fix. Try it!
- The last one is Picnik.com and it is truly amazing. I've used it to remove red-eye, both human and fur-ball. I've also used it to fix Christmas photos taken at night. Once you've tried it, I think you'll be as hooked as I am.
Well, that should be enough food for thought....hope at least one of these solves a problem for you, or helps you be more productive in some way.
Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu