Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1:
These are both big files to download, which could be an issue if you are on dial-up or a Broadband download quota with an excess charge payable. To save you downloading these yourself, we can provide copies on USB flash drive or CD at a minimal cost.
Google Chrome Browser:
Google has released a browser that is claimed to combine a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier. More information here, where you can also dowload it.
Open Office is a fully-featured office suite compatible with leading office products, including Microsft Office, and it is FREE to download. However, as you would expect, it is a large file to download (120MB) so, if you want a copy, please let us know. More details here, where you can also download the program.
Anapod Explorer is a small program (less than 1MB) that integrates an iPod into Windows, which makes it very easy to transfer music and other files to and from your computer. You can download a trial version here that includes all the basic functions.
A hard disk is usually subdivided into one or more partitions. These partitions are normally not re-sizable (making one larger and the adjacent one smaller) The purpose of GParted is to allow the individual to take a hard disk and change the partition organization therein, while preserving the partition contents. More details and download here.
7-Zip is a free file archiver with a high compression ratio. More details and download here.
Free PDF Creator - PrimoPDF:
Convert to PDF from any application by simply 'printing' to the PrimoPDF® printer - it couldn't be easier! A great substitute for the high cost Adobe Acrobat Professional if you don't need all the 'bells and whistles'. More details here where you can also download this program - about 14MB.
Another great substitute for the high cost Adobe Acrobat Professional, without any nagging to buy the commecial version. You can download the Windows version of this program here - 15.4MB.
The ‘ecofont’ is a recent development from a Dutch company promoted by "After Dutch holey cheese, there now is a Dutch font with holes as well." It claims to use up to 20% less ink, with the holes not visible on printing. It can be downloaded here.
GoodSync is a file and folder bi-directional synchronization program. It uses innovative synchronization algorithms to synchronize your data between desktop PCs, laptops, USB drives and more. It has an easy-to-use interface.
After the first run, only folders or files that have been changed or added are synchronized, which greatly speeds up the process.
It is free for 'reasonable' home use, currently about 20,000 files per 30-day period. For heavier use, a Pro version is available for only US$ 19.95.
More details here where you can also download the program.
Roboform is a top-rated Password Manager and Web Form Filler that completely automates password entering and form filling securely. Free for limited home use and you can also purchase the Pro version for US$ 29.95.
More details here.
DriveImage XML is an easy to use and reliable program for imaging and backing up partitions and logical drives.
The program allows you to:
You can create safe "hot images" even from drives currently in use and restore images to drives without having to reboot.
More details here where you can also download the program.
An essential tool if you want to make back up copies of your DVDs and the size exceeds that of your DVD recording blank. You can download DVD Shrink freeware here. There is a guide for using DVD Shrink here.
You received a present from overseas of a DVD movie and it won’t play on your lounge room DVD player because the Region Code is locked? Or you want to make a back up copy of your DVD movie so the kids don't wreck the original - but there is a security block? Try using this free software to solve the problem and then use DVD Shrink to burn it. You can download DVD Decrypter here.
It can be free but not always. If the term is unfamiliar to you at present, we reckon you will soon have heard all about it. It stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol" and enables you to make free or low cost phone calls while you are connected to the Internet on ISDN or Broadband.
To try it out, all you need is sound on your computer and a headset with microphone, preferably 'noise cancelling'. You can then use Skype, recently acquired by eBay, details here, or MSN Messenger. This is free to anywhere in the world, provided the person you are calling also has registered with Skype or MSN Messenger and has the software installed.
In both cases, if you have a Web Cam and have sufficient bandwidth you can see each other as well as talk
To call a landline phone, you need to subscribe to a VSP (Voice Service Provider) or make a payment to Skype. We use PennyTel and MyNetFone but there are many others to choose from in spite of the fact that this technology is in its 'early adopters' stage.You can use and select more than one VSP to get the lowest cost calls.
Typically, call costs are 10c untimed to anywhere in Australia or, alternatively, a membership fee of $5 - $10 per month and thereafter 1c per minute. Costs to mobiles and overseas are also low but vary...you have to work out what suits your call pattern best.
If you want to use a 'regular' phone handset for convenience (cordless work well), you will need to purchase an ATA (Analogue Phone Adapter) to achieve this. There are good 'package' deals around but beware of those that lock you in to the one VSP.
AVG Antivirus Free Edition :
Antivirus program for use at no charge on a single home computer. The new free version (Version 8) is available from Grisoft here. However, be aware that the new LinkScanner component of AVG Anti-Virus 8.0 is causing undue load on popular websites and consuming more of your bandwidth.
Avast! 4 Home Edition:
A full-featured antivirus package designed exclusively for home users, non-commercial users. Both conditions should be met! Avast offers Home Edition free of charge, since in their opinion, it is possible to avoid global virus spreading by efficient prevention; however, many users are not able or do not want to pay for antivirus software. You can download it here.
AntiVir Personal Edition:
Also free for home use and can be downloaded here.
If you have DSL or a cable modem, your IP address is permanent. Although this has benefits, it also carries the serious shortcoming of rendering your PC vulnerable to attacks. A firewall becomes not just desirable but much more important. The basic version of ZoneAlarm is free for personal use and can be downloaded from here.
If you are using Windows XP you should have installed Service Pack 2 or 3 by now, which has an integrated Firewall, as have Vista and Windows 7..
Microsoft Security Essentials:
Microsoft Security Essentials is a fullt-featured free program that helps protect your computer against security threats caused by spyware, viruses and other unwanted software. You can download the program here.
This free product has the ability to comprehensively scan your memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known datamining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components. It provides the user with the confidence to surf the Internet knowing that their privacy will remain intact and is available for download here.
Spybot - Search & Destroy:
Another application that scans for spyware, adware, hijackers and other malicious software. Available for free download here.Fresh Download:
This is an easy-to-use download manager from Fresh Devices for speeding up the downloading of larger files from the Internet. This software is free, no charges, no banners, no spyware and the program can be downloaded here, plus some other free utilities.
This is a very useful program for capturing selective screenshots, that is just the part of your screen that is relevant. It is free and you can download it here.
Another very useful program for capturing selective screenshots, with some additional features that can be handy. Free for non-commercial use. More details here.
ShieldsUp! Security Check:
This is a free Internet security checkup and information service made available by Gibson Research. You can check how good your computer’s security is here.
IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative graphic viewer. It works with a wide range of images in different format and has useful editing and presentation tools. It is free for non-commercial use. You can download it and a wide range of plug-ins here.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is a free raster graphics editor used to process digital graphics and photographs. GIMP can also be used to create basic animated images in GIF format. You can download GIMP here.
Originally intended as a free replacement for the Microsoft Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool. It can be downloaded here.
A free software download from Google. Picasa is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your PC. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures and sorts them into visual albums. You can download Picasa here.
Photo Story 3
This Microsoft program is a FREE download allowing you to easily create slide shows, add music, etc. Even if you already have more powerful programs, this can be a useful addition. Quick and easy to use, it can be downloaded here.
Adobe Acrobat Reader:
A free PDF reader which you can download from here.
A small and fast free PDF viewer that currently has over 50 million users all around the world. An alternative to Acrobat Reader, only 3.68Mb compared to 22.8Mb, faster to open PDF files and with additional features, such as filling in a PDF form on your computer using the Typewriter tool without having to convert it to Word. It can be downloaded here.
If you can’t find the driver you need at the web site of the manufacturer of your equipment or device, this can probably help you. Especially useful to find drivers of older devices. Go here.