Links

Of the several hundreds of free programs I have tried and the several thousands of websites I have visited, I give at least(!) 5 out of 5 points to those below. [1] This is the story about why I give the links at least(!) 5 out of 5 points (instead of being conventional and using a five grade scale with no leeway): To grade all sorts of phenomena is one of my great interests, to watch movies another one. When Skövde Film Festival started some years ago, I started grading every movie I saw. At first, I used the more established five grade scale, but sometimes I thought a movie deserved more than 5 points. Accordingly, I gave the movie in question 6 points. I didn't do so that often, but sometimes I did. Even less often, I gave a movie 7 points. That's how the five grade scale with at least seven grades was born. (I still haven't given more than 8 points on any occasion. To give 9 or 10 or even more points wouldn't be impossible, though, but I can't even begin to imagine what would justify that many points.)

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Tools

7-Zip

Description: With 7-Zip, you can unpack 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, LZH, CHM and several other file types.

Website: 7-zip.org

Grade:

Get 7-Zip


Tools

Advanced Renamer

Description: With Advanced Renamer, you can rename multiple files or folders at once.

Website: aren.hulubulu.net

Grade:

Get Advanced Renamer


Audio editing

Andy McFadden's CD-Recordable FAQ

Description: Get extensive yet comprehensible answers to about 300 questions on how to burn CDs.

Website: cdrfaq.org

Grade:

Go to Andy McFadden's CD-Recordable FAQ


Image editing & office

Artweaver

Description: Artweaver is a full-featured painting tool with a huge set of predefined realistic brushes to paint creatively or just experiment. Artweaver is suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

Website: artweaver.de

Grade:

Get Artweaver


Audio editing

Audacity

Description: Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder.

Website: web.audacityteam.org

Grade:

Get Audacity


Tools

EclipseCrossword

Description: EclipseCrossword is the fast, easy way to create crosswords. Just give EclipseCrossword a list of words and clues, and it does the rest. In seconds, you'll have a crossword puzzle with just the words you want.

Comments: The crossword puzzles can be saved and later solved with pen and paper or on a computer. If you are a teacher, you can let your pupils make their own crosswords. In other words, the program is very easy to use.

Website: greeneclipsesoftware.com

Grade:

Get EclipseCrossword


Tools

ESET Smart Security

Description: ESET Smart Security protects you well when you are online. The features include antivirus, antispyware, anti-theft, anti-phishing, personal firewall, antispam, parental control, social media scanner, exploit blocker, advanced memory scanner, vulnerability shield, and botnet protection.

Comments: Despite the fact that all programs on this page are supposed to be free, I still include ESET Smart Security. I have been using security programs from ESET for many years. Sofar, I'm very pleased. As soon as you have installed the programs, you won't notice them until they stop a virus etc.

Webbsite: eset.com

Grade:

Buy ESET Smart Security or try the program for free for 30 days


Image editing & office

FastStone Capture

Description: FastStone Capture is an easy to use yet powerful screen-capture utility. It allows you to capture anything on the screen, including the active window, a rectangle region, a freehand-selected region, and the entire screen. The capture can be saved in several different file formats, including jpeg, png, and tiff.

Comments: FastStone Capture is very useful and very reliable. Not only to capture the screen but also to measure areas on the screen.

Website: aplusfreeware.com

Grade:

Get FastStone Capture


For webmasters & programmers

Google Analytics

Description: Google Analytics gives you insights into how visitors use your site, how they got there, and how to attract them to come back. Google Analytics is based on an efficient and easy to use reporting platform so that you can decide what information you want to view and customize reports with a few clicks. The content reports will help you to find out which parts of the site that work well and which pages that are most popular so that you can create a better experience for your customers.

Comments: You must have javascript code on each page you want statistics from, but that code can easily be included in the file you include anyway with the php function require or the php function include. (More information on these php functions can be found at, for example, w3schools.com.)

Website: google.com

Grade:

Go to google analytics


Audio editing

How to transfer a tape to a CD using Audacity

Description: Essentially, the process is to hook a cassette tape player up to the sound card on your PC, record the music on the tape to one or more WAV files on the computer, and then transfer the WAV files to a CD.

Comments: The instruction is very good and easy to understand.

Website: nsftools.com

Grade:

Go to How to transfer a tape to a CD using Audacity


For webmasters & programmers

Htmldog.com

Description: At HTML Dog, you can find facts on and example of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, the most common technologies used in making web pages.

Comments: Htmldog.com is a well organised and comprehensive website about html and css for both less and more experienced webmasters.

Grade:

Go to htmldog.com


Image viewers, video players & web browsers

IrfanView

Description: IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative graphic viewer for Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, Vista, Windows 7 och Windows 8. It is trying to be simple for beginners and powerful for professionals.

Comments: With IrfanView, you can open 109 different types of image files and 17 different types of audio and video files.

Website: irfanview.com

Grade:

Get IrfanView


Image editing & office

OpenOffice

Description: Apache OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages, including Microsoft Office.

Website: openoffice.org

Grade:

Get OpenOffice


Image editing & office

paint.net

Description: Paint.NET features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.

Website: getpaint.net

Grade:

Get paint.net


Image editing & office

PhotoFiltre

Description: PhotoFiltre is a complete image retouching program. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image and apply a vast range of filters on it. It is simple and intuitive to use. With just a few clicks, you have access to the standard filters.

Website: photofiltre.free.fr

Grade:

Get PhotoFiltre


Tools

Registry Defrag/Compact

Description: During the normal operation of a Windows system, registry data is constantly being written to and removed from the registry. Over time this data becomes scattered within the registry file, and when information is deleted from the registry holes are left which fragment the data within the registry. Registry compacting optimizes your registry by removing gaps and wasted space, thus improveing the whole system's performance.

Comments: In May 2010, I wrote a longer comment to CCleaner with arguments AGAINST cleaning the registry with programs like CCleaner. Perhaps you shouldn't defragment the registry either. In the articles by various experts I read before I wrote the comment to CCleaner, it's implied here and there that you shouldn't. However, I didn't find any more concrete arguments and pieces of advice for not defragmenting the registry. For now, I keep Registry Defrag/Compact on this list, but I urge everyone who wants to defragment their registry to get more information on the subject before they do so.

Website: registry-clean.net

Grade:

Get Registry Defrag/Compact


For webmasters & programmers

Validator.w3.org

Description: This validator checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc.

Grade:

Go to validator.w3.org


Image editing & office

Visual Color Picker

Description: Visual Color Picker is a very easy to use and powerful RGB-HSV-HSL-CMYK-HEX color selector. The program includes predefined and custom color tables, converters to RGB and HTML code, and preview of text and background color. You can capture color values from any position of the screen.

Comments: What I, above all, appreciate about Visual Color Picker is that you can choose how much information you get. If you want more information, you can get that, and if you want less information you can hide practically all information you don't want. Furthermore, the program can generate code for CSS files etc. completely according to your wishes.

Website: sites.google.com/site/novosibsoftware

Grade:

Get Visual Color Picker


For webmasters & programmers

W3.org

Description: W3C's primary activity is to develop protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web. W3C's standards define key parts of what makes the World Wide Web work.

Comments: W3.org is crammed with facts about the web for the more advanced webmaster. The less advanced webmaster may try w3schools.com.

Grade:

Go to w3.org


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