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    Last  Updated 4th July, 2013

Running and maintaining a computer can be expensive. So much so, that there are probably hundreds of thousands of home computers operating on minimum standards and running the risk of virus infection because their owners feel that they cannot afford to purchase the necessary software. Worse, some of the software that is available does not perform half as well as the open-source or free programs which can be downloaded here. I won't go into detail, but some of the top-name security software, much of it quite costly,  does not perform half as well as open-source, or free, material. Below, you will find download links for some excellent anti-virus, anti-spyware programs plus several useful utilities and help forums. All free.

This web-site, incidentally, was constructed using a free web-authoring program,  Komposer, which easily out-performs similar programs costing up to 100.

If you discover that any of these programs have become shareware, ie. require payment, please let me know, in order that details can be suitably amended.


Paint.NET
This is the bees knees. If you were thinking of buying a professional photo-editing program,  forget it.  Not to be confused with the Paint program which comes installed with Windows, Paint.net is a powerful editing tool.
The program  is extremely easy to use once you have mastered the basics.
There is also a support
forum with all the assistance you might need, including tutorials.
Download here.  


Neevia Converter
A superb online tool which allows users to convert documents from Word to JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PDF, etc. Merely choose the required output format and upload your files for conversion. 
This is one program which I use regularly, and which I find extremely useful.
Click HERE to access the website.

Gixen ebay Sniper
If you use eBay, this is for you. Never miss another bargain.  A well-established and secure sniping facility. Very easy to use. Enables you to place your maximum bid days before an auction ends.
Highly recommended.
No download necessary.
Click here   for more information.


Spywareblaster.  
An excellent addition to the PC armoury, preventing malicious spyware, including keyloggers, from gaining access to your computer. It is prudent to check for updates at intervals of about 14 days. Downloading these only takes a few minutes, but means that you are protected against the latest threats. The program runs automatically each time your PC is switched on, and it operates unobtrusively in the background.
 Download Spywareblaster 3.5.1 here            

CW Shredder  
CoolWebSearch is a particularly nasty piece of spyware which can cause myriad problems and play havoc with your browser. One of its habits is browser hijacking.The reliable answer is CW Shredder, which will search your system for CoolWebSearch and remove it. An essential tool and downloadable  here  courtesy of Trend Micro.


Malwarebytes   
This is a superb piece of anti-malware kit. Very effective. Malware can create havoc on a PC, and this program is the answer. Does a rapid scan of all directories and reaches the parts that other programs don't. 
Definitely highly recommended.
Download Malwarebytes here






Keyword Generator
This great online program is essential for anyone intending to launch a website. Generates a list of appropriate keywords
which will increase the  number of 'hits' on your site.
An effective, easy-to-use tool.
Click here to connect to Keyword Generator.


Kompozer Website Builder
Successor to NVU
You need no knowledge of HTML to use this excellent web-authoring tool. I built this web-site using the program, and I would certainly not have thought myself capable enough before discovering it. Use in conjunction with Filezilla for uploading files. Like everything else on this page, totally free, with a dedicated discussion forum to boot.  
Kompozer download here
Filezilla FTP Client
Prior to coming across this program I was using a commercial FTP client which had cost me quite a few pounds. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Filezilla was far superior in many ways. Makes an ideal partner for the Kompozer  website builder. If you plan on building a website, then I fully recommend Filezilla, particularly for its ease of use.
Download Filezilla here   
Does not support Win98/ME



AKFontviewer

AKFontViewer is a 32-bit utility that lets you view
samples of all your installed fonts.  It can show a list of fonts with each font rendered in its own typeface. Also a window much like a Character Map -- which is always active -- shows you which fonts have full character sets and which don't. Other features enable you to define a sample text string, and to check off attributes you'd like to display -- such as bold, italic, underline, and strikeout. Print function is also supported. A  useful program. Download Fontviewer
here

HTTrack Website Copier
An open-source offline web browser that allows you to download the whole or part of a Web site from the Internet to a local directory on your PC. Particularly useful if you have a site which you would like to be able to access at your leisure off-line from, say, a laptop. There is technical support in the form of a discussion forum. You may download  HTTrack here
Available for both Windows and Linux platforms.
Eye-Leo  Reminder

 A regime of long, unbroken periods of sitting at your  computer desk is not very good for your health.
This program  can be configured to  remind you to take a mini-break at your PC every ten or fifteen minutes.
Download here



Virtual Magnifying Glass
A free, open-source on-screen magnifying tool which can be configured for varying degrees of magnification. Download size, 600kb Windows, 1mb Linux.

Download    here.


Pure Text Vers. 2.0
Pure Text is a free program, courtesy of Steve Miller, for removing the formatting from web-page text, rendering it suitable for pasting into Word or Notepad documents.  

             Download       here.      
Color Cop
Another handy program, and a useful companion to Paint.net.
Facilitates the true duplication of any colours without the hassle of trial and error.
Of particular interest to Web designers but so easy to use that the layman will experience no problems with it.
Download here              
PC Pitstop Help Forum  
Ever had problems on your PC and had no idea what to do? Problem solved! PC Pitstop is one of the finest computer help sites on the Internet. There are lots of whizz-kids out there willing to give you the benefit of their expertise. Before you can use the site you must register, but this is straightforward and well worth the effort. You can reach PC Pitstop by clicking here     
Oh!....and don't forget to allow for the approximately 5hrs time differential when posting.

VLC Media Player  1.1.4
VLC Media Player is an open source program that can read from files, CDs, DVDs, network streams, capture cards and much more.
VLC uses its internal codecs and will work on every popular platform.
Download  Here

Eraser v. 5.82
This is an excellent program for the total erasure of sensitive files from your hard drive. Simple drag and drop or paste operation. Once erased, files cannot be recovered. Just the thing when selling your old PC.
Download Eraser here

Rainlendar Reminder
A popular desktop reminder. Great for helping you to remember birthdays, appointments, etc. This program has been very highly rated, and rightly so.
Download Rainlendar Reminder here.






Open Source Windows
This link was recently featured in the 'Tips 'n' Tricks' section of PC Pitstop and in my opinion it is too good not to share. Two pages each of open source Windows and Mac software. Miss this at your peril. This really is what Open Source is all about.
Click here and enjoy!

Panda Online Virus Scan
No matter what type of anti-virus program you run, the Panda online check is the ultimate way to ensure that you are infection-free. Even if your own programs give you the all-clear, you could be surprised by what lies undetected on your PC. If you are using Firefox you will have to revert to IE for the scan. Also, you may be asked to download an Active-X file. Allow it. If your anti-virus detects it as a virus, disable it (the a-v) until the scan is finished. Click here for an on-line scan.

Foxit Reader 2.0
If you find Acrobat PDF reader slow and cumbersome, as I do, then you will be delighted with this free document viewer and printer. Only a small download size, 1.5mb, compared to the 20 mb of Acrobat, and a pleasure to use. Has a facility for editing the documents.Vista compatible. Download Foxit Reader here   
Download Foxit user manual here   




OpenDNS
A free service, giving improved online securtiy combined with faster browsing speeds. No software downloads or registration needed. If using more than one PC on a network, the router can be configured.  Eliminates phishing sites by default.  Can be configured to block  all adult and undesirable sites. Protects children from unwanted content.
Read testimonials here  

Access the service
here

Rainbow Folders  
A very useful program courtesy of  Piotr  Chodzinski. Enables you to colour any folder. Particularly helpful for identifying folders to be retained in the event of a re-format. Quite frankly one of the best freebies I have come across. For instance, I keep all my desktop short-cuts in a green folder. A real time saver. To download, go here
                         

1st Autorun Express
A first-class program for anyone wishing to make CDs with auto start. Much better than some of the programs offered for sale. Easy to use, runs on all Windows platforms from 98 on.
Click on icon to download

eConsultant freeware
Over 400 free applications on this site. You are almost certain to find something to please you here. A plethora of freebies!  
To find out more, click here

Lifehacker
An amazing site which I came across recently. Packed with loads of useful tips,  information and free-ware.
Appears to be updated daily. Definitely worth a visit.
 Lifehacker

 Everything
A remarkable file-finding program. Lightning fast.
I just could not believe the speed at which this little beauty worked.
Download Here.
You will not be disappointed.



On-Screen Timer
I find this program useful when I am doing online crossword puzzles, but it has many other features including an egg -timer which can be used if  you have a laptop in the kitchen.
 Just click on this link  and away you go.




Avast! Anti-virus 
Avast! anti-virus is one of the better free protection programs available, with regular automatic updates. I have personally used Avast! for about 3 years, now, and found it to be quite reliable. Although not 'open-source', the Home version is available free for personal use. After downloading and installing Avast! you will be asked to register the program, then in 60 days time you will be requested to register again to complete the process. From then on, registration is every 14 months.
You can download the program here.

Spybot Search and Destroy.
One of the menaces of modern net surfing is spyware. Some of this is benign, but much of it is definitely not a good thing to have on your PC. Running Spybot Search and Destroy will identify and remove any malicious bots that may have been downloaded onto your computer while visiting sites. The program has to be updated manually. I update mine about once a fortnight. After downloading updates, click on the 'Immunize' buttons to ensure full protection.
Download Spybot here .  

Sygate Personal Firewall.
Another great program, free for personal use. Effective against hackers, malicious script, trojans and DOS (denial of service) attacks. Again, a program which I have been personally using for some years, now, and found to be totally trouble-free. A good firewall is something no PC should be without.

Download Sygate Firewall here .




Winpatrol.  
One of the finest free anti- malware programs on the Internet.  I have been using Winpatrol for several years, now, and can personally vouch for its efficacy and versatility.
If you are concerned about PC security, then this program is for  you.
www.winpatrol.com

  

CDex
Open source digital audio CD  ex-
tractor. Ideal for ripping CDs and converting file types.
I have been using this free program for some time now, and find it an indispensible tool.
Over 40,000,000 downloads! What can't speak, can't lie.
For your copy of CDex click Here  


Free Service Manuals
For anyone looking for an elusive  service or user manual, this site is a dream. Simply type the model number into the search box, and away you go.
Access to thousands of  manuals  to download in PDF format, courtesy of Currys. An incredible and valuable source.
Access the site here















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