I have to admit. Personal finance is not the only thing that interests me. Luckily I work in computing and absolutely love technology. I’ve mentioned before that I could easily spend everything I’ve got on electronics and computers. Our house has a high “PC to person” ratio, mostly because I’ve got a few older machines besides our current ones. I justify the money that I do spend on PC’s and software by the fact that I do this for a living and the more I learn about computing, the better I can perform in my job.
The best thing about computers is all the free stuff that you can get on the web. You can really find some pretty interesting stuff out there. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite free items that I use. Maybe you’ll see something in the list you haven’t heard of, and go download it for yourself, for free of course.
This is one of the most amazing products I’ve ever seen. If you have a reasonably current computer, go download Google Earth and try it out. You can spend hours and hours virtually flying around the globe and zooming in on things. You can literally see cars on the road from a web of satellite photos. (not real time but usually current within a couple years). There are even sites popping up that help you “Google Earth Sightsee“
Yahoo just purchased a company that has a product called “Widgets”. Basically Widgets are simple applications that will sit anywhere on your desktop and perform a variety of tasks. The graphical icons are very nice and there are over 640+ apps that you can check out. I’m using a battery monitor, wifi monitor, analog clock and a couple others on my laptop and love them. Yep. It’s all free. Once you download and install this program, be sure to check out the Widget Gallery to find others you can use.
Firefox is an alternative browser to Internet Explorer. I like it because it feels less bloated and is faster than Internet Explorer. It also supports some pretty neat “plugins” including things like “BugMeNot” which allows you to log in to sites that require subscriptions anonymously. Firefox is pretty much all I use now. And it’s completely FREE.
Are you a Comcast customer? If so, you can download and use McAfee virus scan and other security products for free as part of your Comcast service. This can save you $40 a year for their subscription. If you don’t have Comcast, check with your internet provider. They might also offer free security software.
Go check out the “Powertoys” at Microsoft.com. These are applications that people within MS have written to enhance XP. I especially like the customizations you can do with the “TweakUI” app, and also like that I can resize photos with the “Image Resizers”. There are a few other applications that you may like as well. Oh yeah, and it’s all FREE.
Lavasoft Adaware Spyware Removal
Just about everyone I know has Spyware on their computer, whether they realize it or not. I HATE spyware. I think it should be illegal. The best application that I’ve found for removing spyware is Lavasoft Adaware. It’s easy to use and does a good job of removing all that spyware. Most people are amazed at how much faster their computer is once they get the spyware removed. If you aren’t using any spyware removal software, this one’s worth a look. Yep. It’s FREE