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Lots of Great Tech Tips!
Author: Tim Taylor


Today's Topics:
Top 10 free programs everyone should have! (see below)
Where did the term "SPAM" for SPAM Mail come from?

Top 10 FREE PC programs everyone should have!

1. Anti-virus and malware protection

Most PC users realize that they need some type of protection on their computer or may have an installed anti-virus program from their computer manufacturer. What most don't realize is that there are free programs that are just as good and in some cases better than the commercial products. Below are recommendations:


Anti-virus program: Avast! or AVG

Malware / Spyware protection: Malwarebytes



2. Backup solutions

There are dozens of free and commercially available backup programs for computers Unfortunately many of those backups are stored locally, meaning if your house were to catch fire, get robbed, or if you simply lost your backup discs all your data would be lost. This is why when dealing with important data we suggest users use online backup services.


Online backup solution: Mozy * or Dropbox
* Free 2GB of online backup for personal use



3. Browsers

Although Microsoft Internet Explorer comes pre-installed on Windows computers. Ther are several excellent free alternatives that everyone should try. These free alternatives can often be faster, have more options, and in many cases be more secure than Internet Explorer.


Internet Browser: Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome



4. Compression utility

When downloading files on the Internet you'll eventually encounter a .zip, .rar, or othe compressed file. Dealing with these files can be easy with this free file compression utility.


File compression utility: 7-zip



5. Disc ripper and creation utilit

Creating an audio or data CD/DVD, ripping the data from an audio CD, or creating a CD from a .ISO file can also be done freely using this program.


CD burner / ripper utility: CDBurnerXP



6. E-mail

E-mail is yet another service that can be done freely.


E-mail client: Mozilla Thunderbird

Online e-mail: Gmail



7. FTP, SFTP, and SSH Utility

Users who maintain their own web page or need to upload / download files to or from a server will have to use an FTP utility and/or a SSH client. There are many commercia programs capable of doing this but here are some free ones.


FTP client: Filezilla

SSH client: Putty



8. Image editor, paint program, and picture organizer

There are many great free solutions for editing, creating, and organizing your images on your computer. Many of the alternative programs capable of doing these types of task can be several hundred dollars, but all of the below programs are completely free.


Image editor: GIMP

Paint program:

Picture organizer: Google Picasa



9. Multimedia

There are dozens of different multimedia programs with different capabilities an limitations. Below are free multimedia programs for watching video files and recording audio.


Audio editing and creating tool: Audacity

Video and DVD Player: VLC



10. Office Suite

An Office suite such as Microsoft Office is often one of the most expensive programs tha a user can install on their computer. For these expensive programs there are also free solutions that are just as good.


Office suite: OpenOffice

Notepad / Source code editor: Notepad++

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