As you prepare to spend your hard-earned cash on Santafest 2010, here are some great, easy-to-use applications that won’t cost you a dime:
Seashore – Think of it as PhotoShop lite. It’s got all of the core functionality that most of us will need, it loads instantly, and has an icon that looks great on your dock.
Bean – A stripped down rich text editor. It’s great for writing without distractions.
AppCleaner – A simple two click solution for clearing-out unwanted apps. It doesn’t leave a trace.
NeoOffice – It’s a Microsoft Office-like substitute that is completely free, and legal.
The Unarchiver – Unarchiver can unpackage just about anything from Zip to RAR and many of the obscure formats in-between.
Microsoft Security Essentials – This name may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s a fairly useful virus defense tool. *Update – It doesn’t always get along well with other big name virus scans. I don’t recommend you run it concurrently with Norton, McAfee, or Sophos.
OpenOffice – Like NeoOffice, it’s a free alternative to Microsoft Office.
Mac & Windows
Dropbox – Free online backup and rapid file syncing between multiple computers or mobile devices. This is perfect if you regularly switch between a two or more computers.
VLC Player – This media player can play pretty much any file format. It’s the Millenium Falcon of media players; it doesn’t look like much, but its got it where it counts [kid].
Firefox – Everyone’s favorite web browser. It’s a little outdated at the moment, but the next version is going to rock.
Google Chrome – Google’s lightning fast, stripped-down web browser.
Google Docs – Another Microsoft Office substitute. Google Docs keeps getting better. You can import Microsoft Office files into it, or export your Google Docs into Office formats.
WordPress – One mighty fine blogging platform.