55. Free tools abound on web
By Mark Alberstat
The Operating System, word processors, financial programs and games that
run on your computer cost hundreds of dollars.
There is, however, a free lunch sometimes. The following is a list of some
free software that you may find useful. A list of links to the programs
mentioned is included at the end of this column.
PC Aligner is a neat little tool that any novice computer user can easily
understand. This small download lets you move your Windows background
image around your desktop instead of the unimaginative centre or tiled
options that Microsoft gives you. If you are using a relatively small
image for your background but don't want it to clutter a collection of
icons on the left side of your screen, why not move the image to the top
right corner? There is a Windows XP and 2000 version, as well as an older
version that works under XP or 98.
Easy Thumbnails is a free program that helps you organize the hundreds of
images you have on your computer. This utility allows users to create
thumbnail images, or scaled up or down copies, from a wide range of image
formats. If you have ever created a website with a thumbnail of a picture
that can be clicked on to show the full-size image, you will instantly
recognize the beauty of this program.
Google seems to be everywhere these days, and those clever folks at Google
Labs developed the Google Toolbar. This download attaches to your Internet
Explorer to help in your web searches, filling in of forms and blocking
annoying pop-ups. They even have a link to the Googlebar, an open-source
version developed for Firefox and Mozilla.
MoveOnBoot is another free file that some clever programmer wrote to solve
the problem of users wanting to delete files that are in use by Windows or
locked by an application. The simple interface allows users to select
files they want moved or deleted the next time the system boots. This type
of application isn't for everyone, but those who know their way around an
operating system will find it handy.
If you are a Mac user with a penchant for keeping track of things,
Blackhole has created Burn, a free download for users with OS X 10.2. This
software can keep track of everything from your daily coffee expenses to
the rest of your hectic life.
These free programs, and many other files like them, are out on the
Internet for your use. Many programs are released as shareware, which has
certain features turned off or the program can only be used for a certain
amount of time. Search the web for programs that you may want and you
could come up with gems that are not only free but invaluable.
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Originally published 13 March 2005