Finally my hunt is over. Aibek, the main author of MakeUseOf told me when I first started being a guest writer that there is a “free version for everything”. So I sought out to replace any of the desktop applications that I used with free (and preferably open source) desktop only programs.
I don’t feel ashamed that I had paid for these programs since they did provide useful services to me until recently. Now I know better. Here are the results (please note I tried several other options before deciding on these applications):
(1) Office Software
Open Office replaced Microsoft Office – Microsoft Office’s replacement was the easy one to find since there is a lot of commotion these days regarding the alternatives. Open Office was a no contest option and with the recent update, I love it.
(2) Graphics and Image Manipulation
GIMP replaced Jasc Paint Shop Pro – Paint Shop Pro was the cheaper alternative to Adobe Photoshop. GIMP has more than fulfilled my needs and there are hundred of free tutorials available. Also make sure to check out GimpShop, a version of Gimp with a Photoshop-like look and functionalities.
PrimoPDF and PDFedit replaced Adobe Acrobat Pro – The only key functions I ever used Adobe Acrobat Pro for was to save (aka print) files to PDF and to edit, type on or add graphics to the PDFs. With PrimoPDF I can print to PDF and the rest is accomplished with PDFedit.
Filezilla replaced CuteFTP – I only assumed that the free versions of an FTP client were a bit sketchy. However, FileZilla is not only secure, it’s also widely used and highly featured.
(5) Bookmarks Sync. Tool
Zinkmo replaced Skymarks – Skymarks (IE bookmark synchronizer via the web) stopped working then disappeared and their site is down now only 3 months after I had paid for the program (all the other free ones created errors or did a poor job). Finally Zinkmo does a good job of syncing my Internet Explorer and Firefox bookmarks over the internet.
RSS Bandit replaced NewsGator’s FeedDemon – FeedDemon was awesome, because it synced to NewsGator Online so no matter if I was at home, work or not one of my computers everything would be synced up. RSS Bandit accomplishes the exact same thing.
Weather Watcher replaced Weather Channel Platinum – When Weather Channel’s desktop weather program failed to work on Vista, I asked support for help. They never solved the issue and I was stuck using an ad supported program at home. Weather Watcher has everything and more.
I hope you learned something and I hope I saved some people money out there, for more Free Tools be sure to check out:
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