Saturday, August 18, 2012

Free (as in beer) software can replace commercial software

Originally posted 07/13/2011 on lubbockonline.com

Have you been thinking maybe its time for a change? Could be you've used Windows all your life and you're ready to see why those Mac fanatics are so loyal - and despite Mac Defender, Mac's are still far safer from malware than Windows PC's. Maybe you've been using Mac's for years and are tired of the way Apple just drops support of equipment regularly and far faster than Microsoft. But the expense of replacing all your Windows software is just too great.

Or maybe you're just getting tired of the expense of getting good software and keeping it up to date. But you don't have to spend a fortune to get good software whether you're running Windows, Mac or Linux. Here are some good examples:

For your security software, it's possible to ditch Kaspersky, McAfee, etc. and use the free software available from a variety of reputable vendors. There is Microsoft Security Essentials for the PC, as well as AVG Free and Avast Free, to name just a few. For the Mac, there is Avast Free Mac (beta) and Sophos Mac Home Edition. There may be other free anti-virus for Mac, but I'm not aware of any at the moment.

If you're looking for good maintenance software, there are options on the PC and on the Mac. CCleaner is a very good tool to for cleaning up Windows systems. It clears up unneeded old files and cleans up the registry. I've heard that iobits Advanced SystemCare Free is also good, but I've never used it. On the Mac there is MacJanitor and Onyx. Onyx versions are specific to the version of MacOS, and the developers site has versions going all the way back to OS X 10.2.

I've run out of time today, so tomorrow we'll look at some free productivity software