What's some great free software you think more people should know about?

Without turning this into a fest for shilling for apps… is there an app or two you rely on that you think other people would be pleased to be introduced to?

Edit: I should be clear (since it quickly came up below) that I mostly mean free as in open source (FOSS).

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Since I started the topic, I’ll go first with a recommendation:

For me, one tool that I use almost daily is Paint.NET. https://www.getpaint.net/ It’s not as advanced as, say, Photoshop or even GIMP, but it’s far better than what is built into Windows.

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Nothing is ever “free” they either throw ads at you, or sell your privacy data, always stay aware.

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I get your point @Scott, but those are not really the sorts of apps I was suggesting people recommend here. There are in fact some coders out there who make software and give it away out of the goodness of their hearts. In the case of my recommendation Paint.NET the author does work for Microsoft, so he probably has his own motivations for why he makes it and shares it freely, but it has no ads, and is completely no cost. There is a version he does sell on the Microsoft store, but that is meant to fund his expenses to host the site, etc, and it’s not required or pushed at or on you in any way. And GitHub (among other places) is FULL of similar programs made by people who don’t expect more than appreciation for their efforts.

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A tool that I use daily is something called firefly; it’s open source and licensed under GPL v3. I use it to track my finances and has helped me understand my spending habits. It’s a web application written in PHP. I have an instance installed on my own personal Ubuntu server though other options exist for installation.

https://firefly-iii.org/

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There are plenty such things as free. That’s what open source/libre/free software is and most aren’t attached to ads and don’t sell your data.

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This is awesome, yea there are Some who make apps for the greater good. There should be a website to focus on these apps, similar to Product Hunt, but for honest free, no ads or nothing, problem is policing it from spammers :confused: That time thing, you know.

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I am going to ask if you know that the TWiT network has a show devoted to FOSS? :wink:

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Honestly, I’ve heard the title, but I didn’t know what it stood for, so scrolled right by, stupid me. But sounds like I’ll have to check it out for sure. I mostly listen to TWiT and tech guy.

Huge fan of Joplin, a free cross-platform open source Evernote replacement. I store everything in it.

And it supports every flavor of Markup. Love that!

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If you have a project that you need to view and reference images for then PureRef is a great choice https://www.pureref.com/

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Ninite - this can save so much time when installing software.
https://ninite.com/

If there is a ‘catch’ to it, I haven’t found it.

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Next level after Ninite is Choclatey - scriptable installs. Basically a package manager for Windows.

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I have go-to applications I use, that are free & ad-free:

  1. Paint.net (Windows) It is a great image, and photo, editing software for PCs. It comes with some great plugins as well.
  2. InkScape (Windows) Want to edit/create vector images, Inkscape is free.
  3. VSCode (Any OS - incl. Linux) Amazing Text, and code, editor that has an amazing extension engine and store. (yes, you can also turn off Telemetry too, so your data isn’t used as well)
  4. Notepad++ - (Windows) Great, versatile text editor, that also has great plugins.
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This one is too new to me for me to really recommend it to anyone, but I do like the idea, and if you need an outliner or mind mapper type tool, this approach seems kind of interesting. Quite probably worth checking out for a student making notes for exam prep, as one example.
http://strlen.com/treesheets/

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Notepad++ is very worthwhile. It supports language highlighting if you’re working on a script, it saves your work if your machine ends up accidentally rebooting or something, and it supports multiple tabs, to make working between different files straight forward (cut and paste from a source to a destination, say.) Oh, and it has many plugin options too, including support for visualizing things like Markdown. Highly recommended.

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Love to hear some comments on two pieces of free software I am currently using.

First is Brave, a browser I first heard about when Leo interviewed Yan Zhu, the Chief Security Officer at Brave, on Triangulation. The home page on the browser provides a running count of ads blocked, and time saved. Being an empirical type of guy, I’ve run tests using Little Snitch (another software product I heard of from Leo years ago) on MacOS to compare URL calls during a “simple” webpage request. I used Bose.com. Chrome sent out over 90 url requests to get the page up. Brave sent out 23, though I have to admit there was some content missing that might have come in handy, like links to purchase items. Turning off the browsers’ shields allowed access to these missing items, but when I wanted them, not when they wanted them. Several options to avoid ads, including accepting ads from a few (usually a couple in an extended session) from a very select list, mostly security services web pages (such as VPNs) which come across as notifications, not within any requested webpages.

Second is Boxcryptor, an app used to encrypt each and every item with personal information that I store in cloud storage from phone, ipad, and laptop. The free version allows 3 devices to be logged in, and you can select any one of the usual cloud storage providers, but only one at a time. I copy entire folders from one service, such as iCloud, and paste into others, such as Dropbox, on a regular basis as a way to keep them backed up. The only ad I can remember seeing in 3-4 years of use is one to upgrade to a paid pro version.

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Visual Studio Code is one of my most used editors. The plug-in support is incredible. I use it to edit PHP code, python scripts, and JavaScript web code. I have a SFTP plug-in that lets me sync local code to my remote server. It’s even great for editing simple text or CSV files. Highly recommend it!

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The free version of Macrium Reflect (image backup) is great. Ok sure, it tries to convince you that the paid version is better (and it is, I now have 5 licenses for it :slight_smile: ) but you can still do a LOT with the free version and possibly never need anything better depending on your needs.

Another fantastic free bit of software is Davinci Resolve from Black Magic.
Great for editing as well as visual effects, motion graphics, color correction and audio post production. https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/

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