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Since 2008 NCF has been giving out copies of the [http://web.ncf.ca/fn352/wincd.html Best Of Free Windows Software DVD] to help members learn about some of the great [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software free software] available and let them give it a try. The DVD is mostly aimed at users on dial-up for whom downloading large application files is difficult.
 
Since 2008 NCF has been giving out copies of the [http://web.ncf.ca/fn352/wincd.html Best Of Free Windows Software DVD] to help members learn about some of the great [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software free software] available and let them give it a try. The DVD is mostly aimed at users on dial-up for whom downloading large application files is difficult.
  
With fewer NCF members now using dial-up and most with unlimited DSL service it makes sense for people to just the software download directly. An additional factor is that few laptops or even desktop computers come with optical drives that can use CDs or DVDs these days.
+
With fewer NCF members now using dial-up and most with unlimited DSL service, it makes sense for people to just download the software directly. An additional factor is that few laptops or even desktop computers come with optical drives that can use CDs or DVDs these days.
  
This page explains some of the most popular free software for Windows and gives links to to download the applications directly.
+
This page explains some of the most popular free software for Windows and gives links to to download the applications directly. All the software here has been tested and recommended by NCF members.
  
 
==Audacity==
 
==Audacity==
 +
[[File:Audacity screenshot.png|thumb|Audacity]]
 
*'''What it is''': audio recorder and editor
 
*'''What it is''': audio recorder and editor
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License V2+
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License V2+
Line 11: Line 12:
 
*'''Caveats''': Only works if you have a sound card installed. Windows Vista and newer are supported. For Windows 10 you will need to have proper drivers to run your audio devices.  
 
*'''Caveats''': Only works if you have a sound card installed. Windows Vista and newer are supported. For Windows 10 you will need to have proper drivers to run your audio devices.  
 
*There is a beginners user guide on [http://en.flossmanuals.net/audacity/ FLOSS Manuals].
 
*There is a beginners user guide on [http://en.flossmanuals.net/audacity/ FLOSS Manuals].
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audacity Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audacity_(audio_editor) Wikipedia page]
 
*[https://www.audacityteam.org/ Application home website]
 
*[https://www.audacityteam.org/ Application home website]
 
*[https://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows/ Direct link to Windows download page]
 
*[https://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows/ Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==Avidemux==
 
==Avidemux==
 +
[[File:Avidemux screenshot.png|thumb|Avidemux]]
 
*'''What it is''': video editor
 
*'''What it is''': video editor
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License
 
*'''Why you want it''': A simple linear editor that enables you to edit videos, splice clips together, add transitions and save as ".avi" or ".mpeg" files for uploading to You Tube or other video hosting services. Compared to more complex non-linear video editors that require high-powered computers to run, Avidemux will run on much older hardware.
 
*'''Why you want it''': A simple linear editor that enables you to edit videos, splice clips together, add transitions and save as ".avi" or ".mpeg" files for uploading to You Tube or other video hosting services. Compared to more complex non-linear video editors that require high-powered computers to run, Avidemux will run on much older hardware.
 
*'''Caveats''': Starting with version 2.6.10 Avidemux will no longer run on Windows XP. There is [http://www.avidemux.org/admWiki/index.php?title=Main_Page documentation] available on how to use this application but it is a bit incomplete. There is a far better manual on [http://write.flossmanuals.net/avidemux/introduction/ FLOSS Manuals].
 
*'''Caveats''': Starting with version 2.6.10 Avidemux will no longer run on Windows XP. There is [http://www.avidemux.org/admWiki/index.php?title=Main_Page documentation] available on how to use this application but it is a bit incomplete. There is a far better manual on [http://write.flossmanuals.net/avidemux/introduction/ FLOSS Manuals].
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avidemux Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avidemux Wikipedia page]
*[http://www.avidemux.org/Application Application home website]
+
*[https://www.avidemux.org/ Application home website]
*[http://fixounet.free.fr/avidemux/download.html Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[https://fixounet.free.fr/avidemux/download.html Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==ClamWin==
 
==ClamWin==
 +
[[File:ClamWin screenshot.png|thumb|ClamWin]]
 
*'''What it is''': Anti-virus scanner
 
*'''What it is''': Anti-virus scanner
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License
 
*'''Why you want it''': Free software virus scanner.
 
*'''Why you want it''': Free software virus scanner.
 
*'''Caveats''': ClamWin is pretty good and improving all the time, but unless you are using MS Outlook it does not do e-mail scanning. It can be set to update itself daily and also to do a complete scan each day. It is suggested that it be used as a secondary or back-up virus scanner, perhaps using a freeware scanner like [https://www.avg.com/en-ca/free-antivirus-download AVG Free] as your primary virus protection.
 
*'''Caveats''': ClamWin is pretty good and improving all the time, but unless you are using MS Outlook it does not do e-mail scanning. It can be set to update itself daily and also to do a complete scan each day. It is suggested that it be used as a secondary or back-up virus scanner, perhaps using a freeware scanner like [https://www.avg.com/en-ca/free-antivirus-download AVG Free] as your primary virus protection.
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ClamWin Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ClamWin Wikipedia page]
*[http://www.clamwin.com/ Application home website]
+
*[https://www.clamwin.com/ Application home website]
*[http://www.clamwin.com/content/view/18/46/ Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[https://www.clamwin.com/content/view/18/46/ Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==FileZilla==
 
==FileZilla==
 +
[[File:FileZilla screenshot.png|thumb|FileZilla]]
 
*'''What it is''': File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client
 
*'''What it is''': File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License V2
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License V2
 
*'''Why you want it''': If you design websites then this FTP client will enable you to upload them and manage your uploaded files.
 
*'''Why you want it''': If you design websites then this FTP client will enable you to upload them and manage your uploaded files.
 
*'''Caveats''': If you don't create websites then you won't need this. Windows XP and newer only are supported.
 
*'''Caveats''': If you don't create websites then you won't need this. Windows XP and newer only are supported.
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FileZilla Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FileZilla Wikipedia page]
 
*[https://filezilla-project.org/ Application home website]
 
*[https://filezilla-project.org/ Application home website]
 
*[https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?show_all=1 Direct link to Windows download page]
 
*[https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?show_all=1 Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==Firefox==
 
==Firefox==
 +
[[File:Firefox screenshot.png|thumb|Firefox]]
 
*'''What it is''': web browser and PDF reader
 
*'''What it is''': web browser and PDF reader
 
*'''Licence''': Mozilla Public License
 
*'''Licence''': Mozilla Public License
*'''Why you want it''': The current version of the best free software browser available today. Provides far better security than using Internet Explorer, is W3C standards compliant and displays websites better. It includes a built-in PDF reader as well.
+
*'''Why you want it''': The best free software browser available today. Provides far better security than using Internet Explorer, is W3C standards compliant and displays websites better. It includes a built-in PDF reader as well.
 
*'''Caveats''': Windows XP and newer only are supported. There is a beginners user guide on [http://en.flossmanuals.net/firefox/ FLOSS Manuals].
 
*'''Caveats''': Windows XP and newer only are supported. There is a beginners user guide on [http://en.flossmanuals.net/firefox/ FLOSS Manuals].
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Firefox Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Firefox Wikipedia page]
 
*[https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/  Application home website]  
 
*[https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/  Application home website]  
 
*[https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/ Direct link to Windows download page]
 
*[https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/ Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==GIMP==
 
==GIMP==
 +
[[File:GIMP screenshot.png|thumb|GIMP]]
 
*'''What it is''': image editor
 
*'''What it is''': image editor
 
*'''Licence''': GNU Lesser General Public License V3+ and GNU General Public License V3+
 
*'''Licence''': GNU Lesser General Public License V3+ and GNU General Public License V3+
Line 62: Line 68:
  
 
==InfraRecorder==
 
==InfraRecorder==
 +
[[File:InfraRecorder screenshot.png|thumb|InfraRecorder]]
 
*'''What it is''': CD and DVD burning
 
*'''What it is''': CD and DVD burning
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License 3
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License 3
*'''Why you want it''': Easy to use free software CD and DVD burner.
+
*'''Why you want it''': Easy to use, free software CD and DVD burner.
*'''Caveats''': None
+
*'''Caveats''': You will only need this if your PC has an optical drive.
 
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InfraRecorder Wikipedia page]
 
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InfraRecorder Wikipedia page]
 
*[http://infrarecorder.org/ Application home website]  
 
*[http://infrarecorder.org/ Application home website]  
Line 71: Line 78:
  
 
==Inkscape==
 
==Inkscape==
 +
[[File:Inkscape screenshot.png|thumb|Inkscape]]
 
*'''What it is''': vector image creator
 
*'''What it is''': vector image creator
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License
Line 80: Line 88:
  
 
==jEdit==
 
==jEdit==
 +
[[File:jEdit screenshot.png|thumb|jEdit]]
 
*'''What it is''': text editor
 
*'''What it is''': text editor
 
*'''Licence''': GNU GPLv2
 
*'''Licence''': GNU GPLv2
 
*'''Why you want it''': A very complete text editor that has many plug-ins and customizations available. Includes syntax highlighting for writing code and html.
 
*'''Why you want it''': A very complete text editor that has many plug-ins and customizations available. Includes syntax highlighting for writing code and html.
 
*'''Caveats''': Spell checking must be enabled as a plugin.
 
*'''Caveats''': Spell checking must be enabled as a plugin.
*[ Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JEdit Wikipedia page]
*[ Application home website]  
+
*[http://www.jedit.org/ Application home website]  
*[ Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[https://sourceforge.net/projects/jedit/ Direct link to Windows download page]
  
==KeyPass==
+
==KeePass==
 +
[[File:KeePass screenshot.png|thumb|KeyPass]]
 
*'''What it is''': secure password management utility
 
*'''What it is''': secure password management utility
 
*'''Licence''': GNU GPLv2+
 
*'''Licence''': GNU GPLv2+
 
*'''Why you want it''': Keep your passwords in a secure database so they won't get stolen. Works with all browsers, including Firefox.
 
*'''Why you want it''': Keep your passwords in a secure database so they won't get stolen. Works with all browsers, including Firefox.
 
*'''Caveats''': None.
 
*'''Caveats''': None.
*[ Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KeePass Wikipedia page]
*[ Application home website]  
+
*[https://keepass.info/ Application home website]  
*[ Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[https://keepass.info/download.html Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==LibreOffice==
 
==LibreOffice==
 +
[[File:LibreOffice screenshot.png|thumb|LibreOffice]]
 
*'''What it is''': complete office suite, including word processor and desktop publisher, spreadsheet, database, slide show, vector drawing application and math formula writer.
 
*'''What it is''': complete office suite, including word processor and desktop publisher, spreadsheet, database, slide show, vector drawing application and math formula writer.
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License V3, with new contributions under the Mozilla Public License
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License V3, with new contributions under the Mozilla Public License
 
*'''Why you want it''': Free complete office suite that is better than MS Office and is derived from OpenOffice.org. Has some unique features, such as it can save documents as PDFs. You can save in native open formats or in MS Office formats such as ".doc" and ".xls".
 
*'''Why you want it''': Free complete office suite that is better than MS Office and is derived from OpenOffice.org. Has some unique features, such as it can save documents as PDFs. You can save in native open formats or in MS Office formats such as ".doc" and ".xls".
 
*'''Caveats''': The minimum system requirements are:
 
*'''Caveats''': The minimum system requirements are:
**Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or newer
+
**Microsoft Windows XP SP3 or newer
 
**Pentium-compatible PC (Pentium III, Athlon or more-recent system recommended)
 
**Pentium-compatible PC (Pentium III, Athlon or more-recent system recommended)
 
**256 Mb RAM (512 Mb RAM recommended)
 
**256 Mb RAM (512 Mb RAM recommended)
 
**Up to 1.5 Gb available hard disk space
 
**Up to 1.5 Gb available hard disk space
 
**1024x768 resolution (higher resolution recommended), with at least 256 colours
 
**1024x768 resolution (higher resolution recommended), with at least 256 colours
*[ Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LibreOffice Wikipedia page]
*[  Application home website]
+
*[https://www.libreoffice.org/ Application home website]
*[ Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/ Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==Stellarium==
 
==Stellarium==
 +
[[File:Stellarium screenshot.png|thumb|Stellarium]]
 
*'''What it is''': desktop planetarium.
 
*'''What it is''': desktop planetarium.
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License
 
*'''Why you want it''': Amazing graphics, better than almost all the commercial software available. Allows you to explore the night sky and plan your telescope viewing sessions.
 
*'''Why you want it''': Amazing graphics, better than almost all the commercial software available. Allows you to explore the night sky and plan your telescope viewing sessions.
 
*'''Caveats''': None.
 
*'''Caveats''': None.
*[ Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellarium_(computer_program) Wikipedia page]
*[ Application home website]  
+
*[http://stellarium.org/ Application home website]  
*[ Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[http://stellarium.org/ Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==Sumatra==
 
==Sumatra==
 +
[[File:Sumatra screenshot.png|thumb|Sumatra]]
 
*'''What it is''': PDF reader.
 
*'''What it is''': PDF reader.
 +
*'''License''': GNU General Public License v3
 
*'''Why you want it''': Extremely light weight and fast PDF reader. Unlike Adobe Reader, Sumatra opens in a fraction of a second, without having to wait for all the splash screens and credits to scroll by.
 
*'''Why you want it''': Extremely light weight and fast PDF reader. Unlike Adobe Reader, Sumatra opens in a fraction of a second, without having to wait for all the splash screens and credits to scroll by.
 
*'''Caveats''': None
 
*'''Caveats''': None
*[ Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumatra_PDF Wikipedia page]
*[  Application home website]  
+
*[https://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/free-pdf-reader.html Application home website]  
*[ Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[https://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/download-free-pdf-viewer.html Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==Thunderbird==
 
==Thunderbird==
 +
[[File:Thunderbird screenshot.png|thumb|Thunderbird]]
 
*'''What it is''': e-mail client.
 
*'''What it is''': e-mail client.
 
*'''Licence''': Mozilla Public License
 
*'''Licence''': Mozilla Public License
Line 134: Line 149:
 
*'''Caveats''': None.  
 
*'''Caveats''': None.  
 
*There is a beginners user guide on [http://write.flossmanuals.net/thunderbird/about-thunderbird/ FLOSS Manuals].
 
*There is a beginners user guide on [http://write.flossmanuals.net/thunderbird/about-thunderbird/ FLOSS Manuals].
*[ Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Thunderbird Wikipedia page]
*[ Application home website]  
+
*[https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/ Application home website]  
*[ Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/all/ Direct link to Windows download page]
  
 
==VLC==
 
==VLC==
 +
[[File:VLC screenshot.png|thumb|VLC]]
 
*'''What it is''': media player.
 
*'''What it is''': media player.
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License V2+ (player) and GNU Lesser General Public License V2.1+ (engine)
 
*'''Licence''': GNU General Public License V2+ (player) and GNU Lesser General Public License V2.1+ (engine)
Line 144: Line 160:
 
*'''Caveats''': None.  
 
*'''Caveats''': None.  
 
*There is a beginner's user guide on [http://write.flossmanuals.net/vlc/introduction/ FLOSS Manuals].
 
*There is a beginner's user guide on [http://write.flossmanuals.net/vlc/introduction/ FLOSS Manuals].
*[ Wikipedia page]
+
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VLC_media_player Wikipedia page]
*[ Application home website]  
+
*[https://www.videolan.org/vlc/ Application home website]  
*[ Direct link to Windows download page]
+
*[https://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html Direct link to Windows download page]
 +
 
 +
==See also==
 +
*[[Lubuntu]]
 +
*[[Ubuntu]]
 +
*[[Xubuntu]]
 +
*[[Puppy Linux]]
 +
*[[All in One - System Rescue Toolkit]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 +
* [https://www.ncf.ca/ncf/dg/index.jsp?dg=109 The NCF Free Software Discussion Group], for help and questions about free software
 
* [http://web.ncf.ca/fn352/wincd.html Best Of Free Windows Software DVD]
 
* [http://web.ncf.ca/fn352/wincd.html Best Of Free Windows Software DVD]
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software Free software] on Wikipedia
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software Free software] on Wikipedia

Revision as of 16:07, 23 February 2018

Since 2008 NCF has been giving out copies of the Best Of Free Windows Software DVD to help members learn about some of the great free software available and let them give it a try. The DVD is mostly aimed at users on dial-up for whom downloading large application files is difficult.

With fewer NCF members now using dial-up and most with unlimited DSL service, it makes sense for people to just download the software directly. An additional factor is that few laptops or even desktop computers come with optical drives that can use CDs or DVDs these days.

This page explains some of the most popular free software for Windows and gives links to to download the applications directly. All the software here has been tested and recommended by NCF members.

Audacity

Audacity
  • What it is: audio recorder and editor
  • Licence: GNU General Public License V2+
  • Why you want it: It enables you to record any sound that can be fed into your sound card, as a digital file, microphone or analog input, edit and save in a wide variety of formats.
  • Caveats: Only works if you have a sound card installed. Windows Vista and newer are supported. For Windows 10 you will need to have proper drivers to run your audio devices.
  • There is a beginners user guide on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

Avidemux

Avidemux
  • What it is: video editor
  • Licence: GNU General Public License
  • Why you want it: A simple linear editor that enables you to edit videos, splice clips together, add transitions and save as ".avi" or ".mpeg" files for uploading to You Tube or other video hosting services. Compared to more complex non-linear video editors that require high-powered computers to run, Avidemux will run on much older hardware.
  • Caveats: Starting with version 2.6.10 Avidemux will no longer run on Windows XP. There is documentation available on how to use this application but it is a bit incomplete. There is a far better manual on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

ClamWin

ClamWin
  • What it is: Anti-virus scanner
  • Licence: GNU General Public License
  • Why you want it: Free software virus scanner.
  • Caveats: ClamWin is pretty good and improving all the time, but unless you are using MS Outlook it does not do e-mail scanning. It can be set to update itself daily and also to do a complete scan each day. It is suggested that it be used as a secondary or back-up virus scanner, perhaps using a freeware scanner like AVG Free as your primary virus protection.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

FileZilla

FileZilla
  • What it is: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client
  • Licence: GNU General Public License V2
  • Why you want it: If you design websites then this FTP client will enable you to upload them and manage your uploaded files.
  • Caveats: If you don't create websites then you won't need this. Windows XP and newer only are supported.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

Firefox

Firefox
  • What it is: web browser and PDF reader
  • Licence: Mozilla Public License
  • Why you want it: The best free software browser available today. Provides far better security than using Internet Explorer, is W3C standards compliant and displays websites better. It includes a built-in PDF reader as well.
  • Caveats: Windows XP and newer only are supported. There is a beginners user guide on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

GIMP

GIMP
  • What it is: image editor
  • Licence: GNU Lesser General Public License V3+ and GNU General Public License V3+
  • Why you want it: Great free image editing application, similar to Photoshop, but has many better features.
  • Caveats: GIMP requires Windows 2000 or newer; it will not work on Windows 9x/ME and NT 4. The interface is a bit different from Photoshop, but works well. They have a very complete user manual on-line.
  • There is a beginners user guide on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

InfraRecorder

InfraRecorder

Inkscape

Inkscape

jEdit

jEdit

KeePass

KeyPass

LibreOffice

LibreOffice
  • What it is: complete office suite, including word processor and desktop publisher, spreadsheet, database, slide show, vector drawing application and math formula writer.
  • Licence: GNU General Public License V3, with new contributions under the Mozilla Public License
  • Why you want it: Free complete office suite that is better than MS Office and is derived from OpenOffice.org. Has some unique features, such as it can save documents as PDFs. You can save in native open formats or in MS Office formats such as ".doc" and ".xls".
  • Caveats: The minimum system requirements are:
    • Microsoft Windows XP SP3 or newer
    • Pentium-compatible PC (Pentium III, Athlon or more-recent system recommended)
    • 256 Mb RAM (512 Mb RAM recommended)
    • Up to 1.5 Gb available hard disk space
    • 1024x768 resolution (higher resolution recommended), with at least 256 colours
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

Stellarium

Stellarium

Sumatra

Sumatra

Thunderbird

Thunderbird

VLC

VLC
  • What it is: media player.
  • Licence: GNU General Public License V2+ (player) and GNU Lesser General Public License V2.1+ (engine)
  • Why you want it: VLC is the best media player available and will play pretty much every type of audio and movie file. It has a simple interface, useful features like a graphic equalizer and is very easy to use.
  • Caveats: None.
  • There is a beginner's user guide on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

See also

External links