Monday, November 23, 2009

5 Free Windows Programs I Can't Live Without

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Here are five free programs that I have found helpful to making life just a tiny bit easier. 

Advanced System Care.  This program is the all-in-one system checker to keep your system from giving you headaches.  It can remove spyware, erase your surfing history, clean up your junk files, defragment your hard drive, close security holes, and, my personal favorite, clean-up your registry.  And, there is a free version.

Smart Defrag.  I am not an employee of IObit software so no shameless plug of my own software here, but after using Advanced System Care, I was curious of Smart Defrag and went ahead and downloaded it.  Since there are so many defrag programs out there, I figured having another outside of the built-in Windows defrag wouldn't hurt.  Smart Defrag not only does a good job with defragmentation, offering a straight defrag plus a fast and deep optimize, it also allows itself to load when Windows loads so it is always in the background.  That becomes increasingly important when the system is idle, it begins to work.  If you are like me and have your system on pretty much 24/7, system defrag is always working when you are not on so you never have to worry about a fragmented drive.   Oh, and its free,

Google Chrome.  Internet Explorer comes preloaded with your Windows OS and everyone knows that.  That doesn't mean you have to use it.  This is an on-going debate and I may get some comments disagreeing, but for me, Google Chrome is the best third-party browser.  The FireFox fanboys will be angry.  Now, Chrome doesn't have add-on support (yet) that FireFox does.  However, it makes up for that with speed.  Chrome is hands down the fastest browser available.  Give it a try.  If you don't like it, just remove it.  <drama>It costs you nothing and what you will gain is priceless.</drama>

TweetDeck.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a social networking fanatic.  Not only is it a part of my job but it helps me to keep up with the rest of the world and even some old friends.  Twitter can be a tough one to get a handle on, especially if you are used to Facebook and MySpace (you don't know how many times, I have been told, "I don't get it").   Yet, once you get your feet wet with it, it is hard to get away from.  TweetDeck gives you a ton of abilities: divide up those you follow into groups; easily retweet, reply, follow users; bridge with Facebook to make your tweets status updates; see what is going on with Twitter and Facebook in the same place.  Using AIR, It works outside the browser so no need for browser support. 
* Also if you are really into Twitter, another site I found that is rather handy is - there you can schedule tweets.

AVG.  When you buy your computer, 9 times out of 10 it will come with an anti-virus software package.  And 10 times out of 10 AVG will be a better solution.  It is lightweight, doesn't bog down the system, works quickly and efficiently, and is free.  If you are using something else (especially if you are paying for monthly protection updates), consider AVG.;mostPopTwoColWrap

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