5 Fun Free Software Sites

I started writing this column way back in 1998 and one thing rates as true today as it did ten years ago: people love free stuff online. Free software tops the list of free things they love. People particularly love free software that solves annoying little problems, offers some fun, or saves them time and effort.

If you own a PC, the following free software will help you save time, enjoy a little fun, and protect yourself and your computer too.

** EULAlyzer **

Log on to http://www.javacoolsoftware.com and download the “EULAlyzer” software that helps you spot troublesome language in those “End User License Agreements.” You know, the software installation agreements we should all read, but normally we just click “Agree” and keep right on installing the software.

However, blindly agreeing to those EULAs means you could potentially consent to all sorts of unpleasant things, including your desktop getting assaulted by advertising “spyware” and worse. EULAlyzer helps you by analyzing virtually any EULA for trouble.

As they say on their site, “If you aren’t reading the license agreements, you have no idea what you could be agreeing to.”

** Want To Make A Movie? **

Ok, this software resides online instead of running on your PC. But that actually works out better because you only need a web browser to access it.

Log on to http://www.jumpcut.com and you can create your own cool videos to share on YouTube and other sites. No, it won’t make you into a Spielberg, but it can help you get a basic video done with text overlays and more without complicated software.

A must-look website for the online video newbie.

** Fast Photo Changes **

Did you ever need to resize a digital photo or just crop it?

Did you ever need to take a huge 8 mega-pixel photo and resample it to make it work as an email attachment?

Well log on to http://www.irfanview.com and install the “IrfanView” software that makes these two tasks easy as 1-2-3!

Though the software takes a bare-bones approach to look and feel, it does exactly what you need to resize and resample photos and images on the fly.

** Online Flash Games **

Everybody loves video games! Ok, well, maybe not everybody, but did you know that online gaming by adults represents the fastest growing segment of the game industry?

If you love to play games online (but hate to pay for them), then log on to http://www.Kongregate.com. This website boasts thousands of flash games you can play right in your web browser.

Sure, some of them are a complete waste of time, but, isn’t that what playing online games is all about? I guarantee you’ll find at least one game to enjoy on this ever-expanding site. (I admit I got hooked on “Desktop Tower Defense.”)

** Free Anti-Virus **

Log on to http://free.grisoft.com and download the free anti-virus protection. It doesn’t come with any tech support, but it sure beats running your computer without any protection.

I like AVG anti-virus products because they don’t seem to bog down your system the way Norton does and, in this case, you can’t beat the price.

Copyright (c) 2008 Jim Edwards