These programs are all excellent, and they're free. I found most of
them through the Lockergnome- a daily newsletter.
I highly recommend subscribing.
Knoppix Linux- "Live linux filesystem on CD".
Ever wanted to play around with Linux, but didn't want to bother with
installing in on your computer and making changes to your hard drive
like adding a new partition? If so, then Knoppix is for you! Knoppix does
not install on your hard drive. Instead, it boots from a CD,
creates a RAM drive in your computer's memory, and works from that as
if it were on your hard drive. I've even used Knoppix on PCs that
didn't have a hard drive installed. Knoppix will scan your system and
determine what peripherals you have. It's worked well on the majority
of the systems that I've tried it on. Once Knoppix starts, it boots to
the KDE desktop by default, which is a 'Windows-style' GUI interface.
Knoppix also comes with Open Office (a Windows Office clone), Mozilla
web browser, and a whole ton of games and internet applications. If you
don't know how to get Knoppix, I'll try to explain. First, follow the
above link. Choose a link from the mirror list and download and ISO
image. The file will be large- around 600MB. An ISO image is basically
a CD ROM image. Next, use your burning software to burn the image to a
blank CDR. Your burning software should know what to do with an ISO
image. Now, assuming that your PC can boot from the CD drive, just
place your new disk into the drive, and start the computer. Knoppix
should start to detect your hardware and load. If you have problems,
browse the forum at http://www.knoppix.net/forum for help.
Knowing Knoppix- Free PDF version
of a book that is a beginner's guide to Knoppix
Other Knoppix 'Flavors': These are CD-bootable variations of Knoppix
Public IP-A Knoppix distribution that allows a
business or other public place to offer WIFI access to visitors through
Connect Broadband Gateway Server- Amazing linux software that turns
an old computer into either a sever or a gateway for your broadband
connection. The home version is free. You download the ISO image and
burn it to CD. Then, you boot your old computer from the CD, and a
Linux OS will be installed on the computer (Beware- this is going to
erase everything that was previously on the hard drive!). The computer
needs to be connected to your home network by at least one network card
(or two if you're using it as a gateway), and you can now log into it
from a connected computer in order to configure it through a nice GUI
interface. Email, web, and FTP servers are easily installed as well as
Samba for mounting with Windows.
compression program that supports ZIP, TAR, RAR, and may other formats.
CutePDF Writer- Free program that allows you to
convert almost anything into a PDF document. The program installs and
shows up as a printer on your system. Then, all you have to do is
choose to print the document that you're working on, choose the
'CutePDF' printer that's been inistalled, and then tell it where you
want to save the PDF file. In other words, if you can print it (web
page, graphics, photos, word documents, etc...), you can make it into a
PDF. There are no watermarks or 'created by...' lines added to your
Browser/Email- Excellent web browser and email client- formerly
Netscape. Also, take time to check out the Firefox browser
OpenOffice.org-A very good open source replacement
for Microsoft Office. Word processor, spread sheet, drawing, and
presentation (Power Point) package.
Metapad 3.0- Nice text editor; more features than MS
Aida32- System information, diagnostics and
Personal information manager with encryption and password protection
TreeDBNotes- Personal information manager with
word processor, database encryption, and password protection. Link to
free version is on this page.
Luca Mauri's MD5 Checker- Windows utility to
calculate the MD5 hash for a given file. The MD5 hash is often given by
the author of a file. After downloading the file, you calculate the MD5
hash for it on your copy using this program. If no one has altered the
file, the two hash values will be equal. In other words, you use these
hash values to make sure that no one has replaced the authors file with
one that has malicious intent.
Index.dat Suite- Software
allows you to view and delete index.dat files, temporary internet
files, temp files, cookies and history. The Ur I.T. Mate Group
site also offers a wealth of other great freeware.
KeePass- A 'password safe' that allows you to use a
USP thumb drive as a hardware key in place of a password.
Cleaner program that works with Mozilla/Netscape/Firefox/Opera and
Windows. Has an option to do a secure clean (wipe).
JAP- JAP makes it possible to surf the internet
anonymously and unobservably.
HijackThis- Examines certain
key areas of the Registry and Hard Drive and lists their contents. It
then allows you to remove items if you choose to.
Mailwasher- Spam reduction program. Allows you to
'check' your email accounts before downloading your email. When
checking it, you can choose to delete spam off the server and send a
bounce message back to the spammer to make it look like your email
address is bad.
Uses Bayesian filtering to learn to recongnize spam and then sort it
out for you.
Privacy/cleanup program that deletes Internet Explorer, Netscape
Navigator, and Windows information. Includes the cache, history, recent
documents and cookies.