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By 12 June 2008 | Categories: netsmart

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Sometimes staying at the very cutting edge of computer high tech can be a somewhat expensive business. So, if you are about to buy yourself the very latest PC, or even if you have an older one, then you might find it handy to know that you do not have to pay through the nose to get it loaded up with some very useful, very essential software. If you were to go out and buy many of the popular applications available today instead of trying their free equivalents, at the expected retail prices you ’d be out of pocket for several thousand Rand. There is of course no such thing as a free lunch, but by looking in the right places, free software and applications are remarkably easy to get your hands on. So, why spend the money when you can get what you need for nothing? I’ve put together a selection of reliable software goodies that I would consider to be amongst the basic essentials of software needed for the average home PC.

ZoneAlarm – http://tinyurl.com/4rnkht

I consider a firewall crucial for any computer connected to the Internet. ZoneAlarm is an excellent firewall which will help prevent infection of your machine in the first place. The program is robust, easy to use, and of course free.

OpenOffice.org – http://www.openoffice.org

For many years buying a home computer has been synonymous with buying a copy of Microsoft ’s Office. OpenOffice is a free alternative to MS Office, and it is easily the best value freeware we can find. You can spend a lot on MS Office or nothing for the OpenOffice suite which includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentations,and can read and save in Office compatible formats.

EssentialPIM – http://www.essentialpim.com

OpenOffice doesn ’t include an Outlook replacement. That ’s where EssentialPIM comes in. It is quite simply a killer Personal Information Manager, and allows you to access all of your appointments, tasks, to do lists, notes and contacts in a graphical, easily accessible form.

Media Monkey – http://www.mediamonkey.com

Organising all of your music files can be a bit of problem if you don ’t use an application to do it. Media Monkey automatically searches your PC for any MP3s or other audio files. Once detected your music can be arranged by title, artist, date, genre or your own rating.

ADrive – http://www.adrive.com

Keeping backups of your data is essential. Also if you want to access your data from anywhere you need to store that data online, so you can access it from any machine online. Although its a non-South African site, pay a visit to ADrive, where you can store a massive 50GB of data completely for free.


Visit www.brandedinternet.co.za/netsmart.

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