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Updated 29th March 2017

THIS PAGE IS UNDERGOING A MAKEOVER. SOFTWARE IS BEING REVIEWED AND LINKS CHANGED BECAUSE TARGET LINKS MY BE OUT OF DATE.

TGI does not host downloads but gives / directs valid links to a safe target.

 

Welcome to our Software Information Area. A resource to find the application you need without paying a fortune!!.

If you know of any free based software please post a link to us @ tgigeeks and our team will check it out.

 

This page is regularly updated as new software or updates are found

 

We'd like to point visitors to tried and trusted freeware and Open Source software as alternatives to paid for. It could be that there intersting options at hand.

So don't go rushing out, wallet open, if there is an alternative that will do the job just as well.

Recommended tried, tested and trusted by our members are listed here.

 

Some links will have options for Linux and Mac / Apple in addition to Windows.

 

 

The software we have sourced is tried and tested by us on our own machines.

 

** Please note: all the software we recommend is safe, however it is also updated by the vendors on a regular basis. **

** Some new version downloads may include 3rd party useless bundled extras. **

** Please ensure you untick those options if and when offered. **

 

  • Word Processing / Spreadsheet / Presentation, software that is compatible with Microsoft Office.

 

OpenOffice

 

Apache OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for ANY purpose.

Includes:

 

Writer, a word processor you can use for anything from writing a quick letter to producing an entire book.

 

Calc, a powerful spreadsheet with all the tools you need to calculate, analyze, and present your data in numerical reports or sizzling graphics.

 

Impress, the fastest, most powerful way to create effective multimedia presentations.

 

Draw, lets you produce everything from simple diagrams to dynamic 3D illustrations.

Base lets you manipulate databases seamlessly. Create and modify tables, forms, queries, and reports, all from within Apache OpenOffice.

Math lets you create mathematical equations with a graphic user interface or by directly typing your formulas into the equation editor.

 

libreoffice

 

'Ever improving interoperability, VISIO and Publisher documents?; We have these covered! You can retrieve and reuse your graphical content stored in these formats and edit it with LibreOffice's tools.'

 

'LibreOffice is a comprehensive, professional-quality productivity suite that you can download and install for free. There is a large base of satisfied LibreOffice users worldwide, and it is available in more than 30 languages and for all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse, ...). You can download, install and distribute LibreOffice freely, with no fear of copyright infringement.

Some noticeable changes brought by this version and you can get the full list in the' release notes.

 

Abiword

 

For simple everyday word processing.

 

  • Photo / Video Editing software.

 

GIMP

 

For a fully but slightly difficult to use alternative to photoshop there is GIMP ( GNU Image Manipulation Program ). This is certainly a powerful program. For greater use you might find this useful: Gimp Tutorial

 

Paint.net

 

Is a free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.

 

RawTherapee

 

Is a free open source RAW / EXIF photo editor and really is professional; Get the most details and least artifacts from your raw photos thanks to modern and traditional demosaicing algorithms: AMaZE, DCB, fast, AHD, EAHD, HPHD & VNG4.Advanced color handling from white balance to HSV (Hue-Saturation-Value) curves and color management. Enhanced exposure and tonality tools: tone and Lab curves, highlights and shadows tools, etc.Multiple denoising methods: luminance, chrominance, impulse (for salt and pepper noise) noise reduction. Several tools to enhance details: unsharp mask, RL deconvolution, contrast by detail levels.

 

DVD Flick

 

DVD Flick aims to be a simple but at the same time powerful DVD Authoring tool. It can take a number of video files stored on your computer and turn them into a DVD that will play back on your DVD player, Media Center or Home Cinema Set. You can add additional custom audio tracks, subtitles as well as a menu for easier navigation.

 

  • Burn near any video file to DVD
  • Support for over 45 file formats
  • Support for over 60 video codecs
  • Support for over 40 audio codecs
  • Easily add a menu
  • Add your own subtitles
  • Easy to use interface
  • Burn your project to disc after encoding

 

Yawcam

 

What is Yawcam?

Yawcam is a shortening for Yet Another WebCAM software, and that's exactly what it is ;-)

More precise Yawcam is a webcam software for windows written in java. The main ideas for Yawcam are to keep it simple and easy to use but to include all the usual features.

It has some interesting features your own camera software does not have,

Yawcam features:

.: Video streaming

.: Image snapshots

.: Built-in webserver

.: Motion detection

.: Ftp-upload

.: Text and image overlays

.: Password protection

.: Online announcements for communities

.: Scheduler for online time

.: Time lapse movies

.: Run as a Windows service

The writer likes this application!

 

  • Audio, playback and editing software

 

Is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols. This work out of the box with no issues at all.

 

Audacity

 

Audacity® is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

Record live audio.

Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.

Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.

Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.

Change the speed or pitch of a recording.

 

GOM Audio / Video playback (NEW) 22/08/2013

 

Another very good Media player with many new facilities.

'with its built-in support for all the most popular video and audio

formats, tons of advanced features, extreme customizability, and the

Codec Finder service, GOM Media Player is sure to fulfill all of your

playback needs'

 

flac

 

FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see supported devices) just like you would an MP3 file. See supported devices

 

Fre:ac

 

fre:ac is a free audio converter and CD ripper with support for various popular formats and encoders. It currently converts between MP3, MP4/M4A, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, WAV and Bonk formats. With fre:ac you easily rip your audio CDs to MP3 or WMA files for use with your hardware player or convert files that do not play with other audio software. You can even convert whole music libraries retaining the folder and filename structure.

The integrated CD ripper supports the CDDB/freedb online CD database. It will automatically query song information and write it to ID3v2 or other title information tags.

 

Any Audio Converter

 

This free audio converter can convert audio between all key audio formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, AAC, M4A and OGG. With Any Audio Converter, you are able to convert video and audio freely to MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, AAC, M4A, OGG and more.

 

  • Email Client Alternatives to Outlook

 

ThunderBird

 

Thunderbird can manage multiple email, newsgroup and news feed accounts and supports multiple identities within accounts. Supports POP3 and IMAP protocols. Thunderbird is fully customizable. You can make it 'look like' Outlook, should you so wish.

An addition is the fact that ALL your emails can be backed up easily using: MozBackup

Backup of all your accounts and restore is faultless.

 

  • And some stuff / tools that might just add to your PC enjoyment.

 

A new tweak? New

 

KeyTweak allows you to remap any key on your keyboard to any other key, or even to disable keys altogether. It does this by leveraging Windows' built-in key-remapping ability, but without the need to manually edit the Registry.

KeyTweak also includes "Teach Mode" allowing you to map keys to other keys simply by pressing the desired keys when prompted.

 

inSSIDer

 

This Wi-Fi network discovery tool displays every wireless hotspot’s MAC address, encryption, signal strength and channel, and is the standard troubleshooting tool for millions of Wi-Fi users throughout the world. All Wi-Fi must share channels with other networks in the environment. Too many networks sharing or overlapping a channel can slow down the performance of all Wi-Fi networks on that channel. This Wi-Fi scanner helps you see the best channel for your Wi-Fi.

 

Macrium Reflect

 

Disk imaging software;

Create images of whole disks or selected partitions allowing you to restore operating systems or data volumes without the need to reinstall.

Direct disk cloning:

Directly copy one hard disk to another without creating an image file first. Partitions can be ordered and resized during this process.

A MUST for all users of Windows! Probably one of the best disaster recovery programs for free.

 

MozBackup

 

MozBackup is a simple utility for creating backups of Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla Sunbird, Flock, SeaMonkey, Mozilla Suite, Spicebird, Songbird and Netscape profiles.

 

It allows you to backup and restore bookmarks, mail, contacts, history, extensions, passwords, cache etc. It's an easy way to do Firefox backup, Thunderbird backup ...

 

TeraCopy

 

One of the most common complaints about newer versions of Windows is the slow copying speed, especially when transferring lots of files over the network. If you want to speed up your copying or if you regularly transfer large amounts of data and have to stop the process to perform some other disk-intensive task, this program may be just what you need.

 

With the amount of copying we do today, either to a separate pertition, flashdrive or external drive, portable or fixed, this will speed up the process. It also works very well with USB 3.0.

 

ActivePresenter

 

( this is an alternative to Camtasia which does not seem to do the job anymore )

 

ActivePresenter is a solution for making interactive screencasts, rapidly authoring and maintaining interactive e-learning content:

 

  • Record screen and create screencasts easily.
  • Enrich your screencasts or learning courses with voice-over, callouts, annotations, videos and graphics.
  • Make your screencasts or e-learning courses interactive by adding application simulations, branching scenarios, and quizzes.
  • Easily publish to the web, desktops, mobile devices, and leading SCORM-compliant Learning Management Systems.
  • Track and report key metrics to evaluate learner performance.

FreeCAD is a general purpose feature-based, parametric 3D modeler for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM, aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits a wider range of uses in engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties. It is 100% Open Source and extremely modular, allowing for very advanced extension and customization.

Belarc Advisor

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server. It also displays ALL your license keys.

Piriform Software

A collection of extremely useful programs, including:

  • CCleaner The number-one tool for cleaning your computer. For information using CCleaner read here
  • Defraggler Defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files. This is superior to windows defrag, but really is not fully required in Vista and less so in Win 7 or Win 8. Also, if you have an SSD ( Solid State Hard Drive>>>>> ) Defragging is NOT recommended; Read more here>>>>>
  • Recuva Recover lost files from your PC, Camera or iPod. Recover 'accidently' deleted files, .doc, .xls, .jpg etc.
  • Speccy The advanced system information tool for PCs. A very useful app that gives you at a glance your system specs, OS, RAM, HDD, Graphics and Audio cards etc.

 

Cloud storage

 

( an explanation ) and options.

 

Cloud storage is an option if you are on the move and need to grab / store / share files. Cloud may be included with your ISP but you can access Cloud drives via Amazon, Google, Dropbox.

Remember, that if the 'host' should go tits up then you have no recourse to recover the data in cloud.

You should ALWAYS have a local backup of your files!! There is no compromise here.

 

 

Hard Drive Testing

 

There are a lot of reasons you might want to test your hard drive for problems. One of the major reasons to perform a test would be if your hard drive is making strange noises or appears to be running slow. This can often be a sign of a failing drive, something a test can point out. A repair may be available with this option.

 

Some other reasons to test your hard drive would be if a defragmentation program directed you to do so or if normal troubleshooting steps for certain problems (like error messages in Windows) are of no help. Often times the last step is to diagnose a possible hard drive issue.

 

So what kinds of tests do you run? How do you do that? ( credit; http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/f/testharddrive.htm )

 

Seagate have a download that will look at your drive and try to correct any errors found. This tool may NOT work with some Western Digital Drives. This should with Samsung and Hitachi drives as well. There are other ways to check your hard drive within Windows.

 

In XP you can use ' Error Checking '

In Vista: Check your hard disk for errors

In Windows 7; Check drive for errors

In Windows 8; Microsoft has redesigned chkdsk utility - the tool for detecting and fixing disk corruption. In Windows 8, Microsoft introduced a file system called ReFS, which does not require an offline chkdsk to repair corruptions – as it follows a different model for resiliency and hence does not need to run the traditional chkdsk utility. In fact, Windows 8 now even exposes the state of the file-system and disk via the Action Center or under the Drive properties in File Explorer. If potential errors are found, you will be informed about it. You can continue to use the computer, while the scan is carried out in the background. If errors are found, you may be prompted via a notification to restart your computer. See more here>>>>>

 

Revo Uninstaller ( free version )

 

Revo Uninstaller is a solution that outgrows the ‘Add or Remove’ feature of Windows’ control panel. It uninstalls programs, but also cleans additional leftovers from the computer’s registry.

You may wish to uninstall a program but the built-in uninstaller does not complete the job properly or it may be a case where it becomes nigh impossible to get rid of. The free version of Revo should help you. There are other tools contained with the application.

 

SLIMDOWN

 

So you get your new computer, you fire it up and you are bombarded with stuff included with the OEM. ( Original Equipment Manufacturer ) This make a few shillings for the crapware vendors but does reduce the cost of the machine. SORT OF.

Tired of Getting Resource-Draining Promotions on a New PC? The solution is innovative software with community-sourced feedback to remove & disable unneeded software. Get rid of ALL the bundled trialware etc!

 

  • Linux / Ubuntu operating systems. Alternatives to Windows.

 

Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on 5 October 1991, by Linus Torvalds.

Linux has come a long way since 1991. This thanks to the collaboration community who give there time freely to improve the OS. Recently Linux is becoming more acceptable not only as a home use OS but for business as well. Linux is used on many web servers.

Open source software, which is also free, is tremendous. The initial problem with Linux distros was getting hardware drivers to work, but major manufacturers are now supplying Linux drivers and most distros do recognise PC hardware.

Also, most distros come bundled with bundled software, like an Office suite compatible with Microsoft Office, video and audio editing software.

 

Linux can be run either as a main OS or within Windows using a virtual machine ( one of the best is VMware Player ). This allows you install and use the OS without wiping Windows.

 

One of the problems with Linux of course is the inability to run Windows software. To resolve this Linux collaborators came up with WINE that can allow you to run some Windows Apps. Some distros have WINE installed already.

 

One may ask the geek question Why Is Linux Better? Read on.

 

Below are some of the distros available.

 

  • Ubuntu This distro is renewed every 6 months with long term support. Fast
  • Linux Mint It's 40 shades of green, is it eco friendly? Fast
  • Fedora Slow loading, tends to freeze
  • ZORIN OS The nearest you will get to a Windows OS, fast
  • UberStudent NEW: was introduced today by Neil, fast. Slight problem with flash player but a reboot solved the issue.

 

  • Remote Access software

 

Although Windows XP, Vista and Win 7 does have a Windows remote facility, for the ordinary user they can be quite complex to set up.

However, there are alternatives.

Remote access allows a virtually real-time connection to another PC. This can be useful for a variety of reasons but is normally used to help the connected user, make systems changes, update software etc. It gives a one to one, one off connection.

 

 

  • Virtual Machines

 

What is a virtual machine?

A VM allows multiple OS environments to co-exist on the same computer, in strong isolation from each other and run within your OS environment. This solves the problem of dual or multibooting various Operating Systems. Good for testing the selected OS before implementation as a fully installed workstation. Or you may just want to search the WEB disconnected from Windows and virus threats.

There are two available.

 

  • VMware Player Is the senior player.
  • VirtualBox Comes a pretty close 2nd...but screen resolution is difficult to set; is displayed in a small screen.