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  1. #1
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    Default Free Software alternatives

    Free Software alternatives for Commercial Software
    By Sabir Ahmed, Islamic Voice, April 2010

    Some of the best software tools used around the world come from global companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, Autodesk, etc. They are feature rich and do advanced tasks. However, legal copies of these software are very expensive, at least for individuals, home users and small businesses.

    Thankfully, there are many free and open-source alternatives available on the internet that can handle most of the tasks that these advanced software can do. A list of very useful software tools are provided below.

    PART 4 Graphics Software
    Inkscape: Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor that is comparable to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw and also uses the open standard SVG file format for its files. It offers basic object creation tools, like paths, rectangles, ellipses, stars, polygons, and text, and also has tools for object manipulation and robust styling features. Inkscape also features bitmap tracing and also allows you to export your files in png and postscript formats. Inkscape 0.46 is available for all major platforms. Inkscape can be downloaded from

    Other Illustrator Alternatives:
    skencil http://www.skencil.org

    PART 5 Page Layout & Design Software
    Scribus: Although the world is making its move to an all-digital format, page layout design is still a critical part of any business' marketing campaign. Scribus is an open source desktop publishing application that has features that are comparable to Adobe Indesign and QuarkXPress. It supports CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management, and PDF creation, however, it is unable to read files from QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher, and InDesign. Scribus is currently available Windows, Mac, Linux, and other platforms. It's available for download from

    PART 6 - Mind Mapping Software
    Mind maps are tools that help us think and remember better, creatively solve problems and take action. The mind map encourages creativity and flexibility, and you need these to make your resolutions happen! Mind maps help you think outside the box.
    Mind maps help you avoid thinking linearly. They open you up to creativity and new ways of thinking They're more realistic, because most things aren't orderly to begin with They help you get the big picture They naturally hook into your right brain, where creativity and intuition can help you.

    Mind mapping software is available web based collaborative tools such as: Mind 42 Mappio
    Or as a a desktop based application such as Freemind http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Download

    PART 7 PDF Creation
    No office or individual can do without a PDF (Portable Document Format) reader, a universal document format that is light and easy to use. However, how does one create a PDF from any office application software without buying a Professional Verion of Adobe Acrobat software. Enter PDFCreator which easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer in Word or any other Windows application.

    PDF Creator can be downloaded from the following URL.

    (Author can be reached at:


  2. #2
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    Jan 2007


    True Freeware of New Level

    Freemake offers freeware in the truest sense of the word: no toolbars, no sneakware, no registration. Download and use our Free Video Converter
    and Free Video Downloader!

    I mentioned some good video downloaders as add-ons on firefox thread. Here is a great software to download and install. This one can download flash videos those add-ons can't get, like the ones from the dailyshow site. Just download, install and paste URL in it to download in avi or mp4 formats.

    Freemake Video Downloader

    Version: 2.0.2 ( history )
    Release date: December 29, 2010
    Download now

    Download video free from YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, MTV, Vevo, ComedyCentral, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Megavideo, Metacafe, Break, 40+ sites with our Free Video Downloader

  3. #3

  4. #4
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    Jan 2007


    Vidalia & Tor for Windows 0.3.0 Alpha / 0.2.12: Free Download

    External Mirror 1 [EXE]

    External Mirror 2 [EXE]

    Vidalia lets you start and stop Tor, see how much bandwidth you are consuming, see how many circuits you currently have active, see where these circuits are connected on a global map, view messages from Tor about its progress and current state, and let you configure your Tor client, bridge, or relay with a simple interface. Included in Vidalia is an extensive help system which helps you understand all of the options available to you. All of these features are translated into a large number of languages. Vidalia does not work alone, it requires Tor to be useful.

    There is a software called tor. It helps you to do everything anonymously except downloading torrents. There is also a portable version of this.It means you can have it on a usb and use it anywhere. The download bundle includes both.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2007


    Deleted File recovery

    Until recently, file recovery was one of the few categories where the main commercial products really outshone the freeware alternatives. But the picture has changed dramatically. You now have some excellent freeware choices.

    Testing procedure:

    I have tested the software on lots of different media including USB Flash, SD, MMC, SM,CF, MS, Micro SD, SSD, Hard disk in SATA, IDE as well as SCSI which contained office documents, photos, quickbooks backup and large Outlook psts. I have deleted those and filled the drive with different files. I have deleted those and emptied the recycle bin and quick formatted the drives. All tested software, except PC Inspector, managed to recover all files without fail.

    Time taken on the other hand was quite different. After that I have filled half of the disk with another directory of mp3s. All software failed to recover any deleted files on normal recovery modes. At this point I have formatted the drive and tried deeper recovery options that tested software comes with. That's where the true colours came out as the results were very different.

    MiniTool Power Data Recovery (Free Edition) is my top pick as it proved to be way ahead of the competition. It comes with a very intuitive interface which is suitable for all users. It has recovered 1GB in 85 seconds and managed to recover all 106 files after the disk was formatted.

    I found MiniTool very easy to use with superb results. Help files are very good explaining most of the recovery methods step by step. A must have for any computer.
    UPDATE: Though this is a free tool it has a limit of 1GB recover. If you wish to recover any more than the 1GB you will need to purchase the full version
    Honorable mention: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition is another great tool, though I found that it is really no better than MiniTool and also has the 1GB Limit. It can be downloaded Here.

    Recuva is a very easy to use file undelete utility from Piriform which does exactly what it says on the can. Interface is very user friendly and it only took couple of clicks to get my data back. It has recovered 1GB in 87 seconds.

    However, it only works great on straight forward recovery. I found that after formatting the disk deep scan could only locate and recover 19 files out of 106.

    Test Disk is an open source software loaded with features. It has recovered 1GB in 83 seconds, a time which was beaten only by commercial software. Test Disk is a cross-platform application which is pre-installed on a few Linux distro live CDs. It has many useful options like restoring DE type partitions which is very useful for Dell computers. It does not need to be installed and overall is very powerful.

    On the down side it does not have a GUI and is targeted for more advanced users. It does have a good step-by-step guide for all recovery options. There are good detailed guides online, simply search Google for TestDisk Step by Step.

    PC Inspector File Recovery is another free file undelete utility. It does have a decent GUI but did not live up to other contenders. It has recovered 1GB in 15 minutes which felt like ages. Logical drive selection felt somewhat confusing.

    Sector scan looked a promising option but it has failed to recover any of the deleted files after the format.


  6. #6
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    Jan 2007


    How Loud and How Long

    One way that noise can permanently damage your hearing is by a single brief exposure to a high noise level, such as a firecracker going off near your ear. But hearing damage can also occur gradually at much lower levels of noise, if there is enough exposure over time. To protect your hearing, you'll want to limit your exposure to these moderately high noise levels as well, and give your ears a chance to recover after any period of noise exposure. For example:

    • At 91 decibels, your ears can tolerate up to two hours of exposure.
    • At 100 decibels, damage can occur with 15 minutes of exposure.
    • At 112 decibels, damage can occur with only one minute of exposure.
    • At 140 decibels, immediate nerve damage can occur.

    Firearms, firecrackers, and jet engines taking off are all louder than 140 dB. If you find yourself near any of these without hearing protection, use your fingers and plug your ears! And at the same time, move away from the noise even a few extra feet can reduce the loudness significantly.

    Maximum Recommended Noise Dose
    Exposure Levels

    Noise Level (dBA) Maximum Exposure Time per 24 Hours
    85 8 hours
    88 4 hours
    91 2 hours
    94 1 hour
    97 30 minutes
    100 15 minutes
    103 7.5 minutes
    106 3.7 minutes
    109 112 seconds
    112 56 seconds
    115 28 seconds
    118 14 seconds
    121 7 seconds
    124 3 seconds
    127 1 second
    130140 less than 1 second

    Each line by itself represents 100% of the allowable noise dose per 24-hour day. In other words, if you've already experienced 15 minutes at 100 dBA, you're "done for the day," and the remainder of your 24-hour period should have NO exposure above 85 dBA, and preferably should be below 70 dBA.

    Protecting Your Hearing

    Because different people's ears differ in their degree of vulnerability to noise, noise exposure levels that are well tolerated by some people may cause harm in others. If after you've been exposed to noise your ears have a rushing, roaring, or ringing sensation, or you notice that ordinary sounds seem muffled or quieter than normal, you know now that that level of noise is damaging and hearing protection is needed in that situation in the future. If this happens to you, rest your ears (which means no noise above 70 dBA) for 24 hours.

    Be aware: Your ears aren't able to "get used to" noise levels. If a certain noise level doesn't seem to bother you as much as it did before, it's not because your ears have toughened up to it; it's because you've lost some of your hearing. In this case, it's all the more critical to protect the hearing you have left.

    Check out these apps that measure noise levels.

    Also helps if you want to track noise level at your house? at a party? in a classroom? while house/apartment hunting? etc.

    Goolge Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....decibel&hl=en

    apple - https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/deci...448155923?mt=8

  7. #7
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    Aug 2014


    FTP Manager Lite is an excellent modern free FTP and SFTP client software. The clean interface is super easy to use. It will perform your files transfers quickly and efficiently.


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