Freebies Galore

vbimport

#61

A quick post since I rediscovered it just now. [B]Buzz99.com[/B] has a lot of giveaways and may be worth checking when you have the time.

As a sidenote, right now, the site has a Graphics giveaway from Franzis, Color Projects Professional which usually sets you back $130. Generally though, the software on this site are of higher quality than the ones found on giveawayoftheday.com


#62

You have a resource on the net that you’ve been visiting, for example for one of your favorite games. Now this site has not seen any update for the last five years and you can see the writing on the wall already, this site is gone from the net soon. What are your options?
Initially, two alternatives strikes me.

  1. Try to see if it is available as part of the [B]Wayback Machine[/B]
  2. Grab a copy of the site and save it to your personal storage using the [B]HTTrack[/B] website copier.

The first has the disadvantage that, even if the site is available, you will have to have access to the net to access it.
The second option has a lot of advantages as you can even bring the site to a cabin in the woods with electricity but no internet. Most such websites are small and so the last option is the better.

To surf some larger websites offline will require you to rewrite some if not all HTML pages to make it work and so may be out of the question if you do not know anything about HTML at all (they are text files with commands).
Personally I did offline a lot of sites related to the old game company Infocom around 2004-2006 when they started to disappear from the net and so do an effort to rescue the vast knowledge provided by players. These sites were mostly small, some just a few megabytes, but there were a few that were considerably bigger.

The HTtrack website lists the program as compatible with all editions of Windows from Windows 2000 to Windows 8, but I did check and the portable edition had no problem in bringing my test-site to the harddisk running in Windows 10 64-bit Enterprise edition and so my guess is that it is 100% Windows 10 compatible as well. You will find a [B]manual[/B] for the program on the site as well


#63

I guess most have pretty well figured out what happens when Microsoft gets a decent % of users on Windows 10 and Office 365. Well there are good folks out there with alternatives and this is one of them.

Do more - Easier, Quicker

LibreOffice is a powerful office suite; Its clean interface and its powerful tools let you unleash your creativity and grow your productivity.
LibreOffice embeds several applications that make it the most powerful Free & Open Source Office suite on the market.

LibreOffice is Free and Open Source Software. Development is open to new talent and new ideas, and our software is tested and used daily by a large and devoted user community.

https://www.libreoffice.org/


#64

^Definitively. I’ll go with both the reasoning and your choice of LibreOffice, the Microsoft way is only going to be even more expensive if you have to choose the 365 version (this is by far the most expensive version even compared to Office 2016 Professional, not obvious as it only comes with a monthly fee, but it is).

To complement beefs excellent choice :clap:
You may also want to check out [B]OpenOffice[/B] which is another free open source offer out there.

Usually, there is no need for individuals to go down the Microsoft Office 201x route as they will be just as well off with an open source alternative. In my experience, more and more users choose the free alternatives and there are a few not so obvious advantages as well as they are available for most platforms and so it will benefit you if you are thinking of leaving the proprietary Microsoft world as a whole and install a Linux or for servers, maybe a BSD based OS in your computer.

What I hear from users is the question: What about Outlook?
First of all, most do not use the features found in this application which is not only mail, but a full PIM. What most people need is mail (even that is yesterday in the world of instant messages we have today according to younger users).
O.K, for mail you can use [B]Mozilla Thunderbird[/B] which I like very much myself and choose on behalf of users not knowing what to use.
If you need more PIM functionality, you could check out [B]Zimbra[/B] which even has a connector for Outlook.

Enough for one post, but it is about high time we start to explore a few of the Microsoft alternatives. Great pick beef :clap:


#65

:iagree: I like your style Xercus :iagree:

First the office side, now the operating system side. The one I’m going to focus on is Linux Mint, because that is the one I use. This is one of many. I think I chose it, because their tag line is cool.

from freedom came elegance
I am posting the link to the home page, because there is some news there I think you should see first.

https://www.linuxmint.com/


#66

There is one very annoying thing about this forum, it eats you messages if you, like me have the windows open and write a reply in spare time over the course of say a couple of hours. It just happens when I press submit I get a message:
[B]Your submission could not be processed because the token has expired.
Please push the back button and reload the previous window.[/B]
From there, there is no way to recover the message and so my reply considering alternative Linux OSes and reasoning thereof meant for the casual computer user went to silicon heaven… I am logged in and everything else works just fine, its just not happening often enough and so I forget that I should always write such in-between replies in a text-editor rather than working in the web-interface.

I do not have time to recreate and so I’ll load the message i started on yesterday which exist as a textfile instead.

To cover more creative processes and to share the little I know in this field, graphic/photo programs.

There are two types of drawing programs. The most common format is bitmap or raster graphic (.jpg/.png/.bmp etc) used in photo editing and drawing programs like Paint that comes with Windows.
For photo work, you can get a free equivalent to Photoshop elements in [B]GIMP[/B] (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a very good photo editor and drawing program. Open source project available to most OS platforms and supports PaintShop Pro and Photoshop format graphics.
Then you have [B]Paint.net[/B] which is easy to learn and comes with advanced features and received quite good reviews a few years back when it entered the scene. However, Paint.net is not cross platform and only for Windows.

Then there are vector drawing programs. The great benefit here is scalability as it can be sized up in infinity and stay sharp and converting to bitmap/raster is easy.
[B]Inkscape[/B] is, to my knowledge, by far the most advanced free open source cross-platform tool out there. I do use this in Windows 10 and here it takes a long time to load (30-40+ seconds), but once loaded, the program behaves fine and is quick and easy to work in.
It comes with many tools and filters and is a good free alternative to Corel Draw / Adobe Illustrator.

In a creative process like painting, you may want to check out many programs to find the one that suits your need. Personally I have around 10 different programs installed and may open a drawing in a program just to use one function and then open or paste the result as a layer in a program like gimp or Paint.net to work further there.


#67

[QUOTE=beef barley;2771420]:iagree: I like your style Xercus :iagree:

First the office side, now the operating system side. The one I’m going to focus on is Linux Mint, because that is the one I use. This is one of many. I think I chose it, because their tag line is cool.

I am posting the link to the home page, because there is some news there I think you should see first.

https://www.linuxmint.com/

[/QUOTE]

Well, you could do a lot worse than choosing Mint, a Linux distribution based on Debian and Ubuntu that strives to be a comfortable operating system which is both powerful and the most easy to use.
Today, it is not like it was years ago when there were lots of tasks you simply could not do with Linux and the casual computer user will probably not miss a single program.
if you choose beef barley’s excellent choice and install Linux Mint, going from Microsoft to Linux will not be worse than switching from say Windows 7 to Windows 10 (the differences between these versions are many and will have you annoyed for weeks)

…and since I mention them…[B]Ubuntu[/B] is built on Debian as well and fuels Linux servers, desktops, phones and tablets. While not as just easy to use as Mint, it is still easy enough for most casual users.
[B]Debian[/B] is a grandfather distribution which been around since 1993 and is a great operating system, but do require a little more knowledge (and reading) than the two based on it above.

There are many more distributions out there, but in a freebies galore thread, I think the above is enough as a starting point.

Now, everyone are talking about free, and it is :flower: - They do have to live though, and donations are welcome from users wanting to contribute to support the projects.
Did you notice the huge difference from the Microsoft world in the sentence above?
…users WANTING to… Now if that is not like music to my mind, I don’t know what is. I do support several free projects every year as I WANT to help and do my share in making sure there are updates and new versions released. My money goes to small developers as I think they are most vulnerable, but this is up to you, the user.
In other words, no bad conscience necessary as it does not REQUIRE any donations or payment and so I wholeheartedly recommend switching to Linux for anyone not absolutely in need of staying behind in the surveillance of the Microsoft world.

It is all over the net, but just in case you didn’t know:
Each and every keypress you do on your Windows 10 installation is shipped to Microsoft. What this means in day to day work is that a copy of every e-mail, every document, every spreadsheet, every database entry and so on is sent to Microsoft. That is unless you are above average knowedgeable (more than is needed to adjust to Linux Mint) and am able to control what leaves your computer.
I don’t have anything to hide, but I still find it a bit troubling in terms of my right to privacy.

We have to stop being ‘stuck’ in an OS camp. An operating system is nothing more than an interface to get your work done :iagree: - Still we’re seemingly reluctant to switch while at the same time accepting any changes big and small from the creator of our current OS. Let us face it, if you compare at Windows XP and Windows 10, most everything has changed concerning how the OS works.

[B]Free open source operating system and applications = All cards on the table, no back doors, no hidden telemetry or spyware and no compromised privacy by hidden code[/B].


#68

I am not posting a freebie on this one. I just wanted to thank you Xercus for turning this thread from being dead in the water, instead becoming a gift for anybody who comes to it. I truly envy your knowledge and anybody else who used their time to not only use this medium, but became knowledgeable about how to really use it and everything that goes with it. I am not saying I don’t learn everyday, but I was a latecomer, was never going to give up drinking, (gave it up), was never going to give up smoking, (gave it up), Was never going to have a cellphone, (not a smart phone, but an LG shine flip not connected to the internet), but the phone and my plan will be obsolete come February and I will be without a cellphone. Was never going to have a computer, didn’t need it or anything to do with them. Anyway enough of my rambling, my point is how things change and your phrase about learning is so true, not necessarily physically, mentally as well. I urge anybody who sees this thread to share what they have gained to help others who need it, nobody is getting paid from this, “just trying to help”.


#69

Thank you for your kind words, I think your doing great yourself fathering freebies information I can emphasize on and complement :flower:
We’re but two pieces of puzzle in the infinity of knowledge, what I do is only to add a few thoughts to the freeware picks and simplify technology to hopefully make it a little more interesting to read. If I manage to trigger anyones interest or own thoughts, I have achieved my goal :iagree:

It is about time we start to view it from the users perspective and then an OS is nothing but an interface. He’s not going to use it, he is about to write an e-mail, and then he will go on to play some music from the net - from the users perspective, no OS in sight.
We know that to bring him there, years of coding has gone by and if he knew just how much is going on under the hood he would be at loss for words. He doesn’t and is about to write an e-mail :slight_smile:
So to conclude, if you have only average understanding of Windows, you won’t miss it, and the Linux society is among the finest out here, helpful souls all around the globe to guide you. Even that for free!

[B]Can we do more fun and creative things with our computers… You bet! Music and sound![/B]
I have already presented a [B]notation program[/B], but since not all know how to read or work with notes, there are alternatives.

Need a free synthesizer? Sure, [B]ZynAddSubFX[/B] [B]here[/B] and [B]here[/B] is a fully featured open source cross-platform software synthesizer.
You can get far more information on other options [B]here[/B]
Then there is a great resource for Windows only that has to be mentioned [B]HG Fortune Nearly Forgotten Gems[/B]. You can reach loads of software synths from that landing page.

Not in for playing synth? Well, how about [B]Audacity[/B]? A free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds. Supporting any samplingfrequency your hardware can tackle, supporting plugins and comes with tools to alter most anything you like, can record multiple channels at once etc, you do not have to go further.

Not that either? Man you’re hard to please :bigsmile:
O.K. allow me to take you to the world of music listening, I like the [B]VLC[/B] open source cross-platform mediaplayer, but this is not going to be about that.
This is going to be about the loudness war and how, when you listen to a remaster of a recording you love, have to recognize that you get tired of it as it sounds more flat than you seem to remember. You’re right, it is no mistake.
The reason is that they have raised the average sound level in the recording too much to make it stand out on radio and since the maximum volume gets too high, clipping occurs. To get around that, they introduce dynamic compression on the music.
[B]Dynamic compression means limiting the dynamics of the music and so let us say that the original ranged 36 db between the most silent sound and the crescendo, it now only covers 12 db.[/B] In short, if the recording relied heavily on the dynamic variation for groove, they managed to destroy your listening pleasure in the process.

Is there a way to find out if they have fucked it up?
Yes, you can check out the tool [B]MasVis[/B] which can analyze audiofiles ripped from CD and give you the facts. Read more about it on the homepage. Sadly it is only for Windows, but this tool takes the opinion out of it :iagree:


#70

Not in for playing synth? Well, how about Audacity? A free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds. Supporting any sampling frequency your hardware can tackle, supporting plugins and comes with tools to alter most anything you like, can record multiple channels at once etc, you do not have to go further.
Now it’s been a lot of years since I used Audacity, but I seem to remember that I had to put another program with it, was it called Lame? They may now include that in it or some other, I don’t know. I also remember another program I used around that time, MP3Gain.

O.K. allow me to take you to the world of music listening, I like the VLC open source cross-platform media player, but this is not going to be about that.
Okay then I will. I started off on my music listening, probably like a lot of other people using Windows Media Player. I have now instead of just ignoring it, removed it completely from Windows 10. Anybody that is still using it, I strongly suggest you use Shark007 Codecs. With the codecs you have to install the 32 bit version first if you are also going to use the 64 bit. I tried a few others along the way, that journey led me to MPC, a player my daughter still uses today, will not use anything else. Of all the ones I tried, my journey for the last few years has been with VLC, everything I have thrown at it, it has played, of course not if it is a broken file which sometimes happens.

MPC-HC is an extremely light-weight, open source media player for Windows®. It supports all common video and audio file formats available for playback. We are 100% spyware free, there are no advertisements or toolbars.
https://mpc-hc.org/

VLC media player
VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

Thank you for your kind words, I think your doing great yourself fathering freebies information I can emphasize on and complement :flower:
We’re but two pieces of puzzle in the infinity of knowledge, what I do is only to add a few thoughts to the freeware picks and simplify technology to hopefully make it a little more interesting to read. If I manage to trigger anyones interest or own thoughts, I have achieved my goal :iagree:

Well you have my attention, I read all the addons.


#71

Yes, the dll file of the lame encoder is needed for audacity to convert files into mp3, but that is not a big problem. Audacity is free and it works great,
what more can you ask for if you only want to transer tapes and LPs to your PC?

For music I am using Foobar2000 because i like it, and when i switched to foobar it was at the time that winamp started to get very heavy, and also trying to play videos.
Something that I didn’t like at that time, and i still dont like.

There is also one more audio player that i like aimp because you can make it look awesome :wink: well at least for my taste. However is not the most easiest to use, but looks sometimes need to come first.





#72

^ Great pick vroom, Foobar is a cool player, but dang… Did I just make a trip back to the '80s? - I was unaware of AIMP, but it sure got the looks of memory lane all over it and I love that bottom ‘rack’ with VU.

@beef
Absolutely correct story for me as well, I was using v6 (if I remember correctly) as my last WMP, which is the interface MPC was built like.

Now for VLC, I stopped updating it at v2.08 as I need support for Fluidsynth to play midi formats using soundfonts (.sf2) which was created by Creative for their soundcards (basically a bank of MIDI instruments). VLC dropped support for FluidSynth after v2.08 due to a vulnerability (which I have handled otherwise) and I have so far not bothered checking out alternatives like soundfontplayer a.s.o. To my knowledge, they have not included any alternative to it.

I did forget one Windows program in my last post (there are [U]many[/U] out there) - If you need a ringtone for your phone that works and is audible to your ear even when you’re working behind several racks with servers? download mine [B]here[/B] (test sound found in screenshots) :stuck_out_tongue:

[B]Wavosaur[/B], this is at the core of it a sound editor, but comes with VST plugin support and so can be extended in largely any direction you like. For more info on plugins, check out the [B]blog[/B]. The quality of this product is very high and so needs mention as it is a great alternative to commercial products like ‘Diamond Cut’ and ‘GoldWave’.

Another Windows sourceforge project worth mentioning to those obsessed with bit-perfect editing (most good editors does, but this guarantees it).

Waveshop’s features include peak, RMS and spectral analysis, normalizing, fading, sample rate conversion, audio generation and includes support for plug-ins to extend functionality.
Check out WaveShop [B]homepage[/B] and [B]project pag[/B]e for more information.

A bit-perfect editor passes the round-trip test, which is: open a document, and without changing anything, save it as a different name, and then use a binary comparison tool to verify that the copy is identical to the original. WaveShop passes the round-trip test, and care has been taken to ensure that edits are as non-destructive as possible, meaning that if a subset of an audio file is edited, the remainder is untouched. This makes WaveShop ideal for patching finished masters and similar work.




#73

I would like to point out the excellent Daum PotPlayer

http://potplayer.daum.net/

along with MadVR

http://www.madvr.com/


#74

[QUOTE=andrea1998;2771532]I would like to point out the excellent Daum PotPlayer
http://potplayer.daum.net/

along with MadVR
http://www.madvr.com/[/QUOTE]
Thanks andrea1998, I like that minimalistic interface :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Xercus;2771528]^ Great pick vroom, Foobar is a cool player, but dang… Did I just make a trip back to the '80s? - I was unaware of AIMP, but it sure got the looks of memory lane all over it and I love that bottom ‘rack’ with VU.[/QUOTE]
Only now I realize what’s missing… Where’s the record player? A complaint ought to be filed with the creator :bigsmile:


#75

I speak very bad English, and always translate with Google, too bad the translations leave something to be desired, and so I limit myself to the essentials. :sad:


#76

[QUOTE=andrea1998;2771540]I speak very bad English, and always translate with Google, too bad the translations leave something to be desired, and so I limit myself to the essentials. :sad:[/QUOTE]

Please do not limit yourself, I am non native to the English language as well, but by participating here, my sentence- words- and other flaws keeps getting fewer… hopefully :bigsmile: (and besides, this is no grammar class - we promise to ask if we can not figure out the meaning, please do the same :flower:).

The Native English speaking in this forum can be trusted not to make fun out of anyone asking if they do not understand (They sometime include too much slang and local meanings in their sentence). One such occurrence was between me and coolcolors where I had to address him with what I read as I was sure it was wrong… As it turned out, it was and I do not know about coolcolors, but I got a good laugh out of it. We sometime just hit a limitation in our ability to understand. :bigsmile:


#77

many thanks for the support :o

I’m trying not to automatically install updates to Windows 10 pro.
I report this tutorial

and this software to replace Windows update

http://www.portableupdate.com/default.aspx

[B]if only I could completely disable telemetry…[/B]

[B] [/B]


#78

Thank you vroom and andrea 1998 for contributing to this thread with great choices. Andrea I understood you just fine.

Now back to business. on startup, there is not a program that kicks in that I don’t know about. How you say? well it’s because of the following that I have used for years.

Introduction

This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and when you start various built-in Windows applications like Internet Explorer, Explorer and media players. These programs and drivers include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. Autoruns reports Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond other autostart utilities.

Autoruns’ Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system. Also included in the download package is a command-line equivalent that can output in CSV format, Autorunsc.

You’ll probably be surprised at how many executables are launched automatically!

Autoruns for Windows by Mark Russinovich

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx


#79

if only I could completely disable telemetry…

I don’t know when this was written, but it made sense to me, although I’m no pro. If it doesn’t make sense to you please don’t use it and if you do, please make a backup. I remember going through the registry turning Samsungs into scanners, (SH203B at the time.) I just don’t want to lose a valued member of this thread.

http://winaero.com/blog/how-to-disable-telemetry-and-data-collection-in-windows-10/


#80

[QUOTE=andrea1998;2771540]I speak very bad English, and always translate with Google, too bad the translations leave something to be desired, and so I limit myself to the essentials. :sad:[/QUOTE]

I think you do very well. as long as you can get you point across or question answered, is all we care about, some of us that was born using English don’t do well either

Marty