Clay’s Chaos Column

Clay Kimball

Electric Elf

They say the best things in life are free, especially when it comes to the computer. If you can’t afford proprietary software like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word, and you don’t feel safe pirating, there’s always something called freeware and opensource.

Freeware is any software that developers allow to be downloaded without charge. Opensource is freeware that developers allow for editing and modifying by downloaders.

Sites such as download. cnet.com and filehippo.com are great for browsing for freeware.

Sites such as download. cnet.com and filehippo.com are great for browsing for freeware.

The best part about freeware and opensource, besides the price, is the file compatibility. While most proprietary software only saves and loads in standard file type and their file type, opensource software will load nearly any related file type, proprietary or not.

For me, there is a list of freeware I install on any computer I use, just out of necessity.

The most useful freeware I have ever come across is OpenOffice. OpenOffice is basically Microsoft Office only free and older looking. It is great for students who need to view and edit doc files but can’t afford a newer version of Office.

For images, I need Paint.NET, a freeware image editing software similar to GIMP or Photoshop, and Infranview, a multipurpose image viewing software great for gif files.

Next, for audio/video, there is a program called VLC media player that can play almost any AV file produced, from avi to mkv. Also, for audio there is a professional grade software called Audacity that can add effects to any audio track and directly edit the wave functions.

Finally, for the programmer few, there’s always Notepad++ for HTML and CodeBlocks for C++, but the average reader won’t understand what those two are.

If you have any questions for me, send them to [eriesquare gazettewm @ gmail.com]. I may feature the answer to your question online, or in a future issue.

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