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30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows December 2, 2006

Posted by Unreasonable in Computer Matters.
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This is a great list of open source software. There are more good suggestions in the comments.

::30 Essential Pieces of Free (and Open) Software for Windows

I also use some that didn’t make the list:

1. CDex
http://sourceforge.net/projects/cdexos/
Unique but essential (for some)
CDex is a CD ripper to make MP3s from an audio CD. It will automatically download track and artist information from the central database (CDDB).

2. Tux Racer
http://tuxracer.sourceforge.net/
Unique but Addictive
Tux Racer is a great downhill ski racing game. Two players can race on one PC simultaneously.

3. Azureus
http://azureus.sourceforge.net/
Replaces the original BitTorrent
I started with the original BitTorrent client, but Azureus was a big improvement. I’ve been using it so long, that I don’t remember the details, but I was amazed when I switched. Consistently among the highest downloaded open source programs on Sourceforge. Winner of the 2006 Sourceforge Community Choice Awards – Best Overall

4. PrimoPDF
http://www.primopdf.com/
Replaces Adobe Acrobat
I’ve found it to be more reliable than PDF Creator for large format documents. Its free, but not open source. Extremely reliable.

5. TightVNC
http://www.tightvnc.com/
Unique but Occasionally Handy
Control the desktop of one computer remotely from another. Before I switched to one laptop for everything, I used to use TightVNC to access my work computer from home. I never had any problems with it. A very solid program.

6. TuxPaint
http://www.tuxpaint.org/
Unique but Wonderful
My 4 year old loves this program.  Its a very simple paint program with cool sound effects.  It won’t replace adult paint programs, but it is an easy version for kids.  Get the optional stamp tool.

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