Friday, December 23, 2005

Free things I use...

Free things I use.  I pay for lots of software – but I get much for free as well.  I’d like to list out some of the most important (to me) ‘freebies’ – software and services I use regularly.

First and foremost, right in your face is of course.  A place (among many others) where I get free hosting.  Since April, they’ve allowed me to have lots of page views – all without charging me anything (and there is no advertising either).  The service was a bit dodgy at first but seems quite stable these days.

Coupled with blogspot is the little statistics counter – – you see on each page.  It is free (although I now use the paid service to get more details).  For free (or for the nominal fee/month for a bit longer list of details – the last 1,100 hits instead of just 100) you get quite a bit.  If you are blogging or hosting or whatever – check it out.

Another service I’ve used over and over is for free “what do you thing” polling.  Simple, fast, lightweight – it just works.

A tool I cannot remember how I got along without – primopdf.  Ever need a pdf file made from a presentation, a paper, a web page (when you need to save a web page, preserve the formatting but don’t want to have a subdirectory full of images and what not – or just to email the web page to someone “as is”) – whatever.  Primopdf does it – and does it free.  In fact, it was because I was using primopdf for the umpteenth time this morning that I am writing this.

Cannot forget the two biggies – the two applications I spend more time in than any others (although the next two are close contenders for the top slots too).  Firefox and Thunderbird.  Firefox is incomplete without these free extensions – ForecastFox, Adblock, Enhanced History Manager, IE View, StumbleUpon (this rocks), Tab Mix Plus, SwitchProxy Tool – and a new extension I’m testing but have high hopes for – I’ll talk about that some other day.  In Thunderbird – which I use for both EMAIL and tracking RSS feeds (blogs), I’ve found the need for two extensions.  I have to flip/flop SMTP servers frequently depending on where I am (behind the firewall at work – or not).  Show SMTP Username does that for me easily.  Related functionality with regards to my proxy server in Thunderbird is the Proxy Button – it just turns the proxy ON or OFF.  Very simple, very needed.

Close runners up to these two however are gaim and putty. Gaim is what I use for instant messages – seems to be getting more of a communication path for me every day.  Putty is just a really good telnet/ssh client.  Between those four – that is where I spend much time (hey, you need putty to run sqlplus after all…).

Filezilla is probably the best all around ftp/sftp client I’ve used in a long time.  Wish there was a linux version.

I’ve been using Konfabulator – on and off.  I use one widget predominantly – a network traffic monitor.  I’d be willing to switch – if only someone knows where to get the exact equivalent of xnetload for windows… I’d be very interested.  No bells, no whistles – just up/down load rates and total transferred – that’s all.

I use autoruns from time to time just to see what evil little startup program snuck in (although with the MS anti-spyware, currently “free”, the need for this is perhaps declining).  I used to use startup cop, but that isn’t maintained anymore.  This does nicely.

Unison – which I’ve written about before is still definitely on the list.

VNC, it just rocks.  Maybe I should have put this up with gaim and putty actually.  I use it a lot to get to my Mac, Windows print server, and various linux boxes at home and work.

As for services – Yahoo Calendar, Yahoo Mail (although I pay for this in order to get a real mailbox and SMTP), Flickr for photos (but I pay for this now to get more space and more ‘categories’.  You can do a lot for “free” these days.  I was the “web master” (remember that term) for my daughters soccer team.  In the past that might have meant getting a hosting service, renting space, designing web pages, manually doing a lot of stuff.  In 2005 – I got them a blogspot account, a flickr account and a yahoo account.  We had email, calendar, photo galleries, and a place to congregate and announce things and comment on them.  It took about 5 minutes to get it all setup.

There are a couple of others such as FireTune for Firefox, Ypops, rlwrap but the above are the “biggies”.  The list of “for fee” software I use would be a little longer – maybe about the same size (seems like everything for my Treo is “for fee” and much of it “a year at a time” which I’m not sure I like).

Anyone have anything to add?  Someone want to try to talk me out of one that I use for something better (always willing to try)…  


Blogger Colin Sheppard said....

I use this list to get recommendations and an overview of some different Freeware applications:

Do note in the side menu this is a list of other categories of freeware software:


Much of what Tom has in is post is also in this list. But there is more there as well.

Fri Dec 23, 09:35:00 AM EST  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

I'm using the new Yahoo Mail Beta at the moment -- it's pretty slick, though it won't work on Opera.

I just upgraded to Firefox 1.5, hoping it had something in it to stop Firefox from using so much memory. Now it uses none at all, 'cos it won't even start.

* sigh *

Fri Dec 23, 09:38:00 AM EST  

Blogger Colin Sheppard said....

This website has some nice quick links to popular freeware applications too:

Also, it has a section on the page that refers to packs of codec, handy for installation of multiple audio/video codec in a package. For example:

Also, a long time favorite for image file editing is:

Good for things like Thumbnail viewer, batch image conversions/renaming/compression, plus general image editing.

xnview also useful for getting a good list of image files and their properties in a neat table.

Both I use for handling digital photos.

Fri Dec 23, 09:50:00 AM EST  

Blogger yas said....

...hoping it had something in it to stop Firefox from using so much memory

I have been consistently mailing them about the memory problem in Windows XP, no solution so far. Just now it is using 250MB of memory.

I use Foxit Reader as my pdf reader.
Google Desktop is essential for me, i do not remember what i was doing to search in my pc without that.

Fri Dec 23, 10:12:00 AM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Upgraded today to Firefox 1.5 and right now, with 20 tabs open on different "average weigth" pages, it uses 68K of memory (seems faster as well).

Downside: many extensions (eg StumbleUpon) are not compatible with 1.5 ...

Fri Dec 23, 10:21:00 AM EST  

Blogger Bob B said....

If you like stumbleupon, I think you'll like reddit. Same concept except you fetch what you want instead of it coming to you. The major difference is that stumbleupon can miss some of the "high points", as Kathy Sierra calls them. Something gets hot in the last hour or two, it'll show up at reddit but will be many clicks and many hours later to show up on stumbleupon.

Fri Dec 23, 10:48:00 AM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

I meant 68MEGA of course ;)

Fri Dec 23, 10:50:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said.... MS Office replacement

Cobian Backup: Windows Backup program

Squirrel-SQL: Java iSQL Client

7-Zip: Winzip replacement

Ethereal: Network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows

Paint.Net: Graphics Editor program

Just Google for links.

Fri Dec 23, 10:57:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Paul said....

MySQL (only kidding Tom)

Fri Dec 23, 11:01:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Thanks Tom! You're the best! :) from my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas & a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year! Thanks for all you do!

Fri Dec 23, 11:20:00 AM EST  

Blogger Serin said....

Not free, but Hageltech's DU Meter rocks my socks.

When I hit the server with bad database code, I usually get busted because dumeter shows me the impossibly large data trasmission for my teeny little result.

20 bucks, but it was worth it.

Fri Dec 23, 11:24:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Milo van der Leij said....

Don't forget VMWare Player.
And since someone mentioned Paint.Net, I'll have to mention the Gimp.

Fri Dec 23, 11:43:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Free Anti-virus software??
Avast for home
Clam AV

Fri Dec 23, 11:59:00 AM EST  

Blogger Roderick said....

Last time I had a problem starting Firefox I either fixed it by starting it up in safe mode and removing all the themes and extensions I had or I de-installed firefox, manually removed the themes and extensions folders and reinstalled (wish I could remember what actually worked).

Recently used a free utility called regmon to track down a missing registry entry that was starting to annoy me.

And I usually try to avoid learning anything about debugging Windows like the plague.

Happy Holidays to all.

Word Verification: upeylwmn
uhh... I guess what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas after all???

Fri Dec 23, 12:22:00 PM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Bah, Humbug, I've given up almost entirely on freeware. Netscape and Stumble are about the only things I use anymore, and Netscape is iffy.

Of course, I expect applications to work as long as their data exists, so I guess I'm just weird.

Fri Dec 23, 12:33:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

My firefox (using 1.5) takes about 70-80meg of ram...

Downside: many extensions (eg StumbleUpon

I'm using stumbleupon? Version 2.2 - it works fine with firefox 1.5 so far...

Yes, there is the vmware player (but I use the for fee versions) and the gimp - I use the gimp but I use about 0.01% of it (it is rather huge and confusing).

I would stop using gimp if I found a utility that does this ONE thing:

a) opens jpg files, offers to shrink them - showing the resulting picture quality and the size of the file.

That is pretty much the only thing I use the gimp for :)

Fri Dec 23, 01:04:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I would stop using gimp if I found a utility that does this ONE thing:

a) opens jpg files, offers to shrink them - showing the resulting picture quality and the size of the file.

Doesn't photoshop do that? (It's been a while since I've used it, but it came "free" with my scanner).

Fri Dec 23, 01:24:00 PM EST  

Blogger Lance Hoover said....

OK Tom, you finally got me. Firefox, Thunderbird and putty. Simply awesome. Every time I need to upgrade putty I am reminded of the good ol' days when all you needed was an executable. And only 35M of memory. Firefox 1.5 is currently 122M, while Thunderbird 1.5 is 140M. Boy I wish I could cut off my dependence on Windows at the desktop level. All servers are Unix.

Fri Dec 23, 01:24:00 PM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Firefox 1.5 was not able to "find any update" of some extensions after upgrade (and disabled them since "not compatible with 1.5"). Uninstalled/reinstalled them, and now they work ... including StumbleUpon, thanks for letting me know!

Fri Dec 23, 01:27:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I would stop using gimp if I found a utility that does this ONE thing:

a) opens jpg files, offers to shrink them - showing the resulting picture quality and the size of the file.

Irfanview will do this.

Fri Dec 23, 01:36:00 PM EST  

Blogger Michael Dinh said....

screen capture - MWSnap
Crimson Editor 3.70 Release (Freeware)

Fri Dec 23, 01:52:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Firebird RDBMS

Probably the best free/open source RDBMS.

Fri Dec 23, 02:27:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

If I read "/" to be "or", then XE is the best free/open source RDBMS :)

Fri Dec 23, 02:51:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Is XE open source?

Oracle Database XE can be installed on any size host machine with any number of CPUs, but this free version of the world's leading database will store up to 4GB of user data, use up to 1GB of memory, and use one CPU on the host machine.

What happens when "user data" goes above 4GB?

Fri Dec 23, 04:13:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Is XE open source?

No, that is why I said it the way I said it above. It is just free. Open source <> Free, Free <> open source - they are two totally different concepts.

It won't go over 4gb, it doesn't let it.

Fri Dec 23, 04:22:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Many thanks for sharing the info.

Beyond Compare
was very very helpful and it is useful to check/compare different version of the files (useful for checking large application output) but now I believe it comes with a small fee. It nearly was indispensable tool for me as long as it was free.

And you should check Textpad( if you haven't. I myself don't know if I am utilizing it the most but I cannot live without the "Block Select Mode" feature. It saves my time and relives me from doing a chore. I use that in a variety of ways.

I would also be interested to know the electronics/gadgets that you all think is good or those that you have it already.

Fri Dec 23, 04:23:00 PM EST  

Blogger Howard J. Rogers said....

My PC is currently running Linux. Music is playing in the background courtesy of XMMS. I'm viewing your site in Firefox 1.5, but that was an accident. Usually it's Opera 8.5, and that's free these days, too. Evolution for email, calendars, contacts and to-do lists knocks the spots off Thunderbird, but is platform-specific, of course. K3B burns my CDs, Xine plays my DVDs, and BitDefender antivirus is free for Linux. I don't need VNC to control my remote machines, because that's what X servers let you do anyway (and X does it better). For Windows to play that game, I love my Cygwin!

My website works courtesy of Joomla! and MySQL. The Forum works courtesy of Simple Machines Forum. I hate OpenOffice, but Abiword is cross-platform and produces very nice standards-compliant HTML when I need it to.

Actually, apart from VMware, and a small 5GB Windows partition on the Laptop (there for hotels whose broadband connections don't work with Linux), I don't think I'm using paid-for software at all these days!!

If you ignore the assorted Enterprise Edition Oracle databases, of course!

Fri Dec 23, 04:24:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Vim (of course)
Maxthon browser (I know, it uses the IE engine and so isn't "secure", but other than that it's what IE should be)
Writely (very cool online word processing)

Fri Dec 23, 11:12:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

vim (of course)

OF COURSE, how did I forget that one! vim and gvim.

Sat Dec 24, 08:40:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Had you recommended a screen capture utility? I could have sworn I saw that in this post, but when I came back for the link I didn't see it. Was I imagining things??


Sat Dec 24, 10:12:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I like Tera Term Pro/TSSH more than putty, but it needs an install, putty is just one .exe file.

Sat Dec 24, 10:14:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Had you recommended a screen capture utility?

Not I, but Michael Dinh said.... above had one.

(i use the gimp to capture the screenshots for my books - meaning I captured maybe 5 screen shots in total for all books :)

Sat Dec 24, 10:21:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I have been looking at flickr for family purposes, but I have a deep distrust of these services. I might have believed Google's "don't be evil" mantra, for example, until they went public - at which point fiduciary duty trumps philosophy. As it does for Yahoo. I just think that at some point they will figure out a way to monetize these "free" services, either by taking your content hostage and demanding fees, translating your content into propriatary formats and demanding fees, selling indexes of your content to Choicepoint, and/or handing it all over to Cheney and the NSA.

Does this worry anyone else, or am I being paranoid?

Secretary Comstock

Sat Dec 24, 10:46:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I have been looking at flickr for family purposes

Anything free can go "away" just like that. There are many "free" things I used to use - but don't anymore because they stopped being serviced or available.

As for something like flickr - that is how I distribute my pictures, the ones I want to share. If it goes "away", other than the time it takes to re-upload them, I don't really care. It is not my only, nor even primary repository of photos.

Yahoo calendar goes away? So what, it is what I sync to so my wife can see where I might be on a given day. My treo and palm desktop backups are my primary calendars.

Blogspot goes away? So what, I have these all archived locally.

My data - my problem - my backup and recovery.

These free services - ways to distribute this information. If it goes away I am not at all losing anything - other then a distribution channel.

Sat Dec 24, 12:08:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Fast stone can do the work of opens jpg files, offers to shrink them - showing the resulting picture quality and the size of the file.

Sun Dec 25, 02:41:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Martin said....

a) opens jpg files, offers to shrink them - showing the resulting picture quality and the size of the file.

You really should give a try.
How would you do it with IrfanView:
1) double-click/enter on .jpg to start
2) ctrl-r to resize
3) s to save [enter to replace]
(default .jpg is memorized so it will be defaulted the 2nd time)

By the way - IrfanView is software from Austria, where i'm living as well :-)

Sun Dec 25, 04:11:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

... IrfanView ...

I couldn't see how to reduce the "quality" of the image and see the results before saving.

That is what I really want to do - take megabyte+ images and shrink them down to as little as possible and still have the resulting picture be "ok looking to me"

Sun Dec 25, 04:33:00 PM EST  

Blogger Kim Nørby Andersen said....

I'm using some free software too, but what surprises me the most is what is going on at Microsoft. I'm a programmer in my spare time (DBA for work), and the Visual Studio 2005 environment rocks!! Truly! Even has support for Oracle databases. The express versions are of course a bit limited, but most wont notice.

Visual Studio Express editions
Visual Studio Express

MS SQL Server 2005 Express
SQL 2005 Express

Mon Dec 26, 08:10:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Matthias Rogel said....

I never paid one cent for software - and never will, always used free software

only exception (only software I would have paid for): vmware and oracle
but my employers always paid for me

greatest news of the last year: Oracle Express (4 free) will be shipped soon.

happy xmas from Galway, Ireland

Mon Dec 26, 10:18:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

.. Matthias Rogel said...

so, you have only been using computers recently? I mean, there was a time before you could download linux (and to download linux, you needed to have had - some software)

And most pieces of hardware come with some software to use them.

I have a feeling you pay for much if not most of the software you use - heck, my car had a recall to get a "patch" for its software. To change channels on my tv (with Tivo) requires software. sure, AOL is "free" software - that I pay for every month via a subscription. And my XM radio software is entirely free - as long as I pay my subscription every month. My basic software on the treo 650 was "free" wasn't it? I'm sure it must be - because I didn't pay separately for it (rhetorical question, of course the software running your phone isn't free - you paid for it).

I use lots of "for free" stuff, we all use lots of "for fee" stuff - and that is not a bad thing.

At least one or two of us support our families writing and subsequently selling - software.

Mon Dec 26, 10:47:00 AM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

For mp3 management, I like to use The GodFather. I know that its name has nothing to do with what it does, but this software is pretty good. It renames, organizes and fixes mp3 files based on its Tag. Also does a bunch of other features with a bunch of other files but I use mostly for MP3.
Here is the site:

Mon Dec 26, 04:47:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

what about any blogger tools ? any suggestions?

Mon Dec 26, 05:08:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I've been using a plugin for Word to blog with - I was using "blogjet" for a while but it had some "quirks" and using word was pretty easy.

Mon Dec 26, 08:58:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Mahesh Rajendran said....

i am using WINK for screen capture /demo /presentation / documentation purposes lately. It is painless and has replaced almost all my PPT presentations and it can generate an output into an HTML file (for our internal website) or just an exe and it works in linux.

Tue Dec 27, 07:33:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Linda Seley said....

I recommend the NoScript extension for Firefox. It lets you specify which sites can run JavaScript, plugins, etc. The notification's a bit annoying but you can turn it off. It's especially good at keeping the ads from running nasties.

Tue Dec 27, 01:38:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

The plugin for Word by Blogger doesn't support pictures. Any other tool ?

Tue Dec 27, 02:55:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

doesn't support pictures.

Yeah, that is one downside to it - I've just been leaving whitespace where the picture is to go - save as draft and the edit in blogspot to paste in the flickr references. It would be nicer not to (so I'll be watching for followups - blogjet just had too many quirks)

Tue Dec 27, 03:13:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Downsize pictures (in batch!):

Not WYSIWYG, but give it a try, you'll be amazed!

Happy holidays,

Tue Dec 27, 04:34:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gary Myers said....

AgentRansack is one I love, for scanning through files for that phrase when you can't remember where you saw it.

Much better than that dog thing that comes with Windows XP :

Tue Dec 27, 05:04:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

... IrfanView ...

I couldn't see how to reduce the "quality" of the image and see the results before saving.

That is what I really want to do - take megabyte+ images and shrink them down to as little as possible and still have the resulting picture be "ok looking to me"

Did Martin (Sun Dec 25, 04:11:21 PM EST) answer your question? What do you mean by quality?

Thu Dec 29, 10:29:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Not really - Martin described how to resize, I want to slide the JPG quality (between 10% and 100%) and see what the resulting image would look like. In the gimp, I save as jpg and it gives me a slider to specify the jpg quality. Some pictures (depending on the amount of color and detail) look fine at 25%, some need 45% to still be looking "OK". The gimp shows me what the picture would look like in real time as I'm sliding the quality back and forth.

Thu Dec 29, 10:37:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Got it. You can change the quality, JPG compression level, when saving the image in Irfanview. I don't think you can preview the quality change without saving the image first.

Thu Dec 29, 11:12:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Phil Clifford said....

would stop using gimp if I found a utility that does this ONE thing:

try jhead)
no preview but no gui either ;-).

Fri Dec 30, 08:42:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Phil Clifford said....

..jhead ...
which of course uses mogrify
from ImageMagic to do real the work ...

Fri Dec 30, 08:50:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Might want to check out IE Tab it is similiar to IE view but opens the page as a tab in Firefox.

Fri Dec 30, 10:12:00 AM EST  

Anonymous juancarlosreyesp said....
I can't be wrong in this comment, but
I still don't understand why you Tom uses firefox, when it is not as secure as Opera.
I remember had read some articles about security before choosing between Opera and firefox.
Opera is free too.

I'll be grateful if you illustrateme this point :)
Happy New Year!!!!

Sun Jan 01, 12:28:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I've never heard anyone say before "use opera it is more secure".

Be that as it may, I have tried opera in the past, I did not like it - true it was a while ago, but I've now got time and energy invested in Firefox - and I like it as a browser.

I guess that is why - I "Like Firefox". And it (firefox) is hardly "massively insecure". I keep it patched, I keep my system patched, I run firewalls, I'm pretty cautious. I use adblocking/spyware stuff.

Sun Jan 01, 10:27:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I prepare a lot of powerpoint ppts on Oracle related topics. For those ppts use ZAPGRAB2 to capture screen shots and paste them on ppt. ZAPGRAB is cool and worth using. Its free.

Mon Jan 02, 04:21:00 AM EST  

Anonymous juancarlosreyesp said....

Thanks Tom, the problems we had, was there was some security problems on firefox opera didn't have, and problems with compatibility with javascript, so some pages running on ie and opera didn't run on firefox.

From several years of experience opera seems to be very secure, some kind of script can't be executed definetively. After several years of use, I can say is very safe.
That is why we decided to use opera.

ie explorer from time to time is attacked on some customers and becomes unusuable, and isn't multiplatform.

Tue Jan 03, 10:39:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Gerrit-Jan Linker said....

In addition to the programs mentioned I use:
PFE: Programmers File Editor

The tools at especially pagedefrag to defragment the windows page file...
Other utilities:
diskmon, filemon, regmon, tcpview

HDD Thermometer: shows/logs the temp of your hard disks.

Wed Jan 04, 05:02:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Philip Verschueren said....

If you're looking for a free SQL tool, look at the fast and easy or the more advanced project raptor at

Wed Jan 04, 09:23:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Martin said....

... IrfanView ... I want to slide the JPG quality ...

You are right, IrfanView does not provide this.
(i've sent irfan a note about the feature - in the unlikely case he adds this i'll come back to you).

Wed Jan 04, 11:07:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Recently I downloaded the GUI version of vi editor from It looks pretty good so far except that there is no horizontal scroll bar. If you like the vi editor in unix and probably want it with gui features in windows platform, you might like this one. It lets you change the background/foreground colours, font settings, notepad/windoze features+vi command features, alternate file and print features. Just thought of sharing.

Wed Jan 04, 03:18:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Lee Elms said....

for a programming editor, jEdit

(java, so runs 'anywhere;; loads of plugins, good macro language ...)

Thu Jan 05, 05:17:00 AM EST  

Blogger Chris Farmer said....

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thu Jan 05, 07:24:00 AM EST  

Blogger Chris Farmer said....

I have to agree with lee elms on his Jedit call, also i don't think these have been mentioned before.

iTunes - mp3
Flock - browser
Picassa - images
Y'z Dock - app launcher
winmerge - file comparer
microsoft antispyware

oh yes and this one...
definitely worth a look.

Thu Jan 05, 08:20:00 AM EST  

Blogger drh2020 said....

I can think of 2 immediately:

-winscp for secure copy/ secure ftp (works with putty)

-keepass to manage my passwords and other sensitive data (installs cleanly on a usb key and is portable). Plus I can run in on linux with codeweaver installed. Awesome!

Thu Jan 05, 09:27:00 AM EST  

Blogger Uwe Küchler said....


if you like IE view, you should definitely give IETab a try:
Think of it as IE View in a Tab with an Icon to switch between the IE and the Gecko renderer.

Also, if you're aware of security leaks in your browser, try the NoScript extension for Firefox: Allow Java, JavaScript or even Flash by whitelisted sites only; enable/disable scripts for a site temporarily or generally for your session. Simply great.

AntiVir Personal Edition is a fine Virus Scanner made in Germany and free for private use:

My alternative to FileZilla is WinSCP which I use heavily at work. Major advantages: No installer needed; supports SCP and SFTP; based on PuTTY, so you may use the same key files; small footprint - put it on your memory stick.
Major drawback: FTP is not implemented.

Happy new Year, BTW!
--==/ Uwe \==--

Thu Jan 05, 10:47:00 AM EST  

Blogger Uwe Küchler said....

Oh, I forgot to mention GnuPG, wich gives you strong encryption like "Pretty Good Privacy". Combined with the Windows Tray Tool WinPT, key management and encryption become a snap.

Thu Jan 05, 11:32:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

1) KeyNote a Personal Information Manager
2) Mind mapping tool

Thu Jan 05, 11:47:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Another interesting and (so-far) useful piece of free software seems to be Oracle Raptor. Although presently in pre-adopter form, the app lets one quickly explore and develop for an Oracle RDBMS instance in a very database centric fashion - a short coming of most IDEs out there.
And speaking of Firefox, it would be great if the development team adopted the Firefox methodology and created/published a plug-in API so others could contribute functionality, maybe support for AWR/ADDM for example...

Holding my breath for the "real" release.
O&A party rock!

Fri Jan 06, 03:02:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Nice to be able to provide you with some help rather than vice-versa. For resizing JPEGs try JPEGCompress at the following URL....

Freeware, small, allows preview of image at selected quality. Only downside - windows only.

Fri Jan 06, 04:14:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

For resizing JPEGs try JPEGCompress

Perfect, that is exactly what I was looking for - it does one thing - resize/compress jpegs... and you see the results as you do it.

Fri Jan 06, 07:29:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Markus Schwabe said....

1) cygwin with integrated ssh-server - works great
2) winscp
1) tora - toad-like; for application-information
2) jdeveloper - pl/sql-development with cvs-support; nice

Fri Jan 06, 11:24:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

OpenSUSE 10.1 ( with loads of included free software :-) )
Firefox 1.5
Aqua data studio
Oracle XE
Oracle Raptor

Mon Jan 09, 05:48:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Am not sure , if anyone mentioned this before,, but keep an eye of open office
I have heard that google would be creating wonders with this software

For anti-windows lovers, this is a relevation.

Tue Jan 10, 07:49:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Meet-o-matic is a really useful piece of free software:

It's in the "so simple it's genius" category - the easiest way of finding out when everyone is available for a meeting (even people outside your company). I tend to use it for organising social gatherings.

Thu Jan 12, 08:50:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Tracy Rahmlow said....

Hi Tom - take a look at

Fri Jan 13, 10:34:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

I finally found a bookmark manager/synchronizer. Formarks is great. It automatically uploads bookmarks and keep computers sychronized. Although they say it's in beta it works fine.

Wed Jan 18, 08:04:00 PM EST  

Blogger ClustrMaps Team said....

Instead of, or even better in ADDITION to statcounter, you should seriously consider the graphical hit counter with map visualizations called ClustrMaps.

Although this may seem like a shameless self-promotional plug, check out the testimonials on the site for yourself. Many thanks!

Thu Feb 09, 06:25:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I have been using the following bookmark manager/synchronizer for years. It has not been updated for a long time but works fine with both Internet Explorer and Firefox:

Does anyone know of a fast freeware/opensource text editor for opening/editing extremely large files?

I have already tried notepad++ (
/uk/site.htm), edxor ( and vim ( which are good but I was wondering if there is anything better out there.

Jeditor ( is good for editing scripts but is slow and will not open very large files.

Fri Mar 10, 10:37:00 AM EST  

Anonymous sandeep.karun said....

anyone knows a good html editor that is free

Fri Jun 02, 02:05:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Endy said....

Firefox for surfing
Notepad++ for coding

Mon Oct 30, 07:26:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

I know it's a quite old entry but i think it's worth to keep updating it. Since you posted you love VNC, you should check out ultravnc at

gleisson henrique

Wed Nov 15, 01:14:00 PM EST  

Blogger drm050067 said....

Thnaks a lotfor the information. It has been a lot of help so far.

Tue Apr 24, 12:53:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Here’s a Broadband Video that will show you how to check availability by postcode, how perform a broadband speed test and where to find broadband forums to answer your questions. There are also offers for PlusNet Broadband.

Here is a broadband beginners guide and below are common broad band questions;
>What is Broadband?
>Types of Connections?
>Connection speeds and download limits
>How to compare ISP’s

Fri Dec 14, 05:50:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Very Good article , this article make some interesting points.
Tactical Flashlights
r c helicopter
video game
Tactical Flashlight

Mon Jun 23, 02:37:00 AM EDT  

Blogger BT said....

Thanks alot Tom for all the free tools you mentioned. There may be more useful tools over here at under the header IT Tools.


Sun Sep 21, 12:00:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous InkHead said....

If you have a blog, you can earn free promotional products from InkHead. You’ll need to include a link back to in the content of your blog in order to earn your free gift. The applicaiton can be found here.

Tue Nov 25, 12:03:00 PM EST  


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