August 30, 2005
Dear CNET members,
Today, most software applications come at a premium, but many people like myself find that there are endless amounts of well-written, free or open-source software available. I'd say that 75 percent of my utilities at home are free, ranging from photo-editing to security apps. What about you? Do you think free software is up to snuff as compared to paid software? Read how far Editor Tom Merritt can go in setting up his new laptop without having to pay for software in his latest Real Deal column, "Never pay for software again." And tell us what types of free or open-source software you use and recommend to others. How extensively have you set up your own machine without having to dig deep into your wallet? TalkBack here.
This week's hot topic:
Is it possible to run your PC on nothing but free software? After reading the latest The Real Deal column, many of you shared tips and experiences on software alternatives that don't cost a dime.
Being smart about freeware
CNET member Drite101 is a longtime freeware aficionado. Along with providing great freeware resources, he provides a few words of wisdom about what to expect from software that is price-tag-challenged.
Read Drite101's full post in CNET TalkBack
Optimize your PC for free
Since freeware is so easily accessible, CNET member jco has found several helpful utilities she never knew existed, including adware killers, drive cleaners, and RAM optimizers.
Read jco's full post in CNET TalkBack
Some need to stick with Office
While many of you praised OpenOffice as a great alternative to the Microsoft suite, a few of you have to stick with the original. CNET member Gerard de Graan has to use Excel due to all the macros he's created.
Read Gerard de Graan's post in CNET TalkBack
In what ways have you integrated open source software into your system? Read "Never pay for software again," then speak up in the TalkBack section.
New software reviews
From CNET Reviews
Editors' top software
From CNET Reviews
PC applications & utilities forum
From CNET forums
Mac applications & utilities forum
From CNET forums
Here are some interesting comments you've recently submitted on CNET. Read up on it and talk about it.
Is it worth paying extra for an HD tuner?
If you don't get your high-def programming from an antenna, you don't need a built-in HD tuner--but you'll be stuck paying for one anyway. That is, unless you know about the loophole that can save you hundreds of dollars. HD "monitors" forgo the built-in tuner, and no one with cable or satellite will ever miss it. Or will they?
What's the best way to get music online?
The popularity of MP3s continues to grow and, with it, the number of places you can get them. Companies are offering new MP3 download services every day. Which is your favorite online place to get your tunes?
Google Talk (beta) vs. Yahoo Messenger with Voice
Last week, Google stepped into the instant-messaging ring with the beta version of Google Talk. Our Sunday smackdown pits Google against longtime nemesis Yahoo and its Messenger with Voice. Who will win? Read about each, and place your vote. Then defend your choice in our TalkBack section.
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