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Five programs that should be pre-installed on every new computer

Created date

December 31st, 2008

New computers often come pre-loaded with programs for you to use or buy (but my top five never seem to be pre-loaded and they re free).

Download these five freebies. I guarantee you won t be disappointed. '

Mozilla Firefox (www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox)

' Can a browser really make the Web better? Yes! Download Firefox and see for yourself.

Firefox includes tabbed browsing, a spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, and an integrated search system that implements the user s desired search engine. Functions can be added through add-ons created by third-party developers.

' VideoLAN VLC media player (www.videolan.org) ' VLC is a cross-platform media player often referred to as the "Swiss Army knife of media applications." Not only does VLC play nearly any file you throw at it, but it can do so much more from ripping DVDs to converting files to iPod-friendly formats. ' CCleaner (www.ccleaner.com) ' CCleaner scans your PC for unnecessary temporary and log files, cookies, and memory dumps, then wipes them clean with the press of a button. Removing these unused files from your system allows Windows to run faster while freeing up valuable drive space. CCleaner also removes traces of your online activities such as your Internet browsing history and it contains a registry cleaner. ' Spybot Search & Destroy (www.safer-networking.org) ' Run this spyware detector a few times to rid your machine of harmful programs that may have installed themselves without your knowledge. Once everything is cleaned up, leave Spybot running in the background it stays mostly silent, popping up with warnings only when an application is trying to change your computer s settings. ' Pidgin (www.pidgin.im) ' Pidgin (formerly named Gaim) is an instant messaging program for several operating systems. Think of it as a universal remote for instant-messaging programs. It connects to several IM services AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr allowing you to chat with your friends and family from a single interface. When visiting a website that offers freeware many software developers will ask for a "donation". Don't be confused--the software is free. These donations are not required in order to download and/or use these open-source freeware applications. The donations are simply asked for because the developers put a lot of time and effort into building this software and the donations keep them working to improve the software. Remember these programs are not sponsored by any major software companies and the developer is doing it because he/she likes to.

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