Tag Archives: Free Software
I’ve been going about this all wrong, evidently. For months I’ve been looking for a free utility to easily create Ringtones for my iPhone 3G (no, I didn’t rush out and buy the upgrade to 3GS) out of MP3′s I already have. On several occasions I’ve found some decent guides and a lot of free software, but that was exactly the problem: I needed a lot of free software to do what I wanted to do. As far as I’ve been able to locate, no single utility exists that you can download, install and use to create Ringtones for iPhone all within a single package. Without an unacceptable level of complexity, it just wasn’t going to happen.
That’s unfortunate, but hardly a deal breaker thanks to a free service called Myxer. It’s stupidly simple: Browse your nerdy ass over to the Myxer website and find the cute little box (snipped above so you know what to look for) that asks-no, demands-that you upload your very favorite non-DRM’d MP3. If you’re a self respecting nerd of any repute, all your MP3′s are DRM-free, but I digress. Moving on, upload your file (the speed will depend on your internet connection, obviously. I have a stupidly fast connection so for me it’s seconds) and wait while the site processes it for a few seconds.
Microsoft has finally released its Security Essentials Antivirus software onto the world, and man, let there be rejoicing. I’m always a fan of free software, especially if it can handle an essential task well (and make no mistake, antivirus is absolutely essential) without being too intrusive. Microsoft Security Essentials is exactly this kind of software, surpassing most other freeware options while using only a fraction of the system resources others like Comodo and AVG do. As a bonus, MSSE is legal to use on any legitimate copy of Windows (therefore you should expect to have Window Genuine Advantage validate your PC’s OS).
So what exactly is Security Essentials? Well, to put it succinctly, MSSE is Microsoft’s former “Windows Live OneCare” software, minus the feature bloat. Gone are such things as online photo backup, central management of multiple copies on different computers (some people may miss this feature), preventing other programs from adding system tray icons and so on. What it does do, though, is provide a robust anti-malware package that’s very small (about an 8MB download, less than a third of alternatives such as AVG and Comodo), very light and very fast, with a small memory footprint. MSSE makes use of a derivative of the antimalware engine in MS’s Forefront security product (marketed at Enterprises…no, not the ones from Star Trek) and like you would imagine (yet dare not actually hope for) it never nags you for, well, anything. I suppose if you get a virus it’ll pop up an alert to tell you, but luckily enough I have yet to actually encounter anything malicious.
So if you’re using one of the bloated freeware packages out there or just wish you had something less intrusive on your system, I highly recommend you get your free copy of Microsoft Security Essentials. Just be sure to uninstall your other package right away!
We all know by now that these are tough times, and when tough times come along what do nerds do? We troll the internet for Freeware, of course! Probably the most successful of our (more or less) ongoing series’ here on ATNS has been our reviews of excellent free applications that anyone can use at no charge to do the kinds of things that the big boys pay big bucks for. While we’ve recently been, shall we say, a bit lax concerning our reviewing responsibilities–things are about to kick up in a serious way. We’ve been gathering the latest and greatest freeware apps to our sides, glued our butts to our chairs (well, OK, so it isn’t actual glue…) and have begun sifting through more free goodies than even Lord Voldemort could shake his rather deadly stick at.
In anticipation of the forthcoming explosion of Freeware reviews, we’ve decided that a monthly newsletter, to serve as a digest of sorts, would probably be a darn good idea. With that in mind, I bid you look to the sidebar for the simple and easy sign up form. You’ll have to check your email for the confirmation letter and click that sucker, but beyond that you should be in relatively good shape. We’ll promise not to sell your email to spammers (well, unless they offer us a really big bag of money) and in return we ask that you promise not to do terrible things to our pets. Which, let me tell you, if you harm one hair on my Nintendog’s head, you’re in for a butt kickin’!
No, not that, you perve! I meant download free software. It’s something we all like to do, am I right? (Of course I am). Particularly right now, in this horrendous economy where Democrats and Republicans alike are trying to fix the problem (nevermind that they caused the problem, that’s another post for another site and time), the reality is that when government does–let’s face it-anything–it takes forever to start working. Well if you’re like me, you’re impatient as hell and you want to have stuff to play with but you also want to eat at least a few times a week. Or maybe you just have needs that aren’t being met, who knows.
Starting tomorrow, we’ll begin introducing a series of articles (complete with links) covering free software that you can use to do jobs that are typically done by commercial software but for free. We’ll give it a final judgment and recommend it along with a few words about its utility compared to the commercial software it replaces, and hopefully that will help you out. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure the links are easy to follow. We’re also going to try and cover both PC and Macintosh as much as possible.
Want to help out? If there’s a need you have, tell us about it in the comments and we’ll put our brainy staff on task to find something to meet your needs, assuming a free equivelant exists (almost everything has a free equivelant, but we can’t guarantee anything). If you have recommendations, let us know and we’ll be happy to write it up and give you credit, just be sure to include your name, a link to the software you’re recommending and a way to contact you if we have any questions.