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[Windows] The quest for legal (free) software alternatives

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Thrackan, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Read this first: This thread touches the word "piracy", but that does NOT mean that you can post anything that, even remotely, links to pirated content. My intention is to show that there are alternatives, NOT to promote piracy in any way.

    After years of using mostly pirated software, I've recently decided to put in some effort and get me some legal and preferably free alternatives for software I use.

    Quest one was finding a legit office suite. This wasn't that hard, since I'd already heard of OpenOffice.org and I've used it on Linux installations before.
    I heard that it had improved significantly in the last few years and as far as I am concerned, that's correct.
    Bye, illegal copy of Microsoft Office 2003. That's about €100,- off the piracy list.

    Quest two was finding a decent image manipulation program for free. I was using Adobe Creative Suite (and yes, I had CS3 even though I only used Photoshop) and I really use it for not much more than some photo retouching, saving images in different formats and some cut n paste work. Windows Paint still simply sucks too much.
    First I tried the GIMP. Known it from the Linux days, but I never got used to it. Also, my tablet sucks in GIMP.
    Next, I pirated some other program to see if it was worth the buy, and it was even worse. So that went back in the bin.
    On a LAN, someone showed me Paint.NET. It's got everything I need and it's free:rockout:
    Byebye, CS3. Roughly €300,- off the piracy list.

    And that's where I currently am. The first big bucks are replaced and I'm certainly happy with the alternatives.
    There are some other programs I have an issue with:

    - Winamp. As a music player it's great. I'm so used to it that anything else would have to have the same way of handling the music library and playlists.
    Yes, it's available for free, but I get annoyed by the "Go Pro!" popups. I might cough up the $20,- just to get rid of those (I don't use Pro features) but I'd rather find a working alternative. Yes I'm cheap-ass :D

    - WinRAR. Undoubtedly the easiest packaging program I know. The trial popup annoys the hell out of me though. Paying €35,- for a license is possible, but are there alternatives that do the same?

    - I'd like to find a decent free video editing program. I've worked with Adobe Premiere Pro in the past and I liked it very much. Unfortunately I don't own a license.

    - Same goes for a decent (free) audio software. I'd love to sometime actually get into writing some songs. Something like Ableton Live would be great, but a couple features less would be fine as well.

    - CD/DVD/BluRay burning software: Needs to be able to create audio cd's, images, video DVD's, video Bluray images and of course burn a simple data CD. Burning to and from images as well. I currently use an OEM version of Nero 8 Essentials since it's all I've got, but it's not that great. Tried Astroburn but it misses features, alot, and it doesn't work well on W7 yet.

    As far as the OS itself is concerned, I'm running on a Release Candidate of Windows 7 x64, which I legitimately obtained and registered. It will go into bihourly reboots starting March 1st, but I'm definitely buying Home Premium x64 since it's surpassed my expectations and I'm constantly using it.

    I'd like to hear your suggestions on free software alternatives. Both in my own case and alternatives for other (commonly pirated) programs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  2. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    -WinAmp: Windows Media Player 11 is good, 12 is crap. The only thing WMP doesn't do is Ogg Vorbis files; however, you can get get a free converter to get them convert them.

    -WinRAR: Maybe 7-Zip. It can extract RAR files but can't create them.

    -Windows Movie Maker 2? You can get it via the Windows Live Essentials download on Vista/7 as an Optional update. WMM is preinstalled on XP.

    -Audio: Audacity.
     
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  3. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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  4. Nosada

    Nosada

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    I don't know if it covers all your req's, but imageburn is plenty for all my burning needs.

    That sounds wrong, doesn't it?
     
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  5. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    May want to also consider low cost alternatives as well. I'm subscribed to this thread :toast:

    For example: Photo editing: I use Paintshop Pro, although it ain't photoshop, it's good. If you get earlier versions like 8 or 9, you can get on the cheap (search eBay) and will find the interface much better than before Corel took them over.

    Winamp Rocks and I'm stuck on an earlier version of 5, it works great and I don't have to worry about adware crap.

    I'll try to think of others.
     
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  6. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    LOL, perhaps some cream will help.
     
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  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    just be careful with this thread - while its fine to talk about legal free alternatives, no one should ever think its ok to link to pirated software for any reason in this thread (or on the forum entirely)
     
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  8. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    You're absolutely correct. My intention is to show that there are alternatives to piracy or spending loads of bucks on something you use once a month.

    I do not condone links to anything piracy related myself either. I'll make it clear in the first post.
     
  9. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    Most of us know that Mussels, but it bears repeating for new members.
    Remember too, Mussels, you mods are not alone in keeping an eye on the board ;)
    We all want TPU clean and warez free so it stays around a long time,
     
  10. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    I simply can not get used to WMP's interface. I'm gonna check out FooBar2000 later this week.

    Media Player Classic - Home Cinema with the CCCP Codec Pack is my Video player of choice. I've touched VLC's audio mode once but it's not to my liking. I have an extensive library of music and Winamp's library functionality is great for that.

    Looks good, I'll give it a go soon!

    Low cost is good as well, especially for software you use alot.
    I recently browsed the Steam sales and got some nice <$10 games.

    Aye, anyone who wants warez will just have to google them :)
     
  11. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    I'm still pitching LOW COST here...

    Recently looked at PowerDVD 9 Ultra, downloaded the trial and was AMAZED at the quality - they really are doing upscaling now, and BRay support.

    Go on eBay and do a search - you can find it for 1/2 the cost with legit (presumably) s/w key.
     
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  12. Nosada

    Nosada

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    Might as well list all the free software I usually use, as a lot of it is a good alternative for the commercial equivalent.

    7-zip: can unzip/unrar pretty much anything, cannot make .rar's specifically, but can distribute zips over multiple files. IMHO better than WinRAR
    Audacity: recording software, only used this once, seems good though
    Notepad++: enhanced version of notepad, great for writing code, at least that's what I use it for
    OpenTTD: Transport Tycoon Deluxe, only free, not a usefull piece of software, but a great game :p
    Paint.net: enhanced version of paint, I don't really do anything photoshop-like, so I can't vouch if it's enhanced enough
    Virtualbox: a free Virtual Machine, pretty darn good
     
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  13. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Yeah, as I said, low cost is fine for something you actually use.
    For software I use like once a month or less I'm not keen on spending any cash.

    On the other hand, if I only use it once a month I also don't mind the occasional trial pop-up either.

    I use Winamp almost daily, so I'm considering whether or not I find the popup annoying enough to buy it.

    There is free VMWare Server software as well. I've used it when I didn't have a VPN client working on x64.
    Also, the VPN client I have now is free as well, it's from ShrewSoft.

    I already have Notepad++ and I didn't even realize it until you mentioned it :D It's in my "basic software needs" package.
     
  14. DaveK

    DaveK

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    +1 to Paintshop Pro. It's only €99 compared to Photoshop which is like €300 or something. It even comes with a 2GB memory stick. It has served me well for the past 6 years or so though I mainly just touch up photos and make the odd wallpaper.
     
  15. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Honestly, for that purpose Paint.NET works fine by my standards :) And it's free as well :D

    (Yes, I like it, is it obvious? :D)
     
  16. A Cheese Danish

    A Cheese Danish

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    Foobar2000 I find to by my music player of choice.
    And I use CDBurnerXp for all my ISO's/dvds and stuff of the like.
    Seems they also got a new version to do Blu-rays with.
    All I can recommend atm, but I'm sure many people use these or know they exist.
     
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  17. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    If you hate the "Pro" pop-ups in winamp, which my wife does, she uses the player from www.rhapsody.com for nearly everything BUT dvd's. That's where VLC comes in handy.

    Is Ashampoo free?
     
  18. razaron

    razaron

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  19. dr emulator (madmax)

    dr emulator (madmax)

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    yes i hate warez anyone spotting it should report it, as free software often has sneaky trojans in them
    the best place for free stuff is here


    hm .gif low cost = advertising which = a nono.gif afaik,
    you'd have to speak to the boss or someone else high up before putting any links here to be on the safe side ;)

    actually i was thinking of creating a moderator locked thread on usefull free and cheap software but i never got round to talking to dan or the boss :ohwell:
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  20. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Definitely get 7zip, I know it has been suggested. It can't create RARs, but who really cares, it can create zip files though and 7z files(same concept as RAR files, propriatory but at least still free). Personally, I only create zip files anyway, so that I can open them on pretty much any computer without a 3rd party program installed.
     
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  21. Odin Eidolon

    Odin Eidolon New Member

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    If you look for free software, why dont you just switch to some Linux distribution?
    I mean, keeeping a Windows distro for gaming if you want. But I see you are on a tablet, right?
     
  22. kid41212003

    kid41212003

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    I have been using Winrar trial for years now. And I didn't even need to open it AT all. All I did were right click on the files to unrar it, or compress it. No popups what so ever.

    I use Windows Media player to play all my audio files, add music folders to the library made it easy to search through the music I want, and it has album pictures too.

    You can rip and burn audio cd/dvd with WMP.

    Windows 7 can burn images file! It's even easier with data file, just drag and drop!

    You can create ISO files with Daemon tool.

    I edited movies with Windows Live Movie Maker :D.

    I used the new paint in Windows 7 to resize or change types :D.

    I'm totally an MS guy :D>
     
  23. douglatins

    douglatins

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    http://ninite.com/

    Just use this. It covers mostly everything one would need in a PC, and i myself have gone that route. I just hate when someone ask me, "hey you know you're computers right? Can you get me a Office 2007/ Adobe CS3/ Any other expensive software?"
    I have encountered a few small to medium companies that use non licensed copies of software, and usually for a home user, there's not that many harm done, but when someone makes money of pirated software that's all kinds of wrong
     
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  24. DRDNA

    DRDNA

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    Hey does the graphics do better than 16Bit? does this allow for video acceleration?
     
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  25. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Yes, but why when 7zip is just as good and you never have to deal with pop-ups even when actually openning the program?
     
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