Monday, May 25, 2009

Freely Ten

Ten Things You Can Have for Nothing

Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.

Balabolka is a "is a Text-To-Speech (TTS) program. All computer voices installed on your system are available to Balabolka. The on-screen text can be saved as a WAV, MP3, OGG or WMA file. The program can read the clipboard content, view the text from DOC, RTF, PDF, FB2 and HTML files, customize font and background colour, control reading from the system tray or by the global hotkeys. Balabolka uses various versions of Microsoft Speech API (SAPI); it allows to alter a voice's parameters, including rate and pitch. The user can apply a special substitution list to improve the quality of the voice's articulation. This feature is useful when you want to change the spelling of words. The rules for the pronunciation correction use the syntax of VBScript" (OS: Win 9x/ME/NT/2K/XP/2K3)

bookTomebookTome is "a book management system which allows users to enter information about their book collection and then sort and search this information in a variety of different manners. bookTome can catalog and manage your library or personal book collection and it is suitable for collections of all sizes and types. Main features:Add and edit books manually or using web services; Sort and organise your books by author, series, reading status or tags; Search your books with free-form text searching and links; Print out book lists, book information and wish lists; Keep track of books that you want to read with the wish list" (OS: Windows XP/Vista)

Efficient Diary is "a completely free while still beautiful, easy-to-use and powerful electronic diary software package. With its unique and powerful flash full-text search technique, you can simply enter a word in the diary to quickly find the corresponding entries! The product has a strong edit function similar to that of Microsoft Word. You can insert various items such as tables, pictures, emotions, URLs or even attachments. You can set the background color, background picture of each diary entry separately so your diary can be rich and colorful" Could double as an electronic novel notebook, too. (OS: Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista)

FocusWriter is "a fullscreen, distraction-free writing program. You can customize your environment by changing the font, colors, and background image to add ambiance as you type. FocusWriter features an on-the-fly updating wordcount, optional auto-save, optional daily goals, and toolbars that hide away to allow you to focus more clearly; additionally, when you open the program your current work-in-progress will automatically load and position you at the end of your document, so that you can immediately jump back in" (OS: Mac OS X 10.4; Windows XP)

Forgedit is "the user friendly developers text editor . . . for developers who want an easier way to get things done. ForgEdit is surprisingly powerful and easy to use, and has all the tweakability you need.
Support for more than 25 modes, 100+ configurable keyboard shortcuts, 20+ stock scripts, and all the character encodings your Mac has to offer" (OS: Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5; G4, G5 or Intel CPU)

Hikidoc is "a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. HikiDoc allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid HTML (or XHTML)" (OS: Mac; open-source Ruby project)

MemoBlock "is a slick notepad application for Mac. You can store text notes in any font/color style you like, transfer content to iPods, export as vNote files and more. MemoBlock also has a cool alarm feature that you can set for individual notes, and notes can be divided into as many categories as you like. The latest version brings an improved find box, support for vNote (.vnt) files, and a over a dozen other changes" (OS: Mac)

PhotoNotesis "an easy way to attach labels to your favorite photos. You can mark friends and family, buildings, special places, whatever you like. It is tightly integrated with the Mac OS X Address Book, so it is easy to pick a name for a label. Labels are smart: When you have birthdays in your Address Book, PhotoNotes automatically displays the age of that person, using the camera date. Finding photos of friends is easy with PhotoNotes' extensive Spotlight support. Your albums are automatically indexed. When you search for a person from Spotlight, PhotoNotes automatically displays that person's photos and highlights him or her in the thumbnail previews. You can also export your labelled photos as an interactive HTML page" (OS: Mac OS X)

Social Poster "submits (your content) to all social and bookmarking websites including: Digg, Propeller, Reddit,, Stumble Upon, Social Logs, Indianpad, Google, Technorati, Furl, Diigo, Wirefan, Bibsonomy, Blinklist, Blogmemes,, Ask Jeeves, Simpy, Backflip, Spurl, Newsvine, Netvouz, Folkd, Blinkbits, Bmaccess, Shadows, Smarking, Sphinn, Magnolia and Yahoo. Easy access to all supported social websites; Fills all possible fields automatically; Easy copy & paste the fields that can't be filled automatically; Generates space-separated from the comma-separated tags; Generates quoted tags from the comma-separated tags" (OS: No info listed, but this looks like Windows.)

viJournal Lite, a freeware version of viJournal, is "designed as an analogue of the good old-fashioned page-a-day bound diary - the kind you buy in a stationer's. You write your entries under dated headers and save them collectively by month and year." Includes a bunch of other features as well (OS: Mac OS X 10.5 or later, but they have a special download for Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later.)


  1. Very helpful list, must check some of these out. Have to wonder about focus writer though, I think a background image would distract me more than help focus my attention. I deliberately change my desktop background to a blank colour when I'm trying to do extended writing and close everything else so taht there is nothing else on the screen.

  2. You find the neatest things! How do you find the time? Not that I want you to stop. You just have such a full plate.

  3. Great list. Balabolka looks particularly useful.