Monday, February 13, 2012

Not a Dime Ten

Ten Things You Can Have for Free

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

This is extremely cool-looking -- Desktop Shelves turns your screen into a virtual library to help "fight the clutter on your Desktop by organizing files on shelves. A shelf the size of 5 icons holds 20 files" (OS: Mac)

Focus Writer is "a simple, distraction-free writing environment. It utilizes a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen, allowing the program to have a familiar look and feel to it while still getting out of the way so that you can immerse yourself in your work. Features: TXT, basic RTF, and basic ODT file support; Timers and alarms; Daily goals; Fully customizable themes; Typewriter sound effects (optional); Auto-save (optional); Live statistics (optional); Spell-checking (optional); Multi-document support; Sessions; Portable mode (optional)" (OS: Designer notes: "It's available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, and has been translated into many different languages.")

The designers of free photoshop software GIMP have released their latest version 2.6, which is "a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted" (OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7)

In My Diary is "a smart, free personal organizer. The main display is based on a traditional diary format but, although all entries appear as one line of text, each actual entry can contain as many lines as required. Diary entries can be set to auto-repeat at the required interval. In addition to the daily diary, there is also a daily journal facility, a calendar, Address book with flexible labelling system, Anniversary entries and a notes section with links to diary entries" (OS: Designer notes: "It runs on Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, and on Apple Mac (10.4 and above). There is also now a native version for Linux OS or the Windows version can be used and works well running in the Wine emulator.")

Someone out there needed a generator for naming medicines. Here you go.

Designed for family tree huggers but can double as a great organizer for character info, Personal Historian Essentials is a freeware that "contains many core features from the ground-breaking Personal Historian personal and family history writing software. Features: Single-file database format; Support for international character sets through Unicode integration; Integrated backup and restore help safeguard your data; Write unlimited stories; View the list of your stories on screen; Filter the list of stories; Direct RootsMagic import; Direct Family Tree Maker import (version 16 and earlier); Direct PAF import (version 5); Direct Legacy import (versions 3 and later); GEDCOM import; Import text data (tab or comma delimited)" (OS: Windows 7, Vista, XP, and 2000)

Seventh Sanctum has an interesting new generator here that produces names for SF Tarot cards. Yes, that's SF as in science fiction.

Trello is a free online "collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. A Trello board is some product or project that is under continuous development, though a board can have a variety of uses and mean different things. Boards are made up of multiple lists. Generally, lists on the left are the start of a workflow and lists on right are the end. Lists contain cards. Cards represent the basic unit of a board, for instance: a new feature, a bug, a story lead, a legal case, a client, research for a paper, a potential employee, or a customer support issue. Cards move from list to list to indicate progression. Board members can add themselves to cards, start conversations on cards, create checklists on cards, and so on." (Thanks to our blogpal Charlene Teglia for posting about Trello and sending me over to check it out.)

If you're looking for a virtual version of the magic hat I use for giveaways here at PBW, Virtual Hat might be worth checking out.

WebbIE is "a web browser for blind and visually-impaired people, especially those using screen readers, used since 2001 all over the world. It comes with the Accessible programs, letting you access news and audio on the Internet in a simple and accessible way, allowing you to use podcasts, listen to the radio and read RSS and news with your screen reader or other access solution" (OS: Windows '98, Me and 2000 XP SP3, Vista and 7)


  1. The Focus Writer and GIMP freeloads look interesting, I might come back and download them when I have time. You post very useful resource material, I hope others around the joint appreciate that as much as me :)

  2. Love GIMP. With a few tweaks, it's every bit as good as Photoshop ever will be and the price is perfect.

    I really wanted to see Desktop Shelves. It looks great, but I don't have a Mac :o(

  3. I also recommend GIMP - it's a great tool for manipulating images - and so much cheaper than Photoshop.


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