Google Chrome is an extremely fast browser. While it does not have the add-on and extension support that Firefox has, it’s sheer speed makes it worth looking at. PCMAG has an article “Why Chrome will be your next browser” and Google describes it’s Chrome browser as “a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the Web faster, safer, and easier. Use one box for everything–type in the address bar and get suggestions for both search and Web pages. Thumbnails of your top sites let you access your favorite pages instantly with lightning speed from any new tab. Desktop shortcuts allow you to launch your favorite Web apps straight from your desktop.” I still use Firefox as my main browser, only because of Chrome’s lack of add-ons (and for now the Mac version of Chrome does not support extensions at all, but plans to support them soon). Once Chrome for the Mac does support extensions I will switch faster than Chrome loads web pages, which is pretty damn fast! You can download Chrome here: http://www.google.com/chrome
Firefox 3 touts faster rendering, vastly reduced use of system resources, clever new data-mining tools for your bookmarks and browser history, and more security features than any other browser. If only for the speed, lightness of being, and security alone, Firefox remains CNET’s Editors’ Choice for best Internet browser. Mozilla Firefox also has over 6,000 add-ons to customize and enhance your web browsing experience. Firefox is available for Mac, Windows and even Linux. Download it here http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/
OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose. Both Mac and Windows versions available.
VLC media player is free software alternative, open source, highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac …) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
Download it at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Tired of paying a yearly subscription fee to keep your computer safe and secure? Spyware, Malware and Viruses are a huge threat to your Windows machine and the data stored on it. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free software alternative that provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple. Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times. Download it at http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/
Create PDF using PrimoPDF – a free software alternative tool for high-quality conversion to PDF, comprising a user-friendly interface that enables printing to PDF from virtually any Windows application. Additionally, PrimoPDF provides the ability to optimize PDF output for screen, print, ebook, and prepress, secure PDF files with 128-bit encryption, and add document information (e.g. title, author, subject, keywords) to converted PDF files. Full support for 64-bit machines, double byte character and non-TrueType font support, and improved PDF output also available. Download it at http://www.openoffice.org
PDF Split and Merge is an easy to use tool to merge and split pdf documents.There are both Apple and Windows version available. Download it at http://www.pdfsam.org/