a couple of my favorite free programs

Posted: October 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

We all know that to be a college student in this day and age you need to be capable of balancing too much, functioning without sleep, finding time where none exists and squeezing the very last penny out of every dollar.  These are just a few of the thing we do day in and day out and if your anything like me your always looking for way to take back control.  So what is it exactly that I do??  I embrace technology, not only am I on the lookout for the next YouTube or Facebook but also for free stuff that can improve my daily routines. In the handful of years I’ve been seeking higher education I’ve collected a few tips, tricks and shortcuts; here are a couple of my free favorites….

1.  Paint.net
Ever wanted to make some simple touchups on a photo?  The Paint program preloaded on windows computers is great, right?…if you just wanna just view the picture. I discovered this program just recently, actually after completing a Photoshop class here at FVTC.  I needed something powerful yet economical, and what paint.net gave me was FREE!  It runs on pretty much any machine and isn’t a resource hog making it extra appealing for you netbook owners.  Packed full of features like layering, automatic updates and an unlimited history; it’s a no brainer this is where I take my photos for a quick fix.  It’s not a direct replacement for Photoshop, but if you’re not a design major you might not even notice.

2.  Google Voice
This is a relatively new service that Google is offering, well new to most of the internet.  About a year ago I was asked to beta test this application by Google while I was still riding the Google Wave hype.  Unlike Wave, Google Voice has shown it can be successfully integrated into Gmail for an even better user experience. So why does this matter at all?  The list goes on and on, but my three favorite features are the ability to choose any area code within the US for your Google voice number, send and receive SMS text messages from your internet browser and last but not least is the ability to creates personalized greetings for individual contacts or groups.  Oh yeah, and it’s totally free if your call stays within the USA!

3.  AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011
Virus protection is a must on any device connected to the internet, but it is also one of the largest reoccurring expenses owning a computer carries.  Sure you can take a chance and skip it, pocket the 70 buck it would have costed, and get a virus a few days later! Or you can check out AVG Anti-Virus for FREE, still keep that 70 bucks, and be safely cruise around the net in no time.  AVG is the number one download from cnet.com, has over 313 Million downloads and is the virus protection I’ve choose for both my PC and laptop.

There’s a few to get the wheels turning.  So before you open your wallet for that program you just can’t live without, consult Google and see what it has to say.  You might be blown away by how much you can get free or at a reduced cost being a student.

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