If you’re looking to make Windows an easier operating system to work with, rest assured that there are open source coders out there doing your dirty work for you, making free programs to make your life easy.
All Windows users should take advantage of downloadable programs. They’re free, often small, and deceptively simple. Here are some free programs that no Windows computer should be without.
If you like to resize windows in order to work on multiple items at once, or if you just like to surf four webpages at the same time, you should check out GridMove. This brilliantly simple software lets you choose from a few templates that divide your screen into 2-4 sections. Then, you can drag a window into the corner of the screen or click on a window with your middle mouse button and drag it onto this grid; the program automatically resizes the window to make it fit perfectly. It runs as a standalone executable file and greatly increases your ability to quickly multitask-great for when you need to write four articles at the same time, as I’m doing now!
If you’re a fan of Microsoft’s Office (or if you need an alternative for a school or work project) and you don’t want to pony up Microsoft’s unreasonably high fee for the suite of programs, look no further than OpenOffice.org, where open source coders have developed a fantastic analog to each of Microsoft’s revered programs. There are differences here and there, but it’s free, functional, and though it takes up a bit more processing power to run than its Office counterpart, you can always use the money you save to upgrade your computer.
For all of your file sharing needs, pick up Azureus. It’s a free bittorrent client that allows you to pick parts of files from many different users in order to assemble a file you’re trying to download, like the Transformers assembled Voltron. No Windows computer should be without some form of bittorrent software, and Azureus is the best.
Since FireFox is so tremendously popular, I won’t bother listing its many advantages. If you’re not in the loop, though, go to the Firefox page (link at the end of this article) and learn why millions have chosen Mozilla’s alternative to Internet Explorer as their web browser weapon of choice.
Know of another great free Windows program that can make life easier (or at least less expensive)? Post it in the comments. After all, open source programs are all about sharing-do your part to keep the community alive.