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Free software for the computer: “nothing to wear”?

You bought a computer for your home, turned it on … – and you immediately wanted to exclaim, like in a fairy tale: “But the king (that is, the computer) is naked!” I mean – there are almost no programs in it except an operating system such as MS Windows XP or Windows Vista / 7. That’s right – commercial user programs cost money, and considerable. Therefore, they must be reinstalled. This is similar to the fact that the new apartment has only walls, but no furniture. Further, computer users have two legal ways. One of them is honestly buying expensive software licenses (the option with installing “pirated” copies of programs is not considered). But there is another way, so simple that it seems incredible, to install legally free software! This will be discussed in the article.

Office software package This is about the Microsoft Office package, which includes the Word text editor, Excel spreadsheets, and others. The author was convinced in practice: many believe that these programs are part of the MS Windows system. This is not true. Office suite can be installed only for a fee – about 300 US dollars per computer (the price of a license can vary in a wide range). However, he has a good alternative – a free office suite OpenOffice.org, containing free programs: OO Writer word processor (analogue of Word), OO Calc spreadsheets (analogue of Excel), etc. A package is sold at the price of the distribution medium for installation — three dollars, and it can be legally installed on any number of computers! Archiver program Over the Internet, files are usually transferred in packaged form – to save download time, in particular. Many people use the Russian WinRAR archiver to unpack them. This program costs about 800 rubles for each computer. She also has a great alternative – the free 7Zip archiver under a free license. Antivirus program To protect your computer from malicious programs from the Internet, many use Russian Kaspersky antivirus or DrWeb. These are good programs, but … paid. A license for them costs about 1000 rubles a year. Are there any free antiviruses? There is! For example, the German program Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus. This is an antivirus with the ability to daily update the database and monitor files online. Image Viewer and Editor Some ACsee programs are usually included in some photo CDs. Paid, by the way, the program – pulls a few tens of dollars. However, she also has a free alternative for home use – the XnView program. In addition to viewing photos, it allows you to edit images: for example, resize, reduce the volume, etc. Graphic editor When it comes to editing graphics, many people remember about Photoshop – a powerful package of Adobe Photoshop. Some recommend it even for simple resizing. However, this good editor has a good license price – about $ 900 for each computer. Fortunately for our wallets, he also has a decent free alternative – the free GIMP graphical editor. It can be used for professional work with images. Operating System So, for basic user programs there are free alternatives. Well, and for the commercial MS Windows system – is there anything in return? After all, it costs at least $ 100 for each computer. Some will be surprised, but the answer is also positive – yes! A good alternative for a home computer is the Linux operating system — its freely available versions. For example, the Russian version is free Alt Linux. French Mandriva Linux. Or the German (more recently – American) build of SuSe Linux. I think you will be pleased to know that the Linux installation kit includes dozens of free user programs, including those mentioned above. And the distributions for installing Linux themselves can be freely and legally downloaded from the developers’ sites.

I understand that not everyone will cope with the installation of the listed free programs on their own. However, now you will know about this opportunity and will not pay for what you can have for nothing. So the situation with free programs is similar to the one when a full closet of clothes, and my eyes run wide – what to wear? The choice is yours!

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