Lists and Lists of Free Software

One thing I learned about people who use the internet. Everyone has their own threshold when it comes to how long they will spend beating their head against the wall looking for somehting specific. I haven't met my threshold yet. I stop and take a break sometimes maybe for days, but I remind myself to look again at another time. Another thing I have learned about people that are new to the internet, and there always will be some, is that they think they have to pay for everything.

But much of the software that you assume you have to pay for you can find for free. If you can find them in the first place. Shareware sites are no help either. I run one. The trick with them is to call everything a free download. Oh, yeah, the download's free but you will have to pay for the software to keep using it a week from now. So when you search for a free video editor, you get a boatload of shareware sites to wade through before you even find what you are looking for. One of the tricks of finding free software is using "open source" instead of "free". Another is going directly to SourceForge, but the SourceForge search engine sucks.

So for all of you whose searching threshold is about a minute or so, I spent a lot of time yesterday looking for a video editor and ended up finding more than that. I still have to find a video editor that works correctly on Vista. And it always has to do with video when I have these issues with Vista. I recommend Jahshaka for anyone without Vista for the mass of things you can actually do with it. Of course, I don't know first hand, but of all the open source video editors I have researched, it has the most features so far.

I did find an awsome audio/video format converter. In fact, it was the only one I found that could extract mp3 audio from a SWF Flash that didn't have streaming sound. So I highly recommend MediaCoder.

But in the search I also found lists of other free software that I will have to go back and investigate, because sometimes you don't know you need something until you realize it exists.

And if any of you happen to spot some software in these lists that you can't live without, let me know with a comment. I am a recovering software junkie who just might need a fix.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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