Path: Computer > Free Software > Freeware I Don't Use

Freeware I Don't Use

OpenOffice.org (short OOo) is a Microsoft Office compatible suite of applications: word processing, spreadsheets, presentation graphics etc. I have used (or rather tried to use) this program since the time it was still in its StarOffice 5.2 incarnation (circa 1998?). But somehow I never was happy. The main problem is that OOo is not quite Microsoft Office compatible: my macros don't work (I have more than a dozen), a lot of small things don't work either and there are also some annoying, unnecessary quirks in the software itself. I could probably work around a lot of these things, but why should I bother? I have a valid MS Office license, so there's simply no need going down that route: I would certainly lose some of my setup, a few weeks' worth of productivity and more hair than I can afford these days.

PDF Creator is a very capable freeware program to produce PDF files… but I happen to have a license for a commercial product (Jaws PDF Creator), so I have no need for this.

Virus and trojan scanner/remover: I do not use (and have never used) this sort of program. My email client and a bit of common sense make sure that my PC does not get infected with malware. And before I download and install software, I make sure it contains no viruses or other odiousware. But even if the worst ever came to the worst (it never did, touch wood), I have up-to-date mirrors of all my hard disks, so I can restore my system or any damaged part of it. (By the way, I do not the use the built-in Windows restore tools. I synchronise the mirrors on my own, because this gives me full control.)

Adware and spyware scanner/remover: see above.

Spam filter: I have a multi-level email account system, so my two main accounts get very little spam (less than half a dozen messages per week). The other accounts are filtered with the help of the indefatigable PopTray utility (see Freeware I use).

Registry Cleaner: No need for these things as I keep my system pretty clean. In fact, some so-called registry cleaners put more crap into the registry than they remove.

Clipboard extenders, program starters, window placement utilities…: I can do all this (and much more) with the help of AutoHotkey macros (see Freeware I use) or a quick Idle script. In fact, most things that require some sort of utility program can be done with AutoHotkey.

Linux: Nice try (no, no, really), but no, thanks. I know so much about using (and abusing) Windows 2000 and XP, about tweaking them and generally persuading them to do my bidding that it would take me literally years to get anywhere near that level with Linux. And then there are so many more nice programs (freeware as well as commercial) for Windows than for Linux that I don't see the point. And most of the good *x apps (stuff like the Apache webserver or Perl) are nowadays availabe in stable and full-featured Windows versions. So again, why bother? (Yeah, I know, Microsoft is Pernicious, Open Source is Good, and all that. But let's face it: I (like most other people) simply want to get things done — and with my specific circumstances and setup, I get things done a lot quicker with Windows than Linux. Semi-religious lecturing doesn't even enter the equation.)


$updated from: Freeware I Don't Use.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:14:24 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$