We humans just love something that’s free whether it be lunch or software. Tech Republic’s 10 Things blog posted a list of 10 free-ware tools that IT professionals love. For most of my readers, a number of these freebies have no value. However, there are several that will appeal to the average Windows user and here they are:

  • NINITE – This free-ware application keeps track of other free-ware applications that you already have or would like to install and updates or installs them for you. The tool is great for use on new machines and saves you a LOT of time in getting up and running. Check it out at ninite.com.
  • EVERYTHING – The search feature in Windows 7 is a great improvement over the sucky version in Windows XP but it still could be much better. The old saw about building a better mousetrap may apply as well to Everything. It is reported to be fast and thorough. Download it at VoidTools.com.
  • LastPass – If you remember my post on Passwords earlier this week, you’ll know that keeping track of passwords can be a somewhat daunting task. This password manager is a multi-platform tool for shopping or surfing on the web. Like a lot of tools, there’s a premium version as well. Take a look at LastPass.com.
N.B. Readers should be aware that Ninite isn’t quite the same thing as implied in the TechRepublic blog. I don’t know if this is intellectual laziness or sloppy fact-checking/editing on the part of TechRepublic but it does present a WTF moment. Ninite  has a two versions that you have to pay for. The 3rd version – the free one – actually runs off of their website. On Ninite‘s home page, you are presented by a list of applications supported by Ninite. You select the ones you already have or want, click the big green “Get The Installer” button on the bottom of that page. and the website will download a custom configured installer that you can execute on your PC & does the heavy lifting. Want to add or delete something from your freeware suite? Go back to ninite.com and re-select the applications you want. This service is free and does beat paying $9.99 per year for the stand-alone version but TechRepublic should have been more up-front about this.
How well do these tools work? Dr. Data is going to give them a try in the labs at Parsonage Data Services and will give a full report in a future post. if you’re  interested in what else is available, take a look at TechRepublic’s 10 Things blog.

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