Free Software

And this means really free, not just free to me because I’m a terrible pirate kinda guy.

I’ve made a real effort in the last few years to explore and use as much legit free software as possible. Mostly because:

  • most of them are awesome
  • it’s a pain dealing with unlock codes/engines

So let’s begin on this quick run through the free software that I use on a regular basis. Please keep in mind that this is all Windows based, as, well, I use Windows 99% of the time. I’d do a review on free Linux stuff, but that’s a whole other month worth of posts 🙂


I used to use UltraEdit all the time, but it’s not free. So I switched. And I have to tell you, I never looked back. It’s free, has some great additions, and does everything that I need it to do. The VM images at work all have UltraEdit, and I wish they didn’t. The search feature in NotePad++ is great and will search and search/replace through sub-directories. It also has a built in FTP client for all your online editing needs. Worth a look.


Both the client and the server. I have the server installed on my work lappy and I use it to connect to other servers(or have other servers connect to me) all over the work network. Easy to setup and use. The client is the best I’ve used since the WSFTP days. I think I started using this as a portable app, but moved to the actual install. It has a queue that you can pause/restart and has a failed transfer section where you can plop them back into the queue to reprocess. Very cool.


This is another one that I started using as a portable app but moved to the real download. It’s light and simple to use. It also keeps everything as readable XML files, so you can use NotePad++ to read them if need be. Also, I keep all the notes in my dropbox folder to sync across computers. I was using Evernote…but…oh, it’s not on Linux(or wasn’t at the time).

I guess it’s a small clone of Photoshop. But not really. However, for the majority of my image editing needs, it get’s the job done. It supports layers and outputs to a number of helpful formats. It’s not PhotoShop, but it’s also not $1000.


Hands down the best Torrent app I’ve used. It supports RSS feeds, apps(though not sure why to be honest) and remote access. I’ve been using it for the past few years and love it.

This is really a platform and a suite of apps that are designed to run on a USB key or something like it. They don’t install to Windows(but might make updates in the registry as I’ve found out). I use these all the time as they’re light and small. This covers a lot of little apps and is totally worth your while.

And that’s pretty much it for now 🙂


  1. Jim

    How do you not have LibreOffice in there? I suppose you could claim that you use it via PortableApps. Also KeePass FTW! You always needs somewhere to safely store your ass.

  2. sidekick

    The key here is “free software that I use on a regular basis.” I never use LibreOffice, I have no reason to. My work laptop has MS Office or (ugh) Lotus Smart Suite.
    KeePass on the other hand is something that I should be using. Right now it’s all somewhere else, and while the main location is encrypted(or is supposed to be) it could all go south one day I suppose.

  3. matt

    I second most of the stuff on that list…

    I’ve taken a semi-fondness to Geany too…

    Chrome/Chromium and Firefox too mainstream for the list? 🙂

    1. sidekick

      You know, now that you mention it, I never even thought of FF and Chrome for the list. I thought it was a complete no brainer 😉
      I had Geany for a little while, but never really got around to using it. Once again, outside of work, I really don’t do any dev work(trouble shooting various web packages not withstanding) so the need for an IDE never really crosses my desk.


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