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Free software

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Hex

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[font="Calibri,Arial"]Google:
Click more on google or your regional google page to find loads of software even the pay-for software has unlimited duration trial versions that only have less features.
NOTE:I don't know why, but different software shows up depending on whether your logged in to a google account or not and what browser/OS you use.

Internet
Opera
A really god and fast web browser
Firefox
One of the best web browsers and it's free! Highly customisable
Thunderbird
Great Email program from Mozilla.
Trillian
The best multi-platform IM program about.
Pidgin
Open-source multi-platform IM program that is fully free (all features available for free, unlike trillian)
µTorrent
Probably one of the best Bit Torrent clients out for any OS. Windows only sadly, but works on WINE.

Security
AVG anti-virus & Avira AntiVir & avast! & Drive Sentry
free anti-virus software programs
Spybot search and destroy
free anti-spyware program
ZoneAlarm
Free Firewall
HijackThis
Scans your computer without bias. Not a cleaner like Ad-Aware, but rather it shows you what your PC has, and you can manually clean, which helps with some of the nastier ad-ware and even viruses (granted you actually get those)

Multimedia
Picasa
Good image catologing program
Audacity
Sound editing program
FastStone
A great free photo viewer / lightweight editor.
Paint.NET
An image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Server 2003. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
Open Canvas
the GIMP
Photoshop, but free. Takes a bit of getting used to but very powerful once you learn it.
GIMP for Windows
An open source graphics editing program
TuxPaint
100% Free...works on pretty much every OS. Lots of fun for kids of all ages! Lots of really 'cool' effects!
Blender
Open Source 3D-Modeling/Graphics program.
ImageWalker
Allows you to manage your image files visually


Text & Documents
OpenOffice.org
Free office suite.
Notepad ++
A good text editor
Gvim
the text editor where you will have a huge party with all your friends once you finally fully understood it
jEdit
IDEs suck; jEdit doesn't.
iTunes and Winamp
Two really good Media Players. Get iTunes on Mac or Winamp on Windows.
The VLC media player [Plays DVDs]
Another media player. Handles many video formats

Utilities
7-zip
A good compression/decompression program
JustZipIt
Another compression/decompression program. Simple than 7-zip but much less features.
Google Desktop
Desktop Search program with Vista-esque Sidebar.
ObjectDock
Program launcher (the "Try it" link directs you to a free version, the price is for the Pro version).
Irfanview
Easy resizing tool.
Fsscreen
Easy screen capture tool, this enables you to not have to minimize your games to save the pic you captured... It saves every image you capture to a folder you specify, which you can edit later on.
ScreenPrint 32 - Replacement for PrtScrn
Allows capture to clipboard, as well as printer and/or file.
ShellExtension
A Handy program that adds the option to "convert" or "print" your image files with a right click in Windows explorer.
XnView
Efficient multimedia viewer, browser and converter.
PrintKey
Allows you to capture the entire screen or any portion of it, then make changes to the screen capture and save in a variety of formats.
Agent Ransack
Handy search utility for windows (supports regexps and you don't have to look at the stupid puppy dog)

Other
Linux
Free OS. I'm not going to link to individual distros as we could be here all year but the website in the link will help explain linux in general to you and help you pick a distro.
QuickPWN
Amazing application to jailbreak you I-pod Touch or Iphone

A sticky would be nice ;)

Feel free to suggest any software to add to the list. Check the list first to see if it's already there.
Rules: Must be free for unlimited use (i.e. Can save, no time limit or usage limit). If a bug enables you to use a trial version indefinitly, it still does not qualify (e.g. mIRC or WinRAR)
Links required. (If more than one user suggests it I will look up the links myself, but I can't look up every link due to time.)



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Martin

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Pidgin
Open-source multi-platform IM program that is fully free (all features available for free, unlike trillian)
 

ayanna

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It's not an image manipulation program, as such, but it's still a lot of fun...great for 'artistic types' of any age (although I think it says for 3+ on it)....

TuxPaint

100% Free...works on pretty much every OS. Lots of fun for kids of all ages! :) Lots of really 'cool' effects!

If you download, don't forget to download the 'rubber stamps' too (they're in a separate file)

 

Grutzvalt

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Massive collection of freeware apps: Tech Support Alert

Some personal favorites:
-COMODO firewall Free
-AVG free (only enable the scanner, not antivirus part)
-Trillan
-Google Chrome
-CCleaner
-mIRC
-Sunbird (Thunderbird calendar extension)
-TrueCrypt
-Recuva
-Smart Defrag (IObit)
 

ShyBaby

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Love Notepad++. It's my default viewer for most text based files simply because I don't have to wait for one proprietary IDE or another to wind into gear just to get some nice code formatting, (plus despite having used XEmacs for years, have completely forgotten all the keystrokes)

Some other (more obscure) stuff:

Cygwin/X - Standard GNU libraries and utilities ported for Windows with XFree86 on top. Allows you to remotely run X applications from a Linux box on your Windows PC (among other things.)

Octave - GNU version of Matlab

Agent Ransack - home - Handy search utility for windows (supports regexps and you don't have to look at the stupid puppy dog)
 

miles

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-mIRC
IRC client with a very easy to use scripting language. Not as powerful as X-Chat or Irssi, but easy to use for most Windows users. And (ironically) unlike X-Chat for Windows, it doesn't cost anything, though you get a dialog pestering you to buy a license.

-HijackThis
Scans your computer without bias. Not a cleaner like Ad-Aware, but rather it shows you what your PC has, and you can manually clean, which helps with some of the nastier ad-ware and even viruses (granted you actually get those)

-Prisim
Addon extesions/application for Firefox 3 that can turn sites into webapps. I find it useful, though it uses up more RAM than needed.

-µTorrent
Probably one of the best Bit Torrent clients out for any OS. Windows only sadly, but works on WINE.

-Notepad++
Another Windows only app. It's a must have for coders and even people who want an easy to use, lightweight text editor with lots of features.

edit: Amended this again, but I don't feel it's worth the extra post to say so.
Sorry Martin and DarkSunDS, I hope I got it right this time.
 
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Martin

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-mIRC
Free IRC client with a very easy to use scripting language. Not as powerful as X-Chat or Irssi, but easy to use for most Windows users. And (ironically) unlike X-Chat for Windows, it's free.
Hold on a second. mIRC is NOT free. X-Chat for windows may not be free but there are other compilations for windows which are free (and legal) because X-Chat is opensource. The fact that mIRC doesn't totally stop you from using it after your trial period is over doesn't make it Free. it doesn't even make it freeware.
 

kapi

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Gvim, the text editor where you will have a huge party with all your friends once you finally fully understood it. But its great :)
 

miles

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Hold on a second. mIRC is NOT free. X-Chat for windows may not be free but there are other compilations for windows which are free (and legal) because X-Chat is opensource. The fact that mIRC doesn't totally stop you from using it after your trial period is over doesn't make it Free. it doesn't even make it freeware.
I mean free in the sense of it doesn't cost any money, not free in the sense that it's free and open for all to use.

Sorry for not clearing that up.

Of course there are other IRC clients for Windows, but my personal preference is mIRC. If there was a better terminal emulator than PuTTY on Windows I'd probably be using irssi.

I can edit my post to clear things up though, no hard feelings.
 

Vladimir

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Media Player Classic, CCleaner, µTorrent, Skype.

miles said:
I mean free in the sense of it doesn't cost any money, not free in the sense that it's free and open for all to use.
mIRC is Shareware, I think? That's not free.
 

Martin

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I mean free in the sense of it doesn't cost any money
Wrong it costs $20 IIRC, the fact that you can get around the paying due to it not totally locking up after the trial period is over doesn't mean it's free. Not even in the sense that it doesn't cost money.
 

Hex

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[font="Calibri,Arial"]Added a few things.
Cygwin/X - Standard GNU libraries and utilities ported for Windows with XFree86 on top. Allows you to remotely run X applications from a Linux box on your Windows PC (among other things.)

Octave - GNU version of Matlab

Agent Ransack - home - Handy search utility for windows (supports regexps and you don't have to look at the stupid puppy dog)
I only added the third one from this post. The first two are quite obscure and if I put obscure things in I'd need about 12 posts for the list.

miles said:
-mIRC
IRC client with a very easy to use scripting language. Not as powerful as X-Chat or Irssi, but easy to use for most Windows users. And (ironically) unlike X-Chat for Windows, it doesn't cost anything, though you get a dialog pestering you to buy a license.

-HijackThis
Scans your computer without bias. Not a cleaner like Ad-Aware, but rather it shows you what your PC has, and you can manually clean, which helps with some of the nastier ad-ware and even viruses (granted you actually get those)

-Prisim
Addon extesions/application for Firefox 3 that can turn sites into webapps. I find it useful, though it uses up more RAM than needed.

-µTorrent
Probably one of the best Bit Torrent clients out for any OS. Windows only sadly, but works on WINE.

-Notepad++
Another Windows only app. It's a must have for coders and even people who want an easy to use, lightweight text editor with lots of features.
EDIT: 3/1 Added uTorrent. Didn't add Prisim (not a standalone program), Notepad++ (Already there) or mIRC (not free). Still checking out HijackThis.
I didn't add mIRC, as I agree that it isn't free software.

EDIT 2: Added HijackThis[/font]
 
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