Posts Tagged 'free'

FreeFile Review – Microsoft Office For Free?

FFR-WP-logoOneDriveYes, you can get Microsoft Office free, but with two caveats: 1.the applications are online, so an internet connection is needed and performance can be a little sluggish, 2. the apps are stripped down versions. The free Office suite is part of OneDrive, Microsoft’s online storage, formerly called SkyDrive. Sign up for a free account on OneDrive to get 7GB of free online storage as well as access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. OneDrive is available for Windows, Mac, and most smart phones.

Word is the best of the online apps, having all the features most users will need. Once on your OneDrive webpage, simply click the “Create” button, at the top, to create a new document. Old documents can be uploaded to OneDrive and edited. Documents can be downloaded by choosing File> Save As> and then opting for .docx or .pdf.

Excel seems more limited than Word. Power users will be frustrated due to missing features, but occasional users should find it sufficient. Spredsheets can be downloaded only as .xlsx files.

PowerPoint, much like Excel, will satisfy less advanced users, while disappointing power users. Presentations can be downloaded only as .xlsx files.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

For occasional, less demanding users, OneDrive is fantastic – 7GB of online storage and Microsoft Office – all for free.

Sign up for OneDrive HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

 

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FreeFile Review – Any Burn

FFR-WP-logoanyburnAny Burn is a portable burning application. It will burn almost every type of non-video optical disc (audio, data, ISO) onto CD, DVD or Blu-Ray. Since I discovered this program a month ago, it has become my go-to application for burning data discs. Any Burn is Windows only.

What I like –

Portable (no installation needed – just unzip and click on AnyBurn.exe).

Simplicity (limited options, but all the necessary ones are there).

Reliability (no program crashes, no burning errors).

Data discs burned quickly and problem free. In my audio CD test, a 48 minute, 12 track CD was ripped to Mp3s in 5 minutes. Those 12 Mp3 tracks were then burned to an audio CD in about 3 minutes. I find those times to be very good. The ISO functions also seem to work quickly and error free. Burning options are limited to the basics (recording speed, finalize, verify). CD rips can be saved at several different bit rates in several formats (Mp3, Wav, WMA, Flac or Ape).

What I didn’t like – Nothing – although, video DVDs would be nice.

– – – – – The Bottom Line – – – – –
AnyBurn’s simplicity and snappy performance make it a no-brainer. If you need burning software, get Any Burn.

Download AnyBurn HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

 

Free Ad-supported Underwear – Japan Innovates Again

Gizmodo reported –

Free underwear! Free underwear! Get your free, ad-supported underwear right here! Just head on over to the free pants site, fill out a quick questionnaire and be prepared to be served ads on your drawers. Yes, ads on your drawers. Just sell a little real estate on your soul and you get seven free pairs of skivvies every month. This offer is only good in Japan. And just like Japan, it’s delightfully odd. But it’s hard to argue with free. Would you do it?

 

 

Classic Newspapers – Iranian Hostages Released – January 21, 1981

Several pages have just been added to the classic newspapers at HotMeatloaf.com. The date was Jan. 21, 1981 and the Iranian hostages were released as Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President. Six full pages from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat are available. Hard to believe that it has been more than 30 years since that day.

Read about the hostages HERE

Explore everything at HotMeatloaf.com HERE

FreeFile Review – AbiWord

Originally, this review was to be titled “WordPad – The Forgotten Word Processor”, however, it soon became clear that WordPad was forgotten for very good reasons. Support for Word’s .doc format was removed from WordPad when Windows Vista debuted. Little was expected and even less was delivered by WordPad. It may be a reasonable application if your needs begin and end with .rtf (rich text format), but better solutions exist.

Next up is AbiWord which has long been considered the best of the free word processor applications. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Installation was problem free. A few add-ons can be selected during the install, however, the search and translation options merely place internet shortcuts on the ‘Tools’ menu – skip those. The interface is pleasant and relatively uncluttered. AbiWord will open, edit and save to a long list of formats, including .doc and .html. Although, AbiWord is not as full featured as Word, it has spell check, mail merge and supports the embedding of graphics and tables. During my short test, I found no issues opening, editing and saving .doc documents.

Only one negative surfaced. I found a bug (or, is it a feature?). While in the Print layout, the horizontal ruler on top does not line up with the page. It does not affect the page layout, but, I found it annoying.

– – The Bottom Line – –

AbiWord is a capable word processor that should meet most people’s needs. If you want more, consider Libre Office which was reviewed here 3 months ago.

Download AbiWord HERE

Visit DanKostecki.com for more FreeFile Reviews

FreeFile Review – LibreOffice

What is LibreOffice? For years, the number one free alternative to Microsoft Office was OpenOffice.  About a year ago, the OpenOffice developers left that project and used OpenOffice source code to launch LibreOffice. If you’ve used OpenOffice in the past, LibreOffice will be quite familiar. The entire LibreOffice suite is completely free and it is a fairly large download (about 200MB). It consists of a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a database, a PowerPoint replacement, a drawing application and a math program. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. This review is primarily about the word processor and spreadsheet applications, since these are all that most people will ever use.

Installation is relatively pain free, however, Java may, or may not need to be installed. Once installed, a single icon provides access to all of the programs in the suite through a simple ‘start center’. User Interfaces are similar for all the programs. They are attractive, but quite busy, due to the incredible amount of features and options offered. It is very much like Microsoft Office before the ribbon interface.

Writer, the word processor, is a very capable, full-featured program. It can open and save Microsoft .DOC documents. The default save option is for the LibreOffice format. Most will want to change the default to .DOC through Tools > Options. Also, it can save as a PDF. I haven’t noticed any compatibility issues with documents created in Word. Writer is all the word processor that most people will need.

Calc is the spreadsheet application of the suite. It looks very much like Excel and it can open and save to various Microsoft formats. I did notice some minor formatting inconsistencies with documents that were created in Excel – not a major problem – just irritating. I think everyone, except hardcore Excel users, will be pleased with Calc.

– – The Bottom Line – –

LibreOffice is a very capable alternative to the pricey Microsoft Office. Most people will have no need for Microsoft Office after trying LibreOffice. The only negative that I could find is that the abundance of features and options can confuse some users (just as Microsoft Office will). If you need an office suite, download LibreOffice today.

Download LibreOffice HERE

Get more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

FreeFile Review – Audacity

Audacity is a Swiss Army knife for audio. It has been my go-to audio program for years. It can perform nearly any sound editing task, except ripping tracks from CDs. An abundance of features results in a rather cluttered-looking, slightly confusing interface. Installation is a little bit unusual – an mp3 encoder may, or may not need to be downloaded and installed after the main program is installed. This is not a major issue and Audacity provides very good instructions for doing this. Audacity is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Recording may be Audacity’s most useful ability. It will record any sound that your PC can play. Simply click the Record button, the Stop button and then export the recording to your format of choice (mp3, WAV, AIFF, Ogg and a few others). Editing can be basic, such as changing the volume or trimming dead space, or it can get quite advanced with a ton of included filters and effects (change tempo or speed, equalization, click removal, fade in, fade out, etc.).

What I like about Audacity –

Features – Audacity does it all(almost).

Performance – Audacity works quickly and always produces quality audio.

Recording – Simple to use recorder.

The only negative with Audacity is its learning curve. Some things are counter intuitive, but excellent Help documentation is provided. A new user may get frustrated initially. If a person spends a little time learning the program, excellent results are easily obtained.

– – The Bottom Line – –

There is no better free audio editor. Period.

Download Audacity HERE

Visit DanKostecki.com for more FreeFile Reviews

 


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