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Contributor: Mike de
Sousa, Director, AbleStable®
Computer magazine cover CD's contain free applications
by the bucket load, but aren't they for amateurs?
Past versions of buggy software that give your system
an impossible task and crash without any prospect
of recovery? Stick to a few golden rules and you'll
find some free applications offer advantages that
simply aren't available from the commercial world.
Yahoo! uses freeware
As an example of great free software let's first
turn to Yahoo! You might not be aware but Yahoo!
use free software to run their site. If it's good
enough for Yahoo! then it's good enough for me.
The software I'm referring to is called MySQL, a
server product commonly available for free on the
Internet at numerous sites. Yahoo's database functionality
is wholly incorporated into this free server. That
should at least allay any fears that free software
is poor software.
There are now a plethora of sites offering free
software but be careful and bear in mind the following
be aware that
if you're asked to register a product as a requirement
of downloading their free software, you may receive
regular e-mails about that product. If you receive
e-mails from unsolicited companies do
not reply as this simply tells them your
address is active and they'll keep pestering you.
free may only mean
free for a trial period
read the small print
of your 'acceptance of usage' agreement
run up to date virus
and firewall programs such as Norton or McAfee to
ensure you're not downloading something that may
compromise your system
check you're cookies
after downloading and remove any that you are unhappy
keep a back up of any
free downloads on an external disk, the software
may not be free indefinitely
scan your hardrive
for spyware. Spyware is the term used for secretly
collecting information about your online activities.
Mini applications may run from your computer and
inform companies about your browsing habits. Fortunately
there are spyware utilities that can locate and
delete these applications.
visit a software venders
web site first before downloading their software,
This will give you a good idea about the way they
treat their customers.
may be getting a little squeamish with all these
security measures, but most of the advice we've
given is common sense and any virus and firewall
protection you set up will largely run in the background
resolving any serious security issues.
Freeware at AbleStable®
have a Freeware
Area at AbleStable® where you'll find very
high quality Windows and Mac freeware to download
that we've selected using strict security and reliability
The freeware that is featured on our site is unconditional
freeware: no nag screens; no advertisements; no
registrations; no payments; no spying; no collection
of demographic information; and no unauthorised
Internet connections from your system.
You get what you give
One last thought. When you download Freeware that
you find useful, contact the developer and say thanks.
If it proves difficult to easily locate the author,
try to give something back to the Internet community.
You know something that others would value. Write
an article, share some expertise and experiences.
As countless people have said, you get what you
give, and you'll be happier for it :-)
de Sousa is the Director of AbleStable®.
Mike has been commissioned as an artist, music
composer, photographer, print and web site
designer, and author.
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