Gizmo's Freeware is a non-commercial community website staffed entirely by volunteers.
The primary function is to help you select the best freeware product for your particular needs.
The best freeware programs are as good as or better than their commercial counterparts but finding the most appropriate program can be challenging.
Sure, there are dozens of freeware download sites on the web, but few of these actually help you select the best program for your needs.
That's what we do here. No downloads, just honest advice and useful guidance.
It's honest because this is a community-based site staffed by volunteers and we have no commercial affiliations.
In August 2010, PC Magazine included Gizmo's Freeware in its "100 Top Websites of 2010."
Gizmo's Freeware: Top selections
The best freeware finds from Gizmo's Freeware (www.techsupportalert.com
Posted on: 23 January 2018, 2:44 am
In early January 2018, researchers discovered a couple of very serious bugs that exist in almost all CPU chips used in modern computers, phones and tablets. The bugs were named Spectre and Meltdown. In essence, the bugs could allow one malicious program to read the data of another program that is also running on the device at the same time, even though the CPU is supposed to keep each application's data separated.
A handful of companies have released free programs that will check your PC and report whether your CPU is vulnerable to the bugs, whether your version of Windows has been patched already, and whether the patches have slowed down your PC. This last figure is based not on actual speed tests, but on the program's knowledge of which CPU you have and how it's known to be affected by the bugs.
My favourite of all these checkers is called InSpectre, from the well respected Gibson Research Corporation. The program is a free download and is less than 0.2 MB. It's portable, and the site is rated as reputable by Web of Trust. It does trigger one of VirusTotal's 66 different malware scanning engines, but this is almost certainly a false alarm and can safely be ignored.
The program runs on all recent versions of Windows, from 7 to 10. Read More
Posted on: 22 January 2018, 2:15 am
GPS Coordinates provide a good but complicated alternative to conventionally locating a place with a street address.
However, what3words does is to convert global locations into three words that are easier to dictate and remember than any coordinates or plus codes.
What3words has assigned a three-word address to each 3m x 3m square on a grid of 57 trillion squares across the globe. For example, to navigate to a place in Notting Hill, London, just use these three words cool.view.spark in what3words, you can then get directions to the location via Google Maps or any other navigation app on your mobile device.
What3words has been adopted by some navigation systems and postal services in certain countries. It clocked up another mileage when Daimler AG recently announced that Mercedes-Benz would be the first automobile manufacturer to integrate what3words address system and make it available to its customers.
What are the three words of your location? Check it out from this app what3words available for free on Android, iPhone and iPad mobile devices. Read More
Posted on: 21 January 2018, 2:21 am
This weeks wallpaper is an image of the sun breaking through a cloud bank lighting up a field of sunflowers. A line of trees in the background is a nice division between field and sky. If your in the northern hemisphere and are at a latitude that experiences winter, this might be a welcome respite and a pop of color during the cold months. Icons do well for the most part on this background. Read More
Posted on: 19 January 2018, 2:58 am
If you like top-quality freeware and you haven't yet checked out Ninite, then you really should try it. It's a really quick and safe way to install loads of software on your computer in one hit.
To start, head to the Ninite website and make your choice from over 80 different programs. Click to select as many or as few as you want. The site will then offer you a custom-made downloader, which you download to your computer and click to run. The downloader itself is small, at around 0.5 MB, but it contains all the necessary instructions to download and install all of your chosen apps.
You can just sit back and watch, as everything happens totally automatically. The apps of your choice are downloaded and installed, and all of the default options are automatically selected. If you have a 64-bit machine and there is a 64 bit version of an app available it will be automatically selected. Any additional offers within an app's installer will be automatically declined. Desktop icons for each of your new apps will be automatically created, so they're ready for you to use.
Ninite features loads of useful software, much of which is free, and Ninite itself is also free to use. It always downloads the latest version of each app from its official website so it's safe to use. It currently includes programs such as Dropbox, Opera, Thunderbird, Evernote, and around 80 more too.
So, if you haven't already checked out Ninite, why not? Read More
Posted on: 18 January 2018, 1:00 am
Finds of the Week is a list of websites I've come across lately that are interesting, fun, or useful (or all three). I hope you enjoy them. -Rhiannon
- How to Turn Off Autofill on Google Chrome
- Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Cybersecurity
- Keyboard Shortcuts, Ranked
- NASA Image and Video Library
Posted on: 17 January 2018, 2:44 am
When it comes to creating or editing images on a computer, there are two fundamental types of program and two fundamental types of image file that they can work with.
Raster-based programs allow you to create and edit images that are made up of dots, or pixels. These programs are used for editing photos in formats such as JPG and GIF, because these files are pixel-based.
The other type of image is known as a vector-based file. A vector-based image is made up of lines and other shapes, rather than dots. The advantage of vector-based images is that they can be scaled or resized pretty much infinitely without any loss of quality. A pixel-based image, however, can't be enlarged without losing quality - which is what happens when you zoom a digital photo and it becomes grainy or blocky.
Inkscape is a top-class vector-based editing and drawing program. It's free, and open source, and you can download it from the Inkscape website as a 66 MB file. There are various downloads available, for Windows, Linux and Mac, all of which are listed at https://inkscape.org/en/release/0.92.2/platforms/ .
The site is rated as reputable by Web of Trust. The Windows .EXE installer causes issues for 1 of VirusTotal's 62 scanning engines, which is undoubtedly a false alarm and can be discounted. The program is quite safe to use, and has hundreds of thousands of users all over the world. And not without good reason, as this really is a top-class program. Just take a look at the gallery at the Inkscape website if you want to see what it's capable of. Read More
Posted on: 16 January 2018, 3:21 am
I've been writing about mind mapping programs here recently, and have already covered XMind and Mind Meister. Before I leave the topic for a while, here's one more that you may wish to look at.
Blumind is a freeware program for Windows that looks slightly dated nowadays, but that's not always a bad thing. Especially if, like me, you don't necessarily like the ribbon-based design that much software now sports. Apart from that, Blumind is a basic mind map program with all the features you'd expect, including a variety of export formats too.
You'll find more about Blumind at their website from where you can also download the latest version, which works just fine under Windows 7, 8 and 10. The download is only around 1 MB, and it's available in an installable or portable version.
I tested the installable version, and it caused no concerns for VirusTotal's malware checkers. Web of Trust rates the download site as reputable too. Read More
Posted on: 15 January 2018, 1:40 am
One of the best-known project management programs is Microsoft Project. It's designed to allow project managers to keep track of timescales, tasks, resources, people and so on, and juggle things around when the inevitable problems or delays occur.
If you ever find yourself needing to view a MS Project file (which will have a .mpp extension) but you don't want to buy a copy of Microsoft Project, there are some free viewers available for download. However, it's even easier to use an online viewer as there's nothing to download or install. Plus, if the file turns out to contain malware or some other error, then viewing it remotely via someone else's web server is safer than looking at it on your own computer!
There's a handy free online viewer for MS Project (.mpp) files at this website. Just head to the page, drag your mpp file onto the site, and you can immediately view (but not edit) the project file.
So if someone's working on a project for you and you want to view their plans, but you don't have Microsoft Project to hand, it's not a problem. Read More
Posted on: 13 January 2018, 2:56 am
This weeks wallpaper is an image of five white full moons partly shaded in sepia by an eclipse against a black background lightly sprinkled with stars. The moons have soft features; all in all a nicely composed background that works well in most areas with icons. Read More
Posted on: 11 January 2018, 2:47 am
It's been a while since I looked at the free antivirus suite from AVG, so I have recently been taking a fresh look. And the software continues to get better as the years progress.
As always, there's a free version and a paid-for one. Both are accessible via the same installer which you can download from the AVG website. When you run the installer you simply remember to select the free version, and your PC is protected for life.
While the paid-for version describes itself as a complete security suite, the free version has pretty much everything that is really essential. It scans your computer, emails and web pages for viruses and malware, and quarantines any infections if it finds them. Plus, updates get installed regularly so the system is always looking for the latest known malware.
If your existing paid-for AV software is about to expire, or if you got a new PC for Christmas and it was supplied with a 3-month trial of a paid-for security suite, you're going to need something else soon. And while the built-in Windows Defender is OK, something like AVG is even better.
The download file is only 3 MB or so, but be aware that it will download additional files when you run the installer. Read More
Posted on: 9 January 2018, 1:43 am
Many thanks to the 100+ of you who entered the prize draw last week for a copy of WhizFolders (see https://www.techsupportalert.com/content/another-exclusive-prize-draw-wh... for the details and a review of the software).
Mallory the emu drew the 10 lucky winners today, so check your email to see if you have a licence code waiting for you. Read More
Posted on: 8 January 2018, 1:46 am
If you ever write stuff like letters or reports or essays or books, you'll know that sometimes it's hard to come up with a suitable adjective. What word best describes, say, an emu or a gizmo or a face or a house?
Next time you're stuck for an adjective, check out a really neat web site at www.describingwords.io which will do the job for you. Just enter a word and you'll get dozens of potentially-useful adjectives back in seconds.
And as for words to describe a face, some of the top matches are: beautiful; dark; sweet; long; fair; familiar; wrinkled; bright; wry; straight; haggard; black; lean. Plus hundreds more. This really is a useful resource for any writer, and it's free too. Read More
Author: Social Learning Network
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