Google’s recent release of Google Pack, got me thinking about the digerati dilemma; unless you feel like wading through tens of thousands of programs listed on software libraries such as Freshmeat or Sourceforge, it’s nearly impossible to find the free, good stuff. Google Pack is basically just a grab-bag of quintessential freebies with an intelligent auto-updater thrown in, and yet it’s ingenious in its simplicity in giving users what they want, pronto.
It made me think of the other resources I use to find free, good Windows software. Some of it is open source, some of it is freeware, but they’re all great and the price is right. Here they are:
* TheOpenCD.org – A CD compilation of only the creme de la creme of open source software. They aren’t kidding either – they carry less than 20 titles. They make up for it though with their friendly CD install wizard user interface that comes complete with detailed descriptions of each piece of software.
* The OSSwin project – A comprehensive list of links to the best open source software in dozens of categories, from programming tools to educational software to CAD designers.
* Software For Starving Students – Seems to be more for starving arts students who like to procrastinate, considering its emphasis on music ripping, video editing, graphics design and arcade games, but still a good compilation. Besides, you can download this CD-ROM compilation easily via BitTorrent.
* Neowin’s Freeware Alternative List – A rather lengthy link list updated by the Neowin community. It’s unique to the others above as it contains many little handy one-off tools and programs you may otherwise may never have known about.
UPDATE Jan 26th: Lifehacker posted their own list of free quintessentials as the Lifehacker Pack.