Saturday, May 23, 2009

FREEWARE: What is it? Is it Any Good?

Freeware is exactly what it says, FREE! Sometimes the author may ask you to register so he/they can inform you of new versions and so on. However FREE means FREE.

Q: Is it any good compared to commercial software?
A: Much of it may be better. Just because a company is big and sells software in boxes does not mean it is the best. Some of the VERY BEST software is absolutely free.

We will discuss one of my favorites, Irfanview. Since 2003, IRFANVIEW HAS HAD OVER 1 MILLION DOWNLOADS EVERY MONTH !!!

Irfanview is one of my all-time favorites because it can do so much with graphics or photos at absolutely no cost to you. However because I have used the program so much, I have donated to his cause.

I include here the author's description: What is Irfanview?

"IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista.

It is trying to be simple for beginners and powerful for professionals.

IrfanView is trying to create new and/or interesting features in its own way, unlike some other graphic viewers, whose whole "creativity" is based on feature cloning, stealing of ideas and whole dialogs from ACDSee and/or IrfanView! (for example: XnView has been stealing/cloning features and whole dialogs from IrfanView, for 8+ years). 

IrfanView was the first Windows graphic viewer WORLDWIDE with Multiple (animated) GIF support.
One of the first graphic viewers WORLDWIDE with Multipage TIF support.
The first graphic viewer WORLDWIDE with Multiple ICO support.



Some IrfanView features
:
  • Many supported file formats (click here the list of formats)
  • Multi language support
  • Thumbnail/preview option
  • Paint option - to draw lines, circles, arrows, straighten image etc.
  • Toolbar skins option
  • Slideshow (save slideshow as EXE/SCR or burn it to CD)
  • Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Fullscreen etc.
  • Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
  • Fast directory view (moving through directory)
  • Batch conversion (with image processing)
  • Multipage TIF editing
  • File search
  • Email option
  • Multimedia player
  • Print option
  • Support for embedded color profiles in JPG/TIF
  • Change color depth
  • Scan (batch scan) support
  • Cut/crop
  • IPTC editing
  • Effects (Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, Filter Factory, Filters Unlimited, etc.)
  • Capturing
  • Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs
  • Lossless JPG rotation
  • Unicode support
  • Many hotkeys
  • Many command line options
  • Many PlugIns
  • Only one EXE-File, no DLLs, no Shareware messages like "I Agree" or "Evaluation expired"
  • No registry changes without user action/permission!
  • and much much more"


Video Summary:
IrfanView video tutorial. If you're just starting out or you're still saving for the pricey juggernaut, Adobe Photoshop CS3, there's a freeware application that will do the job until you can make the jump to the professional software. Introduction to IrfanView, setting up your preferences, information pane and histogram.

Irfanview Tutorial One


Irfanview Video Two



Irfanview Video Three

Resizing Photos


Irfanview Video Four - Another Resizing Video



Video Five - Resizing Photos for the Web You will be taken to Youtube.com where you may become a free member and save various helpful videos to your "Channel" as it is called. Then you can always go back and view whichever ones you want some other time.
I recommend becoming a free member.

Video Six - Cropping and Resizing



MANY MORE SIMILAR VIDEOS AVAILABLE THROUGH MY YOUTUBE PLAYLIST

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Group Blogs and Websites for Free

Added Comment: Blastgroups provides lots of freebies. However it has a confusing interface. I have been doing computers since the 70's and it IS confusing to me. However if you can wade through, you will get LOTS of great stuff for your group. - Computer Doc Blastgroups Claims that it is FREE and you can ... Create a free website for your: Sports Team–Club–Family–Friends Church–Work–School–Organization What can you add to a BlastGroup? Calendars – Photo Albums – Forums – Blogs Email Lists – Videos – Audio – Links – Files I just discovered this site and have NOT tried them. If you try them and have some comments, they are certainly VERY WELCOME! I am signing up today so that I can see how it works and report back to you. The other one I am familiar with like this is Airset.com. I loved airset until I realized that geeks like me would have no problem with it BUT perhaps the average computer user may. -Charles