A hobby is Freeware. Over the last two years, I have tested over 500 programmes. I actually use about 20 of them.
Two of the better cleaning tools I have found are:
Toni Arts EasyClean.
Crap Cleaner is good too.
Anti spyware: Spybot is pretty good. Adaware has slipped a lot over the last year,I no longer use it.
I also use MS and Ewido
There are two major problems with Freeware: Almost ALL of it has some nasties; occassionally, it can be very nasty indeed. Some Freeware will not work if you remove its embedded spyware /adware/nags. Even Mozilla has tracking cookies.
There are few trustworthy freeware sites: Cnet or Download .com is NOT a trustworthy site. Neither is Freeware World Team, although I use them both; just take care.
There is one and only one site I kind-of trust; Pricelessware, because it links to a really good site, run by a mate, JOHN HOOD. Small, but some good stuff.
For Media stuff of all kinds, try Videohelp.com. A mixture of freeware and trailware; watch your step with those guys. BUT some very good free stuff.
Anti-Virus: I have tried most Freeware anti virus. I liked Avast the best. However, I am convinced that no free anti-virus is as good as a good commercial application. By "GOOD" I do not mean "Norton". I use Nod32, which I find first rate, I also like PCCILLIN, which happens to be used by Australia's DOD.
I repeat, I am not a geek. Nor a computer nerd, nor a technician. I AM a daily user. My PC is a hobby and a toy. I can get it to do what I want most of the time, and am usually able to fix it if it stops working as I think it should.
I have three criteria for software: (1) must do what it claims (2) be easy to install and use (3) be stable
Notwithstanding what I wrote above, paying a lot of money for software is no guarantee whatsover.
Obviously, this post is aimed at others of a similar limited knowledge base, not the expert, who I hope will be forgiving of me stating the bleedin' obvious;I am still very much feeling my way on this site.
My system: Running XP Pro, with Celeron 2.60GHz processor, 750MG of RAM and two physical hard drives, of 40 and 80Gb respectively. Modest, but suits my needs.
Edited by shagnicely, 28 July 2006 - 09:02 PM.