Broke for the holidays: WalletPop's Freeware Holiday Roundup

santa thumbdrive
santa thumbdrive

I learned long ago that gift giving doesn't have to cost a fortune, especially when you are the family computer support guru. In fact, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations in my family normally end with me fixing someone's computer. I learned long ago that a USB thumb drive with copies of my favorite applications was a holiday must have, particularly for my relatives still on dial up.

Since I don't get to spend as much time at home as I used too, I end up with fewer house calls in the days following Christmas, making PC repair gift certificates less practical. Not to be dissuaded, this year I plan to revive my role as the tech support Santa and give friends and family a collection of free software that should make their lives easier. Shh, don't tell them, I want it to be a surprise.

The software categories include:

  • Office package

  • Photo editing

  • Instant messenger

  • Anti virus

  • Spyware removal

  • Web browsing

The following collection of software is all free and fills the holes left by the trial software installed on so many new computers. That's not to say this software is any less useful or valuable, the collection of programs below include some of my personal favorites which provide a rich user experience and in many cases let users grow into their features.