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Super Cal   -  Get a free calculator

Vocabulary Wizard  -  Study for extensive vocabulary exams

Sun Calculator  -  Get a prettier, more powerful calculator

PC Magazine's PCBook2  -  Create booklets, or print multiple pages

PC Magazine's Days Ease  -  Create custom calendars

Software602  -  free alternate to MS Office a suite of a word processor, photo editor and spreadsheet

Photo Plus  -  excellent photo program

Open Office  -  free alternate to MS Office

Kelsea's Classroom  -  Teach kids reading, math, computers

Text Shield 2000  -  Get a feature-packed free word processor

SAT English Level 1  -  Learn English basics

SAT English Level 2  -  Learn English grammar

SAT English Level 3  -  Learn parts of speech and grammar

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Office or School Software

Super Cal

supcalkb.zip

01-09-01

Get a free calculator

Company: Sharnsco

Version: 2

Size: 177.72 KB

Requirements: Windows 95 or Windows 98

Purchase Information: Free

Super Cal is a very simple desktop calculator that falls well short of providing the basic functionality offered by the calculator application that ships with Windows. The basic interface consists of a haphazardly arranged keypad and an smattering of operator buttons. Use Super Cal to perform simple arithmetic, determine percentages, and work with exponents and square roots.

Reviewed on Jan 08 2001.

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Vocabulary Wizard

vocwizar.exe

12-08-00

Study for extensive vocabulary exams

Company: Prosigner

Version: 6.3

Size: 3.53 MB

Requirements: Windows 95, 98, or NT

Purchase Information: Free

Vocabulary Wizard is an intensive vocabulary tutor for high school, college, or adult-level learning. It offers a 6,000-word dictionary (supports 60,000 when registered), with word lists categorized by standard vocabulary tests such as SAT and GRE. Each word offers nine information components, including pronunciation, definitions, sentence examples, and reference. A study index tracks the number of times you answer correctly in testing mode. You can mark words that you've either mastered or would like to study more intensively. There are audio pronunciations of the words as well as options to study in several different ways. You can be quizzed to answer the definition when given the word, or vice-versa. Multiple-choice format gives you the word/definition of the misleads after you answer. With all this power, this tool is bound to build your vocabulary. Note: This free software contains advertising technology that will occasionally use your Internet connection to receive and display ads.

Reviewed on Dec 08 2000. 

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Sun Calculator

sunclc.zip

01-16-01

Get a prettier, more powerful calculator

Company: Slavko Ilic

Version: 3.6

Size: 3.81 MB

Requirements: Windows 9x or Me

Purchase Information: Shareware: Free to try, $15 if you decide to keep it.

SunCalculator is a visually enticing, technically advanced calculator that's an excellent, much more powerful substitute for the more ordinary-looking calculator shipped with Windows. This mathematical brain, which is an attractive cobalt blue, features several modes of operation, each accessible with the click of a button. Advanced Mode (the default) is for standard calculations as well as operations involving trigonometry, logarithms, and reciprocals. Complex Mode is for multiple-window trigonometric and complex-number figuring. Finally, Graph Mode is for plotting functions, roots, critical points, and integral/derivative/average values. An Expression Evaluator lets you evaluate any drawn function, and a Function Analysis feature calculates roots and critical points. There's even a useful MathPad text editor. This trial version is limited to 50 uses.

Reviewed on Dec 28 2000. 

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PC Magazine's PCBook2

pcbook2.zip

04-05-00

Create booklets, or print multiple pages

Company: PC Magazine

Version: 1.2

Size: 1008.74 KB

Requirements: Visual Basic 5.0 Runtime and Windows 95, 98, or NT

Purchase Information: PC Magazine programs are copyrighted and cannot be distributed, whether modified or unmodified. Use is subject to the terms and conditions of the license agreement distributed with the programs.

Printing text files such as readme files or internet standards documents can use up a lot of paper. PCBook2 can help you save our forests. It can print up to eight pages on a sheet of paper (four on each side). In 2-up mode, a booklet option lets you print the pages in the proper order to stack up the sheets, fold them in half, and staple them at the fold to create a booklet. A signature option lets you print out large booklets as sets of smaller booklets. PCBook2 also supports headers, footers, word wrap, and tab expansion, and lets you use any TrueType font on your system. Note that the utility requires the Visual Basic 5 runtime module. You can obtain this file, if you don't already have it, from Microsoft's Web site: (click here).PCBook2 was written by Jay Munro, and first appeared in PC Magazine April 6, 1999(v18n07). 

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PC Magazine's Days Ease

daysease.zip

05-11-99

Create custom calendars

Company: PC Magazine

Version: 1.1

Size: 357.67 KB

Requirements: Windows 95, 98, or NT

Purchase Information: Free

Days Ease lets you create and print monthly or yearly calendars in a variety of formats. A unique "day notes" feature lets you add daily reminders. You can add a title to your calendar, and set the font type and style. You can place images above or adjacent to your calendar, or overlay the calendar on top of the image. A built-in event file includes all major holidays. You can add to this list, or create a new, custom event file. DaysEase was written by Richard Ellingson, and first appeared in PC Magazine, December 1, 1998 (v17n21). 

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Freebies let you upgrade without excessive cost

Software 602

pcs2k.exe

Photo Plus 6

photoplus6free.exe


By CHARLIE PASCHAL
Special to The State  
A few months ago, I did a column on free stuff on the Web, but a few new ones have cropped up since then. And don't quit reading until you've learned about the free photo editor I've found! It's a jewel.

If you're computing on a shoestring and can't afford the world's most complex piece of software, Microsoft Office, there are a couple of options available to you.

As we all know, Microsoft Office has the world in its grip, even more so than Windows itself. It's the standard tool in many places and no other operating system stands a chance to unseat Windows unless there's an office-like application.

In my earlier column, I mentioned Star Office, which is a free download from sun.com. Now, there's a second free one that could be a serious challenger to Office -- and the free version is small in size.

This free alternate to MS Office is compatible with Word/Excel files, has integration with Outlook Express and digital camera/scanner support.

What's nice about this free suite of a word processor, photo editor and spreadsheet is that the download is only 14 megabytes. Naturally, Software602 hopes you'll bite on some of the other software on the site. The company also wants you to register the software and when you do, all pop-up windows about registration will stop and the spell checker will be enabled.

There's a new version of Star Office and there is some improvement in the database component, the weakest part of the suite. You also can exchange documents with people who own the "real Office" so you don't lose much functionality.

Using these free office products beats using Wordpad and Notepad, and the price is right for just about anyone, especially Scrooges. 

Star Office contains the same components as MS Office, including Writer, Calc, Impress (presentations), Draw, Base (a database component), Schedule, Mail and Discussion, a piece designed for news reading.

Now, the free photo package I saved for last.

When I teach people how to do their own Web pages, there's always a gap when it comes to photo packages. Sure, you can use Notepad to assemble the pages and there's a free FTP program to help you send your files to a Web server.

There's even some free Web servers around, if you search hard enough.

But when it comes to photos, everyone has to buy one of the lower end packages (PhotoImpact or PaintShop Pro), shelling out $69 to $99 or spring for the extensive Photoshop, which can cost close to $500.

Company officials promised me that the offer would extend at least through today so make sure you visit the Web site as soon as you read this to download your copy of this excellent program.

Once you open photoplus6free.exe. you'll find a fully featured version of PhotoPlus 6, a fully working version, not a trial version or time-limited in any way, company spokesman Joe Ossai said. The application, which normally sells for $49.95, does animations and has a wizard to help users find the best file format for Web graphics.

Although not as powerful as Photoshop, it has a Photoshop-like look and includes such high-end features as levels. Some tools are limited, with only drop shadows and bevels available for special type effects but that's probably all basic Web sites need anyway.

There's a wealth of other tools, such as distort, blur, edge, noise, render and a red-eye fixer that's pretty good.

Take the time, too, to visit the company's regular Web site at http://www.serif.com and look at its other products. One of Serif's top sellers is a desktop publishing component, PagePlus, for $39.95. With it you can create stationery, cards, letterheads, fliers, newsletters, etc.

Since the company is giving you a free photo editor, you might want to consider later purchases from the site. As usual, you can download working trial versions of the other programs.

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Open Office

ooo_3.2.1_win_x86_install-wjre_en-us.exe

Use the link below to download an up to date copy
http://www.openoffice.org/

PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY SUNDAY August 4, 2002
OpenOffice a free rival to Microsoft
Matthew Fordahl - Associated Press

Sunday, August 4, 2002

 

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Microsoft Corp. should feel supremely complimented by the OpenOffice.org suite of software.

And, perhaps, just a tad worried.

OpenOffice's sleek word processor, spreadsheet and presentation programs capture Microsoft Office's look and some of the most popular features --- without the $479 price tag and anti-piracy measures.

OpenOffice is free. The 57-megabyte download costs you nothing. Unlike most other ''free'' programs, it doesn't require an advanced degree to fathom.

More importantly --- since Microsoft has more than 90 percent of the productivity software market --- OpenOffice reads documents that were originally created with Microsoft's programs and can save in those formats as well.

So what's the catch?

There are some rough edges and a few omissions, notably a calendar program, an e-mail application and a database. They'll be missed mainly by power users and businesses.

There's also no tech support by phone. That's not to say no help is available. Each program has built-in assistance, and much more can be found by surfing the www.openoffice.org Web site.

Plus, anyone who wants a more powerful suite without paying Microsoft's prices could still shell out $76 and buy StarOffice, on which OpenOffice is based.

Sun Microsystems Inc., which sells StarOffice, has released most of the code to a community of programmers who work on developing OpenOffice in their spare time.

Why is Sun doing this? Besides selling servers and workstations, Sun is also in the anti-Microsoft business. Alternative software is a key component, as is litigation.

Until now, Microsoft had nothing to fear from StarOffice, which Sun formerly gave away. The previous version was disappointing.

But that's not the case with OpenOffice, which is surprising given the reputation most open-source software has for being buggy and targeted only for gearheads. Such is the case with most programs written for Linux.

OpenOffice incorporates many of the same shortcuts used in Microsoft Office. For example, want to create a new file? Hit Control-N.

The program is also available for operating systems other than Windows, including Linux and Unix.

A Mac OS X version is under development.

OpenOffice does have some problems.

Some complex Word documents, especially those with embedded graphics, are misformatted in OpenOffice's Writer. And macros developed in Microsoft Office don't work at all.

Still, OpenOffice handles with aplomb most everyday tasks, such as composing a letter or balancing a household budget.

2002 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Kelsea's Classroom

kelseacl.zip

01-29-01

Teach kids reading, math, computers

Company: Michael A. Shaffer

Version: 1.0

Size: 2.74 MB

Requirements: Windows 95 or Windows 98

Purchase Information: Free

Kelsea's Classroom offers math and alphabet lessons, while helping the child become familiar with the computing environment. Enjoyable lessons, coupled with an easy-to-use interface, will have your child returning to learn more in this educational setting. This program basically childproofs your system as children can only control the keys required by the program's lesson. Learners can activate letters and numbers, change shapes and colors, draw pictures, run basic math operations, and more on this rich teaching aid. Solve multiple-choice questions that drill numbers operations on two skill levels. Additionally, students can create their own letters and choose to customize the font, background, and text color.

Reviewed on Jan 28 2001.

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Text Shield 2000

txtshiel.exe

02-20-01

Get a feature-packed free word processor

Company: Onis, Inc.

Version: build 144 7-2001

Size: 1.69 MB

Requirements: Windows 9x, NT, 2000, or Me

Purchase Information: Free

If WordPad is too wimpy, but you don't feel like springing for a bulky word processor such as WordPerfect or MS Word, check out TextShield 2000. This nice freebie gives you many of the formatting features found in the "big boys" (including a spelling checker) and throws in a few surprises too, such as built-in file/folder navigation windows and ZIP-compatible compression. You can insert interactive links and shadowed text effects with ease; convert documents to HTML, rich text, and plain text; and open and edit multiple documents simultaneously. You'll also find print preview, email support, find-and-replace, and a built-in media player. TextShield 2000 should behave just fine on Windows 2000 and Me, but an update from the developer's Website is needed to run the program on Windows 95/98.

Reviewed on Nov 13 2000.

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SAT English Level 1

satengls.exe

10-25-00

Learn English basics

Company: LeeWare Development

Version: 2.0

Size: 2.47 MB

Requirements: Windows 95, 98, or NT

Purchase Information: Shareware: Free to try, $25 if you decide to keep it.

SAT English Level 1 is a suite of ten English lessons offered in interactive format. This colorful, but repetitive, study aid for English grammar includes modules suitable for late elementary or middle-school students. You'll find exercises on Homonyms, Antonyms, Synonyms, Syllables, Prefix and Suffix, Contractions, Possessives, Subjects and Predicates, and Types of Sentences. Each module includes 30 frames, and the frames hold from one to four fill-in-the-blank questions. Students can check to see if they have the correct answers or continue through the questions until the end. A performance report tracks the number of questions asked, the number of correct answers, and the number of questions missed or answered incorrectly.

Reviewed on Oct 28 2000.

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SAT English Level 2

satlevlt.exe

10-25-00

Learn English grammar

Company: LeeWare Development

Version: 2.0

Size: 2.51 MB

Requirements: Windows 95, 98, or NT

Purchase Information: Shareware: Free to try, $25 if you decide to keep it.

SAT English Level 2 is a suite of ten English lessons offered in interactive format. This colorful, but repetitive, study aid for English grammar includes modules suitable for late elementary or middle-school students. You'll find exercises on Simple and Compound Sentences, Sentence Ending and Punctuations, Punctuation in a Series, Quotation Marks, Nouns, and more. Each module includes 30 frames, and the frames hold from one to four fill-in-the-blank questions. Students can check to see if they have the correct answers or continue through the questions until the end. A performance report tracks the number of questions asked, the number of correct answers, and the number of questions missed or answered incorrectly.

Reviewed on Oct 28 2000.

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SAT English Level 3

satengl3.exe

10-25-00

Learn parts of speech and grammar

Company: LeeWare Development

Version: 2.0

Size: 2.50 MB

Requirements: Windows 95, 98, or NT

Purchase Information: Shareware: Free to try, $25 if you decide to keep it.

SAT English Level 3 is a suite of ten English lessons offered in interactive format. This colorful, but repetitive, study aid for English grammar includes modules suitable for late elementary or middle-school students. Choose from topics such as noun/verb, basic sentence construction, adjectives, and prepositions. Each module includes 30 frames, and the frames hold from one to four fill-in-the-blank questions. Students can check to see if they have the correct answers or continue through the questions until the end. A performance report tracks the number of questions asked, the number of correct answers, and the number of questions missed or answered incorrectly.

Reviewed on Oct 28 2000.

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Last modified: June 04, 2008