Free Downloads for Your Computer
Desktop AdditionsYour computer desktop doesn't just have to sit there looking boring. There are many free add-ons you can download that will decorate your desktop or put it to work.
Every desktop needs a fresh
look now and then. Hundreds of free desktop backgrounds to choose
from (two new per day allowed with free registration) and have them
automatically rotate as often as every fifteen minutes.
Windows; Free registration required
Desktop Weather from the Weather Channelhttp://www.weather.com/services/desktop.html
Want to know at a glance
what your local temperature is? This program keeps the temperature
always showing in your taskbar, and a click brings up a window with
the pressure, wind speed, 12 hour forecast and severe weather alerts.
Free with ads; Free registration required; Broadband (always on) connection needed
A screensaver or desktop
background with moving, shifting patterns that often resemble the
Aurora Borealis. Takes up very little computing power.
A beautiful aquarium screensaver.
There are two drawbacks, though. Unless you buy it, you need to type
in a phrase each time you run it and it does use a lot of computing
power. But it's soothing to look at and very realistic.
Windows/Mac; Demo; Inconvenience incentive to buy
Google Toolbar (Version 2.0)http://toolbar.google.com/index-beta.php
The second version of the toolbar from the popular search engine Google
has some nifty features, including a pop-up blocker, AutoFill, which
fills in forms for you, and one-click access to Google's many different
search engines. This version is still in beta,
which means that, as Google puts it, it is "still being tweaked and
perfected." In other words, you could run into a bug
occasionally. I have not run into any problems so far, and the worst
that will happen is that your browser will crash.
Freeware; Internet Explorer 5 and up only
Spybot-Search & Destroyhttp://spybot.safer-networking.de/
If you do any web surfing
you are likely to pick up spyware, software that is silently installed
on your computer for the purpose of tracking your movement around
the web, among other things. Although it is not as harmful as a
virus, it can be quite annoying. If your home page changes for no
reason or you see new toolbars on your browser, then you have a
clear indication that spyware has been installed. However, sometimes
it runs in the background, completely undetected. Spybot-Search
& Destroy is the best of the programs that have been developed to
find spyware on your computer, clean it out and block further installations.
AVG Free Editionhttp://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php
No technical support, but other than that this free antivirus software is considered by many to be as good, if not better, than the antivirus software from Norton or McAfee. Updates are also free (Norton and McAfee charge you after six months for updates, which are crucial to fighting viruses).Windows; Freeware