It can be quite discouraging. You go buy something only to find out later that you could have gotten that for free. When looking at technology, there are a number of truly inventive and clever ways you can get things without having to pay for them. This article has a Canadian slant, but most of these 10 things are universal.
This was published in 2009, and I thought it would be cool to go back and check out how free each of these items are now.
Free and freemium services seem to be dropping like flies. Recently Google Apps stopped being free, then in almost a whisper, Microsoft Live Mail stopped offering free mail hosting. Now, in a move I didn’t see coming DynDNS killed it’s free offering a few weeks ago. This is pretty significant because of the usefulness this free service provided to many. Read on for more about this change.
I get ideas for stuff on a near constant basis. Sometimes older software I created for a particular purpose comes back around and captures my attention. Meeting Minutes is one such application. I wrote it for a client that needed to keep track of meetings and also wanted to give users in the office tools to read and comment on these meetings. At the time, I was just trying to solve a particular problem. Now, this is something you can use in your own company to track meetings. Let’s take a closer look.
Not to long ago, Starbucks made a bunch of changes to how they handled their Starbucks Card promotions. Some of the changes were good (12 drinks now get you a free drink), but some other changes are clearly causing some difficulty. One of the bigger problems is how someone might redeem a free drink now that Starbucks no longer sends out postcard-sized redemption cards.
I’ve spoken to a few people that have been confused or under-informed about this new process. You stop getting postcards about free drinks, but continue earning rewards. Even worse, you may not hear about earning the free drink reward because no email or letter accompanies the milestone. The rewards add up, but you may be unaware of how to redeem them. I’m going to show you how to find out what you’ve earned, and how to redeem the reward.
The scenario: You need to get a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 installed on your Windows-based computer, but don’t wish to buy a copy the Application. You heard there were free options available for this software but we’re sure how to get the application installed. Included in Microsoft Office 2010 Starter are stripped down versions of Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word. In this article, you’ll install a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 Starter or a trial version for free on your Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer (sadly, Windows XP is not included).
Today we have another free tool for you. In the same category as the Reboot, Log Off, and Shutdown – Reboot Now can be used to force a computer to reboot on a set schedule. Once that time you setup is reached, Reboot Now will force the computer to reboot as cleanly as possible.This small utility sits in your Windows System Tray out of the way doing it’s thing inconspicuously. Read on for more details and download links.
The landscape for encryption tools today is incredibly dense. Certainly, this process is done in many novel ways and with tools that far surpass that of the simple. One of the most amazing encryption tools (for example) is TrueCrypt – I covered it in a recent “That Great Tool” post. While tools like that offer a great deal of options and uses, I’ve always thought there was room for the simple too. CRCutil is just that – a simple way to compare two files or encrypt and decrypt small amounts of text. Read on for more details and a download link for this free tool.
While thinking of free tools to add to the growing list available here, I thought of a specific problem I attempted to solve many times over the years. essentially, I wanted to find various ways to automate the log off, shut down and reboot processes of Windows. In a more fragmented way, these tools were borne of necessity and never grouped together while I created them in the late 1990s – until now. Today, I give you three new tools to download and I simply call them Reboot / Log Off / Shutdown. Read on for download links and details.
This is great. I’m happy to be giving you something new to play with (as far as utilities go). I’ve not written anything for a long time – and, just recently the programming bug has hit again and I’d thought I’d go over some old utilities and update them. Around this time, I was also looking for a quick way to do some Delphi-ish stuff in Windows, and what I found was incredible! If you’re a fan of Object Pascal, you should really check out Lazarus and Free Pascal. With those two, I decided to revive the Install/Uninstall tool and clean it up a bit while getting some of my programming legs back.
We love contests. Really, who doesn’t like free stuff? At CWL we’re partial to giving away free tech gear. In 2010, we gave away a Netbook and in 2011, we gave away a Sony eReader. This year, with Hard Drives recently being seriously short supply and rapidly increasing in price – we thought we’d give away a new drive! Read on for more info about this great contest!
As always, the lucky winner will be notified by email and then shipped the drive (free of charge). Some restrictions apply, but you get the idea. Winning free stuff a whole lot better than paying for it!
Update: This contest has now closed. We thank everyone for the entries!