The search for the perfect utility may seem endless at times, but the joy of finding a great little program that does exactly what you need is geek heaven. Thanks again to PCWorld for another roundup, 101 Fantastic Freebies.
I use many of these myself, including AbiWord, a full featured but light weight wod processing program, and the Foxit Reader, a light weight replacement for Adobe’s Acrobat reader.
As some comments point out, the list doesn’t include OpenOffice, the wonderful office productivity suite I’ve used full time for the last two years. Honest, I haven’t opened a Microsoft Office program for work on any of my computers for over two years. I’m typing this right now on OpenOffice 2.3 running on a Ubuntu 7.10 Linux operating system. The hardware is an off-lease corporate low end desktop from Dell running at 2.0GHz. Less than $200 for the hardware, and the operating system and office productivity suite are free.
I do need to use multiple computers to test networking products, but this is also a great example of using what I recommend. If I can write pretty much full time on an inexpensive computer with free software, I figure at least 80 percent of normal small business office workers can do the same.