It can be a task to keep all the programs on your Windows computer updated. Allowing programs to automatically update themselves may slow down your computer start up time and hog system resources. Not updating software can make your computer vulnerable to security exploits fixed in newer versions or leave you without the new features of the updated software.
If you would like to update your Windows programs manually but want to easily see which programs are outdated you can try FileHippo’s Update Checker. You simply download the program and it scans your installed programs notifying you of those that are outdated afterwards. The Update Checker directs you to FileHippo’s website where the version information of outdated software is presented along with the version information of the latest available versions. You can then download the latest version directly from FileHippo’s website or search for it from each individual software vendor’s website if you prefer.
Since the FileHippo Update Checker only scans for programs in the FileHippo repository it may not detect all outdated software on your computer. It is also not a replacement for Windows Update which every Windows user should run regularly to stay updated with security updates from Microsoft. The Update Checker scans the programs installed on your computer and reports it back to the FileHippo website too provide you with the available updates so only use it if you are comfortable with this behaviour.
Sometimes you just want t try something new or you don’t have access to your favorite software. What do you do? There are actually many capable alternatives to most of the programs we commonly use if we are willing to take time to get over the differences and get used to them.
AlternativeTo is a website that lists recommended alternatives for the program that you search for. For example, searching for “Microsoft Word” would yield results of alternative word processing applications.
Osalt is another website that provides suggestions of alternative software. This website restricts its results to open source software though. If you are a fan of open source this is where you can search for free replacements to commercial software.
Next time you are fed up with a program or just need a change try out an alternative. You might actually like it and save yourself some money and hassle by switching.
As a small business the price of software can be daunting. So much so that many use pirated software. Even if the software is not pirated some may find themselves in violation of the vendor’s restrictive licensing policy.
With the increasing popularity of open source software, alternatives to proprietary software are becoming more readily available. Most of these programs also have the advantage of being cross platform meaning they can work on multiple different operating systems.
SeizerStyle Designs regularly uses the following free and open source software:
Open source linux operating system which is a good alternative to Microsoft Windows. Running multiple programs on Ubuntu seems smoother and more responsive than on Windows XP in our experience.
Extensible web browser. Not only is Firefox standards compliant, it can also be customized using extensions to provide features that are not provided out of the box.
All email in one place. With the popularity of web based email services Thunderbird’s strength really lies in its ability to organize multiple POP and IMAP accounts in one place.
Komodo edit is a code editor which supports many programming languages. With cross platform support, code highlighting and project management.
GNU Image Manipulation Program or GIMP is a versatile image editing program. Although its lack of CMYK support may not make it suitable for graphics for advanced printing it is sufficient for web graphics.
Filezilla is an FTP client that can be used to upload and download files. With options including queuing of files Filezilla is a very stable FTP client.