Ben’s List of Free Programs
Open Source compression / decompression program that handles almost any format (rar, zip, bz2, tar, etc.). Better than WinZip.
Screen recording application (use Handbrake to encode output file to a usable format)
Open source program for programming amateur radios (great for BaoFeng and Yaesu radios)
Classic Start Menu for Windows 8
Robust backup software (Win/Mac/Linux/Solaris), free version allows for once a day backup to other computers. Plus version requires a CP subscription.
Batch image scaler/resizer
($5/month for Premium service for OCRed PDFs, Word docs and 1GB monthly upload)
Note taking and document management software that syncs with just about every device, indexes files, makes it easy to share notes, take a picture of handwritten notes to OCR, etc.
Intercepts web traffic. Great for debugging web applications.
FileZilla FTP Client
FTP Client, can connect to just about any server.
Unix like OS
Get quotes from Yahoo! Finance (plugin for OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice)
Backup VMs (for VMWare ESXi).
Image editor (Photoshop alternative).
DVD ripper and video encoder / transcoder
MySQL client / query builder
DVD / CD Burning software
Swiss Army Knife of PDF files (encrypt, sign, watermark, etc.)
AES encrypted password file manager Win/Mac/Linux – Android and Windows 8 Mobile phone clients are also available.
Free Office Suite (free alternative to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc.) only not as good as Microsoft Office. Forked from OpenOffice.org
IT Infrastructure and Network monitoring – an aging, but robust and flexible monitoring solution. See also nconf to configure it.
MSN MoneyCentral Stock Quotes Add-in for Excel
Excel Add-in to retrieve stock quotes
Enterprise Service Bus integration software built on Java and Eclipse
Network Attached Storage OS based on FreeBSD and ZFS, great for serving media. Entirely configurable via gui.
Nagios Configuration Generator
Nitro Reader 2
PDF reader, can sign and fill out PDF documents, also print to PDF.
It’s a simple editor that includes basic syntax highlighting for just about every popular programming language, and more importantly it doesn’t mess up unix line endings, if you ever have to open up large text files it won’t crash like Notepad will, you can monitor a changing file without putting a lock on it, and all sorts of cool things.
Minimal OS offering KVM, ZFS, Zones based on illumos (forked from Solaris).
Enterprise OS (KVM virtualization, ZFS, Zones) based on illumos (forked from Solaris)
Free Office Suite (free alternative to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc.) only not as good as Microsoft Office. See also LibreOffice.
Three way merge tool, great for upgrading customized code as you can merge old base, custom, and upgraded base.
PDF Editor, some modules cost but some basic editing (rotating) is available in the free version.
Print to PDF
ssh client, ssh authentication agent, key generator
Project management for software development, integrates into just about any popular source control. Needs a LAMP server.
RSAT – Remote Server Admin Tools for Windows
Remotely manage servers using Windows 7 or 8
Free Anti-virus from Microsoft
Capture screenshots (built into Windows but a lot of people don’t know about it).
Git revision control client for Windows
Subversion revision control client for Windows
Encryption program. Supports the good algorithms (AES, Twofish). Designed to encrypt drives, volumes, and partitions. Important if working with sensitive data, and also a good idea to encrypt your entire laptop if you’re not using Bitlocker (I prefer Bitlocker for whole disk encryption if it’s available).
Linux OS based on Debian. LTS releases are supported for 5 years making it great for production servers.
Free Virtualization software for your desktop
Basic video editor / encoder. Designed for AVI files. For most encoding I would use Handbrake instead.
Free version of the vSphere Hypervisor (see ghettoVCB for a free VM backup program)
Programming software for Yaesu VX-6R
Programming software for Yaesu VX-7R
Mount ISO files as local CD / DVD drive, also can RIP CDs to a .iso
See what’s taking up all your disk storage.
Differencing and merging tool. Can compare folders as well as files.
SCP / SFTP client with Explorer or Norton Commander interface.
Zettabyte Filesystem — Robust file-system that integrates NAS technology with the file-system and software RAID. RAID-Z checksums every block of data so it can detect, and automatically heal corruption that gets by traditional RAID systems. See: OpenIndiana, NAS4Free, OmniOS, or FreeBSD.