Blog 3

February 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm (Assignments)

Download.com

Any time I am looking for a new type of software (always free) whether it be an image editor, file converter, audio player, video editor, etc., I start with download.com.  I have been using this site since the late 90s, and I have always been provided with decent results (as good as free can be).

Download.com has a number of different categories from security software to video editing software, and they usually rank and clearly label all listed products for the user.  When viewing a product, the specs reveal price, OS, two different rating systems, date added, and a tally for the number of downloads.  The editor provides a short blurb about the software giving a brief summary of capabilities as well as shortfalls.  Also, just like Amazon, the listed software usually has “other recommendations” which tend to be close matches with the chosen product.

I would say the number of quality software editing programs available for free on the web is relatively small; however there are many out there which are available for a limited time trial (like taking a car home for a few days before you purchase it) or limited capabilities (only able to use certain tools within the software).  Unless someone is doing web editing for a living, most of the trial versions seem to be suitable for web startup or short-term tweaking for long-term blog/web design.  Users also have to watch out for some of the image editors (in the trial versions) because they can leave a watermark on any image edited.

Free Software

I chose three different software programs to highlight, but I am guessing there are much better options through download.com.

FontCreator – Free 30 day trial.

Easy Gif Animator 5.1 – Limited to 20 uses for free, great for creating your own customized animations.

WavePad Sound Editor 4.27 – Free 14 day trial, mostly for editing multiple sounds/music files together.

As far as video editing software, I use the Windows Movie Maker software which comes free with every Windows operating system since XP.  It works great and you do not have to settle for any trial version download from the internet.

“2.0,” Creative Commons, WCAG, and GNU Project

A simple Google search for “2.0” brings up a number of different topics; however, there were only two which made the most sense within the context of Creative Commons licensing, and GNU project.  The sites Creative Commons and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 have more information on these topics.

Creative Commons seems to be a type of labeling system for web content that allows users to be aware of copyright restrictions.  The WCAG 2.0 is somewhat self-explanatory except the goal is really to make content more accessible to users on the web.

The GNU Project, as far as I can tell, is a free operating system like linux or, ultimately windows (except GNU is free).  This is “free software” in the sense that it is open-source, that is, the computer code may be shared, distributed, and improved by any user.  This is different from most software distributed by a for-profit company because such software is primarily closed-source, i.e., the software code is not available for distribution or improvement by the user.

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4 Comments

  1. tryingsomethingnew23 said,

    See, I would’ve gotten a lot more out of it if I went straight to your Blog. All the website(including Wikipedia) could not explain in simple terms what the GNU project was.
    Now it makes more sense. An open ended operating system.

    I’m still finding it diffciult to know how exactly to go about and use these applications, but I guess it will come with time.

  2. moderntablet said,

    Phil,

    It looks like you hit all of the areas we needed to focus on for this blog assignment, well done. From reading it sounds as though you will have good insights to offer because you have worked with download.com in the past. Good suggestions!

  3. theupstartcrow83 said,

    I should have read your blog before I even started this.

  4. jrm1985 said,

    Ah, the voice of experience. Thank you, Phil, for your seasoned advice on the editors. Once I figure out how to upload photos into an editor and figure out how to use the editor, the last thing I would want would be watermarks or any other unwanted material on my photo. That would be super frustrating. I would probably quit computers.

    I didn’t come across any of the editors you found but I’ll be sure to check them out.

    Good post.

    –J.

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