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Software

I will not post links to any software that contains malware. If you find such a program listed here has started to include any bundled "presents", please let me know so I can remove it.

The GIMP
The GIMP is a free photo manipulation program. It can do things such as retouching, cropping, rotating, and combining pictures. It has been compared to Adobe's Photoshop. While Photoshop still has a few features the GIMP lacks, most users won't miss them. There is an easy to install version for Windows at http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/. I have also written several tutorials on how to use the GIMP if you need help getting started.
OpenOffice.org
OpenOffice.org is a free, cross platform, full office suite including a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software, database software and more. It uses an open file format (now an ISO standard) and can read and write Microsoft Office file formats, including Office 2007.
Scribus
Scribus is another free program that is a true desktop publishing program. It is designed for heavy graphic and frame-oriented use. If you are familiar with Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher, or Adobe InDesign you should understand what Scribus does.
Firefox
The sucessor to the Mozilla suite, Firefox is a very secure, full featured web browser. With a large collection of add-ons, it is quite customizable. If you're still using Internet Explorer, come see what you've been missing. Due to trademark issues, you may see non-official versions referred to as Iceweasel.
Thunderbird
The companion program to Firefox, Thunderbird is a email and Usenet program, featuring security, spam filters, quick message search, anti-phising tools, and customizable views.
Opera
An alternative to Firefox and Thunderbird, Opera is now a free program (but not open source). A leader in new browser features, it introduced many features before Firefox and Mozilla, while Internet Explorer is still playing catch-up to both Opera and Firefox. It's main advantage over Firefox is the zoom feature for those with poor eyes.