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Software Recommendations
Below is a brief list of software, mostly free versions, that you may want to consider downloading to your own computer. Several are required to be able to view some parts of this website. Others are simply tools that I personally use that have proven themselves to be of value and are worthy of recommendation.

To access a download page, click either the software logo or the product name.


Adobe Reader
Adobe Reader software is the global standard for electronic document sharing. Use it to view, search, digitally sign, verify, print, and collaborate on Adobe PDF files. A number of documents on this site require Adobe Reader or equivalent software to view. Remember to first review the System Requirements on the download page.
avast! Anti-Virus
The Internet can be a hostile and daunting environment and having antivirus protection on your computer is critical. This free edition of avast! antivirus software is simple to install, configure and use. It provides excellent protection against viruses, spyware, and the latest and constantly changing internet threats.
IrfanView
IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative graphic viewer for Windows. It lets you open and edit images as well as multiple media formats. You can cut and crop images, apply batch conversions, add, sharpen, or blur effects, create panoramas, and change color modes easily. The program continues to add support for an array of file formats and has plug-in support for most image, video, and sound formats, including MP3, AVI, audio CD, and WMA. The interface is not fancy, but is easy enough for most users to figure out.
Java
Java is used in a wide variety of computing platforms from mobile phones to enterprise servers and supercomputers. Java is nearly ubiquitous in today's enterprise computing applications and, while less common on desktop computers, Java applets are often used to provide improved functionality while browsing the World Wide Web.
OpenOffice
Can't afford Microsoft Office? Have an old version of Office, but can't afford upgrades anymore? Who can?? Download OpenOffice instead and you could save yourself hundreds of dollars. The suite has six full-blown applications: Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheet), Impress (presentations program), Base (database program), Math (equation editor), and Draw (graphics program). OpenOffice works with a variety of formats, including docs created in MS Office 2007 and Office 2008 for the Mac. You can even export documents to PDF. Best of all is the price. It's free - forever!
QuickMessenger
Got multiple PC's on a home network? Ever send your spouse an email (Let's go to dinner!) from different parts of the house while you're both at a keyboard? That email routes miles to a mail server before eventually appearing on the target screen (assuming they're monitoring email). The same with their reply! Why not keep your messages local and instantaneous? There are lots of solutions out there, but this one is small, simple, and effective. It even includes a Reminder feature (eg, "Pick up the kids" or "Put dinner in the oven") that will pop up on your screen at the appointed time, day and frequency.
QuickMessenger is freeware designed to flash messages (ala Instant Messaging) from one computer to another (or to a group of computers you define) via a local area network under Windows NT/2000/XP/Server 2003 using the "NET SEND" command (Messenger Service).
RealVNC
VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is remote control software which allows you to view and fully interact with one computer (the "VNC server") using a simple program (the "VNC viewer") on another computer on your home network, or anywhere across the Internet. The two computers don't even have to be the same type (Windows, Mac, or Linux). There is even a Java viewer, so that the remote desktop can be controlled from within your browser without having to install software.
RoboForm
Goofy name, but it's a tool I'd be hard pressed to live without. It was originally created to automatically fill in all those blanks found in online forms (name, address, city, state, phone, etc, etc) and that's how it got its goofy name. But, they soon realized that it was the perfect tool to act as a password manager as well.
RoboForm will not only memorize and protect your passwords, but will also open a new browser (if you so chose), plug in the appropriate URL (Internet address) to get a login screen, then complete your ID and password (and anything else that may be needed) and even hit ENTER for you! One click and you're logged in and ready to proceed.
RoboForm is free if you use 10 or fewer passwords, but I sprung for the Pro version and currently manage over 170 accounts. Try it - you'll like it.
Screen Capturer
Screen Capturer makes capturing screenshots a simple task. Just press the [PrtScrn] key (remember the print screen key?) on your keyboard and Screen Capturer will ask you if you want the whole screen, just one window, or a user-defined area of your screen. It even supports multiple monitors! Your screenshot is then saved to the clipboard, a file, or email. Besides capturing single screenshots, Screen Capturer also captures sequences of screenshots as animated demos (as wmv files) that you can email to others or upload to the Internnet. It's a great tool to create brief tutorials, or an excellent way to capture details for tech support when their application fails. Best of all, its totally free - no spam, no adware, spyware or malware, and no strings attached. Click the logo to learn more.
Yrefresher
Does your desktop email software automatically download your email every so many minutes? Most do. Have you ever wished your Internet browser could automatically refresh a screen every so often? Some do - most don't.
If you're using Windows Internet Explorer and you'd like to add automatic refresh capability, this tiny piece of software is for you. It's freeware, and its only requirement is that you're running IE version 4 or higher. Once installed, it provides its own browser toolbar that will let you select a refresh interval, or turn off refresh.
I've been using this for some time now, and find it a useful addition. It's perfect when you're working on something on your computer, but want to keep one eye on another screen that needs refreshing. New activity will appear without your having to click anything. One word of warning, though - be sure refresh is turned off anytime you're composing something into the browser window being refreshed. If you're typing in text when refresh occurs, you'll lose what you've typed.


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05/24/2011
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