BY AL FASOLDT, Staff Writer
Where can you find freeware for your PC? Are there sites on the Web that specialize in freeware? And just what is freeware, anyway?
Freeware is totally free software. You can use it or pass it along to someone else without worrying about anything. Often, freeware is copyrighted, which means you can't claim it as your own work. But, by its nature, freeware is yours without cost or obligation. (Other kinds of software include shareware, which is free for the taking but requires a payment after you've tried it out; demoware, which shows off a commercial program; crippleware, shareware that has major functions disabled; )
Here's a list of Web sites specializing in freeware and sites that have extensive collections of freeware among their shareware collections.
I concentrated on Windows 95 sites. Some of the sites here also have freeware for the older version of Windows.
My two favorites: http://www.windows95.com and http://www.nonags.com. Both have a mixture of freeware and shareware. Nonags specializes in software that doesn't nag you to pay a shareware fee, and has a mirror site (a duplicate of the main site) in Central New York. You'll see the link to the New York site on the main page.
For Windows utility programs, all free: http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/pctech/download/utilitiesaz.html. This is PC Magazine's site for software written by its own staffers and guest programmers. (If you're still using Windows 3.1, get Super Pad from this site to replace the awful Notepad.)
A slow site with good links: Completely Free Software at http://members.tripod.com/~cockatoo/interest1.html.
An Australian site worth visiting once a month: http://www.ausmall.com.au/freesoft/.
Freeware Favorites: A site that publishes an electronic magazine that reviews freeware. It's at http://www.webdesigns1.com/freeware/.
A mother lode of good software that usually isn't found any place else is Simtel.Net: http://www.simtel.net/simtel.net/. I stop by Simtel at least once a week. You'll also find a link to a file-search engine that looks for files worldwide.
A site with a lot of promise: http://www.passtheshareware.com/.
A site with great organization and up-to-date featured programs: http://www.sharepaper.com/.
An excellent list of sites for freeware and shareware: http://pilot.msu.edu/user/heinric6/soft.htm.
Great graphics make this site fun to visit: http://www.rocketdownload.com/.
A page set up to help you find the latest versions of freeware programs you already use: http://18.104.22.168/freeware/freeware.htm.
Want new fonts? Try a site that gives them away: http://people.wiesbaden.netsurf.de/~kikita/.
An excellent site with great organization: http://www.freewarehome.com.
My favorite free font organizer can be downloaded here: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Park/2247/.
A serious list of sites that have freeware and demoware of all kinds: http://ds.internic.net/cgi-bin/tochtml/software/0intro.software.
Want to see what programs look like before you download them? Try http://www.screenshot.com/.
An interesting site that lists the latest freeware and shareware in an easy-to-follow way: http://www.newapps.com/.
A good freeware site for newcomers: http://www.freewarenow.com/win95.html.
More freeware and shareware lists: http://www.topsoft.com/.
You can send e-mail to Al Fasoldt at the Syracuse Newspapers at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write to him at email@example.com, and you can send standard mail in care of Stars, P.O. Box 4915, Syracuse 13221.
You can also visit Al Fasoldt's personal Web site, where you'll find the original columns that are mirrored on the newspaper's site, along with advice, observations, tips and help.