If you are paying for software, you are paying too much!
Am I advocating using or downloading illegal copies of programs? Hardly.
There are many free programs that perform the same functions as programs costing sometimes hundreds of dollars.
Audacity is a free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds. It can be used to record audio from multiple sources. Visit their website and the article on Wikipedia for more detailed information. I use this program to convert my vinyl records to digital MP3s so that I can listen to them on my computer and MP3 player. You can also have some fun by changing the pitch and/or tempo of songs.
Ccleaner If the first C doesn't stand for “crap”, it should. Ccleaner removes a lot of the junk from your browsers such as temporary files, history, cookies, download history etc. From Windows, it cleans the recycle bin, recent documents, temporary files and log files. It also removes unused and old registry entries. It also allows you to un-install programs and launches a lot faster than Disk Cleanup in Windows System Tools.
This article is admittedly shorty than The Best Free Software Apps and Utilities - Part 1 article I wrote in June. The reason is, that while there are plenty of great, free computer applications out there, I am only recommending the ones that I use on a regular basis. Explore the sites mentioned below. You may find other programs you like even better than the ones I have recommended. If the apps are “shareware” and you use and like them, please don't forget to support their creators.
My favorite site for free downloads is Major Geeks. You can download many of the applications directly from their site or from the link they provide to the authors' sites. Another good site for free downloads is CNET's Download.com.
My latest project involves turning my daughters' Barnes & Noble Nook Color tablets into full blown Android tablets - a dual boot hack that does not void the warranty. The initial response has been very favorable, but I am going to wait a little longer before reaching a verdict or writing a "how to".