Hey! Cisco, the Harwich Spirits Shoppe blogging cat here…
I for one say that for just a little while we set aside the wine waddle and look at four fantastic pieces of freeware. But first, a few words of caution…
- Don’t even think of trying to download this stuff unless you really, really know what you’re doing with a computer. Setup programs are notorious for leading the average user into the weeds and trying to install less-than-free software, toolbars, etc. What follows are rock-solid programs (I regularly use all three), but the installs can be hornets nests if you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t really examine every screen and question! Once again, if you aren’t damned good with a computer, nagware, firewalls… get help! You’ve been warned.
- In general, always do minimal installs… The last thing you need is another toolbar, etc.
- Only download the freeware from cnet… They are by far and away the safest. I’ve provided the links (though those can change.)
- If you foul something up, don’t come sniffling to me, Bruce, or HSS. As I said, I use this stuff all the time on multiple machines, and it’s good mojo. Then again, if you’ve loaded your computer with junk software (gambling/gaming/porn/scam/etc.), don’t even think about it.
Warnings out of the way…
- The first winner is YouTube To MP3 Converter… The name pretty much says it all… Very handy, but beware the toolbar nag screens.
- Next up is Winamp, a great little piece of minimalist media player software. still, it packs both a preamp and an EQ.
- And then there is FastStone, a graphics viewer/editor. The interface takes some getting used to… But once you understand the four disappearing,/re-appearing menus, it’s tough not to love this thing. Like Winamp, I’ve used this forever and found it to be rock solid.
- Finally, we have Audacity – a “take no prisoners” piece of audio engineering software. Like FastStone, I’ve used this both professionally and for private purposes for eons. Sweet…
Well, there you have it… With a bit of care and a sizable dollop of experience and common sense, there’s at least $500 worth of free software standing right in front of you… Enjoy…
Two cats blogging and computing by the racks…
* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.
* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.