This article will show you: 1. How to avoid wasting your time with FREE stuff! 2. How to identify real bargains! 3. Some top FREE programs and services
Entering "Free Stuff" in Alta Vista will yield a colossal 521,442 results. Over half a million web pages! Here are some guidelines to sift wheat from chaff.
1) Beware of programs written by amateurs and enthusiasts unless you particularly enjoy experimenting with your computer. If you are running a business you probably don't have time. Any program with very basic readme files or little or no support files I avoid like plague. Experience has taught me they waste time trying to work out how to use them, they jam up registry files on computer and don't uninstall properly if at all. This kind of FREE stuff can turn your computer into a mess, degrading performance of other programs. If you do want to try them out, keep a separate partition on your hard disk dedicated for that purpose.
2) Don't get side tracked with shareware. If you are prepared to pay for programs, fine, look at shareware. After a brief trial period you will often be expected to pay for full version. Personally, I don't spend time on these unless I am looking for something specific, or shareware program is particularly good.
3) Subscribe to one or two good lists to keep you informed of FREE stuff. I get these delivered to my mailbox every week, spend about two minutes looking through headings and if something really catches my eye, I investigate using criteria above. A good one is: http://www.jumbo.com
How to identify REAL bargains? If program comes from a professional, well established company you are on to a winner. A 30 second look at their web site will tell you what kind of outfit it is. If a generous help file is supplied or if regular updates are published, you know program is here to stay and it is worth investing time and energy in learning it. An example is Pegasus Mail, mentioned in top FREE programs below. I was tempted to buy Eudora Pro. I had used free Lite version and really liked it. Fortunately, just before I parted with cash, I discovered Pegasus. This program does everything Eudora Pro would do for me and it is FREE. An unbelievable bargain. It is now my default mail handler.
Take a look through this list of top FREE programs and services. There is gold here:
EMAIL HANDLER Pegasus Mail is an excellent email program. Multiple signature files, multiple filters, various identities for multiple email accounts, spell check, it is all here in one easy to use program. http://www.pmail.com
EMAIL MERGE WorldMerge sends personalized messages to mailing lists. A brief advertisement is included at foot of message when using FREE version. Unless that is a major problem for you, this program is an absolute bargain! http://www.coloradosoft.com/associate-jump.cgi?ID=2085
TRAFFIC ANALYSIS A very comprehensive report is emailed to you every day giving a complete breakdown of visitors to your web site, their movements through site and where they are coming from. This information is essential for a successful marketing campaign. http://www.websitetrafficreport.com