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Some of my favourite, no strings attached, FREE GOODIES!

Thought I’d take a break from my regular navel-gazing introspection style of writing and share a few of my favourite freebies as a gesture of appreciation for my lovely readers. After all, who doesn’t like free stuff?!

So, in no particular order, I present to you my list of free goodies. Enjoy! 🙂

Software Freebies

Convert for Windows

I’ve been using this little piece of software for years – every time I get a new computer, whether at home or at work, this is one of the first programs I install! You wouldn’t believe how often it comes in handy. From their web site:

Convert is a free and easy to use unit conversion program that will convert the most popular units of distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass, power, density, pressure, energy and many others, including the ability to create custom conversions!

Photoscape

This is another program I’ve been using for years, mostly for cropping and resizing photos. It probably does a lot more than I’ve ever used it for!

Gimp: The GNU Image Manipulation Program

Can’t justify the expense of Photoshop? Try Gimp! From their web site:

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

Kindle Freebies

“But I don’t have a Kindle!” you might protest. Pssst… here’s a little secret: You don’t actually have to have a Kindle to be able to download and read e-books from Amazon.com! Seriously, it’s true! You can download Free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, Windows PC, Mac, BlackBerry, iPad, Android, or Windows Phone 7, and then take advantage of the hundreds and hundreds (thousands, even?) of free e-books on offer.

When you’re ready to start downloading all those wonderful free books, there are several ways to find them. One method is to visit the Amazon Kindle eBooks Store and use “Free” as the search term. Free public domain e-books are also available from volunteer-managed Project Gutenberg, Project Gutenberg Canada, and Project Gutenberg Australia.

As well, I highly recommend a couple of excellent organizations which, in addition to several other services available on their individual web sites, will deliver links to some of the most popular free e-books directly to your Inbox via daily e-mail digests:

eReaderIQ

From their web site:

eReaderIQ provides Amazon Kindle price drop alerts, watches your favorite titles to let you know when they are available for Kindle, and gives you a regularly updated list of all non-public domain freebies on Amazon.com. We also offer a superior search engine which not only lets you search the Kindle store by genre and keyword, but also lets you define the price range, reader age, language and more!

And, I almost forgot the most important thing: eReaderIQ is a free service (with the exception of our sponsored listings).

Pixel of Ink

From their web site:

The section “Free Kindle Books” on Pixel of Ink includes Limited Time Offers and often forgotten but Popular Classics. Grab these books while you can – most of these books are available for a Limited Time only!

Free & Bargain eBooks are published every single day on Pixel of Ink. It’s quick and easy to subscribe, and you can subscribe to which ever methods suit you best, even all of them if you prefer!

Personal observation: When it comes to free e-books, your mileage will vary. But since I’ve had my Kindle and started exploring the e-book world, I’ve come across some real gems that I never would have discovered had it not been for the above services.

Go on, give them a try!

Calibre – E-book management

This item could have been included in the “Software” section above, but since it specifically relates to e-books I thought I’d include it with the Kindle Freebies (though it also works with the other varieties of e-books and e-book readers). From their web site:

calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It has a cornucopia of features divided into the following main categories:

  • Library Management
  • E-book conversion
  • Syncing to e-book reader devices
  • Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
  • Comprehensive e-book viewer
  • Content server for online access to your book collection

I’ve found Calibre especially handy for converting PDFs into a more readable format for my Kindle.

Music Freebies

Puretracks

Sign up for the Puretracks newsletter (delivered via e-mail) and receive a free track every week. I’ve been introduced to some excellent songs and great artists through this newsletter over the past few years!

iTunes

If you use iTunes, you may have discovered this already, but just in case you haven’t, or would like to take advantage of it… once a week (Tuesday, in my neck of the woods) the iTunes Store offers a free track, often a free music video, and (in Canada) a “Chanson de la semaine” (a free track from a Francophone artist or band). (I’m not sure what else is on offer in the US – I’d love to find out, though, so chime in if you know!)

Organizational Tip: I’ve set up a recurring item in my Outlook Task List that reminds me to check for and download the weekly iTunes freebies, so I don’t miss out!

I think that about covers it for this particular treasure chest of free goodies. I had a lot of fun putting the list together, and I hope you’ll be able find at least one thing that’s new-to-you and makes your life just a wee bit more enjoyable. You deserve it! 🙂

Do you have any beloved, tried and true freebies to add to the list? Please share in the comments section!

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

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