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Monday, 9 March 2015

Me and the last free version of softwares

Have you ever updated a program, only to notice at least one essential feature (or even the entire software) isn't free anymore? That has happened to me several times. Although developers should honour their last free version and keep the download for at least a year or so, that is not always the case. Here I will be describing multiple software that were once free to use without added limitations or other annoyances:
  1. Freemake Video Converter The last free version of this video converter without a promotional frame added to every converted video longer than 5 minutes. I once stuck to it due to features such as Nvidia CUDA, adjustable file size, and the ability to let me choose which audio or subtitles to keep. Turns out the first gave little performance benefit compared to just multi-core support, and the rest is available or better in ShanaEncoder. Althoug I somewhat miss the simplicity and efficiency of Freemake, ShanaEncoder serves my needs better with native subtitles support (not just ugly burned-in ones) and whatnot.
  2. Parted Magic 2013_08_01: Before suddenly going commercial with little to no warning (from what I remember), Parted Magic was once one of the best free rescue toolkits you can boot from a USB drive or CD. They suddenly and abruptly removed all download links from the official website, keeping not even a checksum for us to verify the authenticity of third-part downloads. Although I really feel like boycotting this program at first, eventually I came to terms with what the developer did and continue to use the last free version when necessary.
  3. AXTM Time Machine Although a beta, it is a fully functional version of this amazing software that meant to go commercial in the end due to the requirement of funds. For Windows 7 machines, I've personally seen it run well, but would recommend everyone to upgrade to the newest version for better features, support, and of course aiding the developers. Having already explained what it does in my previous article about disk imaging, I fully recommend everyone giving this software a try. It will save you tons of time.
  4. WPS Office Also a beta, the last free fully-functional version of a once great free office software. They've recently introduced a 30-day trial, after that ends you lose basic features such as saving in DOCX, and I've even heard of reports of watermarked images once you print. Although I still keep it today, because its compatibility with Microsoft Office is remarkable, LibreOffice has made great strides towards that and will eventually replace it on my machine once a killer feature come out.
  5. HitmanPro.Alert This one is actually not much of a loss compared to the others, but a step backwards regarding the free version nonetheless. The last RC version of the new revolutionary HMP.A with CryptoGuard and Process Protection still free, but it is still a capable freeware as described in a previous article. Like AX64, I would recommend purchasing this awesome software to support the developers so that your machine will be that much more bulletproof against exploits, which is pretty much the only danger left to non-click-happy users. Also helps you in case you actually installed CryptoLocker or whatnot.
There may be more since my memory is not the best, but that is what I remember using. As always, spend your money wisely, and enjoy the rest of the day! Later.

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