Free Adobe Photoshop alternative Artweaver

Artweaver is a powerful photo editor with an interface that looks like Photoshop and nearly as capable. The comprehensive list of incorporated filters (Ripple, Whirl, Waves, Lens, Add noise, Filmgrain, Oilify, Oldlook, Solarize, Emboss, Textures, Blur, Rendering, etc) will allow you to create sketches and artworks from simple photos in no time. You will be able to use a variety of brushes to retouch imperfections or add depth to the photos using a classic technique called Impasto,where the user gets to specify the amount of shine, exposure, smoothing and depth through a drop down menu, layer support makes it easy to work with special effects.

Artweaver has its own file format called .Awd but it can open and save photos using Adobe Photoshop .psd format too, if you are working in collaboration with someone using different software it should not be a problem, support for pen tablets means that you can use this software in any device.

Photoshop alternative ArtWeaver
Photoshop alternative ArtWeaver

One of the best features is Artweaver Team to connect with friends over the Internet and work simultaneously on the same image, you will need to open an account first and after logging into a team session all events will be synchronized with the other people, a simple built-in chat let’s you communicate with your buddies.

If you have used Photoshop before you will feel at home with Artweaver, with the tools positioned in the same place, even shortcuts, and if you are a beginner the included help manual with screenshots will quickly put you to work, this software is suitable for both, beginners and professionals. You can upgrade to a paid for Artweaver Plus if you need to load and run Photoshop compatible filters, saving presets, EXIF metadata support, custom palettes and other high end properties.

Visit ArtWeaver homepage

Free Windows junk cleaner and optimizer JetClean

JetClean is a Windows junk cleaner suite to optimize your PC and protect your privacy, its tabbed interface and one click approach make it easy and painless to clean up your computer redundant files. Once you have JetClean set up, it can be instructed to automatically remove temporary files every time you log on, at an specific time or when the computer is idle, any changes made to the computer are logged in case you want to review them later on.

This optimization tool will take care of the operating system temporary files and Internet browser improving your computer performance and reducing online tracking by regularly getting rid of browser cookies. Files listed as deleted include memory dumps, old prefetch data, thumbnail cache, Windows log files, non-existent shortcuts, clipboard and files created by applications such as Java, Foxit Reader, Flash player, Shockwave and Adobe Air.

Windows junk cleaner JeatClean
Windows junk cleaner JeatClean

What I liked most of this software is that you can select browser cookies from safe websites, like webmail or search engines containing your preferences, and place them on a never erased list. The one click approach makes this junk cleaner one of the fastest in the market, it got rid of all my junk files in just two clicks, one to scan the computer and the other, after reviewing the listed problems found by scan, to erase the files.

You can create a portable USB version of JetClean after installing it, I failed to see too much use to that though, the paid for version of JetClean adds registry defragmentation and Internet booster, unless you play online games probably not needed, overall, this is a simple, light on resources junk cleaner good enough for those who want an easy life and have no serious privacy needs (files are not securely wiped only erased), I would feel relaxed recommending this software to someone who knows nothing about computers.

Visit JeatClean homepage

Free Windows registry cleaner Registry Life

The Windows registry is a database that stores hardware and software settings for the Windows operating system to operate, over the time the registry will grow in size containing old and invalid information,  a registry cleaner optimizes this database getting rid of invalid entries left by uninstalled programs. Advanced registry cleaners can also defrag it compacting the entries, this makes the system more organized and speeds up accessibility.

Registry Life is a free Windows registry cleaner capable of fixing errors, defragmenting the registry and compacting it, it will remove invalid entries, check file associations, dynamic link libraries and registered applications key entries.

Free Windows Registry cleaner Registry Life
Free Windows Registry cleaner Registry Life

Registry Life guides you through the process of cleaning with a two step wizard, it will automatically create a backup of deleted keys for later restoration in case something goes wrong, the frequency of use depends on how often the computer is operated, I am the average user and I run a registry cleaner once a month.

Registry Life main features

  • Searching and fixing for more than 10 different registry errors
  • Compacting the Windows registry loading it faster into memory
  • Registry defragmentation increasing operating system registry access

Read everything carefully during installation as it will ask you if you want to install trial versions of different tools made by the same developer, it managed to install one unwanted program in my computer because I did not uncheck the box, it is not spyware and can be easily be removed.

Visit Registry Life homepage

List of best alternatives to Windows Notepad

AkelPad: Open source editor for plain text, designed to be small and fast, supports multi window mode, Unicode text, preview of files before printing, drag and drop, syntax highlight (via plugin), user created colour schemes and much more.

Akelpad free Notepad replacement
Akelpad free Notepad replacement

TED Notepad: Highly configurable Notepad editor with autosave, Ted Notepad is targeted at advanced users with most of its functions having a hotkey, appearance (font&background colour) can easily be changed in settings. Text formatting, HTML support, search&replace, full screen, etc.

Free lightweight text editor TEDNotepad
Free lightweight text editor TEDNotepad

Notepad2: Light weight (560Kb) Notepad like text editor with syntax highlighting, it can be run in portable mode without installation and it will not leave any trace in the Windows registry. Supported syntax includes  HTML, XML, CSS, VBScript, CGI, SQL query, this editor is ideal for web authoring.

Windows Notepad replacement Notepad2
Windows Notepad replacement Notepad2

MetaPad: Portable multilingual editor (GPL licensed) that will save the settings on the USB thumbdrive not leaving any data behind. It has persistent window placement, find and replace text, Unix text file support, recent file list, hyperlink support and dual font.

Metapad text editor
Metapad text editor

EditPad Lite: General purpose text editor to edit any kind of text file, it has a tabbed interface to work with many files at once, automatic back up to prevent data loss, search and replace feature, undo/redo editing,  full Unicode support and it works with Windows and Unix text strings.

EditPad Lite text editor
EditPad Lite text editor

Notepad ++: Open source Windows Notepad replacement editor based on Scintilla, a powerful programmers editor, Notepad ++ has a numerous community and is actively in development, features can be extended via plugins, expect a spell checker, FTP client, and macros.

Developer text editor Notepad ++
Developer text editor Notepad ++

PSPad: Free editor for developers, it can be used as a web authoring tool to create webpages or IDE compiler for programmers, macros can be used to automate repetitive tasks, it comes with an HEX editor, FTP client and Macro recorder, this editor is best suited for people into web development (programmers).

PSPad free editor
PSPad free editor

Vim Editor: Very geeky cross platform (Linux, BSD, Windows) text editor widely used by developers. Multiple clipboards, macros support, powerful configurable search capabilities, built-in scripting engines to automate tasks, sophisticated keyboard short-cuts and portable.

Vim editor
Vim editor

Review Windows defrag alternative SmartDefrag

As you use your operating system files will get scattered all over the hard disk in no time, this process is known as defragmentation and it slows down the operating system as it has to gather together the files you want to access.

iObit SmartDefrag is a powerful configurable alternative to Windows built-in defragmenter, it will analyze your hard disk level of defragmentation before the scan, showing a coloured block map of your hard drive with the files location. SmartDefrag will work in the background placing the most used files into the fastest area of the drive, this is known as streamlining the file system.

iObit SmartDefrag Windows defrag alternative
iObit SmartDefrag Windows defrag alternative

An easy to use skinnable tabbed interface with transparency lets you switch in between the different options, there are four tabs, one shows you the drive file map, another shows automatic defragmentation resource usage, another shows Boot Time Defrag options, like defragmentation of the hibernation and page file, another tab shows a detailed report of  the number of fragmented files and where they can be found.

An always on option guarantees you that SmartDefrag will work silently in the background, the default options (can be changed) activate disk defragmentation when the computer has been idle for 5 minutes and pauses it if the computer is using over 60% of its resources, this stops SmartDefrag from affecting disk performance while you are using it , alternatively defragmentation can be scheduled or run on demand and if you want to stop certain file from being defragmented, it can be manually excluded or use a checkbox in SmartDefrag to stop it from moving files bigger than a certain fixed size.

While there are many free defrag utilities, iObit SmartDefrag has been specially designed for modern large hard drives giving you maximum speed, and it is one of the few that can be instructed to defrag at boot time, allowing for the defragmentation of Windows system files that can not be moved while the operating system is in use.

Note: There is no need to defragment solid state disks or memory sticks.

Visit iObit SmartDefrag homepage

Portable task organizer GeeTeeDee

GeeTeeDee is an easy to use task manager where you can create groups to classify your notes/tasks, dragging and dropping notes or typing them directly, the task manager view can be compacted, with just a single click hiding an extended window, this tool doesn’t require administrator rights to run and it needs a humble 12MB of hard disk space, it is available for Windows and Linux with a Mac version coming soon.

GeeTeeDee portable task manager
GeeTeeDee portable task manager

GeeTeeDee has a very clean interface making it easy for you to see and organize your notes, after deleting a note GeeTeeDee sends it to a trash bin from where it be recovered unless you empty it, groups of tasks can be exported as .txt file, the logos are very eye candy, this a task manager with lots of simplicity which is what it makes it to stand out of the crowd, but if you are a really busy person you will want to look at something else as there is no sync, no mobile version and no alarm sound warning you of upcoming appointments.

GeeTeeDee main selling point is that it is portable, free and effortless, an ideal reminder software for the home user or someone who travels and needs to take it on a thumb drive.

Visit GeeTeeDee homepage

Free web editor program Website X5

Website X5 is a free WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web editor, there is no need to know about any HTML code or CSS (Cascade Style Sheets), a wizard guides you through the process of creating a website, the user just needs to add text and images and if you get confused, there is a complete help manual and video tutorials showing you how to build a website.

The program is suitable for personal websites made by people with zero knowledge of web design, some web templates are included and they can be customized (header, menu layout and colour), the most adventurous users can add flash animations or videos if they wish so. Packs of web templates based on specific themes can be bought if needed, they include web layouts customized for small businesses, sports, technology, travel, artistic, etc.

Free web editor Website X5
Free web editor Website X5

Once the website is finished you can upload it to your webhost using Website X5 built-in FTP client or export it as .html to your hard disk, the paid for version of the software also allows you to export the whole project but unless you intend to create many websites this is not necessary. The step by step guide to create your website includes adding meta tags like website keywords, headers and “alt” image tag description, attributes that are not visible to the surfers but important to get your website indexed by search engines.

Website X5 free edition features

  • Creates standard HMTL5 code and CSS2.1/3
  • It can build websites of up to 10 pages
  • Comes with 100 free templates included
  • Basic text and image editor

This free web editor allows anyone to create a simple website, if you want a family, hobby or personal club site it will do a good job and save you money, to create a business website you will need to upgrade to their paid for version that comes with tools for e-commerce.

Visit Website X5 homepage