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Don't Spend a Dime: The Path to Low-Cost Computing

Book Description

Stop paying for software. A world full of high-quality software is out there that you don't have to spend a dime for. If you've just spent your entire computing budget on a PC only to find that you need software to do anything interesting, this is the book that will show you how to get what you need without wreaking havoc on your finances. Install the right software to make a great work computer for no extra cost.

Packed with the practical, hands-on guidance and technical know-how that you've come to expect from Apress, Don't Spend A Dime: The Path to Low-Cost Computing takes you on a tour of the very best zero-cost software in each of the many categories that matter to the typical PC user. Learn to edit photos on the Internet without having to install any software at all. Find out where to get a free office suite for word processing and spreadsheet work. Whatever your need, James Kelly, best-selling technology author, guides you through the exciting and often confusing world of zero-cost computing. This book

  • Tells you what you need to install to have a fantastic work computer without spending a dime

  • Saves you money by showing you how to meet your computing needs

  • Saves you time by pointing you directly to the best free software

  • Saves you work by illustrating the most commonly performed tasks with each zero-cost software

  • Gives you choices and the ability to make your own decisions for your own needs and requirements

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. About the Technical Reviewer
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. What Type of Software Do You Want?
    2. Contact the Author
  6. 1. The Best Things in Life
    1. 1.1. Software Wants to Be Free
    2. 1.2. Software Will Be Free
    3. 1.3. Open Source
    4. 1.4. Software as a Service
    5. 1.5. No-Strings-Attached Freebie
    6. 1.6. But What About the PC?
    7. 1.7. Summary
  7. 2. The PC Element
    1. 2.1. To Buy or Not to Buy (with Apologies to William)
      1. 2.1.1. Upgrade or Repurpose an Existing PC
      2. 2.1.2. Build a PC
      3. 2.1.3. Buy a PC
      4. 2.1.4. Great News: Free Software Means More Hardware
    2. 2.2. Five PC User Types
    3. 2.3. Two Steps to Identifying Your Hardware Needs
      1. 2.3.1. Step 1: Find a Prebuilt PC
      2. 2.3.2. Step 2: Obtain Prices for Individual Components
    4. 2.4. Hardware Focus by User Type
      1. 2.4.1. Type 2, Family Member's PC
      2. 2.4.2. Type 3, Gamer's PC
      3. 2.4.3. Type 4, Multimedia Guru's PC
      4. 2.4.4. Type 5, Small Business Owner's PC
    5. 2.5. Summary
  8. 3. Word Processing
    1. 3.1. The Defender
    2. 3.2. The Contenders
      1. 3.2.1. OpenOffice.org Writer
      2. 3.2.2. Google Docs Document
    3. 3.3. Where to Get the Software
      1. 3.3.1. OpenOffice.org Writer
      2. 3.3.2. Google Docs Document
    4. 3.4. Notes on OpenOffice.org Installation
    5. 3.5. Word Processing Features
      1. 3.5.1. OpenOffice.org Writer Features
        1. 3.5.1.1. Add a Logo to a Business Letter
        2. 3.5.1.2. Save Your Work As a PDF Document
        3. 3.5.1.3. Create a Simple Table
      2. 3.5.2. Google Docs Document Features
        1. 3.5.2.1. Collaborate on a Document with a Friend
        2. 3.5.2.2. Create Folders to Organize Your Documents
        3. 3.5.2.3. Download the File from Google Docs to Your PC
    6. 3.6. Investigate Further
    7. 3.7. Summary
  9. 4. Spreadsheets
    1. 4.1. The Defender
    2. 4.2. The Contenders
      1. 4.2.1. OpenOffice.org Calc
      2. 4.2.2. Google Docs Spreadsheet
    3. 4.3. Where to Get the Software
      1. 4.3.1. OpenOffice.org Calc
      2. 4.3.2. Google Docs Spreadsheet
    4. 4.4. Notes on OpenOffice.org Calc Installation
    5. 4.5. Spreadsheet Features
      1. 4.5.1. OpenOffice.org Calc Features
        1. 4.5.1.1. Jazz Up Your Spreadsheet with Colored Column Headers
        2. 4.5.1.2. Publish Your Spreadsheet As a Web Page
        3. 4.5.1.3. Find a Formula/Function and Apply It to a Spreadsheet
      2. 4.5.2. Google Docs Spreadsheet Features
        1. 4.5.2.1. Create a Chart
        2. 4.5.2.2. Publish Your Spreadsheet
    6. 4.6. Investigate Further
    7. 4.7. Summary
  10. 5. Slide Shows
    1. 5.1. The Defender
    2. 5.2. The Contenders
      1. 5.2.1. OpenOffice.org Impress
      2. 5.2.2. Google Docs Presentation
    3. 5.3. Where to Get the Software
      1. 5.3.1. OpenOffice.org Impress
      2. 5.3.2. Google Docs Presentation
    4. 5.4. Notes on OpenOffice.org Impress Installation
    5. 5.5. Slide Show Application Features
      1. 5.5.1. OpenOffice.org Impress Features
        1. 5.5.1.1. Add Video to a Slide
        2. 5.5.1.2. Modify a Slide with Drawing Tools
      2. 5.5.2. Google Docs Presentation Features
        1. 5.5.2.1. Change a Slide Show Theme
        2. 5.5.2.2. Insert a Picture and Video
        3. 5.5.2.3. Publish Your Presentation
    6. 5.6. Investigate Further
    7. 5.7. Summary
  11. 6. E-Mail and Calendar
    1. 6.1. The Defender
    2. 6.2. The Contenders
      1. 6.2.1. Gmail
      2. 6.2.2. Google Calendar
    3. 6.3. Where to Get the Software
      1. 6.3.1. Gmail
      2. 6.3.2. Google Calendar
    4. 6.4. Notes on Basic Usage
      1. 6.4.1. Gmail
      2. 6.4.2. Google Calendar
    5. 6.5. E-Mail and Calendar Features
      1. 6.5.1. Gmail Features
        1. 6.5.1.1. Set Up and Use Labels
        2. 6.5.1.2. View and Enable/Disable Special Options
        3. 6.5.1.3. Add a Contact
      2. 6.5.2. Google Calendar Features
        1. 6.5.2.1. Create an Appointment with Text Messaging
        2. 6.5.2.2. Receive Text Message Reminders on Your Mobile Phone
        3. 6.5.2.3. Share Your Calendar
    6. 6.6. Investigate Further
    7. 6.7. Summary
  12. 7. Photo Editing
    1. 7.1. The Defender
    2. 7.2. The Contender
    3. 7.3. Where to Get the Software
    4. 7.4. Notes on GIMP Installation
    5. 7.5. Basic GIMP Tasks
      1. 7.5.1. Add Text to a Photo
      2. 7.5.2. Drop Someone into a Photo
    6. 7.6. Investigate Further
    7. 7.7. Summary
  13. 8. Graphics
    1. 8.1. The Defender
    2. 8.2. The Contender
    3. 8.3. Where to Get the Software
    4. 8.4. Notes on Inkscape Installation
    5. 8.5. Basic Inkscape Tasks
      1. 8.5.1. Adjust Your Screen Settings
      2. 8.5.2. Add Basic Shapes
      3. 8.5.3. Free Drawing
      4. 8.5.4. Use Layers
      5. 8.5.5. Perform Other Drawing Tasks
    6. 8.6. Investigate Further
    7. 8.7. Summary
  14. 9. Virus Protection
    1. 9.1. The Defender
    2. 9.2. The Contender
    3. 9.3. Where to Get the Software
    4. 9.4. Notes on AAP Installation
    5. 9.5. Basic AAP Tasks
      1. 9.5.1. Run a Complete System Scan
      2. 9.5.2. Schedule Routine Scans
    6. 9.6. Investigate Further
    7. 9.7. Summary
  15. 10. Data Backup
    1. 10.1. Your Valuable Data
    2. 10.2. The Defender
    3. 10.3. The Contender
    4. 10.4. Where to Get the Software
    5. 10.5. Notes on Cobian Backup Installation
    6. 10.6. Basic Cobian Backup Tasks
      1. 10.6.1. Back Up Files and Folders
        1. 10.6.1.1. Create a Backup Task
        2. 10.6.1.2. Run a Backup
      2. 10.6.2. Restore Files and Folders
    7. 10.7. Investigate Further
    8. 10.8. Summary
  16. 11. Personal Finance
    1. 11.1. The Defender
    2. 11.2. The Contender
    3. 11.3. Where to Get the Software
    4. 11.4. Notes on Money Manager Ex Installation
    5. 11.5. Basic Money Manager Ex Tasks
      1. 11.5.1. Create a Database
      2. 11.5.2. Import Financial Transactions
        1. 11.5.2.1. Download and Prepare Your Financial Data
        2. 11.5.2.2. Import the CVS File
      3. 11.5.3. Examine Your Personal Finances
    6. 11.6. Investigate Further
    7. 11.7. Summary
  17. 12. Gaming
    1. 12.1. The Defender
    2. 12.2. The Contender
    3. 12.3. Where to Get the Software
    4. 12.4. Notes on Runes of Magic Installation
    5. 12.5. A Sampling of Runes of Magic Activities
      1. 12.5.1. Accept a Quest
      2. 12.5.2. Rent a Mount (Horse)
      3. 12.5.3. Change Weapons
    6. 12.6. Investigate Further
    7. 12.7. Summary
  18. 13. Photo Management
    1. 13.1. What Is Picasa?
    2. 13.2. Where Can I Find Picasa?
    3. 13.3. How Do I Use Picasa?
      1. 13.3.1. Use the Photo Tray
      2. 13.3.2. Tag Photos
    4. 13.4. More Great Picasa Features
      1. 13.4.1. Back Up Your Photos
      2. 13.4.2. Eliminate Duplicate Photos
      3. 13.4.3. Create Your Own Screen Saver
      4. 13.4.4. Remove Red Eye from a Digital Photo
    5. 13.5. Investigate Further
    6. 13.6. Summary
  19. 14. Internet Phone Calls
    1. 14.1. What Is Skype?
    2. 14.2. Where Can I Find Skype?
    3. 14.3. How Do I Use Skype?
      1. 14.3.1. Add Contacts
      2. 14.3.2. Make a Call
    4. 14.4. More Skype Functionality
      1. 14.4.1. Send Text Messages to Your Contacts
      2. 14.4.2. Set Your Status
      3. 14.4.3. Make a Video Phone Call
    5. 14.5. Investigate Further
    6. 14.6. Summary
  20. 15. Web Logs
    1. 15.1. What Is Blogger?
    2. 15.2. Where Can I Find Blogger?
    3. 15.3. How Do I Use Blogger?
    4. 15.4. More Blogger Details
      1. 15.4.1. Modify the Blog Layout
      2. 15.4.2. Turn on AdSense to Make Money
    5. 15.5. Investigate Further
    6. 15.6. Summary
  21. 16. Social Networking
    1. 16.1. What Is Facebook?
    2. 16.2. Where Can I Find Facebook?
    3. 16.3. How Do I Use Facebook?
      1. 16.3.1. Edit Your Profile
      2. 16.3.2. Use the Wall
    4. 16.4. More Facebook Details
      1. 16.4.1. Find People You Know
      2. 16.4.2. Add an Application
    5. 16.5. Investigate Further
    6. 16.6. Summary
  22. 17. Group Scheduling
    1. 17.1. What Is Doodle?
    2. 17.2. Where Can I Find Doodle?
    3. 17.3. How Do I Use Doodle?
    4. 17.4. More Doodle Details
    5. 17.5. Investigate Further
    6. 17.6. Summary
  23. A. Appendix
    1. A.1. Get Friendly Reminders
    2. A.2. Protect Your E-Mail Address
    3. A.3. Brainstorm Online
    4. A.4. Find Lost Items
    5. A.5. Selective Web Page Printing
    6. A.6. Send Musical Online Postcards
    7. A.7. Design a Room
    8. A.8. Ship and Track Packages
    9. A.9. Create a Web Site
    10. A.10. Hard Drive Imaging
    11. A.11. Child-Safe Web Browsing