Good Software – Why Pay for it?by Dave Cottrell
Good software is available free, so why pay for good software? Seriously…
I recently wrote several articles about how you can get really good anti-malware for free, and also how you can get just about all the software you will ever need at no cost for most uses.
If you look back, you will see that I said you can get ALMOST anything you will ever need, free.
Finding good, reliable, safe and free software for most of your computing needs is just plain smart business. Every cent you save in any area of your business is money you have for other things that you can budget in, like extra traffic campaigns, or one time ads, or a much needed and well deserved break at the local coffee shop (where you can also develop new contacts.)
However, the word, “almost,” means, “not absolutely all the time.” There may be times when you want software for a particular task that you just can’t find, free.
There are two I will recommend, today. These are both very good, and will save you a lot of headaches if you use them (or at least write them down until you need them!) Neither of these are free, but they are worth every penny of the few dollars they cost. (I am not an affiliate for either.)
The first one is for finding reliable updates for all the many driver files your computer needs to keep running everything. The chances are, if your computer’s audio has stopped working, for example, that it’s not a hardware problem, but a driver problem. Either a driver has become corrupt or it has been accidentally removed.
You may wonder how such a thing could happen. The answer is quite simple. Windows. (As in Microsoft). All those updates they constantly do, while I will grudgingly admit, necessary, sometimes cause SERIOUS problems, themselves. Note that when you buy and register a Windows OS (Operating System), whether a full disk to load yourself, or on a new machine, you agree not to hold them liable if their software causes you problems…
Even on my newest machine, running on the latest version of Windows 7 (one of their better systems), I have STILL had a major crash caused by one of their updates. Fortunately, I make backups and was able to use System Restore, or it would have been a major loss.
IF you lose one or more drivers, or IF you have a major, unrecoverable crash caused by a software glitch or repairable hardware glitch that makes you have to reload your operating system, you will especially love this software. It costs $30 per year, can be used on up to ten computers (you could help your friends or even sell your services) and it works! It’s called Driver Agent and is available at http://www.driveragent.com
When you get to the site, if you click the big Download Now button, it will run a report and tell you all the drivers that are out of date on your computer. You will not be able to access the drivers unless you pay the yearly subscription fee. HINT: If your computer is running fine with the drivers it has, there really is no need to update the drivers. Post a note on your wall with this URL for when you need it!
Driver Agent has saved me hundreds and hundreds of dollars in repair bills over the years, and in fact, has been very useful for me when I have been repairing computers for other folks.
The other software I highly recommend, and in fact, I recommend you download today, if you can afford it. (If you can’t, start a change jar to save up for it. Just put a jar on your shelf with a slotted lid, and toss all your change in there when you come home from the store. You’ll save enough faster than you might think!)
This one is called Registry Wizard and is available via CNET at http://download.cnet.com/RegistryWizard/3000-2094_4-75181913.html
If you have been following earlier recommendations, you will already have a program called, CCleaner on your computer. That one is free, and has an excellent registry cleaner included with it, that will remove and/or repair most problems with your registry. Most people will run their computer for years using only that cleaner.
However, if you’re a heavy user like I am, you will greatly benefit from using Registry Wizard. What I suggest is that you run CCleaner first, then run the free scan from Registry Wizard. Their free scan will not allow you to do any fixes, but it will tell you if there are any problems missed by CCleaner.
I use both. The one will pick up what the other misses. Generally speaking, I run Registry Wizard first, because it will almost always get all the errors and fix them. What it will not do as well as CCleaner is clean up the junk, like empty or broken files left over from repairs. With both, running a scan at least once a week, I can keep my computer running at peak performance.
HINT: If your computer is running slow, take the time to run these scans and defrag. It will save you hours of frustration in the long run. If you have Ultradefrag loaded and set to run at startup, I would suggest the following order:
- Run Registry Wizard
- Run CCleaner
- Restart your computer (with Ultradefrag enable for startup)
Saving money by using high quality, consumer and geek rated software, such as you can get at Filehippo.com or CNET.com is a very good idea and is “found money” that you can put to good use elsewhere.
Paying a few dollars for peer-reviewed software that will speed up your computer and save you hours of searching for missing or corrupt drivers (or that will tell you if the drivers are your problem) is also money very well spent.
Sometimes it’s much cheaper to spend a little money on good software than it is to lose production time in a frustrating search for a cure!