Software Preferences

Sc Staff Writer

Students have a lot of priorities to worry about while in college. These priorities range from grades to bank accounts.

According to Campus Technology, 83 percent of college students have a personal computer. Because students are so dependent on technology today, it’s important that students have reliable software.

But why spend hundreds of dollars on software, when there is other reliable software out there for free? Students already live paycheck-to-paycheck, so it’s important to save anywhere possible.

Below is a list of ten software programs that students can download for free.


Apache Open Office

Is Microsoft cheating you of your money? Try Apache Open Office (AOO). AOO is an open-source office suite with available programs like word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more.

Apache Open Office is available in multiple languages. It can save and open most Microsoft Word files. And AOO is available for Windows and Mac.



Gimp is a free program that is most relatable to Photoshop (Ps). The program does just about everything that is available through Ps. Gimp can perform tasks such as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

Gimp is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.



CCleaner is a reliable, trustworthy computer cleaner. This program cleans up your computer to run faster, and protects your privacy online by deleting login information.

This program is quick to download and easy to use. It’s a simple two-click performance that takes only a matter of minutes (Time varies with build-up).

CCleaner is available for Windows and Mac.


Windows Skydrive

Skydrive by Microsoft runs a lot like the iCloud from Apple, except there are a lot more advantages.

Skydrive comes with 7GB of free cloud storage, whereas iCloud only offers 5GB. Skydrive is available for Windows, Mac and mobile devices. Any files in Skydrive can be emailed or shared on Facebook or Twitter. For more advantages, visit



Let’s say your laptop gets stolen on campus. Now what? How are you going to get back your most valuable piece of property?

Easy. Use Prey.  Prey lets you track your computer on a map, lock your computer remotely or turn on the webcam to spy on the thief, among many other options.

Prey can also be used on phones and tablets.


Adblock Plus

Are you getting sick and tired of being interrupted with ads while trying to listen to your favorite music on Youtube? Don’t worry, there’s an ad-on for that.

Adblock Plus (ABP) is the best program out there to prevent those pesky advertisements from interrupting you-time. ABP blocks banners, pop-ups and video ads.

Adblock Plus also helps prevent users from going to the wrong website which may be harmful to computers. For example, if you spell a website wrong, ABP will redirect you to the correct website that you intended to visit. It will then ask you if you meant to go to the misspelled website.



Don’t struggle with creating a wrong works cited page, and don’t get points deducted from your grade for doing it wrong. OttoBib is your key to a successful works cited without the hassle.

Simply enter the ISBN into the dialog box on the main page and choose between MLA, APA and others. Then click, Get Citations. It’s that easy. Did I forget to mention free?



Got a spending problem? Try Mint. It’s a free and easy way to manage your finances.

Mint organizes and categories your spending. It also shows where every cent goes when you purchase something. It even makes money decisions for you that way you have no regrets with your purchases.

Mint is a highly trusted program that uses bank-level security. TRUSTe and Verisign monitor and verify activity on the website. Also, Mint is a “read-only” service, meaning no one, not even you, can touch your money.



Need more than Photoshop basics? Need to create animations and movies like the pros? Try Blender.

Blender allows its users to create 3D projects like video games, images and movies.

The website offers a number of different tutorials and provides a free user manual. The website even has an open forum available to ask questions or find answers.


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