Great Freebies

By: Walter Metcalf
Date: 10/18/00

This week you can put away your wallet and your checkbook! Freebies! As your Guide, I have waded through the Internet archives and come up with some great free software. I have stayed away from crippleware and pre-releases or betas of commercial software or shareware: the programs I chose were written by the authors as freeware. If you use these programs, I'm sure the author(s) would appreciate an email expressing your thanks.

Here are the programs, listed in no particular order.

  1. Zip and Unzip from Info-zip.
    These utilities are so common we take them for granted, but it's worth noting their DOS predecessor, Pkzip, cost $47!

  2. Netscape 4.61 for OS/2 from IBM and Netscape
    IBM isn't all bad! Although future versions of Netscape may not be free, in accordance with IBM's change in policy, refreshes to v4.61 have been moved off Software Choice and remain free. It also likely (this is just my opinion) that future Convenience Paks will contain new versions of Netscape without additional charge. (To download the latest refresh, go to Refresh for Netscape Communicator 4.61).

  3. Acrobat Reader from Adobe
    The 3.0 version of Adobe reader is still free, full of features, and is required for reading many IBM OS/2 documents. It can be used either as a stand-alone program, or as a plug-in for Netscape.

  4. BootOS/2 by Ken Kahn
    IMO every OS/2 user should use this program to create a maintenance partition and/or emergency boot disks. A maintenance partition, (a small bootable partition containing a minimal OS/2 and possibly a WPS) is a life-saver when something happens to your main partition or when you need to perform some maintenance (hence its name) to it such as running CHKDSK. According to a recent post on the OS2User discussion list, a modified version BootOS/2 will be released with eComStation.

  5. PPPDial by Don Russell
    For those who, for whatever reason, don't want to invest in an alternate dialler, this freebie can transform the supplied DOIP, or even allow you to eliminate it altogether!

  6. FAT32.IFS by Henk Kelder
    For the growing number of users who have both OS/2 and Windows 9x on their systems, this little freebie could be a life-saver. It allows the OS/2 user to read and write the specially formatted Windows FAT32 partitions.

  7. DCPY by Jason Shannon
    An oldie but goodie, this little program makes copying floppies a snap. Features PM interface, auto-detection, and more! Oh, did I mention it's also very fast?

  8. Memsize by Rick Papo
    The author has undertaken to bring this old faithful program up-to-date, in particular to accommodate the changes made by Fixpak 13 (and later). This program continuously displays an amazing array of information about your system's operations: no. of tasks, space left on each disk, real and virtual memory used, and of course how heavily your processor is loaded. Good news for all of us! For more information, see the Memsize Beta Page .

  9. Ezirc
    Chat for free! Ezirc is a free, full-featured chat program that's easy to set up.

  10. Xitami
    This portable server is too good to be omitted! It's multi-threaded and supports HTTP 1.0, ftp, cgi, server-side includes, logging, security, and a host of other features.

  11. Sysbench
    So just how fast is your new killer machine compared to your neighbour's? Sysbench will answer that question for you. You can even post your score on the Internet for all to see!

  12. ConfigTool
    This amazing tool tells everything you want to know and were afraid to ask about your config.sys ... including what you may have done wrong and how to correct it! Based on a database which is regularly updated.

Well, folks, that's my list. Sometime I would like to do another feature entitled something like More Great Freebies, based on YOUR suggestions. Please email me with your nominations along with a URL where I can download it from; when I get enough input, I'll write the feature. Please don't nominate crippleware, pre-releases, or betas of commercial software or shareware. Including programs of those types could result in the list and article quickly becoming out-of-date.

Walter Metcalf

For Further Reading:

@Macarlo's Display of the New Memsize
@Macarlo's desktop containing a full window display of the new Memsize with most or all of its features.

Communicator for OS/2 Bug-Tracker
This site should be on every OS/2 user's bookmark list. It tracks current bugs, what has been fixed in the current release, what has been broken, and what remains unfixed.

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