Looking for Software!


This website contains a large list of "Alternative" Software. The vast majority of software listed here is Free or Open Source and surprisingly as good or better than similar commercial software.

What's New.   Last Updated October 12th, 2008

New Rating System!

I've started adding the ability for the visitors of this site to give a 1 to 5 star rating to each program listing that has a screen shot. It's pretty neato kool, but it's going to take a while to get all the pages updated with the necessary code changes. So please bear with me while these changes go into affect.

This Star Rating System is very easy to use. Simply click on the number of stars you wish to rate a particular program and your selection is recorded, and the Average Rating is recalculated in real time. It's a simple bit of code and as such can't be completely accurate, but I think it's good enough for now. I am keeping my eye out for some good CMS program that will make this site easy to manage and hopefully provide a lot more functionality in the not too distant future.

Next on the agenda is to add a link to allow you guys to Suggest a program for inclusion in The Ultimate Software Index. At the same time I'll also impliment a standard Feedback form so you will have some way of reporting problems or just saying Howdy..


But what is "Free Software"?

There was a time, not so long ago, when it was rather easy to tell what was really a FREE piece of software and what was not.  Because the only way you could get the non-free software was to go to a store and purchase it.

I recently tried to count the number of different FREE software licenses and gave up when I got to 60!  That's right, there is so much arguing amoung programmers about how to define the word FREE when it relates to intellectural property that at least 60 different definitions of what is Free have been drafted.   There is another dozen or so drafted that claim to be Free, but in reality they just don't pass a basic test of the meaning.

So, I have compiled this listing of software for you.  I have tried to NOT include any software that requires you to pay for using it.  MOST of the programs listed in The Ultimate Software Index are totally Free.  However, some are Free for Non-Commercial or "Personal" use only.  But they were so good that I felt they should be included.

You should not find any software that is Shareware or "Limited Use".  Limited Use software can be annoying, but "Drop Dead" software is the worst.  True Shareware is actually the way software should be distributed in my opinion, but few programs are truely shareware anymore.  Since the ASP (Association of Shareware Professionals) came along it has been systematically ruining the shareware concept in my opinion.  Limited Use software and evenutally even Drop Dead Software is now considered to be Shareware. And even worse, Shareware Authors also prevent people from actually sharing the programs without the authors written permission.  Hmm, shareware that you aren't allowed to share... Makes perfect sense in bizaro world.

Basicaly, if a program is turely Free or Open Source I will include it in the list.  If it's Shareware I will evaluate it and so long as it's not junk and NEVER ceases to function I MAYBE will add it to this list.  If it's free for non-commercial use and it's a viable, useful, program I'll add it here. But ALL Drop Dead and Commercial Programs will NOT be listed here. 

I will be adding to this list as time permits.  I hope to also add some additional features and information.  

Thanks for visiting.

Useful & Interesting Information

The "Flavors" of FREE

The "Official" Definition of "Open Source"