Tech on the Cheap

The Topsies have been doing everything we possibly can to one-up the nation’s best economists by balancing our own budget.  We’ve just recently paid off every last credit card (thanks to some unexpected cash that came our way), we’re eating out less, using Freecycle when possible, and even having a yard sale this week. 

We have two upcoming trips we want to take as a family, and our goal is to have as much of that money in hand before we go, so we don’t have to lean on the mercies of Mr. Mastercard or Mrs. Visa.

freeI know from reading your blogs that many of you are in the same financial fight against debt, especially those of you whose families have had to endure pay cuts, layoffs, and moves.  So I’m  channeling my inner techno-cheap geek to share with you some of my all time favorite free software or online programs – – and I don’t mean the useless sites that are basically just excuses for popup spam ads – – I mean the two-thumbs-up programs that I personally vouch for as worth double their money. (Hee)

Audacity – I fully understand that not everyone is an audio geek, but you never know when it might come in handy to be able to convert that old cassette of your first recital into a digital file, and Audacity has the capacity to do that.

Screamer Radio – Does internet radio always seem kinda complicated to you?  Like something only “those people” can enjoy?  Then you might just fall in love with the simplicity of Screamer Radio (and I swear, I’ve never heard so much as a single yelp from it!) [Windows only]

Windows Live Writer – I’ll admit I have no clue how people actually blog without Live Writer.  Maybe it is because I have five different blogs to keep up with, but this program literally saves my ever-loving blogging butt.  On a five-star scale, I give this one 83.

Doomi – World’s most simple and unobtrusive to-do list.  Period.

GMail – Yes, I’m secretly on the Google payroll, and make scads of money touting their programs.  Even if I weren’t though, I would still have a bumper sticker that said “If you aren’t using Gmail you might be supporting terrorists.”  It’s that awesome.

Skype – You are probably already versed on the upsides of Skype.  With this program, over-the-net free phone calls are as easy as pie, and sound great.  Long distance buddies?  Children away at college?  Or want to catch your kids on their PSP’s or other portable device?  Skype is a multi-use tool for communication. 

Filezilla – Free, reliable FTP solution.  Some of you know what I mean.  Some of you think I’m talking about car oil.  It’s ok.  Really.

Quick Media Converter – Your finally making and editing that home video about your family beach vacation, and the clip you shot quickly with your digital camera of mom rubbing sunscreen on her backside is in a format you just can’t get to work with your editing software.  Luckily, Topsy told you about QMC – – and mom’s rear end is now on display as it should be.

Paypal Plug-In – I’ve bought and sold online since it SO wasn’t cool, and Paypal has been there with me for much of the journey.  It’s safe.  It’s easy.  And now you can use it for every single online transaction, whether they officially accept Paypal or not, with the Paypal Plug-In.  LOVE this tool!

Know Your Stuff – Because you simply never know when disaster is going to strike, and this makes it ever-so-easy to protect your investments and belongings. 

FlauntR – Many, many of the insanely crazy graphics you see on my blog were created by this fun application.  Only downside: if I start playing, I can get sucked in for hours.  Bad Topsy!

Picasa – My all-time fave photo editor/organizer/creator.  Everyone has a favorite photo program, this just happens to be mine.

Meebo – Instant Messaging across all the major networks without having to install a single piece of software.  Now that’s the ticket!

There’s a ton more, but I better save that for another post when I’m at a loss for what to write.  (Uh-oh.  Did I just type that out loud?)

Enjoy your cheap frugal linky-loos, folks!


5 Responses

  1. FileZilla rocks. Great list.

  2. I saw the words “tech” and “cheap” and had to rush right over here! 🙂 Great article. Tweeted it for you.

  3. Thanks – I love Picasa too, can’t wait to try some of this other great stuff!

    Oh yeah, FIVE Blogs?!? How do you DO that?

  4. Hmmm, I may quickly become a freebie-techie junkie!
    Thanks A LOT!


  5. Obi-Mom – – Anything named FileZilla simply has to rock, doesn’t it??

    Karen – – You are my Twitterific hero!

    SAT – – Four are part of my job, so they don’t count. 😉

    Sarah – – Anytime, Anytime. No, seriously. Call me! 😉

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