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There times when you spend a lot of money on something because you think it’s the “number one” item available right now. This is especially true for software such as Microsoft Office, MS SQL Server, Adobe Photoshop, or AutoCad. What if I told you that you don’t need to spend unnecessary money on them? What if I told you that there’s other free alternatives out there? Today, I’ll share with you 3 terrific freeware programs that will make you fall off your chair. Also, if you’re not convinced, I’ll show you a website that allows you to buy programs like Photoshop, Maya for a very low price.

So let’s get started.

1) Open Office

Open Office

Whenever I see someone use Microsoft Office, I can’t help but laugh at them. They wasted $150 on a program which they can get a better alternative for free! Of course, I’m talking about Open Office. Open Office is what I consider to be the freeware version of Microsoft Office. In fact, they look pretty identical. Open Office has a word processing program like Microsoft Word, it has a presentation slides program like Microsoft Powerpoint, it even has a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel!

But, you know what’s the icing on the cake? You can still edit all of your old Microsoft Office documents using Open Office. In fact, you can save all of your documents in Open Office to a compatible Microsoft Office file format!

2) Gimp

GIMP

Imagine this; Your parents just brought you Photoshop CS3 for your birthday. Although your parents had to spend $1000 for it, they’re happy to see you happy. Now, imagine days later you found another powerful image editor for free. GIMP is an image editing program similar to Photoshop, but it’s available for free. Like Photoshop, you can digitally draw stuff, you can edit photos, and create awesome banners or buttons for your website.

But, I will say this about GIMP; GIMP is not as powerful as Photoshop, at least without the addons. Another unique feature about GIMP is the ability to install useful addons to the program. If you keep installing powerful addons such as layer styles, animation editor, GIF editor and etc, then GIMP could become just as powerful as Photoshop!

3) Google SketchUp

Google SketchUp

You’re a hobbyist and you’re trying to design a robot for a robotics competition. Your robotics team is trying to look for some money to buy a suitable design program like AutoCad. After weeks of saving, you finally bought the program. However, one of your teammates just learned about a design program which is free. Now those weeks of saving feels wasted, does it?

Anyway, Google SketchUp is a design program similar to AutoCad. Google SketchUp is perfect for newcomers who’s entering the world of design. Google SketchUp features a powerful pencil tool, push and pull, rulers, paint guide-lines, and many more! Also, Google SketchUp is very precise, since you’re able to put measurements in inches, millimeters, centimeters, or whatever measurement of your choosing. The best part is that you can export these models to Google Earth, another awesome freeware from Google.

However, if you believe that the products you’re using are the best of the best, then I don’t blame you. Of course using commercial software has its advantages compared to using free ones.

Anyway, I would still like to share with you my favorite OEM website. Introducing, http://www.ankhsoft.com! Popular software such as Adobe Photoshop CS3, which typically costs $1000, only costs a friction of the cost at the website! And programs such as Flash 8 only costs $70 at the website. Trust me, with these options available to you, there should be a reason why you should visit bit-torrent sites like Piratebay.org anymore!