The Awesome Book of free stuff




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Free Worldwide “telephone” & Video Calls with…

Skype


Everybody should have Skype, it is fantastic, and VERY easy to download, set up and use.

You can make free video or audio calls to other Skype users by simply finding them by name and clicking to add as friend. Once they are in your contacts list you can ring them with just a click on their name.

(Good suggestion is to tweak your settings NOT to accept uninvited friends, or you get all kinds of nutcases wanting to say “hi”, with the wrong settings your camera will come on automatically too, so beware of ticking the wrong boxes, but the likelihood is you will get used to it very quickly, and simply don’t set the auto-answer feature.)

You can purchase credits to phone normal telephone lines, and the rates are extremely good, I spoke from UK to the US for a long time and barely used any credits at all.

You can download Skype at www.skype.com and there you will also find basic tutorials.

If you look on youtube you can also find independent tutorial videos, including one of mine I did some time ago. It is very rough, but should explain things for you. http://youtu.be/Ma9r9docGE8


MSN Messenger


I personally don’t like MSN, for some reason I found it very intrusive, and it kept popping up when I didn’t want or need it, so I usually remove it completely from my system. Furthermore it always seems to divert me back to that blasted “Bing” thing which I also hate.

Nevertheless, with MSN Messenger, it is very popular and has some clever features. One of which allows users to control another’s computer, so if you have a trustworthy friend who is willing to help you with technical stuff it can be a great thing.

www.MSN.com

Winportal.com/MSN_Messenger

Just because I don’t happen to like MSN Messenger shouldn’t put you off, it is very popular with a lot of people, I am sorry I don’t feel like installing it just to put in some screen shots. It is like Skype – but different.

I actually never figured out whether it was MSN or the Instant Messenger feature that bothered me, perhaps I just never understood it properly. You might love it. *shrugs*

Anyway, it is free and I guess it has its uses.


Free online Storage


A great tip is to hassle your internet provider and ask them if they have any online file storage options – these may already be a part of your contract, but they don’t always go out of their way to let people know. I spoke to BT about this, and even their operator at the helpdesk did not know, so I had to educate her!

The name of the online Storage with BT is “BT Digital Vault” it is worth checking to see if you already have it as part of your existing contract. You may need to activate a password for it, but it is usually free.

Many other internet providers in the UK are following suit, so check each one out individually.

These are the names of some other free online file storage services that you can check out.

www.justcloud.com

Microsoft SkyDrive https://skydrive.live.com/

Skydrive is part of the service I get at Live.com, and I find it very useful indeed. I would highly recommend it.

“Fileshare” was one that stuck in my mind, but I cannot find it now, however some variations like “Sharefile” are out there.

Try these too

Hotfiles, Filefactory, DropBox (not entirely free, but first chunk is) Mediafire, etc.


Free Samples


There is a wealth of free samples out there, different geographic areas might generate different results, so the best idea is simply to search for “Free Samples” using any search engine, like google or ask jeeves.

Today at www.freestuff.co.uk I found the following;

Free….

Tea Samples, Coffee, Packs of M&M’s, Bee-Friendly Seeds. (er… they had all gone!) Skin Serum, Boiled Sweets, Himalayan Healing Salt. Sim Cards, and on and on,

8 long pages of stuff.

Today at www.freesamples.co.uk there is £20 free to play Bingo.

Today at www.magicfreebies.co.uk some free opportunities to win prizes, one by completing a survey for the BBC.

Also check out these…

FreebieUK.com

freestuff.co.uk

Vouchercodes.com


Miscellaneous

Dailyteachingtools.com




This is a superb site, lots of interesting things, okay, you may not be a “Teacher” yourself, but you might find some really handy tools for learning stuff, or taking or keeping notes, especially writing tools, etc. I suspect if you poke around here long enough you will find something to help your kids, for example.

Also things like Bulletion Boards.

http://www.dailyteachingtools.com/

Depression Resources


Yes, it is my website again, trying to promote my new book, but hey, I spent three years researching – and the information is very valuable.

This particular page is over a hundred links to all kinds of information relating to depression. Anybody can suffer from this clinical illness at any time.

http://www.nutrition-vs-depression.com/resources-links.html

If you would like to get the full book, just visit the home page.


Drawing/Graphics

Sketchup


Google Sketchup is a downloadble 3D graphics editor, it has now beentaken over by Trimble, I don’t know what the implications of that are, but it is a neat programme.

Some programmes can accept Sketchup outputs, such as some of the virtual worlds, I am sorry, I can’t remember which ones now, but some of the newer ones.

http://sketchup.google.com/


More Miscellaneous stuff


Open Source

Open Office (Free Equivalent to Microsoft Office – worth £240)


Word-processing/Editing/Authoring/Publishing

SUPERB free package, nearly as good as Microsoft Word, and even some other great features . Save to PDF, etc.

http://www.openoffice.org/


Proof-reading


These are a couple of great sites,

Paperrater is a splendid free to use site.




I found this very good for checking the proof-reading on my books, it is simple to use. The only slight drawback is that it will only accept fairly small chunks of text, so I would do a chapter at a time. It is really designed for Students to check their dissertations, but it does a great job. Actually, breaking the job down into small portions makes it more manageable.

http://paperrater.com/


Proof-reading (free 7 day trial) grammarly.com




If you have got your document together, you might be able to proof-read it within the free 7 day trial period.

It is VERY accurate, is that “pedantic”? If anything I found it too picky, and therefore takes a lot of time to work through. Excellent tool though, without a doubt. It is far more detailed than the one above.

http://www.grammarly.com/


More Document Software

Google Docs




https://docs.google.com/


Free magazines


http://free-ebooks.tradepub.com/

Find magazines, white papers, reports and, of course, Free eBooks, from titles that best serve your skills and interests. Topics include automotive, marketing, food, sales, technology & more!


FreeOnlineGames.com


I think my gaming days are long over, but I used to enjoy the odd bit of pixel-bashing. Consequently I have listed this, simply because I happened to stumble across it, but I didn’t really try it out. Perhaps it will keep the kids quiet for you for a while – who knows, you mind find some old retro games you can wistfully reminisce about as you shoot out space invaders or something.

http://www.freeonlinegames.com/





For Plant Lovers




http://www.botanicalkeys.co.uk/flora/

I included this because Botany is a hobby of mine, but this is a free identification service to help you recognize wild flowers in the uk, and, of course, again, it is free!


RogersMushrooms.com




Great fun in the Autumn, hunting shrooms – don’t poison yourself!

http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/

Free London


http://www.timeout.com/london/feature/1424/free-london

Free events, etc in London

(might need to check that URL, if it gets updated, perhaps just try searching for “Time Out Free”

MORE Miscellaneous stuff


http://www.primescratchcards.com (Free £5 to sign up)

https://www.payloadz.com Sell your own downloadable items, such as Videos, books or music, etc. It is obviously NOT free, but might make you money. It is not very cheap though.

You could probably work this out a better way, such as using a free website and linking to paypal, then providing a link to the download at paypal. (This is a very common way to sell things)

Serifwebplus


Get a trial copy of some very clever website authoring software, the trial copy has some features disabled.


http://alternativeto.net/

purports to find great alternatives to software


http://webcheck.me

Checks out your website for common problems,

http://validator.w3.org

Verifies your website against W3 standards, low scores can reduce your popularity on Google

Frighteningly critical!!!!


E-Publishing


Mobipocket Creator (makes Kindle Files)

Two versions, home user and pro. (both free)

Also reads mobipocket files on your PC.

http://www.mobipocket.com/en/downloadSoft/ProductDetailsCreator.asp


Other Freebie Sites I wasn’t keen on.

www.mostfreebies.net


Seems to want your e-mail address in response to clicking on most of their categories, but doesn’t really explain why. I didn’t bother. Lots of “page not found” errors, and some with just empty fields, looking like a badly written website, some even said “Table not set up” altogether. They do have several categories, and some do show up with links to free stuff, most of it looked pretty cheesy and typical of these free offers that are too good to be true or fill you up with spam.

workathome” there is a .com site and a .co.uk version.


It is a “scheme”, and that should start alarms bells ringing with most of us. I think the idea is you pick some Amazon products and sell those on some form of affiliate scheme. (You can do this yourself with a standard Amazon membership). You apparently get a website starter package, (but you can get a website for free). (see this book)

I think the Sales people in this mob keep selling you more ways to get your website noticed, but there were a few negative comments. You should be able to generate leads in other ways, even using PR Companies to distribute press releases. Not having signed up I really don’t know the score, but check out this website where a lot of people are complaining. http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/ohn-home-c280044.html
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