Geeks in Phoenix

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My five favorite free programs of 2011

At Geeks in Phoenix, we like to spotlight useful programs (most of them are free). And in this day and age, who couldn't use some free programs! We had some really great free programs released in 2011. From streaming music to creating websites, the offering was quite nice. Let's take another look at my five favorite free programs of 2011 (in no particular order).

Easily create, customize and publish web apps / websites for free with Microsoft WebMatrix

Microsoft WebMatrix web gallery screen
Microsoft WebMatrix web gallery screen

What a great package from Microsoft! You can get all of the software you need to create and publish a website. And you need is a hosting plan and you're ready to go. Yes, it does take a little time to install all of the software, but it's well worth it. Read the full article here.

Streaming music from the cloud for free with Google Music

Google Music website library
Google Music website library

If you want to stream your music collection from the cloud, Google Music is the program for you. With storage for up to 20,000 songs, it's by far the best free music storage / streaming service. As of this writing, I have over 1,800 songs on Google Music. Read the full article here.

Be more productive in your office for free with OpenOffice 3

OpenOffice3 main screen
OpenOffice3 main screen

OpenOffice is not new program, it's been around for a while. But it is the best alternative to Microsoft Office. And it's completely free. What more can I say. Read the full article here.

Try Windows 8 for free with Windows 8 Developer Preview

Metro interface inside of the Windows 8 Preview
Metro interface inside of the Windows 8 Preview

What can I say, I love to play around with new operating systems. And when I can do it for free, that's even better! If you want to give the Windows 8 Developer Preview a try, remember to use a virtual machine (like VirtualBox) or a computer that is non-productive. Read the full article here.

Calling on the cloud with Google Voice

Google Voice website
Google Voice website

I use Google Voice all the time. I love saving money on long distance and international calls. And for free, come on, it's a no brainier. All you need is a gmail account. Read the full article here.

Calling on the cloud with Google Voice

If you haven't heard about Google Voice, let me be the first to tell you about it. Google Voice is a telephony service that can be used on any cellular phone and any carrier. Just a Gmail account is required.

The Google Voice web based interface
The Google Voice web based interface

Google Voice was designed to compliment your existing cellular phone carrier. But recently Google has added Phone Number Porting, which allows you to use Google as your primary carrier. The set of features are very rich, with all of the usual stuff (personal greetings, voicemail, etc.). And when used with Google Gmail and Google Talk, you can make calls from your computer (headphones / speakers and microphone required).

Use Google Voice with Google Talk to make calls from your computer
Use Google Voice with Google Talk to make calls from your computer

And, for me, the two best features of Google Voice are the free calls within the US and Canada and really cheap international calls. My some of my family is in New England and France. Here's a complete list of features:

  • Voicemail transcription to e-mail
  • One phone number that can be ported to multiple phone numbers
  • Personalized voice mail greetings
  • Cheap international calls
  • Block / screen callers
  • Conference calling
  • Mobile app (Android, iPhone and Blackberry)
  • SMS to e-mail

Here's a quote from the Google Voice website:

Teach your phone new tricks

Google Voice enhances the existing capabilities of your phone, regardless of which phone or carrier you have - for free. It also gives you:

One Number
Use a single number that rings you anywhere.

Online voicemail
Get transcribed messages delivered to your inbox.

Cheap calls
Free calls & text messages to the U.S. & Canada.
Super low rates everywhere else.

For more information on Google Voice, just follow the links below:

Google Voice
Google Voice features

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in all aspects of Computer Repair / PC Repair / Laptop Repair. Since 2008, our expert computer repair technicians have been providing outstanding Computer Repair, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Photo Manipulation and Website Support.

Geeks in Phoenix have the best computer repair technicians providing computer repair and service in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe Arizona. We offer In-Shop, On-Site and Remote (with stable Internet connection) computer repair service.

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