The ten best Freewaregenius articles of 2011


It’s the time of year for ‘best of’ lists and looking back at the year we are leaving behind us.

And what better way to do so than reading some of the best articles published on Freewaregenius in 2011? There were some very good ones as well; this post will list my top 10 favorite posts, and though the selections are purely subjective I will in each case state why I chose them.

What I noticed is that many of these were posts that I really liked and enjoyed writing, but didn’t necessarily get the readership they deserve. On the other hand some were quite popular and will be very familiar to readers.

Here’s the list, sorted based on chronological order, the oldest posts being displayed first.

1. Another Forty-Three of The Best Free Windows Enhancements That You Should Know About (part 2)

Do Windows Grow on Trees

This one, published in May, always was a favorite of mine, but somehow did not get the same kind of traction that it’s much more popular prequel (Forty-Three of The Best Free Windows Enhancements That You Should Know About) did.

2. The best freeware file manager: a comparative analysis

Window Pane

Written by my friend and sometimes-contributor Priit and published in June, I love this article for the sheer ambition of it, as attempting to compare and contrast file management programs is not at all an easy task, and people will always have somewhat arbitrary favorites based on stylistic and other factors. I thought the three programs recommended in the conclusion were excellent choices.

3. Software Mysteries (or: the rants and raves of a tech blogger)

blogger ranting
I like this post published in July, as it was rather cathartic. Far from being a spur-of-the-moment rant, this article was in fact months in the making, as each one of the 14 points in the article popped into my head at disparate times over many weeks. Am planning a sequel sometime next year.

Kindle Toolbox

4. The big list of free Kindle tools

I like this one for it’s originality, since I don’t really know of any similar roundups of Kindle-related free software. This one came about organically, without much planning; I bought a Kindle this year, and fell in love with it, and then started taking account of all the free software that I was using to do various tasks such as converting ebook formats and formatting documents for the Kindle, syncing with RSS feeds, etc.

5. Optimize PDF’s for reading on your Kindle 3: crop then (optionally) convert to AZW


How to read PDFs on the Kindle (or smartphone, or any small-screen device) – revisited

Optimize PDF on Kindle Screenshot3 Kindle PDF2

These two posts with the very long titles (published in March and July, respectively), are all about formatting PDFs for reading on the 6 inch Kindle screen, or the screens of other similarly sized ebook readers or devices. I am lumping them both into a single entry because they really are two parts of the same article, in some sense.

These don’t have too wide of an audience, it is true, but can be very useful to those who need them.

6. How to extract text from images: a comparison of 10 free OCR tools

OCR Illustration6_e

Published by Priit in November, I like this one because of it’s sheer ambition and scope. It is also information that many people are looking for and an article that needed to be written.

7. Ten free tools to better organize your desktop icons

10 ways to organize your desktop

Published in November, this article is the product of my ongoing preoccupation with understanding the relationship between the computer user and the desktop, with it’s clutter of icons (also see #8 below, which is about the same subject). I am always looking for tools that make working with desktop icons easier, and this was a list of those.

This one should have had a lot more traction, in my opinion. Ironically, I think it would have been much more user-accessible if I had cut down on the text and the PROS and CONS section and just focused on the screenshots to illustrate what the various programs can do.

8. What does a cluttered desktop mean?

What does a cluttered desktop mean4

So what *does* a cluttered desktop mean? Anything?

This is another post which I wish would have had more traction. This one may have been a bit more philosophical and touchy-feely than most readers of this blog are accustomed to, but I love it and really enjoyed writing it. (I also really like the illustration that I used).

9. Useful functions for your right click menu [Part 1: media files]

right click media  flourish6

This is a grouping of software that has two things in common (1) they all insert themselves into Windows’ right click context menu, and (2) they are all related to working with media files (i.e. audio and/or video).

I thought this was a great concept, and am planning others based on this theme, but was disappointed it didn’t catch on as much as I would have liked. Readers better get with the program and read this one, because it’s cool 😉

10. The ten best free programs of 2011

Best of 2011

I love this one, and love the selections of programs in it. A great post to end the year with!