Windows freeware for commercial use

When developing software at work you might be restricted to what software you can install and use. You might even work at a client’s computer where you don’t want to risk using trial versions for months and violate licenses. This is where Open Source software really pays off, it’s just free.
Unfortunately, when searching for free software you often find shareware applications or even worse, freeware for personal use only. That’s why I started compiling the following list that contains great freeware and open source apps that allow commercial use. (A link here is no guaranty that commercial use is granted. Licenses can change or I could have made a mistake – check the licenses and EULAs!)

Browser / Web



Text and XML-Editors

Diagnostics / System Utils



Media Player


  • FreeCommander Windows filemanager similar to Total Commander
  • XPlorer basically a windows explorer with tabs

CD/DVD Recording

Terminal / SSH / Remote-Control



Linux Tools / XWindows

  • Cygwin – a complete linux like environment, including shell, services and X.

Version Control

  • Subversion version control system, sucessor to CVS
  • TortoiseSVN windows client for subversion as explorer integration

Imaging / Graphics

Visualization / UML

  • ArgoUML Java Tool to create UML diagrams
  • StarUML Windows UML ß MDD Tool
  • FreeMind a free mind mapping software like Mindjet’s Mindmanager


Development Environments

  • Visual Studio Express Express Editions of MS Visual C++, C#, VB and SQL Server
  • PHP Designer 2006 PHP Development Environment (eula says personal use, but several forum posts say commercial use granted)


  • good image viewer with thumbnail view
  • a complete burning appliction (like Nero or K3B)
I realize that this list is far from complete – I basically started with apps I like to use or think they might be useful for me. Especially if you look for development tools there are a lot more useful apps out there – I deliberately neglected the whole field of java development tools, since most of them are already commercially usable.
This list will be updated whenever I find new apps – I would appreciate any suggestions you might have for additions to this list.

Coming up…

Another evening thats much too short… anyway I’d like to share whats coming up in the next days:

  • I still have no approval to release the third party code within PhpWebChecksum as part of the php file. I’ll probably have to rewrite the two or three php functions myself before I release it.
  • Besides that, I subversioned my MyDocuments folder to have an archive and a backup of my documents. Expect an article on how to set up subversion with svn+ssh authentication because I realized that most pages that address this issue are incomplete or not very easy to understand.
  • The other thing I’m working on is a list of windows freeware applications that can be used commercially. Most freeware lists don’t pay attention to the license restriction “for personal use only” – but you might. If you want to install software at work without violating the licenses you can find good free tools in the list I’m compiling.

Creating reflection effects with Photoshop actions

A very popuplar and really cool looking effect is the illusion of reflective surfaces. You can see this reflection effect on many popular websites, in apple’s itunes or right here in this picture of a Ferrari 355. Although there is a way to create such an image reflection just with javascript and the canvas tag this effect will usually be done by image editing as long as Internet Explorer doesn’t support the magical canvas tag. Therefore I will show you in the following tutorial a way to automate the creation of the reflection using actions in Adobe Photoshop.
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New look

I finally finished my wordpress customizing and updated the site with a new theme. What you see here is a K2 r160 theme with customized CSS and the additional images. The only thing I had to change in the PHP scripts was the display of the categories in the sidebar which was limited to certain pages. So the upgrade to the next K2 release will hopefully be seamless. The archives page doesn’t work at the moment but I’ll have a look at that in the upcoming week.

Here is a screenshot of the new design for documentation purposes:
new design based on K2 r160