Alot of time I'm critized for not talking about software... And cheap/free software. So here is a post just for that!!! While at heart, I'm a big gadget nerd, but where would we all be with out software... and our wallets would be alot happier if it was free software to boot.
Podcaster Tom Meritt (Buzz Out Loud) does a weekly top 5 video for CNET. And this week his top 5 was all about the free Software. Great picks. I use 3/5 of the stuff listed.
Also a great website to check out for cheaper or free alternatives to main stream software is the site http://alternativeto.net
I use them every now and again to find solutions on the cheap. Check em out!