Ask dotTechies: How many software (and/or web services) have you purchased in the past year?

Time and time again people tell me that dotTech has saved them a lot of money and they rarely, if ever, purchase software thanks to all the freebies and freeware postings on dotTech. So, lets quantify this feedback and see exactly the effect dotTech has had on your software purchasing habits:

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[poll id=”15″]

I am curious to see what everyone’s response will be =). Feel free to share your thoughts below, also.

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  • Roger

    I somehow screwed up my Windows Explorer on my XP SP3 machine years ago. It only has 1 active pane on the left at a time and then you need to TOGGLE the FOLDER tab to see the FILES section that would normally be on the RIGHT, but it’s on the left also in place of the FOLDERS being there. I have tried many possible solutions and nothing works. Any help would be appreciated. I almost think that I slid the right side into the folders on the left side somewhere. Is that even possible? Roger

  • Sunny

    Ditto what Betty said
    @Mr Dave
    Very well put!
    I’d also recommend Q-Dir to you, though I don’t know how well it handles very large folders. It is sometimes quirky and a little over-sensitive but I forgive it everything as it saves a great deal of time in file management operations, using 5 panes simultaneously. (You can choose how many panes you wish to use and how to arrange them). I sometimes wish there were six available but 5 appears to be the maximum.
    That’s a very nice array you’ve got there. My favourite machine at present is the Lenovo SL500, but the T version you have would be considerably better. Keep an eye on that Seagate portable, they’ve had quite a bad rap for overheating (if overworked) and burning out while still quite young.

    My favourite accessory this past year is the hard drive dock which will take a 2.5″ or 3.5″ bare drive. No overheating probs there and it’s been working like a charm.

  • corno

    The past year is not a fair parameter, in view of the release of Windows 7, which I bought. I also bought WinPatrol for just 1 $, which is technically a purchase, while in fact it is as good as a freebie. The only program which I should not have bought is Ashampoo Uninstaller 4, which is not worth a penny.

  • Chris

    It is my opinion that for every software that you can  buy, there is an equivalent one that is free, somewhere out there in the virtual world. The fun part is not only working with a good free software but also to find it. I am not a computer expert so it was a blessing and a joy to find dotTech. I found verry accurate honest and pertinent comments relating to softwares and the the computer world in general.  And I see, by the results, that dotTech working hard for us, so THANK YOU Ashraf.

  • Mr.Dave

    @Ron: I’ve been using Free Commander for over a year now but find it chokes on folders with over a thousand files (tried to pin down the number but it varies between 1,2xx and 1,6xx) or several large files, and lately it’s crashing when copying whole folders or any time I “leave it alone” for 5 or 10 minutes.  Probably a conflict with something else on my system, but I’m forced to kill the process and restart it several times an hour.  Otherwise it’s a VERY nice program, lots of built-in extras and the best tab handling I’ve seen yet.  Highly recommended (if it works on your system!).
    I tried 19 others but Q-dir wasn’t in my notes.  Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Joji

    Correction, I don’t buy software, I buy accessories. :)

    Here is what I bought this year:
    -Lenovo T400
    -Buffalo USB Mouse
    – Ear phnones
    -Targus Cooler Fan
    -NoteBook Webcam
    -Screen Protector
    -Screen Cleaning Tools
    -16GB Kingston Memory stick
    -250GB Seagate Portable HardDrive
    -Very nice MousePad
    -Portable Card Reader
    -and other stuff?

  • Ron

    Here’s a couple of free possibilities to replace Windows Explorer. Both are current and have portable versions.
    Q-Dir –
    Free Commander –
    FC’s author lists some utilities to enhance the use of his software. Might be worth a look.
    I’ve used both and like them, especially for portable use – something DOpus won’t let me do!

  • Angie

    I love free software. :D

    There is nothing wrong with having both free and proprietary software. It is simply a choice you have to make. There is no reason to go against any one of them.
    For the most part, I tend to favour SSuite Office’s free software. They have a whole range of office suites and business software that are free for download.  :D

  • Adrian

    Of course, I never did buy software even before DotTech came into existence. But the freebie info is excellent! (well you can add this answer to the poll. At this moment it is already closed).

  • lilangel10

    Hi. All my softwares are freewares or freebies. Have a nice day

  • Joji

    I don’t buy, I find stuff online. :D

    It’s like searching through a jungle of websites, and when I find a nice post which tells you where to get the freebies, then hurrayz!

  • chinaguy

    Like several others I too have not changed my purchasing habits but have gotten more software for free through DotTech.

  • MikeR


    Fabulous post Dave: thanks for that — thers stuff you mentioned there I wasn’t aware of and will now look up (ah, the benefits of the little dot tech community.)

    One thing I particularly wanted to comment on was your remark:

    “I’ve grown to realize that every time I invite a stranger into my home there’s a risk they’ll steal from me, or damage something, or leave a window unlocked and come back later with their evil friends.”

    Superbly put.

  • Mike from Markham

    While I’m always on the lookout for good free software, I typically buy a handful of products/services every year, and did so again in the past year … but thanks to DotTech and a few other of my favourite sites, I am easily able to acquire and test many more titles than I could ever consider buying, and to expand the inventory of titles I decide to keep around.  Thanks for all of your efforts and keep up the great work!

  • Mr.Dave

    I have actually slowed down my new software habit for several reasons:
    – I have most of what I need
    – I had many similar programs thanks to GAOTD that I inteded to sort out someday and keep the “best of breed”
    – I’ve grown to realize that every time I invite a stranger into my home there’s a risk they’ll steal from me, or damage something, or leave a window unlocked and come back later with their evil friends.
    So, I sincerely appreciate DotTech as a way to introduce me to new friends (software, companies and the other helpful commenters!) and raise my awareness about those I shouldn’t invite in.
    If I can get something good for free, excellent, but I also know how much more power and stability is often (not always) found in purchased products.  So I purchased my music sequencer, many of my guitar instruction programs, MS Office, and others.  In the past year I bought a disk backup program (I used the “free” version from GAOTD to make backups but then when I needed to do a restore found I also needed their WinPE disk which only comes with a paid version).  I bought updates to Band-In-A-Box (what an amazing and deep program – you can type in chords and it will build realistic accompaniment, also can determine chords from mp3 & wav files, comes with extras like their RealBand sequencer for recording & mixing your own tracks on top of the ones it creates – check out and my main sequencer (Magix Samplitude Music Studio)…  These are not things likely to be given away.  But I was very happy to get things like Returnil and Revo Uninstaller and Ashampoo Photo Commander, AnVir Task manager and Spotlight – all things I would have missed or not trusted without DotTech!
    Now if only someone would give away (or even sell) a good replacement for Windows Explorer.  I’ve tried dozens and they’re all either unstable, can’t handle large numbers of folders, or don’t remember anything from one session to the next, or insist on copying the bad traits from Windows explorer like date-sorting by month first, using different columns for different folders (I just want name, size, date and time, ok?) It’s so annoying to look for a recent file and I can’t even sort by date because there happens to be one .MP3 file in the folder!  End of Rant.
    Thanks Ashraf and the other people who add their opinions and help on this site!

  • Kraal FictionWriter

    I rarely buy software, and when I do, it’s more likely than not a game.
    I look for the free stuff before I look at the paid software.  It’s always nice to get by with good free stuff, and not having to pay for something if I don’t have to.  I do enjoy many of the free games out there too, by the way.
    Like others, dotTech hasn’t changed my buying habits, but it has presented some nice freebies for me, along with interesting articles to read.  =)

  • Ed

    Originally kept reading every review by Ashraf in GOTD as a real time saver. Software that sounds interesting is not always useful, or even good. I was not a big buyer of software (ever) and I’m not now. This website has given me access to more freebies, plus GOTD reviews most of the times. I still believe Ashraf could change his policy regarding GOTD reviews: write them ONLY when the software offered is good to outstanding. Then instead of having to write about deficient software save his time for other priorities. Cheers.

  • Fred Smith

    Just like ‘BrotherWolf’, my only software purchases have been WinPatrol for 99c and PowerDirector 8 Deluxe. I’m happy with both. While ever there are great programs for free or on giveaway, I won’t need to spend my hard earned, except maybe for the occasional ( two or three a year if that ) game. Sadly few free games come anywhere near the level of quality/play longevity of commercial games.

  • Mags

    I have made some S/W purchases , but it isn’t normal for me.
    I’ve purchased
    MS Office 2007, Win 7  and…….
    Expression Web
    Plus AShampoo Burning Studio with 2 licences
    The rest of my S/W is the freebies.

  • Don A

    Ditto Betty and njwood60.  My purchasing habits have not changed, but I do try and use some software made available by dotTech and GOTD.
    Thanks Ashraf

  • Ron

    I use a lot of commercial software which also periodically needs upgrading, plus I’ll try interesting software when offered at a special price. My platforms are all mixes of freeware and commercial software, according to the use an individual box will get.

  • IndoMK

    I’ve never actually really bought any software.  But I have gotten a few things from GAOTD.  Other than that, I use freeware/open-source…and a few of my favorites have been found from reviews and links from here! :)

  • BrotherWolf

    Most of the programs I’ve added are freebies from dotTech. Of the two I purchased, one was Winpatrol, which I got during the $0.99 sale I heard about here. And the other was PowerDirector, which I unfortunately bought before the giveaway was announced, but I needed that at that time and didn’t have the option of waiting even if I’d known the giveaway was coming.

  • vhick

    I just live with the freebies or freeware or open source rather than to use pirated software.
    Thanks for a good poll…

  • Joan

    I really listen to your advice  I’m an older lady who is a newbie to computers and I think you give very good advice – thanks for your help – Joni

  • jivadas

    I counted 4-6 in the poll, counting only stuff I kept. If you include stuff that I’ve dumped via my Revo unInstaller (for which TUVM), I should have said 10 or more.


  • :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: What’s with this weird smiley face :?: :?: :?: They run over onto the next line… :!:

  • I tend not to clutter my machine up, even though I did find you through GAOTD.  I’ve found good system maintenance software through this site, but a lot of the software/services I buy are specialized (either games that are current or odd specialized graphics/animation/video/sound software, programming tools, …) that there is no good supported equivalent for, if there’s any equivalent at all (Dragon Age, for example — no freebie comparable to that! :)

  • Les

    I have downloaded probably 50% of the programs from DotTech and only when given the tick of approval by Ashraf.
    It is a big help to us all, keep it going.

  • Same as Betty.
    My purchasing habits are the same but I now have more software.
    Thanks Ashraf

  • Windows 7.  That’s it :D  (Unless you count all the stuff that a new computer comes with…?)

  • I’d like to clarify my yes answer… has not affected my “purchasing” habits. But I definitely have a lot more software via the “freebies” reviews than I would have without you!

    Thank you and keep it coming!