in

People Break Down The Best Free Things On The Internet Not Enough People Know About

Unsplash

Fact: People love free… and also people are suspicious of it.

We’re all so used to getting spammed, ending up in a time-share meeting, or getting added to yet another call list when we hear “free” we kind of cringe.

The up-side of that caution is only getting five calls about your car’s extended warranty this week, not the 20 that your friend got.

The down-side of avoiding anything that claims to be free is that you’re missing out on some legitimate internet awesomeness!

Reddit user MuddiDK asked: 

“What is something free from the internet, which everyone should take advantage of?”

So get ready to take some screenshots (they work better if you actually use them) so we can get you ballin’ on a budget.

We’re talking intellectual ballin’, creative ballin’, career ballin’—the internet is seriously FILLED with free ways to upgrade yourself.

You Want Books? You Got Books. 

“There are tons and tons of free ebooks available online, a huge variety of stuff. Even free audiobooks.”

“I created r/FreeEBOOKS to help people find stuff they can get for free and am including some lists I’ve compiled by topic below:”

“These lists are from Project Gutenberg which is a great source for free ebooks in the public domain on a wide variety of topics. If you want other stuff check out r/FreeEBOOKS :)”

250+ books by or about US Presidents

300 science fictions short stories

200 more science fiction short stories

50 free books on etiquette

115 free fairy tale books

100 free mythology books

250 free kids and YA books

200 free sci-fi books

100 free classics

100 free Christmas ebooks

100 free poetry ebooks

100 free history ebooks

100 free memoirs and autobiographies

50 free mysteries

100 free books about pirates

70 books about space and astronomy

200 books about cooking and housekeeping

50 historical books about childbirth and sexual health

175 medical books

50 free craft books

100 free gardening books

Free assigned summer reading books

60 free ebooks about adventure and exploration in the Arctic and at the South Pole

100 free books of ghost stories

100 more free mythology ebooks

50 free horror books

30 free Arthurian legends

180 free Christmas ebooks

100 free books of essays

50 free ebooks about inventions and inventors

100 unusual or very specific history books

250 books by or about US presidents

“Free audiobook collections from Librivox:”

50 free classic audiobooks

50 more free classic audiobooksChtorr

All This Stuff

“Audacity -A powerful audio editor, ideal for music and podcasts.”

“Autodesk Fusion 360 -CAuD/CAM software.”

“Bit Warden -Open-source password management service.”

“Blender – Free and open source 3D creation suite.”

“Cake Walk – music production software”

“Dark Table – Open-source photography workflow application and raw developer.”

“Dashlane -Cross-platform subscription-based password manager and digital wallet application.”

“DaVinci Resolve -Color correction and non-linear video editing application.”

“FreeCAD -open-source general-purpose parametric 3D computer-aided design modeler.”

“GIMP -A powerful open source photo and image editing tool.”

“Godot Engine -a 2D and 3D, cross-platform, free and open-source game engine released under the MIT license.”

“Glitch – Build fast, full-stack web apps in your browser.”

“Glimpse Image Editor – A photo editor for everyone.”

“Greenshot -A free screenshot tool optimized for productivity.”

“Handbrake -the open source video transcoder”

“Honey -a browser extension that aggregates and automatically applies online coupons on eCommerce websites.”

“Hitfilm-Express -Video editing software with professional-grade VFX tools.”

“Inkscape – Free and open-source vector graphics editor.”

“KDEnLive -open-source video editing software based on the MLT Framework, KDE and Qt.”

“Keepass -free and open-source password manager primarily for Windows.”

“Krita -Free and open-source raster graphics editor designed primarily for digital painting and 2D animation.”

“Open Broadcaster Software(OBS) – open-source software for video recording and live streaming.”

“LibreOffice -Open-source office suite.”

“LMMS -a digital audio workstation application program.”

“MagicaVoxel -A free lightweight GPU-based voxel art editor and interactive path tracing renderer.”

“MediBang Paint Pro -FREE digital painting and comic creation software.”

“Musescore -Create, play and print beautiful sheet music”

“Ocenaudio – Easy, fast, and powerful audio editor.”

“Opentoonz – animation production software.”

“Paint.NET -a freeware raster graphics editor program for Microsoft Windows developed on the .NET Framework”

“Photopea -Web-based raster and vector graphics editor.”

“Pixlr – Feature-packed online photo editor.”

“QGIS -open-source cross-platform desktop geographic information system application”

“Radio Garden – Explore live radio by rotating the globe.”

“RawTherapee – free, cross-platform raw image processing program”

“Reaper -Digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer software”

“ShareX -Screen capture, file sharing and productivity tool.”

“Shotcut -A slick open source program for advanced video editing.”

“SlidesGo -Free Google Slides and PowerPoint templates.”

“Switch -Convert and encode sound files quickly.”

“The Noun Project – Icons for everything.”

“TurboTax Sucks Ass – website that makes it easy to file your taxes.”

“Unity -cross-platform game engine.”

“Unreal Engine – the most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool.”

“Unsplash – Beautiful free images and pictures.”

“VLC media player -open-source portable cross-platform media player software and streaming media server”

“VS Code -free source-code editor.”

“Waveform – fully featured, completely unlimited free DAW for all music creators.”

“Wavepad -Audio and music editor for Windows and Mac.”

“Wcostream – anime and animated Tv-show/movie site with dubs and subs.”

“7-Zip – file archiver with a high compression ratio”

“> Some learning material:”

“Codecademy – free sessions and exercises for any coding language.”

“Coursera – Online courses & Certifications.( Not all courses/certifications are free, but worth it)”

“Cybrary – The Cybersecurity and IT Career Development Platform”

“Edx – Online courses & Certifications.( Not all courses/certifications are free, but worth it)”

“FreeCodeCamp – Learn to code at home.”

“Goal Kicker – Free programming books in any language.”

“Khan Academy -a non-profit educational organization.”

“Learn with Google – Courses and certifications from Google.”

“Learn with Microsoft on Edx (Free) – Courses from Microsoft.”

“MDN Web Docs – Resources for developers, by developers.”

“MIT courses -MIT’s OpenCourseware.”

“Octave -software featuring a high-level programming language, primarily intended for numerical computations. Basically free MatLab Alternative”

“R- programming language -free software environment for statistical computing and graphics”

“Repl.it – Code and collaborate, without friction.”beef_boss_

This Cure For Calculus

“Wolfram Alpha.”

“I don’t know if it’s already been said, but Wolfram Alpha was a lifesaver for checking answers when taking Calculus 1-3 in college.”

“It’s definitely useful for all sorts of answers, but specifically when it comes to answers for science and math questions, it’s great.”xSlippyFistx

“I owe a good amount of my engineering degree to this platform right here. Our school even had the premium version for students.”AFB27

“Yes! I use it with my students. Such a great resource.”RustedRelics

Scholarly Sources

“Google Scholar.”

“If you type that in and then look up any thing you want the results are all scholarly work.”

“For example, if you type in volcanos you will get an absolute ton of scientific documents about volcanos, any research that is being done on them, any papers that have been written about them and any data you might want. It’s all right there.”

“While it is true that some sources require payment, if you’re a college student and you have a student email you should be able to access a lot of the information. Next time you write a paper for a science class check out google scholar!”Objective_Reality232

WikiWiki

“Wikipedia. We take that site for granted, big time.”

“There are few things in this world that do NOT have a Wikipedia page at this point. People have dedicated hours, days, even their entire lives, to filling the site up with all the knowledge one could ever need.”

“All that information is free!” 

“Want to learn about the history of the escalator? Wikipedia has it.”

“Interested in the Civil War? You bet you can find it on Wikipedia.”

“Wikipedia will not be around forever, folks. Use it while you have it.”

“Read random articles. It’s fun.”[Reddit]

Learn Stuff!

“Online courses and guides. The fact that you can learn anything for FREE at home, is amazing.”

“Like 40 years ago, you had to actually pay for lessons and go away from your home. Nowadays you can do everything online.”

“Want to learn knitting: You got it!”

“Want to learn to speak a foreign language: You got that too!”

“Want to study for an upcoming test: You can, but you probably won’t!”

“Isn’t the internet just amazing!”WitheredGone

You’re Entitled To Your History

“I found out I have confederate ancestors through findagrave, and have used it to build a family tree going back to the 1700s.”

“Pro Tip: African Americans get discouraged when building family trees because of the perceived lack of records, but please use:”

“censusrecords.com”

“findagrave.com.”

“and the national parks civil war veterans registry.”

“Black confederate veteran’s pension records will be kept at the state archives, and are not attached to the national registration, which gives branch, regiment, company, and state.”

“Confederatevets.org, might have clearer information. Black confederates will have less clear records than black Union veterans.”

“You’re working your way backwards with names, states/counties, dates, and other criteria. Please know that the 1850 and 1860 census contain slave schedules, wherein many people find their last name is linked to that of a slave owner, or through an illegal interracial marriage.”

“At that point, much of what remains is diary scraps, ship records, and newspaper scraps such as those found for free on the Chronicling America Project by the Library of Congress.”

“Chronicling America allows sorting by keywords, state, and year range, but be aware a lot of state archives contain out of state papers, and desired papers might need unorthodox searches.”

“As a rule the term ‘negro’, ‘sale’, and the surname of a buyer, owner, auctioneer/seller will offer a trail to a port, or at least a county within a state.” 

“Take screenshots and write things down on physical paper for the best clarity.”

“While local heritage museums might have plantation or ship records (you’ll have to email/phone multiple in a multiple-county area to know) don’t count on these records surviving the city torchings done through the war years.”

“Don’t feel discouraged, because everyone hits a wall eventually when searching through their ancestry.”

“The European wall is about 1550 or later, when last names became common. It’s very common for misspellings, and pre-national language regional languages to muddle names (eg. German v Dutch, Irish v Scottish, Vietnamese v Laotian).”

“The black wall is 1850 much of the time.”

“If your goal is to find African nation ancestry, it’s ultra rare to find it. However, language studies have found that the vast bulk of African diaspora in the New World are from the far western African coastal nations.”

“The dashiki, much of voudoo, Creoles, Ananzi the spider, the roots of soul food, and other legacy practices come from this small-ish region. So Liberia, to the Ivory Coast, Ghana, to Seira Leone, and the northern half of the Congo coast is the ancestral origin point, if that’s your goal.”

“Bantu and French are the cheif languages to look at (not Swahili). If you try to find a specific tribal group or nation, you’re likely not seeing the forest for all the trees.”

“You are entitled to history. It’s yours, take it.”crumpledcactus

Visualize Your Characters

“Art Breeder. You’re able to mix images together to create something new and keep tweaking it until you get something you like.”

“Personally, I like using it to create characters that look similar to the ones in my head–useful for story writing.” 

“The free version has a limit of five or so images if you want to upload your own, but there’s a huge library of images for browsing through. I like typing in keywords and seeing what comes up and combining those.”

“You just type in whatever keyword you want (or pick one of the ones there), select a photo, then click cross-breed and repeat with another keyword.”iridescenttropy

So what are you doing in here still reading?

You should be playing with all the free stuff you now know about.

Go! Get your free on!

Written by Erica Diaz

Have you ever read something where you just KNOW the writer talks with their hands, does the sound effects, and would bust out a little dance if it suited the story?

That's Erica.

She's a colorful storyteller whose sense of humor and fearless honesty make a big impact. Her rants might go for the emotional jugular, hit your funny bone, or shock you and your mama out of your fajas. Usually it's all three.

Often chronicling her life in Florida, her stories are full of characters like "Bikini Rifle Lady", "Mariachi Neighbor," and "Barbara The NextDoor Evangelist." There's almost always a message in the madness, and that's what people connect with most.

Also her deep and undying love for Tevin Campbell.

You can find more of her work at www.EricaFazio.com