Software Tools

Most of the software tools listed here are free, some cost money but could be worth it if there is no alternative.

Updated December 2, 2022


  • Photopea – A web-based Photoshop clone
  • GIMP – Adobe Photoshop replacement
  • PhotoGIMP – Make GIMP act and look like Photoshop
  • Glimpse – A fork of GIMP (Windows, Linux)
  • – Cloud-based photo editor
  • – Remove the background of objects in photos
  • Inkscape – Vector Graphics Editor like Adobe Illustrator (Mac users must install XQuartz to use)
  • Blender – 3D rendering (think After Effects), Blender YouTube Channel created with Blender including the awesome Sintel short. Can be used as a video editor.
  • Blender Documentation – PDF Documentation
  • Shapr3D – CAD program for iPadOS, macOS, Windows to create STL files for 3D printers
  • darktable – Open source photography workflow and RAW developer (*nix system, Unix, Linux, Mac OS, no Windows). A tutorial for time-lapse photographers and info about darktable 2.0
  • Alternatives to Adobe – Lifehacker’s 27 Free Alternatives to Adobe’s Expensive App Subscriptions



  • Amazon Prime Reading – If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can find many magazines and books to read for free.
  • Scribd – A great subscription service for those with a hunger for lots of eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more. Link is for a two-month trial of the service.
  • Project Gutenberg – Free eBooks
  • – The Internet Archive has books and videos in their collection. Sign-up for free to access with an account.
  • – Keep a list of the books you’ve read or want to read.
  • Open Library – Part of with books.
  • – A catalog to search for books in a library closest to you.


  • Time & Date – Enter a date and time, generate multi time-zone page
  • 1Password – Excellent password vault so you can keep your passwords, serial number, combinations, etc in a safe place.
  • Add Play Store to Kindle Fire – Add the Google Play Store to a Kindle Fire with no Root, PC or ADB required.
  • Alfred App – For Mac OS. Launch apps, find contacts & files, use workflows without taking your hands off the keyboard
  • Hazel – Automating macOS Finder
  • Anti-Twin – Find and delete duplicate files (Windows)
  • AutoHotKey – Macro script utility for Windows
  • DropIt – File Explorer Automation for Windows
  • DiskMaker X – Make a bootable MacOS installer
  • Ditto – A clipboard manager for Windows (not really needed as Microsoft added this feature to Windows 10) But could come in useful if you’re still on a previous version of Windows.
  • eM Client – Excellent email client for Macs and Windows (free up to 2 email accounts)
  • FaxZero – Free faxing via the Internet
  • Ghostscript – You must install Ghostscript to use Scribus
  • GnuCash – Free Open Source Accounting Software
  • JumpCut – Clipboard manager for Macs (stop jumping back and forth between documents to copy/paste)
  • LastPass – Let LastPass create strong passwords and store them in a safe place. Don’t keep weak passwords around, your pet’s name and street number are NOT strong passwords! You can keep passwords in here, serial numbers, activation keys, combination lock numbers etc. It frees-up your brain.
  • LibreOffice – Powerful Microsoft Office replacement
  • Scribus – Desktop publishing like Adobe InDesign
  • Scrivener – Writing software favorite amongst novelist and other writers
  • Remove Line Breaks – Remove those pesky line breaks via this webpage
  • WordService – Hit the ‘Download’ link on the page. Excellent Mac OS extension to reformat text
  • TextFixer – Reformat text, remove extra spaces, etc.
  • TextSniper – Extract text from images and other digital documents in seconds. Makes copying protected text easy.
  • QuickLook – Quick preview of images by pressing spacebar in Windows 10 (like quick preview on MacOS). Search the Microsoft Store for ‘QuickLook’ it’s free.
  • Zamzar – Convert media between different formats. Create an audiobook from a PDF file.
  • Flatpak – Application distribution
  • Calibri and Cambria fonts for macOS – Those typical Microsoft document fonts


  • Blender – 3D renderer that can be also be used as a video editor. Tutorials on video editing with Blender here
  • DaVinci Resolve – Mac OS and Windows professional video editor for free (regular version, not the studio version)
  • Downie – Download webpage videos on your Mac
  • LumaFusion – Pro video editing on iOS/iPadOS
  • MagicLantern – Supercharge your Canon camera with added functionality and menus
  • MPEG Streamclip – Video converter
  • Open Broadcaster Software –  Free Open Source software for live streaming and recording
  • Panolapse – Timelapse software, lets you pan in the video like you have a motorized head
  • PhotoRescue – Recovers images and files off a camera’s memory card that has been erased. If you format a card by accident, shut the camera down, take the card out and use PhotoRescue to recover images. Note: It will recover as much as possible, even stuff you may have erased long ago (so beware if you have NSFW images). Sometimes the recovered video files may be damaged/unplayable, use the Video Repair Software below to fix.
  • – Channel guide and player for webcasts
  • USTVnow – Streaming broadcast stations (sign-up, choose FREE option, even if it says you need to be outside the USA just hit the TV Guide tab on the top to view channel guide)
  • Puffer – An experiment by Stanford University that streams live TV online
  • Save From Net – Download YouTube videos as .mp4 files
  • Free Online Screen Recorder – Video capture of your screen
  • Scopedown – Download videos from Periscope
  • – 300-pound gazelle of video websites. More refined, more artsy and cinematic types of videos here. DLNR uses Vimeo
  • Video Repair Software – Damaged your H.264, mp4, DVC Pro video files and crying your eyes dry? This is the only thing I know that fixed my Canon H.264 .MOV files I recovered off a formatted memory card. Not free, not cheap but better than explaining things to a client.
  • VLC – Media player to playback various video formats
  • WeVideo – Online video editor
  • YouTube – 800-pound gorilla of video websites
  • Kinoni – Turn your smartphone into a webcam (they also have multicam software)
  • Free Lens Hoods – PDF printable paper lens hoods
  • Thingaverse Lens Hoods – If you have a 3D printer you can find lens hoods to print here

Internet tools

  • – Affordable Connectivity Program
  • Cyberduck – An easy to use FTP application
  • FileZilla – The power user’s FTP application
  • Dropbox – Install on your computers and smartphones to automatically sync files in a folder
  • – Know what time it is anywhere in the world.
  • BBEdit– The coder’s text editor for Mac
  • Cyber Hygiene Services – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) tools
  • Notepad++ – The coder’s text editor for Windows
  • Sublime Text – What real programmers use to edit text (Mac/Win/Linux)
  • Google Data Liberation Front – Extract your Google data to import into another Google account (like Workspace to Gmail) or to just archive it locally.
  • qBittorrent – A Bittorrent client, allows you to download big torrented files
  • – Build your own website for free. WordPress powers many websites online.
  • – The DIY version of rolling out a WordPress website. That’s what this runs on.
  • tor browser – Anonymous web browsing, good for logging onto sites like facebook or YouTube from behind a firewall (eg. logging into facebook on the Hawaii County free WiFi). This is what protestors used to log onto the Internet without being traced during the Arab Spring. The NSA doesn’t like this browser because they can’t spy on you.
  • Anonymouse – Too lazy to download and use a tor browser? Use the website
  • PdaNet – Use your Android or Blackberry smartphone as a hotspot even if you don’t have a hotspot plan. Note: Using PdaNet may violate the terms of service with your cellphone carrier.
  • Screenleap – Free screen sharing software
  • BackupBuddy – Backup, restore or migrate your WordPress site (paid app)
  • VaultPress – Offsite WordPress site backup and security scanner  by the WordPress folks. Better than BackupBuddy but costs more. (paid service)
  • Box Connect – Upload from your Dropbox to either YouTube or an FTP server.
  • LICEcap – Capture a portion of your browser to an animated gif
  • – Test your internet speed, more accurate than the flash based tests.
  • SpeedOf.Me – HTML5 Internet speed test
  • Sensorly – Crowdsourced cellphone coverage maps
  • Down Detector – Status of network outages
  • Teleosaurs Email – Disposable temporary email that lasts 60 minutes
  • ClickToFlash – Safari browser extension that prevents Flash content from loading, favoring HTML5 videos. If no HTML5 video is available you can click on the placeholder to allow the Flash content to play. Prevents the memory and CPU hogging Adobe Flash from slowing down the Safari browser.
  • Get my FBI File – Helps you generate letters to send off to see if any of those three-letter agencies have files on you.
  • alternativeTo – Crowdsourcing alternative software
  • – Disposable email service so if you want to sign-up for something and not use your regular email address
  • – Create virtual credit cards to protect your privacy
  • – Port Check and IP detection Tool
  •– Open Port Check Tool
  • – Find out your IP address
  • PuTTY – SSH & Telnet software for Windows

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality

  • AltSpaceVR – VR worlds, clients for Windows, macOS and various VR headsets. Beta macOS client here.

3D Printing

  • Blender – 3D rendering can be used for 3D printing and animations.
  • Shapr3D – Easy direct modeling CAD program for iPadOS/macOS to create STL files for 3D printers
  • FreeCAD – Free CAD app
  • Tinkercad – Create 3D designs online.
  • Thingaverse – Huge repository of 3D objects to create
  • Cults – Buy and sell 3D object files
  • ArtResin – Make your objects food-safe with this resin
  • PrusaSlicer – Now Apple M1 optimized, better than Cura for slicing
  • SuperSlicer – Based on PrusaSlicer but even better! My default slicer now.
  • Kiri:Moto – Slicer in the cloud
  • White LED – Replacement LED for Creality CR-6SE
  • Polyformer – Recycle PET (Type 1) water bottles into 3D printer filament with this DIY device.

Social Media

  • AirMessage – Get iMessages on your Android phone (requires a Mac to act as a server)
  • Friendly – A social media client app that supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. The best part is that you can start a Facebook or YouTube video, and the audio will continue to play in the background even if you use a different app or turn the screen off. Android version here.
  • Facebook – Social media kingpin at the moment with over a billion users
  • Flickr – This site is owned by Yahoo and has millions of users, many government agencies have flickr accounts where you can get official photos from them such as: Hawaii’s Governor, US Army, The White House, Hawaii County Mayor’s Office and more.
  • Instagram – Photo taking app for smartphones with a wide user base sharing images, they’re owned by Facebook
  • LinkedIn – A Facebook-type website but geared towards businesses and individuals
  • – Join an instance of the open-source social media network Mastodon (hint: is the instance with the largest number of users)
  • Find Fediverse – Find the accounts you follow on Twitter on Mastodon
  • – Social site where interest groups get together and do things. Localized by regions. Several Big Island groups are available.
  • Nixle – Hawaii County emergency services push out important messages here
  • Pintrest – A site to scrapbook photos and articles people find online and share with others
  • – ‘The Front Page of the Internet’ is their tagline. Forums galore, get quick answers to queries on any subject, it’s obscene how many stories on major news websites (I’m looking at you Huffington Post, NY Times, Network TV and others) get their leads and stories from here. Find free Kindle books here too.
  • Twitter – The must-have social media micro-blogging tool with a focus on speed, brevity, and audience
  • Delete your Twitter history – How to wipe your Twitter history without wiping your account. You may want to download an archive of it first so do step #2 before deleting tweets.
  • Yelp – Reviews website that rates businesses and services. If you see someone with a Yelp t-shirt enter your business try not to ignore them or you could be in trouble.

Journalism Organizations in Hawaii

Free Tutorials

Free content (be sure to give credit to sources)

Cellphone Links

  • AT&T Unlock – Unlock your cellphone once the contract is up
  • SMS Gateway for email – Send an email to a mobile phone’s text message
  • TelcoData – Search Area Code and Exchange details
  • WiGLE – Wardriving for your Android device

Other Resources

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