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Free For All

The Internet is a gold mine of free software...if you know where to look.

The Internet is full of free or low-cost software. Of particular interest to entrepreneurs are business and productivity tools. The trick is to find them. Fortunately, there are Web sites to assist you. These sites give you a search engine to hunt for software programs. They may divide files into categories or list the most popular ones.

I tried a series of searches to test some of the most popular sites. The searches were for:

1. a restaurant-management software program (a typical small-business function);

2. a compression utility (the well-known PKZIP and WinZIP); and

3. a picture of a pyramid (to use in a marketing campaign).

Experimenting showed a single word was enough to narrow the results. Boolean searches (e.g., "pyramid AND egypt") weren't helpful.

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This article was originally published in the June 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Free For All.

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