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Big brands dominate today's software market, making it terribly difficult for newcomers to gain a foothold. But a new breed of coder is winning users over by simply giving programs away--and that's where you stand to benefit. Freewareis neither crazy business thinking nor inadequate software that couldn't find buyers. Some freeware is excellent--and it will get the job done without costing you a penny.

Surf over to FerretSoft (, and take your pick from eight gems that make hunting for information on the Internet faster and more efficient. Top titles include EmailFerretPRO, which prowls various e-mail databases for addresses you want; PhoneFerretPRO, which does the same for phone numbers; InfoFerretPRO, which allows you to search for news from CNN, Time and more with just one click; and WebFerretPRO, which hunts in multiple search engines simultaneously for the information you want.

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