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Free

Some useful free software

Inkscape

Windows/Mac/Linux
An alternative to Adobe Illustrator. I prefer it!

OpenOffice.org

Windows/Mac/Linux
As the name suggests, it's an alternative to Microsoft Office. It's not quite as powerful, but for most people it should be fine.

Octave

Windows/Mac/Linux
A free clone of Matlab.

Firefox

Windows/Mac/Linux
The best web browser out there (in my opinion)

Thunderbird

Windows/Mac/Linux
A powerful email program with optional calendar abilities

Chrome

Windows/Mac/Linux
A web browser tightly integrated into Google

 

Paint.NET

Windows
An image editing program. May be used instead of photoshop for simple tasks, but it's nowhere near as powerful

 

Fiji (aka ImageJ)

Windows/Mac/Linux
An image analysis program.