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Free Software Portland

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Common Terms

Free Software

Free Software is a blanket term referring to any software that is not charged for. However, this can includ malware as well as legitimate downloads

Open Source Software

Open source software is software whose code is publicly available. Anyone with an internet connection can see the code that makes the program run. These programs are still secure, however.


FOSS means Free and Open Source Software. This is software that both costs nothing and that can be publicly contributed to. Common examples include Firefox and Linux, the most popular operating system

Head down to any Portland computer store, pick out a variety of software that you think would be useful and then just walk out of the store with it. Well no, don’t do that. That’s illegal, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could get software for free that you knew was safe to use and didn’t come with any viruses? Of course it would be. Usually you have to pay for software at the store or take your chances downloading sketchy files off the internet, right? Well, not so much.   Here at Nerds On Call we tend to spend a lot of our time on the internet looking for useful programs and utilities to make our lives easier. We don’t think that we should have all the fun. The people who wrote these programs want to share them with as many people as possible – it’s good publicity for them and it helps out people who need the functionality that the software provides. It’s just hard to find the good stuff sometimes, so we want to share our findings with you. We promise we’ve extensively tested it to make sure it’s safe. Plus it’s free which never hurts. When we repair your computer, we’ll install some of these programs simply because they are the tools of our trade – like a plumber bringing along a pipe wrench. But unlike that plumber, we’ll leave our tools behind – if you don’t mind. You don’t want to have to pay for tech support to come out every time you get a little problem. The tools we have will make fixing those little problems a snap. There will also be little utilities and services that we can install that will make your life easier – programs like social networking add-ons or communications programs – basically whatever we think you might appreciate. All of it is free and safe, we promise that. So if you need some extra functionality on your computer but don’t know where to start, let the friendly Nerds On Call in Portland help you find free software!

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Nerds Price List

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Questions nerds often hear about Free Software Portland

  • Is free software expensive?

    No. It's free.