5 Computer Programs for the Tech-Savvy Collegiette


I’m in a committed relationship with my laptop, and I may or may not have spent most of my waking hours staring lovingly into its glossy screen. Let’s face it – computers are great. Whether you're reading Her Campus (and why wouldn’t you be?) or you’re in the midst of writing that 15-page term paper (you can do it!), your computer is there every step of the way. To help you further your own loving relationship with your computer, I recommend five wonderful programs and services that not only will make your computer life better, but also – because we are on a college budget – are free!

1. Ninite: Download multiple free software at once
Okay, you’ve been meaning to update Java, get Malwarebytes and install VLC Player, but it’s all just so tedious and time-consuming. Plus, there a ton of other programs you need to install. Ninite lets you avoid this problem. It’s a super simple and easy way to install and update those necessary programs all at once. Just check off what you want, click the installer, and congratulations – you’re done! Bonus: Ninite automatically clicks “no” to any of the programs that offer to give you junk add-ons like toolbars.

2. Prey: Track your stolen laptop
As much as we don’t want to admit it, laptop and phone-theft happens in McGill. There are a lot of preventative measures we all take, but what if it still happens? Is it too late? Should you give up now and hang your head in utter desolation and heartbreak? Fear not! If your computer is stolen, Prey will attempt to provide you with the GPS coordinates and a screenshot of your computer’s activity. You can even download it on your phone!

3. f.lux: Save your eyes

It’s 3AM and you’re trying to finish that paper you’ve been working at nonstop for the past 9 hours. Those late nights and long hours aren’t doing your eyes any favors, and the brightness on your computer isn’t helping either. What f.lux does is automatically change the light from your computer to match the natural light based on your location and time of day. Trust me – it’ll save your eyes from torture.

4. Mailinator: Disposable email accounts

Ever been on those websites that require an email to use or comment on them, but don't trust them enough to use your real email? It’s important to keep your personal information private. Mailinator is a service that lets you create temporary email accounts instead of having to go through that whole process of creating a fake Gmail or other email account. Just give out an email address anywhere using their domain name, and Mailinator creates an inbox when mail arrives for that account. It’s handy and safe – just remember not to use it for any personal, private communication! That’s what real email is for.

5. Google Basic Tips and Tricks: Ways to use Google more efficiently
Okay, so this isn't a computer program or a service. But as university students, we probably owe our successes (and souls) to Google, and we can save a lot of time and effort by knowing how to use it properly. There’s also a great infographic that shows more Google tricks for students here.

Hear that? I think it was the sound of your laptop giving you a high five. (Note: Please do not actually give your laptop a high five.)


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