Last year Google came up with a suite of FREE third party software that would make computing easier and packed it up so that it couple be installed nice and easily for you to use. Here is what the Google Pack includes
The Google Toolbar allows you to search Google as well as all of the Google search sites and also give you access to a from filler and a nice easy way to get to Google Gmail and local bookmarks. A little used search button feature also allows you to search other sites, I use this feature to search the Internet Movie Database whenever I am looking for info from there.
Picasa is a fabulous and easy to use indexer of all of your pictures on your computer. Picasa also includes a bunch of image editing options as well.
Spyware doctor will constantly scan and protect you from spyware.
Norton Security Scan
Norton Security Scan is a free version of the famous Norton scanner and will find spyware, malware and viruses on your PC
Google Desktop is a super fast indexer that will help you find anything on your computer really quickly. Google Desktop also includes a sidebar feature like people that have Windows Vista are also familiar with.
Firefox with the Google Toolbar
This is my favorite. I use Firefox as my default browser instead of Internet Explorer. Firefox is very secure and also includes a concept called extensions, extensions allow you to add functionality that people and developers have built to add to the feature set in Firefox.
Looking to view pdf files? Adobe acrobat reader is the program that is an industry standard for viewing pdfs.
Real Player was the original media player on the internet. Real Player will allow you to playback almost every kind of media file and will index all of your media files for quick finding and playing be it an audio file or a video file.