If you pay for software, you shouldn't. Naturally, you will need an OS but aside from that you can obtain a whole host of quality Freeware from the WWW. I'll let you in on some of my best finds:
Free Download Manager - A full application which enables you to stop, start downloads as well as scedule and optimise.
Advanced Windows Care Personal V2 - System optimization tool that scans your whole sytem, fixes things as well as optimization. Comes with a variey of tools in addition to system scan such as memory clean which releases a lot of memory & speeds things up. Has a few features missing, but not many.
Google Earth - Got an interest in Geography? Well Google Earth could be the ticket for you. It is like one of those World Atlas applications except that it uses real top-down images in some places which you can zoom right down on. In addition, some cities have 3D buildings to help you get a real sense of perspective.
Picasa 2 - Great free image editing & viewing tool as good as many commercial packages. Has lots of features to edit and improve your favourite images.
Mario forever - There are loads of free full video games availble for download. Quite a few are of good quality, a lot like to reproduce old (but gold) classics. Like this Mario forever download. It's a full game, and is like the original Mario Bros title but with graphics closer to 16bit Mario Allstars. Level design is all completely new along with groovy level music.
Scorched 3D - I actually mentioned this on my blog previously (http://20thcenturyhistorian.blogspot.com/2006_03_01_archive.html). If it's mulitiplayer you want, then you might go for this. It's a reproduction of another golden classic with more advanced graphics. Great for on-line play also allows you to play CPU.
3DNA Desktop - A 3D Desktop. Yes I shall repeat, the desktop is a fully fledged three dimensional room. It runs on top of Windows but essentially you start your applications from various places within a 3D room. Also comes with balcony to wonder out on to. Need a decent PC to run it well with graphics card. If you have that, then download this and also can gain many more features from website.
Well, I have more but I think those are the best I have found to date. Many more besides with 2 great sites available to help. http://www.cnet.com/ and http://www.softpedia.com/ - the two best download sites on the Web. Go to these sites and you will find the download links for the above mentioned. Plus a load more besides.
I hope you have fun with the software, feel free to post on this blog and also if you are interested in Golf, then perhaps consider posting over on Amateur Golfer. Come back again for more...