The 20 (Mostly Free) Downloads You Can’t Do Without

Cure a sluggish PC, improve your defenses, and have more computing fun with these great programs. Most are freebies, and you can try those that aren’t before you put down any cash.

You likely have plenty of software on your PC. But do you have the right software?

Any well-equipped system needs a basic software suite, a collection of tools that can keep your machine in working order and help it take care of everyday tasks–as well as some not-so-ordinary tasks. Since such software doesn’t ship with your PC, for the most part, you’ll have to accumulate it over time.

Which programs should you get? We’ve put together a suite of 20 must-have applications–the tools that will allow you to get the most out of your PC. We’ve included a wide variety of software, from security utilities to system cleaners to graphics tools. We’ve mixed some all-time favorites with some apps that you’ve probably never heard of. They all have one thing in common: You need them. Now. So read on and start downloading.

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JetBlue, RIM, Yahoo to Offer Free In-Flight Wi-Fi

On Tuesday, December 11, JetBlue will offer free Wi-Fi to passengers as part of a test of in-flight Internet access. Passengers with laptops and Wi-Fi-equipped BlackBerries will be able access Yahoo-customized email, instant messaging services, and their corporate email on an A320 plane called BetaBlue. If customers react favorably to the service during the course of the trials, which are set to last several months, JetBlue will install the service on more planes.