Whether you plan to follow Jerry Rovner’s advice and start a small business (see "Is Now the Perfest Time To Start a Business?") or just need some software for around the house, you would be wise to take advantage of whatever you can get for little or no money. Plenty of computer programs exist for most anything you can think to do, but you don’t always have to pay for it.
“Spending $400 for Microsoft Office, $500 for Adobe PhotoShop, or even $60 for Quicken can be well beyond most people’s reach in these tough economic times,” says Joel May, a former health educator and executive who now is a volunteer advisor for Ewing SeniorNet. “Why even think about spending any amount when there are completely free alternatives available on the Web?”
May will explore “Free Software for Tough Economic Times” on Tuesday, May 12, at 2 p.m. in the Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road. The presentation, which is free and open to the public and is the latest in SeniorNet’s “Computer Tips and Tricks” series presented on the second Tuesday of each month. Like every series entry, “Free Software” will be preceded at 1:30 p.m. by a question and answer session. For more information, call 609-882-5086 or visit www.ewingsnet.com.
May lists a host of free programs at www.ewingsnet.com/documents/presentations/freeware.html — programs ranging from genealogy software to business applications. “Most of us are familiar with free programs to combat viruses, establish firewalls, or serve other highly specialized functions,” May says. “Without exaggeration, the web offers access to word processing programs as versatile as Word, spreadsheets as powerful as Excel, photo editing software as fully-featured as Adobe Photoshop, and personal finance managers that measure up to Quicken.”
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, May earned his bachelor’s in economics from Albright College in Reading. After a few years of working in the business office of Reading Hospital and serving in the Army he got an MBA from the University of Chicago with a concentration in healthcare administration. From there he worked in healthcare administration in the Midwest until 1977, when he became executive vice president (later president) of the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey (HRET-NJ). He also joined the faculty of the graduate program in public health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry — RWJ Medical School in Piscataway.
After leaving HRET-NJ in 1984 May formed and led the Pennington Group, a health care management consulting firm while remaining on the UMDNJ-RWJMS faculty. He retired in 1995.