CD For Professors
If I were to download a group of software to install on a computer my list would look a bit like this. I have included as much freeware as possible. If there are sharewares they have a lot of  permanent functions . Most of this can be found at either or tucows .
If a software changes language with the OS I 'v written: (Operating System Language) next to the name of the software ortherwise the language is in English.

My Top Ten Free (or at least mostly)  Softwares

OpenOffice: This gives you everything you'd expect in a suite of office software. You can create dynamic documents, analyse data, design eye-catching presentations, and produce dramatic illustrations. If you're used to using other office suites, you'll be completely at home with this. In fact, you can continue to use your old Microsoft Office files without any problems. It even lets you exchange files with people still using Microsoft Office. Mission Statement To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)(Operating System Language) is a freely distributed piece of software, suitable for tasks such as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring (see a screenshot). It can be used as a simple paint program, a photo-retouching program, an online batch-processing system, a mass production image renderer, or an image format converter. GIMP features a full suite of painting tools, a tile-based memory manager, subpixel sampling for all paint tools, high-quality antialiasing, full alpha-channel support, advanced scripting capabilities, and multiple undo/redo functionality. GIMP implements exceptional right-click functionality for quick access to nearly every feature, and uses far less RAM than other premiere image editors with similar features. Version 1.2.3 features improvements to the documentation and help pages, updated translations, and numerous other enhancements and bug fixes.

IncrediMail is an advanced e-mail client that offers you an interactive experience. With IncrediMail you can personalize your e-mail according to your mood and personality. Choose from an assortment of e-mail backgrounds, animations, sounds, 3D effects, and e-cards. New features in IncrediMail Xe build 690 include the Swedish version of IncrediMail and the Select Recipients dialog bug fix. You will not believe this interface. It takes a lot to make my wife go "wow". Plus there are several security features as add ons.
MailCleaner Premium For Incredimail 4.0 
From the Incredimail: "MailCleaner Premium will prevent known viruses and unknown malicious applications from entering to your computer and will notify you every time someone is trying to send you a virus or a worm within a mail message or inside a file you are downloading. MailCleaner Premium uses a combination of several techniques to protect your computer. MailCleaner Internet professional searchers are responsible to constantly update the viruses list so MailCleaner can keep the mail messages and the files containing them out of your computer. In addition, MailCleaner Premium is using the Advanced Malicious Application Detection system (called 'APayya'), which scans every incoming file looking for suspicious characteristics using a very sophisticated, and flexible rules system. MailCleaner Premium enables you to set the preferred security level and uses these settings when a suspicious file is detected in order to decide whether to notify you."
Incredimail Data Manager 1.06
"This is a backup and restore program for users of email-client IncrediMail. When reinstalling IncrediMail only the standard content (letters, sounds, etc.) will be available. With IncrediMail Data Manager you can restore all your previously downloaded content with ease. Not only IncrediMail content but also email can be saved and restored."
HTML-Kit is a full-featured text editor designed to help HTML, XML and script authors to edit, format, lookup help, validate, preview and publish web pages. Newcomers to web page development can benefit from letting it point out errors and suggest improvements. Experts can save time spent on common tasks using the customizable and extendible editor while maintaining full control over more than dozen supported file types including HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, XSL, JavaScript, VBScript, ASP, PHP, JSP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Java, VB, C/C++/C#, Delphi/Pascal, Lisp, SQL, and more. Really excellent!!!

GoldWave is a comprehensive digital audio editor. It is currently rated as one of the best on the ZDNet Software Library, receiving 5 stars! It contains so many great features, you will be amazed by all the things it can do: Play, edit, mix, and analyze audio, Apply special effects, such as fade, equalizer, doppler, mechanize, echo, reverse, and more Digitally remaster and restore old recordings with noise reduction and pop/click filters Record audio from cassettes, records, radio, etc. through your computer's line-in Make digital copies of audio CD tracks using the CD audio extraction tool View a variety of real-time graphs and VU meters Convert files to/from different formats, such as wav, mp3, ogg, aiff, au, vox and even raw binary data. It is a demo but you can use it for all you basic sound needs and it is one of the least expensive softwares around.

 The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is not freeware, but it is free of charge for non-profit educational users who make their pages available on the web. This is its only
drawback, I never can figure out who owns what if you decide to create your own interactive cd.
recomended highly by Marc Camatte.

IrfanView is a fast, simple freeware image viewer and editor that supports all major graphic formats, including BMP, DIB, JPEG, GIF, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, multipage TIFF, TGA, and more. In addition, it features drag-and-drop support, directory viewing, TWAIN support, slide shows, batch conversion, and modifications such as color depth, crop, blur, and sharpen. The previous version featured new improvements and enhancements.
The latest version features a wealth of enhancements, including improved Windows XP compatibility, a new Properties->Extensions dialog, an option to set a different icon for each file format, HTML export options, advanced slide show, and numerous others.
Comes in German too.

123 Free Solitaire
This collection of 12 solitaire card games includes Carpet, Easthaven, Fifteens, Four Seasons, FreeCell, Klondike, Monte Carlo, Precedence, Royal Rendezvous, Simplicity, Spider Two Suits, and Spider One Suit. Enjoy features such as animated cards, autoplay, sound, and more. Each game has more than 9 trillion possible outcomes, so the collection remains fresh no matter how many times you play. Be careful how you waste time. I had to include at least one game.

Mozilla The long-awaited release of Mozilla version 1.0 meets all the expectations for a modern browser, with many features not found in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Mozilla's interface employs the standard browsing paradigm with back, forward, and refresh buttons, but it is skinnable, meaning you can download new looks for it. One feature that many surfers will find they can't live without is the ability to disable unrequested pop-up windows on Web sites. Mozilla also lets you open multiple browser windows and display multiple Web pages in a single tabbed window at the same time.
Mozilla performs well, loading pages quickly and making slightly less of an impact on system resources than Internet Explorer. During installation you can choose to install all, some, or none of Mozilla's associated components. These include a decent mail and news client, and a chat client for IRC. Finally, Mozilla is absolutely free, with no built-in ad display or bundled adware.

3D Canvas from Amabilis Software is a real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates a drag-and-drop approach. Complex models can be constructed from simple 3D primitives or created using 3D Canvas' Object Building Tools. Creating an animated scene is as simple as positioning the objects within your scene for each point in time in your animation. 3D Canvas will ensure that the resulting animation runs smoothly. The demo version allows you to make 3D objects. It is fun to branch out into the artistical world of virtual sculpture.

Useful  tools:

(limited edition) is a standard FTP client for Winsock. It has an easy-to-use graphical interface and advanced features. It contains profiles that can be set up to toggle between commonly visited FTP sites. Newer features included corrections to FTP servers for year 2000 compliance; a default transfer mode option in session parameters; auto re-get; prompts for file overwrites and preserving file date and time; support for new firewall and host types; and other minor corrections. This version is available free to government employees, noncommercial home users, and students and staff of educational institutions.


Untested as of  yet:
CDex is a freeware application that records audio tracks from CDs and saves them to a disk as regular WAV files or as a encoded sound file. This program features an MP3 decoder (MPEG1/2/3-based) and a new LAME encoder and has built in support to generate OGG Vorbis RC3) files. This version features a variety of minor enhancements and bug fixes. CDex is available in the following languages: English, German, Italian and Spanish.

HydraScrip t A professional easy-to-use developing enviroment for Script writers (Java, VB, HTML), HydraScript comes with a build-in browser, Speed Buttons for common tags and functions such as script blocks, function blocks, servlets, custom objects, message dialogs, if/else statements, for/while loops, dialogs to provide quick access to form items and much more.

The Next Twenty: (unfinished as you can see/count)

Eudora 5.1 is a robust e-mail client whose features include multiple addressbook formatting options and the ability to filter, redirect, and forward mail. It supports QuickTime and HTML-enriched e-mail, letting you include stylized, formatted text and in-line graphics in your messages. Other features include a multi-paned interface; background mail checking and sending; the ability to import existing settings, e-mail, and address books from Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, or Netscape Mail programs; a Qualcomm PureVoice plug-in that allows voice message exchanges; and a customizable interface, including movable, dockable window groups and toolbars. Eudora also features support for regular expressions in filters, field autocompletion, an automatic spelling checker, and a filter that will "speak" the name and subject of incoming messages (requires sound card).
Eudora also includes many convenient features such as the powerful search functions, multiple e-mail accounts, integrated word processor with automatic spell checking, and much more. Features added for the 5.x release include:

Eudora Sharing Protocol (ESP), which allows the user to share documents and discussions among a group of Eudora users without the use of a shared server Moodwatch, which can monitor and alert the user to offensive language in both incoming and outgoing text Statistics, which allows a user to display and print statistics on Eudora usage New Address Book, improved for easier use and maintenance Users can now see their signatures in the messages they compose, and can edit signatures on the fly The latest version adds SSL support for increased security, Eudora Shell Extension warnings, MIME digest support, drag-and-drop support for e-mail attachments, and more. A full list of features is available here.

This program can operate in any of three, user-selectable modes. Sponsored mode allows you to use the full-featured Eudora e-mail client at no charge, but displays a series of static onscreen advertisements. Paid mode allows you to use the full-featured Eudora e-mail client without the advertisements once a payment has been made. Light mode is an upgrade to the current Eudora Light, yet does not have as many features as the full client available in Sponsored and Paid modes. The Light mode will include a sponsor image or logo, but no rotating advertising. You can switch between the Light mode and the Sponsored mode at any time.

iView 3.0 
iView is a free image viewer with support for opening and saving BMP, JPG, and TGA formats, as well as support for viewing GIF, PIC, TIF, CUT, PCD, PSP, PDD, PSD, RLA, SGI, RLE, PCX and other image formats. It comes with support for printing and for TWAIN scanners, as well as a slide show function with variable delay and loop effects.
There is a pro version at:
although I'm not sure it is the same company.

Also Rans:

AbiWord (Operating System Language) is a lean yet full-featured word processor. It features a familiar-looking interface, basic character formatting, paragraph alignment, a spell checker, interactive rulers and tables, styles, unlimited undo/redo capabilities, find and replace, and image support. It can also import Microsoft Word 97 and RTF (Rich Text Format) documents, as well as support superscript/subscript and ruler toggling. Also contains a help system (called AbiWord end-user manual), a column dialog, a GOTO dialog, a new tabulation dialog, and more update localization. I like it but while it loads quickly it doesn't have all of the features of Word but of course open office is its competition.

Cool Edit   can turn your PC into a recording studio with all of the features used by professional audio engineers. You can use it to record your own music, voice, or other audio, edit it, mix it with other audio or musical parts, add effects and master it so that you can burn it to a CD, post it on the World Wide Web, or email it. Once you get started, you'll be amazed at what you can achieve!