GIMP - For the savvy image manipulator without a Photoshop budget. You can paint, photo retouch, dodge & burn, clone, smudge & sharpen, and use layers, channels & masks.
Photoscape - I've found this product to be fun, easy to use, and especially recommended for its resizing capabilities.
Foxit Reader - Why an I suggesting Foxit when you can get a free PDF Reader from Adobe? Because Foxit is smaller, lighter & faster, and still does everything the Adobe Reader does. You can use Foxit to create PDF files, too, although it tags the saved PDF with advertising. That's why for creating PDFs, I recommend ...
CutePDF Writer - About anything that can be printed, CutePDF can convert to PDF. It works much the same way as a printer: After you install it, anything that you wish to convert to PDF, simply select File, Print, CutePDF Writer and a Save As dialog box pops up.
Audacity - for recording and editing audio files. I use it to convert my vinyl LPs to digital so I can burn a CD for the car, or sync to an MP3 player. I plug in my turntable to the PC, record an album side, then go back and select & name individual tracks.
In addition to the 1GB offered by Google's Picasa for your images, you can save and share a variety of documents at Google Docs -- a free Gigabyte there, too. On Google Docs, your documents (spreadsheets, presentations, etc.) run on their server, which means you don't have to have the software to view and edit -- great for the smartphone crowd.
Another free sharing/storage place is Dropbox, which gives you 2GB of space (more for a fee) to store any kind of file. You can easily link to a file in your Dropbox Public folder and share a file too large to pass through email.
Disclosure: Of the products that I recommend here and elsewhere on this site, I receive nothing in return --- no kickbacks, frequent-flyer miles, coupons --- nothing, nada, zilch!
If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Charles Rogers Computer Services serves the Dahlonega and surrounding North Georgia areas.