Windows and Mac only: Software for Starving Students has released a 2007 edition of its collection of freeware and open-source software.
The collection includes well-known gems like 7-Zip, Audacity, Blender, and OpenOffice.org–all stuff you can easily get yourself, but here the legwork is done for you. Plus, it comes with an easy-to-use installer. The idea behind the project is to give students (or anyone else) a single CD containing all the software they’ll need to be productive.
Just one caveat: The download is a disc image file (DMG for Mac users, ISO for Windows), so you need to know how to burn that image to a CD. It’s pretty much a drag-and-drop affair for Mac users, but Windows users will need a program like Nero or Active ISO Burner, which is freeware. Software for Starving Students 2007.01 is free; it’s available for Windows and Mac.