thats a load of crap!!!
That shop should have a least offered to pull the codes for a price. pulling codes with a good ODB scan tools takes all of about 1 min... damn I hate ****ty shops that give the rest of the good ones a bad name!!!!
sorry about the rant, I have not jumped into the pc/odb-II stuff yet so I have no idea about the free software.
If it become too much of a hassle to get the pc thing going you may just go to another shop and tell them "tell me what codes I have" it may cost around $30.00 depending on what their hr labor rate is.