Must Have Programs!

The place for all kinds of software for all kinds of operating systems.

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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:14 am

So here's my attempt at such a list.

Disk Defrag
MyDefrag
Defragmenting tool with numerous options, useful for different types of disks (in terms of use - "system disk" or "data disk" and physically - a USB thumb drive or a usual internal hard drive). Not exactly for the Average Joe however.

Defraggler
A simpler defragmenting tool that also allows defragmentation of individual files. Piriform has other useful programs besides this (which would be making an appearance later on).

Auslogics Disk Defrag
Another alternate choice for disk defragmenting needs.

Disk Cleanup
CCleaner
Another program from Piriform, arguably the primary disk cleanup program of many.

Disk/File Management/Recovery/Encryption
Recuva
A file recovery program from Piriform.

Double Killer
Is a "fast and easy to use application for finding and removing duplicate files."

Advanced Renamer
Rename multiple files quickly with this program.

True Crypt
A free open-source disk encryption software.

Teracopy
Copying files made faster and easier through this application.

Space Sniffer
Know which file occupies how much space where with this program.

TreeSize Free
Scan directory sizes and spot space hogs quickly with this application.

System Information
CPU-Z
Usually comes first to mind when thinking about such programs.

HWMonitor
From the creators of CPU-Z, focusing more on temperatures, voltages and fan speeds.

GPU-Z
Foremost choice for information on your GPU(s).

Real Temp
A "temperature monitoring program designed for all Intel single Core, Dual Core, Quad Core and Core i7 processors."

Core Temp
A CPU temperature monitoring program alternative.

Speccy
A system information program from Piriform.

Blue Screen View
View BSOD information in your system's dump files.

SpeedFan
Versatile program which also allows fan control.

File Compression/Decompression
7-Zip
My first choice for file compression/decompression.

WinRAR
Congraturation, you are WinRAR.

WinZIP
And here's another one.

Media Players and Codecs
Winamp
Audio and video player. I usually restrict its use to audio files however.

CCCP
The codecs pack that will choose you. In Soviet Russia, it is not you who choose the codecs, for the codecs choose you!

Media Player Classic - Home Cinema is included, the best media player out there today.

VLC media player
An alternative...alternative media player.

Foobar2000
Another one, also a popular choice.

Media Files Conversion, Creation and Editing
SUPER
A program with a comprehensive list of files to convert to and from.

HandBrake
Included here to add variety.

Virtual DJ
It's free. That doesn't mean it's easy to use and quick to get the hang of it though.

Video Card Utilities
Afterburner
Now the primary option for video card tweaking. And yes, it works even with non-MSI cards.

Rivatuner
The program which forms the basis for Afterburner.

Internet Browsers
Firefox

Chrome

Opera

Safari

Internet Explorer 9
IE9 is included as I'm under the assumption that you haven't updated IE yet and you have either Vista or 7.

Desktop Customization
Rainmeter
Can be either easy to set-up or a nightmare to use, depending on the amount of time you have free. Does not measure the amount of rainfall in your area.

Rocket Dock
A dock for your shortcuts in your desktop.

RK Launcher
Another useful dock program.

Productivity Suites
OpenOffice

LibreOffice

CutePDF Writer
Create PDF files and make them cute.

Foxit Reader
An alternative PDF reader.

Image Editors
GIMP
A free alternative to Adobe's Photoshop.

Paint.NET
Another free image editor.

Inkscape
Alternative vector graphics editor.

Image Resizer for Windows
Exactly what it says in the title.

Security
Microsoft Security Essentials

AVG Free Anti-Virus

Avast! Free Antivirus

Avira Antivir Personal

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Spybot Search & Destroy

Emulation/Burning Software
DAEMON Tools Lite
Disc emulation and burning tool.

Virtual CloneDrive
A free virtual drive software.

ImgBurn
A lightweight burning application.

CDBurnerXP
Another program for your burning desires.

Networking
Wireshark
A network protocol analyzer.

Spiceworks
Networking management and monitoring software.

Instant Messaging/Voice Chat
Skype

Pidgin

Digsby

E-Mail Clients
Thunderbird
A free, open source, cross-platform e-mail and news client.

Miscellaneous
Soluto
"Soluto Beta allows you to understand your boot, discover which applications are slowing it down (and keep running later in the background, affecting your ongoing experience), and allows you to significantly improve it. While Soluto Beta focuses on the boot, it already researches for frustrations and helps map the PC Genome, allowing you to share your wisdom with others." Yes, it's still in Beta.

Notepad++
Tired with using Notepad? Use Notepad++ then.

Joomla
A free content management system for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets.

SeaMonkey
An all-in-one internet application suite.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:09 am

Zapping this almost-dead thread back to life...

I have found Secunia's PSI to be very helpful at keeping Windows computers in our home up to date with patches. It scans all installed applications, including various Windows components and the OS itself, lets you know which ones are exposing you to security risks as per Secunia's vulnerability database, and also notifies you if there are patches available. Scanning can bog older computers down for a few minutes, but newer systems with dual-core or better CPUs and fast HDDs or SSDs will not slow down much at all. And the benefits are definitely worth it.

Secunia PSI download page
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:40 am

if u doing coding, don't forget notepad++ and netbeans
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Sat May 26, 2012 12:37 am

Wanted to add a new one that I recently found thats been out for a VERY long time now...

ISO Recorder - Does exactly what it implies, and does it for free. Instead of having a large interface too, its a shell extension. All you have to do is right click on the CD/DVD/BD in your my computer, and tell it to "Create Image From CD/DVD" and give it a location and Voila, you get an ISO image of that disc. Simple, free, fast..... this is what its all about people :)

http://alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm
It also has the same functionality to burn an image to a disc.

But for those of you who prefer to have something a little.. slightly (not much) more for recording your ISO files to disc, my favorite is FreeISOBurner... yep, its name says it all... of course its free.
www.FreeISOBurner.com

Last but not least... something very useful from Microsoft.
Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool - http://images2.store.microsoft.com/prod ... D-tool.exe
Allows you to take ISO files (of OSes supposedly only) and make them bootable on a thumb drive. I've done with with Windows 7 Pro many times so that I can install it on machines without optical drives. Works great and makes the install process a heck of a lot fast. Just got to make sure the machine your booting from likes USB sticks on booting.......

Hope this helps someone who needs their ISO fix, because that's what all of those programs are about. Enjoy :)
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:36 pm

Speaking of bootable USB drives, I present Rufus: http://rufus.akeo.ie/

It's a simple program that can turn a thumbdrive into a MS DOS, FreeDOS or ISO bootable drive with just a couple clicks. I've needed this when I was updating firmware or a BIOS that needed to be done in DOS. Just dump the contents to the drive, reboot and flash away.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:22 pm

http://www.mp3tag.de/en/

I've been using this for years and it's a great lightweight and very powerful program for editing music tags and file-names. You can change your file-names or tags in batches using your preferred specified naming convention (for example "%artist% - %year% - %album% - %track% - %title%")

I've used tons of different music/media player programs but none of them offer anything near the level of tag/file-name management that this little 6MB program offers.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:27 pm

EVERYTHING -well searches everything for you in a matter of seconds ;)
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:59 am

Bash, Midnight Commander, a web browser, you know that's about all the front end I need. MC has a host of extension bindings that do almost everything I need for my amusement.

Do a lot from the command line, it's often easier and faster than firing up some program or other.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:44 pm

Hello, I am planning a format on 2 pc's soon (W7 & W8 pro, x64) anyone have any suggestions for some good software to inprove usability and functionality?

For w7 I was thinking of purchasing actual multiple monitors or display fusion (for the multiple taskbars) and start8 for W8.

I also see dual monitor taskbar on sourceforge.

I don't mind if the programs cost money if they are worth it. Any other suggestions are welcome.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:21 am

Have to revive this old thread.
I am currently on Win 7 x64 Pro, and hopefully be moving to win 8.1 or 8.2 x64 pro this summer.

So is there any must have 3rd party programs you guys use with win 8.1?

I remember installing a few on win 7 religiously like teracopy, imgburn, sometimes the MSDN process explorer, and a desktop tool for extending tool bars in multi-monitor setups. Are any of these and others good to have on win 8.1 and moving forward?
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:02 pm

Does anyone still use
-classic shell
-start 8
or other desktop programs with win 8.1?
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:04 pm

anotherengineer wrote:Does anyone still use
-classic shell
-start 8
or other desktop programs with win 8.1?

Classic Shell here. Haven't seen the Start screen since about 10 minutes after loading 8.1.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:20 am

Captain Ned wrote:
anotherengineer wrote:Does anyone still use
-classic shell
-start 8
or other desktop programs with win 8.1?

Classic Shell here. Haven't seen the Start screen since about 10 minutes after loading 8.1.


+1 - If it weren't for classic shell, I'd not be able to recommend Windows 8/8.1 to customers because they would be ultimately lost. I'd not be so happy either even though I'm still rocking 7.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:41 am

Welch wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Classic Shell here. Haven't seen the Start screen since about 10 minutes after loading 8.1.

+1 - If it weren't for classic shell, I'd not be able to recommend Windows 8/8.1 to customers because they would be ultimately lost. I'd not be so happy either even though I'm still rocking 7.

My Windows needs are still adequately met by Windows 7; natively at work (where I don't have a choice of Windows versions anyway), or via a VM hosted on my Linux desktop at home. I have no plans to seriously explore later versions of Windows until it becomes necessary, due to migration of the corporate IT environment to something post-7, a need for a Windows-specific 3rd party application at home that requires something newer, or another job change that results in a "need to know".

Given the above, I'd say my Windows "Must Have" program these days is VirtualBox or VMware Player. At work, it lets me run my preferred Linix distro in a VM for development; at home it allows me to run Windows when needed without needing to dual-boot. :wink:
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:58 am

anotherengineer wrote:Does anyone still use
-classic shell
-start 8
or other desktop programs with win 8.1?


I'd probably commit seppuku without Classic Shell. I have to use Win 8.1 so I can manage Server 2012/2012 R2 boxes at work. Still using Windows 7 at home (with a 2012 R2 server that I RDP into rather than manage remotely).

All my other must-haves probably are must-haves if you're a techie doing troubleshooting stuff --not so much for everyone else.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:04 am

just brew it! wrote:
Welch wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Classic Shell here. Haven't seen the Start screen since about 10 minutes after loading 8.1.

+1 - If it weren't for classic shell, I'd not be able to recommend Windows 8/8.1 to customers because they would be ultimately lost. I'd not be so happy either even though I'm still rocking 7.

My Windows needs are still adequately met by Windows 7; natively at work (where I don't have a choice of Windows versions anyway), or via a VM hosted on my Linux desktop at home. I have no plans to seriously explore later versions of Windows until it becomes necessary, due to migration of the corporate IT environment to something post-7, a need for a Windows-specific 3rd party application at home that requires something newer, or another job change that results in a "need to know".

Given the above, I'd say my Windows "Must Have" program these days is VirtualBox or VMware Player. At work, it lets me run my preferred Linix distro in a VM for development; at home it allows me to run Windows when needed without needing to dual-boot. :wink:


Agreed, I still run Windows 7 and don't plan to leave it until I truly need to. Nor do I have my business customers get Windows 8/8.1 unless they specifically want it for some reason. The only ones who go to Windows 8/8.1 are home customers who have purchased a pre-built machine.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:56 am

I have to list Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) / Cleaner made for Display (GPU) Drivers.(NVIDIA/AMD)

What it does is remove the display/GPU driver from device manager and remove the current and
all precedent driver(s) from the Windows Driver store along with removing services from NVIDIA/AMD.

The current effect after you use this tool will be similar to if Windows was in a "Fresh Install" state.

This tool acts much like "Driver Sweeper"*, and has all the extra mentioned above.

If you have any problems installing an older driver or a newer one, give it a try as there are some reports that it fixes
those problems.

RECOMMENDED USAGE :

-The tool can be used in Normal mode but for absolute stability when using DDU, Safe Mode is
always the best.

- We would like to gather feedback from everyone, tell us if it was successful or not.

- Make a backup or a system restore. (but it should normally be pretty safe.
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