Must Have Programs!

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

Moderator: Dposcorp

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2007 2:47 pm

A_Pickle wrote:Expose knock-offs
Oooh, shiny! Grabbing these. Anyone else that wants or thinks they might in the future want an expose clone for windows, you should dl it now. You never know if apple will do a look and feel cease & desist, like they did to y'z dock.

Expose was something that, when I used it on a mac the first time, I thought was a superior bit of interaction. Most mac things just feel different to me, but expose is really better.

crazybus wrote:Launchy
If you like the idea of launchy, you can also try Colibri or SlickRun. Colibri is faster than launchy but not as versatile (pretty much only start menu, whereas launchy can index other places). SlickRun is by far the most powerful (user macros, wildcard stuff, etc) but it's not pretty and hard to configure. I tried all of them, and settled on launchy myself.
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Postposted on Thu May 24, 2007 10:33 am

I have stumbled onto a few more programs that have just made life easier in general. Some will cost you about 20-60 bucks one time fee, no yearly renewal, others are free with certain features disabled.

Unlocker
This utility makes life easier in that when you are trying to delete, remove, or shut down something that the system is using and get the "Unable to delete" error, this program bypasses that. Even when you have those extremely stubborn processes that just wont die, a feature to rename and move the file is always available. And if thats not enough you can always wipe out the big guns "Rename and Move or Delete on Startup". This make for one heck of a tool when combating your way through heavily infested hard drive territory.

Beyond Compare 2
This program I haven't began to use its full ability. This allows you in its most basic form to compare to folders side by side. You can "Sync" one side to the other. This is great for Data recovery/comparison. Its come especially in handy when a customer claims that certain files that were on his machine when he brought the PC in, have now disappeared. Merely mount the backup of his hard drive, Beyond Compare it, and Viola "MY FILES, THANK GOD THEY ARE STILL THERE" (You did make a backup right? More on a great program for that later :))

Acronis True Image 9.1
For true backup and imaging, I have found nothing better than Acronis. This utility has made backup not only practical but FUN! (OK, so I laid the cheesy sales pitch on a bit thick). Even though its not terribly exciting, it has become very easy and practical to even backup your home computer in the event that hardware failure or a virus toasts your file system. The program features the ability to do full backups or incremental backups. In the event you do a Full backup (Highly Advised) you are copying the whole file system, MBR, and OS folder hiearchy. Once imaged you are able to mount the saved partition as a logical drive letter temporarily and access it as if it were another psychical hard drive. Where the magic in this program comes out, is the ability to restore that imaged disk to a totally new drive, where it can either create a partition the same size of the original install OR extend into a larger than original partition. So you can take a 40gig HDD and put it on a 500gig with zero problems, it will run as though its the same drive but with the extra space under the same single partition. Pretty nifty huh? Its become one of my favorite tools considering you can get a perfect vanilla install of your favorite OS, image it, and if you ever wanted to reset, just write it back to the drive. The whole process takes no more than 10-20 minutes to image or restore a drive.

I hope these tools come in handy for whatever tasks you can find to put them too. Give me some of your feedback on these items and let me know how you like them or if you have any others that you deem worthy of replacing them.
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Postposted on Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:21 am

As a moderation note, I've been junking posts and banning new users who post in this thread with links to programs on download sites. In my judgment, these posts are meant to drive traffic to these download sites (most of which I'd never heard of until they posted).

Kevin
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Postposted on Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:45 am

Ccleaner - A really handy utility for getting rid of unused files on your system and cleaning up your registry.

I used it on a dummy system first to see if it was stable after letting it detect and remove all the stuff it found. Everything was fine.
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Postposted on Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:19 pm

I do believe that Ccleaner was previously listed, but a very good one to mention again Hoser :). I have been using it for some time now and it has yet to delete anything that effect any systems I have put it on. I even use it on customers machines, no problems yet.

The best feature about it is it cleaning the registry imo
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Postposted on Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:03 pm

im not sure if these have already been mentioned, so if they have, this is me agreeing with them =p

Frostwire/Limewire: basically the same program. very easy to use. just make sure you have decent virus protection.

WMP 11: idk what the big gripe is about it. i love it. to me its very user friendly and it makes it very easy to organize all of my music. which there is a LOT of.

Trillian: awesome program. rolls all of your Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, AIM, etc. instant messaging accounts into one really easy program.

Xfire: just plain great. no need to explain that one.

Ventrilo: its awesome once you understand it.

AVG Antivirus Suite: i used it back when it was still free. it worked great. cleaned up my laptop in a quick, orderly fasion without much hassle. im not sure how it does now though, now that it costs money.

McAfee Antivirus Suite: always loved their software. it works great.

CPU-Z: duh.

PC Wizard 2007: easy to use and gives pretty detailed benchies.

Mozilla Firefox: what can i say. Firefox is the greatest.
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Postposted on Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:02 pm

Kevin wrote:As a moderation note, I've been junking posts and banning new users who post in this thread with links to programs on download sites. In my judgment, these posts are meant to drive traffic to these download sites (most of which I'd never heard of until they posted).

Kevin


Thanks.......I never really thought of that.
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Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:45 pm

A program that I have recently found pretty useful (Actually, a suite of programs wrapped into one interface) is XPManager.

The program allows you to do all of your favorite tweaks and mods, all from a very easy to use interface. Note that there is a very large amount of stuff you can do with it, so its easy to get lost. The program features the ability to do a "One Button Optimization" usually I do not go for those sort of things, but it has yet to bone any system i've used that on, and it actually does make the system run better.

One of my favorite little features it allows you to activate hardware features that usually sit dormant on your NIC. Change MAC address right from the program, change MTU... all sorts of stuff.

I could spend all day telling you the various features but your better off checking it out yourself. Make sure you have .Net Framwork 2.0 or higher, the program requires it to run.
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Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:02 pm

1. Winrar - File Compression
2. Winamp - looooool
3. AcdSee - Picutre Organizer & Viewer
4. Picaview - Picture viewer option on any context menu

...........etc

:-)
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:27 pm

I recently found a good anti-malware utility aside the known anti-spyware applications.

The application that I found is called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and it's freeware. If you don't use the real-time protection, that is.

There is an optional paid version as well.


Here is their homepage : http://www.malwarebytes.org
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:16 pm

Net Tools 5

Lots of neat little tools for ports and traffic
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:50 am

JK Defrag. Works great with a lot of options and it's free GNU.

http://www.kessels.com/Jkdefrag/
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:57 pm

I stumbled onto this thread while checking the forum out, and find the information very valuable. Thanks everyone! (I hope you don't mind a newbie posting to an old thread, but, there is such good info here... It deserves to "stick" around!)

I think it was mentioned a few pages back, but, I vastly prefer Foxit Reader over Adobe Reader. It is smaller, loads much faster, uses less memory, and leaves less clutter behind. It's especially great for older, less capable machines, but if you're borderline on performance with Vista, I find it a good choice there, too.

Also mostly for "non-primary" or older machines, I find the appropriate versions of WordViewer, ExcelViewer, and PowerPointViewer very useful.

CCleaner is another program mentioned earlier, that I have started using recently, and it has worked very well for me on several XP machines, so far.

IrfanView is very useful / highly recommended.

And, finally, I recently began using Audacity (be sure to find and use the FULL manual). I like it, but, be aware that at least as of my download in mid-December, 2008, the spectrum analyzer is NOT working correctly: White noise should NOT plot as flat on a logarithmic scale. This error carries over to the article(s) on Wikipedia, discussing "noise colors" and their various spectra: The author got the text of the discussions correct, but then went to use Audacity for his examples (images), and apparently did not look at them twice -- the results (as shown in the images) do not all agree with the correct information in the text! I checked with a friend who knows the math behind this 10x better than I do -- DSP audio analysis is his business -- and he agrees.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:10 pm

BTW, does anyone have any insight on "RadarSync", or have suggestions on a similar program (driver locator) that works well?

Finding correct drivers can sometimes be a nightmare, as I found out when I bought a used Dell recently, which had the HD wiped, and most of the drivers were not restored. Even going to Dell's site, with the service tag #, I had to try several drivers Dell suggested before finding one not even on my machine's network drivers list, to get the NIC going. Windows Update did not have a clue. (I was actually running through an external modem on dialup, to try the latter, but after I got the NIC going, Windows Update DID find a driver for the Intel modem - I know not where - it was not locateable (sp?) on either Dell or Intel's site. But WU failed to find other drivers after I got the NIC going. Like I say, it was a long bad dream.

At least that machine is working great now! :-)
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:35 pm

I know nothing has been posted in here for a while, but came across a bit of an interesting program today.
In areas with a lot of wireless traffic it's been very helpful to me.
The program is call inSSIDer.
Check it out here
It's a free download, and actually pretty helpful.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:19 pm

Well, I've been poring over the intarwebz to find a good, native (not browser-based) and, if possible, free application for creating flowcharts. I hit up Google, which gave some decent results, but I was more hoping to find "Awesome Must-Have Free Software" forum threads with mentions and links to such software. Alas, I had no such luck, but I figured TR had a thread like that... and here it is. Four years old.

I think this thread could use a nice overhaul...
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:28 am

Pcfreakske2000 wrote:I recently found a good anti-malware utility aside the known anti-spyware applications.

The application that I found is called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and it's freeware. If you don't use the real-time protection, that is.

There is an optional paid version as well.


Here is their homepage : http://www.malwarebytes.org


reading through the thread i was wondering why no one had mentioned it (until the last page anyways) this program is a godsent to me. it picks up stuff that our McAfee misses by a long shot. great free app.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:06 pm

It was a while ago, but Klyith was wondering about a freeware program that shows disk usage as a piechart but couldn't remember what it was... Dunno if it's the same program, but I use Scanner. Free and small, happily runs from a flash drive. You can get it here:

http://www.steffengerlach.de/freeware/

Does what it says on the tin.

Great thread, by the way. Thanks to all.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:38 pm

HDDScan http://hddscan.com/

*Developers Description*
HDDScan is a freeware utility for storage devices diagnostics (HDD, RAID, Flash). The program can scan storage device for Bad-blocks, show S.M.A.R.T. attributes and change some HDD parameters such as AAM, APM, etc.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First off, this program is a self contained exe, making it extremely portable and usable from any removable media you prefer. The interface is very simplified making it perfect for running on system with very low resources or other issue that are slowing them down. Once scanning you will see a screen similar to the old windows defrag with colored squares. Each little block represents a sector, its color signifying how long it took that sector to respond to a request(measured in milliseconds). This comes in really handy for showing you a drive that has a very slow portion of a disk that may very well have hardware defects or be damaged in some way. Occasionally there will be the feared "B" on a block meaning that the sector was not readable at all... your hard drive is failing.

One time I was using HDDscan on a hard drive from a laptop. The client kept complaining that the laptop would boot into windows without any issue. But once he picked up the laptop and moved it to another location, windows would crash shortly after. HDDscan showed that the drive was healthy, but move the hard drive or give it any sort of light shake or tap and the next dozen or so sectors were unreadable. Looked like the actuator arm was no longer managing physical shock.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:14 am

Notepad++ is quite great if you do a lot of coding.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:51 pm

a few people have posted their messenger clients Trillian ect. I just thought I would post the one that i use. http://www.pidgin.im/download Pidgin is entirely free and open source and compatible with almost every other chat program. It has a small footprint and I find that it uses less resources then both windows messenger and trillian. The UI is simple and ad free as well. Keep up the good posts guys :)
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:48 pm

Some software that I cant live without on XP

7-zip - for compression/archiving/etc

malwarebytes anti malware - picked up stuff that norton and spybot search and destroy both missed!!

cccp (combined comunity codec pack) - comes with a player and plays about everything - quicktime and realplayer files

ESET - nod32 & Smart security 4.0 - worth every cent

Perfect disk for a defragger - if you frag your drive that much!!

Winamp i like

firefox - web browser

thunderbird - email client

imgburn - for making iso's and data disks

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free 6.76 - for burning other stuff

hmmm what else
and of course XP powertoys, i use the clear type lots for lcds

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/Down ... rtoys.mspx
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:00 am

Another one i forgot is

FOXITREADER - SO MUCH better than BLOATWARE adobe
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:01 pm

Awesome list, thank you.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:08 am

Combofix...... Now I will warn you with this one, it is absolutely a powerful little tool, very compact. It is basically a virus killing virus. In fact the guys who make it warn that you don't run it unless they say that you should (but we know better than that right :D). It was able to get rid of some pretty nasty stuff that no other AV would. Note that the other AVs I was using were ran normally, safe-mode and even on a 100% updated boo-table CD before any OS load, little virus was a tough one. I released Combo-fix into the wild on the computer and POOF, watched them battle it out. Fun stuff watching a virus try and close an admin-rights consoled AV. And as soon as the virus attempts to kill it.......... in turn it kills the viruses process, great stuff. Best of all....... its free.

http://www.combofix.org/

Enjoy, and be careful with it.
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:01 pm

Fantastic Free Utility for Windows - Take Control of Your Desktop Again!
Fences by Stardock Software: Allows you to control custom icon groups on your Windows XP / Vista / 7 Desktop
http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/

Reviews:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/my-mus ... nces/10992
http://lifehacker.com/5147316/fences-is ... -organizer
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:59 pm

My list of essentials:

Chrome (used to be Firefox)
Malwarebyte & HitmanPro
Avast or AVG or NortonAV
7zip
Unlocker
CCleaner
Revo Uninstaller
Steam
Process Explorer
Dropbox
VLC Player
MiroPlayer (for podcasts)
NitroPDF or PDF Xchange (used to be Foxit)
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:42 pm

My list of essentials currently consists of:

- Ubuntu Linux
- A full mirror of the Ubuntu repository for the version I'm running
- Latest version of Oracle VirtualBox (the proprietary version includes features missing from the Open Source version bundled with Linux distros, and is still free for personal use)

:wink:
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Re: Must Have Programs!

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:08 pm

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