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Topic: Essential Software (Read 360632 times) previous topic - next topic
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Essential Software

Reply #50
After returning to this thread for the nth time, I think it should be made sticky.

"To understand me, you'll have to swallow a world." Or maybe your words.

Essential Software

Reply #51
New entry here: type&run (lol, I love the name). Man in russian, but english interface and settings are quite self-explanatory.

Essential Software

Reply #52
New entry here: type&run (lol, I love the name). Man in russian, but english interface and settings are quite self-explanatory.

Ummm... and what does it do?

Essential Software

Reply #53
It's a *nix-console-like program, launches progs, files/dirs (file manager can be specified in config), web/email adresses (browser as well), dos cmds. Autocomplete. Called by hotkey.
Also has some built-in ones like /reboot, /shutdown...
So basically you create bunch of aliases for favorite progs/adresses, and get rid of shortcuts, quicklaunches and such.
That's how it looks here: screeny.

Essential Software

Reply #54

CPU-Z is a freeware that provides some information on your system :

    * Processor name and vendor
    * Core stepping and process
    * Processor package
    * Processor current core voltage
    * Internal and external clocks, clock multiplier
    * Partial overclock detection
    * Processor features, including supported instructions sets.
    * L1 to L3 cache information : location, size, speed, technology.
    * Motherboard information : name, vendor, BIOS, chipset, memory, AGP.
    * Memory information : size, type, timings, specifications.
Vital papers will demonstrate their vitality by spontaneously moving from where you left them to where you can't find them.

Essential Software

Reply #55

Essential Software

Reply #56

Firebird for my browser

and Thunderbird for my mail client

is there a irc server for this forum, or no??

Essential Software

Reply #57
Yes there is! #hydrogenaudio on

Essential Software

Reply #58
Xteq Systems X-Setup ( ) IMHO the best Windows tweaking utility, supports Win 9x/NT/2000/XP, 2003 support comming soon. There are available two modes: for power users and a wizard.
And it's freeware.

Essential Software

Reply #59

Essential Software

Reply #60
Don't know if it fits in "essential software", but I've tried to make a readable and useful list of multimedia freeware programs...

Of course the last update is quite old and many programs are missing, but it's better than nothing ;-) .

I hope no one gets mad at me for this blatant self-advertizing  .


"Stop making me older, start making me new"

Essential Software

Reply #61
I didn't see this on the list, so I'll make mention of it:
SmartFTP This is one of the best FTP programs I've ever used, and I still swear by it.  It's only annoying sometimes because it pesters you to purchase it.  It only does that during normal business hours.  There are different queues you can use, and it even caches directory listings.

I like Power Archiver as my generic compression tool. It's only failed me once so far, when trying to unzip a much older compression format. It's pretty good for everything today.

hjsplit is THE program to have for breaking up files into nice chunks for floppy.

On the other end of the file editor scale, there's Crimson Editor. It's slick enough for me to program in.  BTW, I have an incomplete color schema for it for use in editing foobar display scripts.  Let me know if you're interested in it.

Avant Browser is my browser of choice when I need a good pop-killing browser that also supports Java. It's basically IE with a few extras.  Once Firebird hits 1.0, I might start recommending that.

DVAssist is the best program for those who use the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (I do).  It allows you to switch between the two by setting a hotkey.  I've had people not realize that I type in Dvorak, simply because I hit Ctrl-Shift-F12 before they use my keyboard.

Tnftp - To be honest, I haven't tried the most recent version of this.  It used to be called lukemftp, and it was quite slick.  It felt just as lightweight as your standard command line ftp-client, but it was more powerful.  I only used it for one feature: tab completion

I think that's it for now, but I'll edit this post if I can think of anything more

Edit: tags

Edit2: Added DV Assist and tnftp

Essential Software

Reply #62
hjsplit is THE program to have for breaking up files into nice chunks for floppy.

This tool basically re-defines bad ergonomics. "How to make something simple more complicated". You even have to confirm when you want to close it.

Essential Software

Reply #63
I find UltraEdit indispensible. Are there any good opensource/free equivilents which are almost as good?


From a web development perspective, UltraEdit is essential.  Editing directly from the FTP is cruical, but there's a load of other neat features in that program.  BBEditor for is a good equivilant for MacOS users.

I've found the FXP (FTP -> FTP file copy) functionality of FlashFXP very handy.

IE users:  Google's toolbar is a good, free pop-up blocker.  Though now that I have used this new Firebird, I don't have any plans to go back.

WinEdt is a great LaTeX editor, but it will cost you some $.

A cool little shareware utility is Babylon.  A built in dictionary/encyclopedia defines a word when you engage it (I have mine on "center mouse click").  I've grown very attached to it!

Maple or Matlab are musts for anyone who does a lot of number crunching. 

Trillian SubmitWolf for website publicity. (99$)

GsView/Nero/SecureCRT/DC++ some other essentials.

Quite a list so far, thanks for all the good suggestions.

Essential Software

Reply #64
Apart from other useful things that were already mentioned...
TeamSpeak - initially meant for voice comm in games, but it's also very good in general use (btw, uses Speex among other codecs)
HydraIRC - perhaps not the most full featured client, but enough for my needs - and also very fast and lightweight
Media Player Classic - media player in spirit of good old mplayer2, which still can be found in windows media player dir. Has some more features...and I especially like blister fast playback after clicking somewhere in the middle of progress bar for example and suppport for *.mov when coupled with Quicktime Alternative. I'm surprised this one wasn't mentioned earlier 
FileZilla - this one popped out earlier in this thread, but I'd like to point out that apart from very fast and lightweight client, there's also basic, small, light server that caries the same name. For simple tasks, such as sharing something with buddies, etc. - perfect.
Comic Downloader - if you can't live without User Friendly, Garfield, Sinfest or Dilbert, this one's definetely for you 
7-Zip - yes, right now its file menager has terrible interface...but if you're the kind of person that rather use context menus in explorer for archiwing tasks instead, you'll find this application usefull perhaps (not to mention being able to use 7z format)
Ghost-It! - has the ability to create "ghost windows" - the windows that not only are transparent and always on top, but your clicks pass through them. In some situations very usefull. Not to mention spooky
Virtual Dimension - very good IMHO virtual desktop manager for windows
WackGet - very light and unobtrusive download menager. Well, in realiy you can hardly call it download menager - it's very, very simple. But I find it very usefull. Uses wget under the hood.
Googlebar for Firebird. Can't live without it (it has some features that you won't find in original Google Toolbar). Don't use the experimental version

Image browser/viewer - I've been using ACDSee 3.0 for a looong time, but it's getting old. And currently I can't decide between Irfanview and SlowView. Don't let the name of the second one mislead you, it's rather fast. And I like its features. Too bad I don't like the way its menus look...

Mail client - been trying to find something free and very light etc. Almost found it  - Scribe is this kind of app, but its free version is able to use only one account...but if this limitation doesn't bother you, Scribe is really nice. Been thinking about its non-free version...but thanks to this thread I've found Foxmail and perhaps this is what I want...too bad English version is little outdated.

They have been mentioned couple times, but I feel I just have to give them attention 
foobar2000 and miranda (with jabber)

Essential Software

Reply #65
the best shellreplacement !! (officially an shell-addon only, but supplemented with a litestep or purels systemtray it has all you need). powerpro utilizes the windows API and makes your windows desktop just as powerfull as linux X and kde/gnome or whatever. replaces thousand stupid tools. it has bars,taskbar,menus,a powerfull scripting language (including lots of windowmanagement commands),hotkey,timers,virtual desktops,clipboradsaving plus everything else. it's a memory-lightweight. it's stable. it's relatively easy to learn (compared to other some scripting stuff). don't be discouraged by the ugly ugly screenshots, powerpro can look like anything or be invisible if u love hotkeys and menus.

Essential Software

Reply #66
Hi there, I couldn't resist the temptation so here is my list.. ..I am sorry but I am too lazy to make hotlinks.. ..but if you use Google, you will surely get what you need..

For MP3 processing I use.. EAC (of course), LAME with RazorLame Front-End, and MP3Gain for volume normalizing.. (nothing new) but I don't believe that nobody mentioned MP3 TAG STUDIO ( for Tagging & Renaming MP3 filez.. I tried too much taggers to know that every except this one missed some useful features.. Just try..

For E-Mail, well The-Bat ( seem to be very reasonable choice..

For Internet Browsing I just use Opera ( I am sure you know that one, but is there any reason ou did not meantion it b4?  IMHO smallest and fastest browser with lots of functions.. MyIE or IE even Mozzila (but thanks Phoenix) cant do such great work..

AudioGnome ( for P2P file sharing..
XNews - News Reader

Total Commander - file manager
Power Archiver - can handle ALL archive types.. really lovely utility..
RegCleaner, Registry First Aid, Registry Compactor - for registry managent

Tiny Personal Firewall - uaa I think far better that kerio.. (but is it?)
NOD32 (, - Antivirus (the best one for sure!!)
Ad-Aware - no comment
TauScan - Resident trojan seeker and remover (updated daily)

BORGChat - LAN chatting
EtherPeek - LAN traffic mater (and more)..
Winamp 5.0, Foobar - MP3 players
nplayer, MV2Player - video players (MV2Player seem to be really good) and lets not forget XVid:) - very small and fast polish Video Player (not the same as Xvid Codec <g>)

CoolEdit Pro 2.0 - audio editor (again best one for sure)
Audio Converter PRO - for converting from one audio format to another

CD Burning:
NERO (no comment )
FEURIO - the best one for Audio CD (again for sure!)
CloneCD - for CD Copy, ISO Burning

*** Long paragraph about cracking and crack links removed by moderation, ToS #9 violation ***

Essential Software

Reply #67
MPC Batch Encoder
MPC Scan
Monkey's Audio
MP3Trim Pro
Sony Sound Forge 7.0

BurnAtOnce: Data CDs
Feurio: Audio CDs
Nero 5.5: Multisession CDs

Kerio Personal Firewall
Norton AntiVirus 2003

Par 2

Need For Speed 4: High Stakes
Need For Speed 5: Porsche Unleashed
Need For Speed 6: Hot Pursuit 2
Need For Speed 7: Underground

MS Messenger 6.1
Messenger Plus
MS Office XP Pro

By the way I'm my PC runs under  Windows XP
MPC: --quality 10 --xlevel (v. 1.15s) (archive/transcoding)
MP3:  LAME 3.96.1 --preset standard (daily listening/portable)

Essential Software

Reply #68
CD Check Quote from website:
" CDCheck is a utility for the prevention, detection and recovery of damaged files on CD-ROMs with an emphasis on error detection. With CDCheck you can check your CDs and discover which files are corrupted. CDCheck provides the following features: readability verification, binary compare, CRC file creation (and verification) and file recovery."

Fill CD Quote from website:
"FillCD is a Windows program that allows you to make the most of your blank media. Provide a list of items you'd like to burn, a media size or type (CD and DVD sizes are among the presets) and the percentage you'd like to fill. FillCD does the work of calculating what to burn on each disk, and gives the option to move the data to a final destination for archival."

40tude Dialog
The best Newsreader (for Usenet) IMO. It has a nice UI tons of features and it's free for private use.

Directory Lister
Makes neat HTML or plaintext lists of selected directories. The info displayed in the lists is configurable, you can add filesize, attributes, CRC etc.

My favorite Bootmanager. It's easy to use, has a windows-like UI and mouse support.

Acronis Partition Expert
This is a retail app (not freeware/shareware). A tool for creating and managing partitions your HD. Supports FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, Linux Ext2, Ext3, ReiserFS, and Linux SWAP partition. It has a Windows XP-like User interface even when bootet from CD. (In contrary to most other tools which use a DOS based environment when booted directly, Partition Expert uses a Linux-based environment)

Essential Software

Reply #69
some stuff that hasn't been mentenioned yet:

- BoomBOX
Using this tool you can search for internet radio stations and add them to your default audio players playlist (foobars of course  )

- Filzip
Yet another Compression tool like Winzip... Altough I've tried several dozens of similar programs I've decided to stay with this one (its not perfect, but pretty close to perfect if you put some small bugs aside)

- EasyPHP
A WAMP (Apache+MySQL+PHP for Windows) Installer that includes a convenient Administration utility. Its French, but translations are available.

- SciTE
A small & universal Texteditor (including Syntax Highlighting, Code folding, etc)
You can get a Windows Installer at

- DivFix
Detects corrupted Frames in .avi files and is able to remove them.
It also can rebuild an .avi's index

- Where Is It?
This one isn't free, but its definitly the best program for cataloging discs!

- Peace & Protection (mIRC Script)
P&P is my favorite mIRC script... I've tested many other scripts, but imo this one has got the best Concept and User Interface.
Its been discontinued a while ago and some fans released a mod called P&P Plus. Personally I still prefer the original, but this might be a matter of taste

- PasswordSafe
This is a convenient tool to store a lot of passwords in an encrypted databes.
Not perfect but  Open Source and easy to use.

My favorite Bootloader, as its verfy powerful once its been configured.

Essential Software

Reply #71
I haven't seen anyone mention Mac software, so I'm gonna:

iTunes (v4.2) - Mac and Windows. AAC support on both platforms, powered by QuickTime, great organizer, burner, player. Free.

SparkME (v2.81) - Mac ONLY. Freeware version of their Spark editor. Has been discontinued, so hurry and get it before they realize you can still get to it at the link I've attached.

SoundStudio (v2.11) - Mac ONLY. Waveform editor, ships with some consumer Mac models. Shareware.

DivX (v5.1.1) - Mac and Windows. Think we all know what this does. Free.

ffmpegX (v0.0.9a) - Mac ONLY (but powered by multi-plaform binaries), encodes video into various formats, including SVCD, DivX, XviD, etc. Donation-ware.

0SEx (v0.0110a01) - Mac ONLY, extracts stuff off DVDs, ready for processing by ffmpegX. Free.

VLC Media Player (v0.6.2) - Lots of platforms, plays DVDs, CDs, VCDs, DivX, WMA, MP3, Ogg Vorbis... only complaint is that it's still a touch buggy and needs an update soon. Free/open-source.

BTV Pro (v5.4.1) - Mac ONLY. Works great with my iSight cam, has lots of options for capturing video or still images. Shareware.

Microsoft Office X (v10.1.5) - Mac ONLY (but compatible with the Windows version). Yeah, I know what people say about Microsoft and about Office, but I get it for free since we're site-licensed for it, so I can't be bothered looking into anything else. Nor is it really worth my while... Commercial.

SubEthaEdit (v1.1.5) - Mac ONLY. I love this. You haven't edited text until you've done it collaboratively over the network. Supports Rendezvous (aka ZeroConf), hydra:// (its previous name) URLs, and has a live web preview via WebKit (aka the Safari KHTML-based frameworks). Free.

BBEdit Lite (v6.1.2) - Mac ONLY. Recently displaced as my editor of choice by SubEthaEdit, but still very good to have around. Discontinued, but remains on some mirrors/archives - do a search and you should find it. Might even be on the FTP server. Free.

vi/sed - I grew up on vi and never really got introduced to anything else (except pico), so have stuck with this. More recently, discovered sed as a useful way of enabling shell scripts to modify files. Free.

Dreamweaver (vMX 2004) - Mac and Windows. Like Microsoft, I get it for free due to our license. I can write raw HTML in a plain text editor, but sometimes I really can't be bothered, particularly when I want to use some basic Javascript behaviours, but I do keep the Split view open. Commercial.

GraphicConverter (v4.9.2) - Mac ONLY. Versatile image converter, viewer, browser, editor, slide-show viewer. Converter has a useful batch mode so you can set a bunch of images being resized then cropped then saved to a format... Does stuff Photoshop doesn't. Shareware.

Photoshop (vCS) - Mac and Windows. I don't live in Photoshop like I know some people do, but there are plenty of things I use it for. Commercial.

Mac OS X Mail (v1.3.2) - Mac ONLY. I've played with lots of different email programs (Mozilla, Eudora, Thunderbird, Entourage...) but I keep coming back to this one, since it's fast, has good spam detection and doesn't use up the whole screen. Built into Mac OS X 10.x.

Mozilla (v1.5.1) - Multi-platform. I have Safari installed of course, but it doesn't do a bunch of things that Mozilla does (Mozilla's image, cookie and pop-up blocking is first-rate). A bit "heavy", but still reliable. Mozilla Firebird (v0.7.1) looks interesting but still seems immature. Free/open-source.

Camino (v0.7) - Mac ONLY. Mac OS X up front, Mozilla in the back. Gecko embedded in a Cocoa application. Great browser, would be nice if it got some of Mozilla's blocking features. Has gained features in the nightlies, but an official release hasn't happened since March 2003. Needs to be officially updated. Free/open-source.

iChat AV (v2.0) - Mac ONLY. Prefer to the official
AIM client. I'm disappointed in some of those multi-protocol apps like Proteus and Fire (the Mac equivalents to Trillian, etal) due to their bad support (ie: non-existant) for firewalls and proxies. iChat looks good, works good, is integrated well, and it was free with Mac OS X 10.3. Built-in to Mac OS X 10.3/Commercial (sold separately for 10.2.x users).

Transmit (v2.6.2) - Mac ONLY. Great Mac OS X FTP client. Better than Fetch. Looks and works like a Mac OS X application should. Shareware.

Conversation (v1.4) - Mac ONLY. I've been using IRC for 10 years, and me and BitchX get along just fine. But I think this is just such a cool idea - puts an iChat-style face on IRC. Free.

Terminal - Mac ONLY. Keep it open all the time. It's my command-line, my SSH client, my some-time FTP client... wouldn't be without it. Built into Mac OS X.

Toast Titanium (v6.0.2) - Mac ONLY. Burns lots of different types of CDs and DVDs, including PC-compatible discs, and the clever custom-hybrid type (separate Mac and PC partitions on the one disc). iTunes and Finder are good for knocking up quick discs, but Toast is the champ. Commercial.

StuffIt Deluxe (v8.0.2) - Mac and Windows. Handles every archive format you can throw at it. Discovered it lets you browse TAR files, just like you can with SIT, SITX and ZIP files. Commercial.

Carbon Copy Cloner - Mac ONLY. THE tool for making Mac OS X image files. The same guy also makes NetRestore, for restoring image files through NetBoot. Indispensible for imaging and integration. Has a forum and some work instructions for a variety of integration-related issues. His software is free for education users. He's so smart he now works for Apple.  Free (for education).

Virex 7.2.1 - Mac ONLY. Comes as part of a .Mac membership, but we get it through our corporate NAI license. In 14 years of Mac computing, I've never once had a virus on my Mac, but I've no complaints about Virex (except the fact that only administrators can update the DAT - yes, the DAT itself should be protected, but the update mechanism should not). Commercial.

Mactracker (v2.0.6) - Mac and Windows. Specs on every Mac, Mac clone (yes, they did exist) and Apple-branded Mac-compatible peripheral from the original 128k Macintosh up to the iBook G4. Helps me maintain the illusion that I know everything about Macs. Free.

Apple Remote Desktop - Mac ONLY. Couldn't support and manage all the Macs that I do without it. Commercial.

Remote Desktop Connection - Mac ONLY. The Mac equivalent of Terminal Services Client. Good for managing Windows servers from my Mac, or running some Windows-only software from my Mac workstation. Free.

Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) - Mac ONLY. Love this upgrade. Expose, Preview (who needs Acrobat Reader?), iChat AV, Finder, improved proxy support, better layout of many apps (eg: Network Prefpane, the Internet Connect application), upgrades to practically everything (including the UNIX/BSD layer), speed improvements all around - wouldn't go back to 10.2 for anything. And the new ActiveDirectory plug-in makes network auth/home directories a lot easier than trying to learn LDAP from scratch. Plus it has all the usual UNIX stuff (it _is_ the world's highest volume shipping UNIX) like built-in Apache, Samba, PHP, Java 2 (1.4.1)... out of the box, and Apple's free Xcode IDE for developing apps in Java, C++, Objective-C, etc (think MS Visual Studio, but free). Commercial.

Essential Software

Reply #72
I am absolutely loving the new Google Deskbar.

This is different than the Google toolbar.  The Deskbar adds a Google search box to your task bar and displays your results in a mini-browser.

You don't need to have a browser open to use it -- in fact it's great to look up something quickly when you are in another application.

It might still be considered Beta, but it seems to be getting along perfectly well with my Firebird browser.

"Tommy likee"

Essential Software

Reply #74 - "Mój Serwer".
It is Polish application, but it ROCKS!!! It is web server which generates web pages from files and folders. It is something like FTP via WWW.