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Topic: Essential Software (Read 351701 times) previous topic - next topic
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Essential Software

Reply #25

Essential Software

Reply #26
Some freeware (& small) windows apps I've tried and corrently I'm enjoying:

DivXG400 2.7
Solve a small incompatibility between DivX ;-), MS MPEG4, WM7, WM8 codecs and Matrox G400/G450 drivers/hardware. If movie's width is not exact multiple of 32 (like 720x???), clip will be played back without using video overlay. If video overlay is not used, clips are looking choppy and DVDMax can not be used. And with it, you can Pan & Scan and correct aspect ratio of DiVX and DVD playback.

EditPad Lite
EditPad Lite is a replacement for the standard Windows NotePad.
Above other things, you change between the open files by clicking on their tabs (like Mozilla).

An mp3 (and ogg) tagger, I use it mainly because you can select your songs and directly search for their tags in without leaving the program.

A very simple "firewall", I use it mainly for its traffic monitor tool, where all the traffic from and to your computer is listed, and can be manually disconnected, so user can choose to terminate or add a connection.

Since in Windows 2000 you can't access to resolutions and display property through a taskbar icon, here is the solution.

My favourite mass renamer

My favourite utility to shutdown or restart computer, disconnect current dialup connection ecc.

This utility will turn your Windows 95 or NT desktop icon text backgrounds transparent; allowing your wallpaper to show through (like WinXp).

Wallpaper Changer
It's wallpaper manager that can change your background images  on every startup, once a day or at regular intervals. It features JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP support. Best of all, Wallpaper Changer can analyze your picture and will determinate the best matching  background and the most readable icon caption color for every wallpaper you apply to your desktop. Another nifty feature is the ability to give your desktop icons captions a transparent background, so more of your wallpaper shows  through (like Trasparent).

By the way, in my Windows 2000 box the only things I can't give up using (but they are not free, I've tried a lot but still not found a better free windows replacement yet) are:

The Bat! for e-mail
Servant Salamander for file browsing
Nero for burning
Paint Shop Pro for creating and editing images
FlashGet 1.0 for downloading
Dreamweaver 4.0 for html editing
AcdSee 3.0 for images browsing

I know, it'a little embarassing with all the free alternatives out there, and Linux Red Hat 7.3 cd-set at about half a metre from me...

Essential Software

Reply #27

Essential Software

Reply #28
I've been following ffdshow development, but I've been afraid to install it for some reason -- it scares me.

I use Microsoft MakeCAB for making my CAB files.  It does look like that other program you mentioned might compress better.  Does it support a command-line interface?

Also, yes, all the SysInternals/Winternals stuff is great, but I don't consider it essential for my system.

CABPack is a stable working alternative.
No installation needed.


I like the PerfectDisk defrag tool.
Now I can uninstall Diskeeper 

Essential Software

Reply #29
Many great recommendations here so far and most of the software I used has already been mentioned, so I'll just add to programs that made my life a lot easier here:

PuTTY A free SSH/Telnet client
WinSCP a freeware SCP (Secure CoPy) client for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP using SSH (Secure SHell)
"To understand me, you'll have to swallow a world." Or maybe your words.

Essential Software

Reply #30
Great thread!  I've gotten several great programs out of it.

Essential Software

Reply #32

Great thread!

I would like to add here:
- ConTEXT programmer's editor, which is a freeware editor, in many ways similar to UltraEdit. Not as powerful, but very very nice.

- NoteTab Light, another text editor, there are three versions: Light, Standard, Pro. Light is free, and has some features disabled, but is very functional and also very nice.

All in all, with these two combined, I'm not missing UltraEdit one bit.

For Email, as free alternatives to The Bat!:
- FoxMail it's freeware, it can use Hotmail accounts as if they were POP, and it shows in more than one way that they try to look like The Bat. They are not quite there yet, but they are getting close. It's a tiny download, and has some powerful features that The Bat lacks.

- Sylpheed it's coming from Linux world, I believe. Open Source, very powerful and flexible, also reads News, but not very friendly interface (at least the looks... still have to figure out how to configure GTK library's look-and-feel more to my liking). It's in SourceForge.

- Mercury/32 I like running my own SMTP server in my machine, so I can see better where and how my emails get delivered. And this is a very powerful option, from the makers of Pegasus Mail (also freeware email client that I don't specially like...).

And finally:
Great page to check for this kind of freeware.

Essential Software

Reply #34
Great thread!

My bias is reliable, easy to use, and free:

GuildFTPd - FTP Server Software.  Free.

For downloading binaries from newsgroups, Agent is way more trouble than it's worth.  Get:
GrabIt - Free, easy, efficient
NewsReactor - Well designed. Can use multiple servers to get 1 file.  Long trial

PowerPost 2000 yenc - Can't be beat for posting

Videolan Client - "for various audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols" - freeware, clean install

TMPGEnc Video utility, free for personal use

Audacity - Basic audio editor, freeware.  Get the stable version.

The Rename Program

Directory Lister - or here

md5 Summer

Plus: winAmp, EAC, flac + speek's front end, mkwACT, WinRar, SmartPar

Essential Software

Reply #35
"Zebedee is a simple program to establish an encrypted, compressed “tunnel” for TCP/IP or UDP data transfer between two systems. This allows traffic such as telnet, ftp and X to be protected from snooping as well as potentially gaining performance over low-bandwidth networks from compression."
I also used it to secure IRC chat. I know that securing & compressing of web pages is also possible.

Maybe Dibrom consider using this tool to reduce (and secure) HA traffic (at cost of CPU power, but ZLIB & bzip2 are quite fast). Encryption can be turned off.

By Dibrom:
HA has used around 15-20GB/month I believe (...)

Essential Software

Reply #36
POPFile - Bayesian spam filter, though it calls itself an email classifier because it can be used for more than that.  I only use it for spam, and it works insanely well once you teach it for the first day or two. It's a POP3 proxy, doesn't interrupt things like Norton Antivirus.

Setup gets a little more complicated if you want to also use this with other tools that let you get webmail, like hotmail and yahoo, with a pop3 proxy, but it is indeed possible.  This way I get my spam filtered by POPFile and NAV can now watch my Hotmail for viruses. Currently I'm using HotPOP3 and it seems ok on the whole.  I've had it crash a couple times, but that was when I was initially downloading the 70+ emails from my g/f's hotmail account for her, which hadn't been checked in a week or two.  Since then, with more limited amounts of email at once, I haven't had any problems with it.  Binary probably won't work with Outlook (works with Outlook Express just fine) because the default port it uses is 45012, and for some reason Outlook doesn't like ports with more than 4 digits.

There's also YahooPOPs for getting yahoo email.  I couldn't, along with many others for whatever reason, get the latest 0.40 windows version to work, but I've been using the 0.39 version with just one problem.  I had to go to yahoo's email site with a browser and change the email preferences to show 200 emails per page, rather than 25.  If there were more than 25 emails on the page the proxy would crash. I set this one on port 45013, not for any reason other than it was close to the other proxy's.

There is yet another that I haven't tried yet, but it handles both hotmail and yahoo email, so I think I'll try it and probably switch if it works since it'll kill both with one stone.  That one's called MrPostman and is a java app.  I found it on sourceforge too but the only downloads were on the project's own homepage.

Just a tip to get you going with the proxy layers if you do happen to try one of the webmail proxies along with the POPFile filter, set your email client up to access the POPFile proxy, and then let the POPFile proxy access the other proxy, so that POPFile doesn't get bypassed.  And if you have Norton Antivirus, which uses its own proxy, you don't have to do anything.  It will watch everything that passes through POPFile.

Did I mention I'm amazed at how much spam my g/f gets? hehe

<edit> whoops, forgot Hotway Daemon in there. HotPOP3 is based on a very old version of HotwayD, but HotPOP3 hasn't been updated since July 2002 I believe. I haven't tried this one yet either, but I imagine it works just as well, and probably better since this one's been kept up, as HotPOP3.

<edit2> oh yeah, instructions for POPFile with HotPOP3.

Essential Software

Reply #37
I don't believe in printers or printing.  I will not and do not own any printers, except for my NeXTlaser, which I don't have networked, once again, because I do not believe in printers.  If I have to print something, I use the Adobe Acrobat capture driver and take the PDF file to someone who does believe in printers.

You just reminded me of that guy in "Reservoir Dogs" that says he doesn´t believe in tipping.
Just out of curiosity, can you explain your lack of faith in the invention of Gutemberg?
I'm the one in the picture, sitting on a giant cabbage in Mexico, circa 1978.
Reseñas de Rock en Español:

Essential Software

Reply #38
Sorry cuz I'm too lazy to create hot links... Note that I use WinME.  This was the top 10 of 2002 I listed in my blog:
10) CoolPlayer 2.06 (search in )
  9) Trillian Pro 1 (easier on system resources, faster & better looking than 0.74)
  8) Incredimail Xe  (Valentine's Day is close!)
  7) AOL Communicator beta (open to AOL members by keyword AC Beta)
  6) JV16 Registry Tools
  5) Steinberg Instant CD/DVD ver. 6.5 (easy CDs to 800mb + a CD-as-floppy that works super!)
  4) Cacheman 5.11
  3) AdSubtract Pro (filters web bugs, which std version doesn't)
  2) Proxomitron (I daisy chain with AdSub next hop feature)
  1) ZoomPlayer
But, if one stretches back 15 months, my absolute number one grief preventer is Roxio GoBack.

Essential Software

Reply #39
A quite old program to hide windows in taskbar (works on WinME). I hided my distributed computing application and proxy...

Essential Software

Reply #40
To list a few of them in random sequence:
- dBPowerAMP converter
- Irfanview and XnView
- OpenOffice 1.1 Beta
- Soundforge 6
- the Pegasus Mail Client
- FileZilla FTP client

Essential Software

Reply #41
A couple of utils:

Player, a player that has CDDB2 support and cdplayer.ini import/export capabilities. Extraordinary for integrating EAC with CDDB2 entries (freedb entries are usually inconsistent especially with some non popular music). Do an export to cdplayer.ini with player and import with EAC, voila!

Junction Link Magic (for hard linking directories), Junction (a command line util for hard linking directories),  Hard Link Magic (for hard linking files). These utils I use for organizing my collection (by album and by genre). They work on NTFS. The folders link to the same files eventually. Like:
By Genre-> Jazz -> Dave Brubeck -> Time Out
By Title -> Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out

And of course: Stardock Object Desktop. WindowBlinds 4 rocks!
The object of mankind lies in its highest individuals.
One must have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.

Essential Software

Reply #42
I love my BonziBuddy!!!!!! He gives me so many great deals! And hes free! How could you not include this wonderful tool?

In all seriousness, I think that Ulead PhotoImpact Viewer v4.0 should be included in this list. It is, by far, the most useful image viewer / format converter that I have ever used. It's free, supports over 30 image formats, and is small at under 2mb. The only problem is that it is over 4 years old (it still works fine with Windows 95 - XP though.) If anyone could find a working link to this program, I would appreciate it.

Essential Software

Reply #43
LeechGet is a powerfull and yet simple download manager, but most of all it's totally free and has no spyware unlike too many softwares of the same category. It's German but also does feature most human languages  .

XnView is a great competitor for IrfanView and AcdSee. It's free and can be used not only to view pictures but also highlight sounds and films. It's French  and features many other languages.

RamBoost XP (only in French) and FreeRam XP can free RAM if your computer is a bit old. Mine is...

There's also IZArc, a great compression tool which can handle almost all formats and even the powerfull 7z format to make smaller archive files. Unfortunately the web link seems to be dead but it should be avalaible for download somplace else...

My other favourite sofwares are already quoted in other posts. Just to say a few (the free ones):
Proxomitron (by the way a new version 4.5 has just been released),
Spybot Search&Destroy,
Kerio Personal Firewall (new version on the way, beta version available),
Aida32 Enterprise System Information (new version too, 3.61),
jv16 Power Tools (new version soon).

And there's also Nero. What would I do without Nero? Don't forget Mausau's audio plugins to give it all its full capacity.

But most of all, there's foobar2000, a wonder for my ears, my music and my computer. It made me forget all my audio nightmares and ever since I've been using it, I've stopped accusing my soundcard of every evil...

Essential Software

Reply #44
New proxomitron is out!

Essential Software

Reply #45
very very useful thread... just a few of which i thought were not mentioned yet.

Bulk Rename Utility for mass renaming

TotalCopy adds a resume to windows own copy function (great for copying large files over windows network)

ID3 Kill, app i use to get rid of id3v2 tags (if you know a better alternative for this please let me know)

NcFTP Client is a nice command line ftp client.

DiscLib is like WhereIsIt, for organizing all those cds...

Mp3-Info Extension adds an mp3 tab to the properties windows of a folder. NB: just make sure you disable the icon handler

RaidenFTPd higly configurable unix-like ftp server for win32.

all others have already been mentioned.

Essential Software

Reply #46
The Proxomitron Is Dead.

Considered by many as an essentiel software, this pop-up killer (which can even do much more) will no longer get development. So recent release 4.5 will the very last.

It's a sad thing... to see my favourite softwares either dissapear or changing so much in a bad way when they are controlled by a big company (I'll give no name...).

Essential Software

Reply #47

Editor: TextPad

Text Typesetting: MikTeX

Essential Software

Reply #48
Essential? I think nobody mentioned VirtualDub, this is one very important to me, but i wonder where are the nonwin32 ports!?!? Its GPL and all...

Spybot Search & Destroy to control the Ad/Spyware plague (i wish it had more support for those porn/casino hijackers i often see plaguing public machines).

Using Mozilla/Phoenix (they are becoming the same) i avoid any browser/email annoyances other MS products have. And there is not much need for other popup blockers or such.

I think i should use one of these uninstallers people seem to like, i could install CleanSweep...

I also use AVG Free Edition as an antivirus to check the ocasional foreign file.

A third party disk defragmenter is also essential, i have norton speeddisk for that.

I also love the Norton Commander clones, i usually use Servand Salamander until i find something better (free) for win32 that supports all the F keys like they work in Midnight Commander which i'm so used to.

For video playback i still use Sasami2k, even with bugs, its just so convenient to use, with so many keyboard realtime controls for adjustments of audio and video levels/sizes/aspect. Too bad its not being updated, or at least the bugs fixed...

Locking the refresh rates in the DirectX games is also useful, there is this RefreshForce utility that do just this. I have a screen that can do 150Hz in 640x480, or 120Hz in 1024x768, its so annoying to have it at 60Hz... (being 19" don't help the flicker either).

All my instant messaging is done thru Jabber, using the PSI Jabber client. I hope people quit using Messenger, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo already and switch to Jabber, the open and documented alternative (and IETF proposal).
She is waiting in the air

Essential Software

Reply #49
notepad, foobar, Visual Studio, IrfanView, windows explorer, cmd.exe, mIRC, Mozilla, mp3Trim, Nero (burn+encode), Encspot, Daemon Tools, Monkey Audio and flac, EAC, WinRAR, WinSCP, Cool Edit

<<<eMule>>> (no live without )