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Topic: Essential Software (Read 366091 times) previous topic - next topic
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Essential Software


Essential Software

Reply #1

Just had to say it (editor wars, yay!).

A little more seriously: Thanks for that more advanced command interpreter. I find myself using the command line A LOT (all the time using Linux on other boxen has gotten to me ). For all those who don't know how much you still can do with the commandline in 2K/XP, try running cmd.exe and do a "cmd /?" and a "<command> /?" for all those built-in commands it lists. There is a lot of stuff hidden there, that you can tweak. To name one smart trick: I made perl script executable programs on the commandline, so I only have to write " <enter>", and it'll automatically run perl.exe on it.
Close the world - TXeN eht nepO

Essential Software

Reply #2

Essential Software

Reply #3
Thanks for the informative (and huge) post! I'll start toying with some of that stuff right away. I get the feeling like my computing life is about to be "evolutionized". 

I've been messing with Emacs (for Windows), and after weeks of forcing myself to use the keyboard shortcuts only, I'm starting to feel more efficient when I use it. Talk about a vertical learning curve!

Another programming language I enjoy using: Ruby. It's kind of a cross between Smalltalk and Perl, I guess, and it's quick to learn and quick to use.

Essential Software

Reply #4
Lavasoft is the creator of Adaware, and NO computer running any flavour of Windows should be allowed to be connected to the internet without this. So much malware and spyware is out there, and this is pretty much the only guard against all that s***.

XChat is a great IRC client that is proving itself more and more interesting. The upcomming 2.0 release should have some nifty support for Python scripting. With that said, I am still using mIRC because I couldn't code C, C++ or Python if my life depended on it, whereas mIRC scripting is rather easy. I hope to have time to really learn Python some day, as the concept sounds really cool to me.

Pan is a free (as in speech) usenet reader for GNOME, but there is also a Windows port in the works. IMO better than Xnews, and certainly a lot better when it comes to handling binaries.

BlackBox for Windows. What more can I say? Well... if you want something fast and small to replace explorer.exe as your default shell, this is it. It does take a lot of work to get used to though, which is a definite minus. I tried it, and I liked it, but ultimately, it took a little too much time to set up. YMMV.

ActiveState - home of native Windows builds of Perl, Python and Tcl. Lots 'n lots of programming fun :D

POVRay is a free (as in beer -- the source is available though) raytracer. Quite good too. It can be a lot of fun to toy around with, and the included sample files warrant a download alone, just to see what it can pull off. IRTC (the Internet RayTracing Competition) often features images made with POVRay or one of its derivatives.
Close the world - TXeN eht nepO

Essential Software

Reply #5

Essential Software

Reply #6
Hey TrNSZ, very nice post!

Btw. you said you use IE. You should test MyIE2. It uses your IE-engine, but adds so much features.. Of course the most important are tabs-support (multiple page support, if unclear for somebody) and mouse gestures.

You use the same software which I'd have mentioned also first.. (4NT,Ultraedit,Kerio,IsoBuster..)
But here are some more free utilities I use.

Total Uninstall should be the best uninstallation utility for win32 apps.

Dimension4 is probably the lightest time synchronization program considering all the options available (Doesn't work well with XP which has internal option for this). Also nice for modem users, since it detects when you are online.

Miranda ICQ is very much more "lite" than ICQ lite. Latest nightly build available here.

Aida32 is a nice free (for personal use) system information, diagnostics and benchmarking program running on Win32 platforms. A bit to the same category goes Belarc Advisor which builds a detailed profile of your inspected system's software and hardware and displays the results in your browser.

Other useful non-free software I use:
Remotely Anywhere remote administration&remote desktop with (JAVA-support needed for remote desktop) web-browser, FinePrint for my different printing needs, F-Prot 3.12c Win32 antivirus is very light and reasonably good, Beyond Compare for all kind of file/folder/ftp/source code/etc comparison.

Well, there's more, but these came to my mind quickly.
Juha Laaksonheimo

Essential Software

Reply #7

Essential Software

Reply #8
About MyIE2: IE is just fine for me really, at least I think so.  I don't use my mouse much; In real-life I only touch my once maybe once or twice an hour so things like mouse gestures just scream useless to me.  I use software that covers my tracks and removes any personal information from my system -- automatic filling out of forms with stored data goes against everything I believe in!  I usually fill out forms with fake data anyway.  URL aliases are provided by a tool from the Microsoft IE Web Accessories for IE5 that still works fine for me in IE 6 SP1, and I use that feature maybe once a year.  I normally browse with all toolbars, explorer bars, and anything other than the status bar disabled - I only have the File/Edit/View/etc menu and the bottom status bar.  This also makes the auto-hide toolbar feature useless since I disable it always anyway.  The website isn't very informative of all features, and it's too slow to use right now, but is there anything else in there that might interest me?

Well, there are too many features to list here. Some that come to my mind are grouping (you can group sites and open those at the same time), you can disable many things with one click (like ActiveX content,Javascipt,images etc.), auto-scroll (heh), auto-refresh, a feature to show only all the links of a site, etc..really too many things to list. Good thing is that there's no install.. You just unpack and run the myie.exe.

Anyway, the biggest thing for me is the tabs-support. my nerves can't handle a browser without it anymore.. 

I know about the commandline time sync tools, but non of those had all the features I wanted.
Juha Laaksonheimo

Essential Software

Reply #9
I personally can't live without my Gator, Comet Cursor or SaveNow!

Couldn't resist.

FileMon monitors every single file operation performed on your windows box, with powerful filtering capabilities.

RegMon does the same with the registry - priceless utilities.

PsTools for remote process manipulation - starting, killing, listing, etc. on remote administerable machines.

HeleCabCompressor for creating CAB files - high compression that can be decompressed on any windows box without 3rd party software.

FFdshow decompresses and filters various video formats.  Precious.


Essential Software

Reply #10

Essential Software

Reply #11
just to mention few for windows:

- EditPad Lite
(general-purpose text editor)
- office
(an office)
- total commander
(file manager, ftp client, ect - previously windows commander)
- mbprobe
(cpu temperature meter, ect)
- abyss
(www server)
- getright
(http, ftp download manager)
- trillian
(my icq replacement)
- catfish
fast, simple, free disk catalog browser (almost forgot that one, only thing i miss is multiple search results)
any1 know a better free app?

- iZotope Vinyl
(Vinyl for DirectX)
- terragen
('simple' landscape renderer)

for the old real3d users, there is a new demo version to download:
PANIC: CPU 1: Cache Error (unrecoverable - dcache data) Eframe = 0x90000000208cf3b8
NOTICE - cpu 0 didn't dump TLB, may be hung

Essential Software

Reply #12
I've been following ffdshow development, but I've been afraid to install it for some reason -- it scares me.

Well, all it does is install 3 DLLs and 1 AX file (none of which go into the windows tree), and register some CLSIDs for playback.  Worries me much less than installing say WMV8.

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?

It's just a frontend for MakeCAB, there's no command-line functionality.


Essential Software

Reply #13
Yo TrNSZ, very nice, thanks!  I also use quite a lot of the programs you mentioned.

Few additions:

Metapad, a really cool text editor for Windows. I use it especially for quoting messages in forums that don't have a proper quote function, and for composing emails (very good for replying to messages with dirty quoting).

Proton Code Editor for PHP scripting (and other languages if I were able to ). The HTML editor also available on that site simply rocks, but it's German-only.

Apache2/PHP/MySQL of course. (Haven't been put to much use recently though...)

Little, hardly known helpers:

ReadOnly for mass-removing Read Only attributes (because Win98 can't do this natively). It's a little buggy, on large selections it sometimes misses a few files.

Icon Sushi, a cool image editor.

WinTop, part of the MS PowerToys. Very nice tool that displays all running processes and reports their CPU usage correctly. (Important on Win9x, because SYSMON.EXE is very unreliable for CPU usage reporting.)

DelTemp, simple VB Script that deletes the TEMP folder on startup if it's safe to do so (if a setup wizard reboots and continues to install from that folder, DelTemp won't erase it).

Essential Software

Reply #14
ReadOnly for mass-removing Read Only attributes (because Win98 can't do this natively).

I think it can (attrib -r <path>\*.* /S), although it can take ages to complete.

Essential Software

Reply #15

Essential Software

Reply #16
Freeware version, contains no spyware or built in ads.
Just one of the spyware removal utilities that should be on any and all Windows systems to combat the garbage that infects our systems.

AVG Anti-Virus System:
Free edition, contains no spyware or built in ads.
I use the freeware version of AVG. Although the program in looks isn't my first choice of giving a good lasting first impression (unlike BitDefender) the interface however has become my favorite Windows antivirus scanner, simply because of its simplicity without having to worry about missing a vital configuration option. It's bare-bones basic, however it gets the job done, and its resident shield doesn't bog down Win98 by being over aggressive.

Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
CookieCop has been the mainstay of filtering out the excess garbage that I don't want in my Internet experience. Although it doesn't filter each and everything such as WebWasher, it has the major advantage of having one of the best event logs I've ever seen which comes in handy if one needs to know why a particular website doesn't work properly. Without CookieCop the Internet would be a burden full of distracting, spyware planting ad banners, and cookies that I don't want loading on my system.

Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
One of the easiest utilities (although not the prettiest) I've seen that can help create an autorun CD in under 5 minutes.

Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
The best launchers for the system default Win95/98/Me Disk Defragmenter I've seen, with the ability to shutdown, logoff, or restart the system it is more than handy. The ability to optimize hidden and system files (undocumented, maybe unsafe Microsoft defrag switches) is rather interesting.

Download Mage:
Shareware, commercial software.
Download Mage has been the best download manager I've ever used and actually purchased. Its ability to sniff out cryptic URL's and find the actual download file is most impressive, whereas some other download managers cannot download from such URL's.

Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
FE is one of the best self-extracting Zip archive creation programs I've ran across, and it is always one of the first utilities I re-install after Win98 needs to be re-installed. With the ability to create desktop shortcuts, extract to specific Windows directories (Desktop, System, Start Menu, Start Menu Program Group, etc) using parameters not specific directory names which will extract into the right area regardless of how someone setup their system.

F-PROT Antivirus for DOS:
Free for personal usage, contains no spyware or built in ads.
I really think F-PROT in any form DOS, or the commercial Windows scanner is a very good antivirus package. Although I use the DOS scanner which I have integrated into the Win98 right click shell it is still very useful for finding viruses, virus destroyed files, and suspicious files that other antivirus scanners would miss.

Inno Setup:
Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
Inno Setup without a doubt is one of the best installation creation programs I've ever used.

Freeware, contains b3d.dll (BodyPaint 3D) as a plugin which some spyware detection programs see as spyware.
IrfanView is my main image viewer on my system. Win98 just wouldn't be the same without this little app that loads a plethora of image formats and still weighs in as a not being a bloated program.

Kerio Personal Firewall v2.1.5:
Google Search
Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
The successor of the freeware Tiny Personal Firewall. A power firewall by all means which allows me to surf the web without being paranoid about being attacked or hacked. If I didn't have KPF I wouldn't even bother having an Internet connection.

Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
A good Notepad replacement. Has uses that are really lacking in the very feeble Notepad, hence the reason it is named Notepad.exe on my system.

Resource Hacker:
Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
A neat little app that allows one to safely modify some executables. I've rearranged many buttons in programs to suit my needs, etc., want a bigger display window -- you've got it.

Speeks Frontends:
Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
Too many to mention. The best, easy to use frontends.

Spybot Search & Destroy:
Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
Probably the most robust freeware spyware removal utilites I've seen. I think it outclasses Ad-aware.

Sygate Personal Firewall:
Standard free edition, contains no spyware or built in ads.

Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
TaskZip is a top-knotch zipping utility that sits in the system tray next to the clock and will automatically created backups in either the Zip format, or by simply copying them to a different drive/directory/partition.

Tweak Revisited:
Freeware version/Shareware version, contains no spyware or built in ads.
Probably the best utility I've used to change the system default crappy looking Win98 icons to my re-worked for Win98 support WinXP icons. It's one of the only robust system-wide modifying utilites I've seen that won't totally screw up Win98, so long as you understand what you're doing.

Ultimate Packer for eXecutables (UPX):
Freeware, contains no spyware or built in ads.
I'll just say I don't like compressed executables, .dll's, etc., therefore I use UPX to decompress all the damn compressed files I'm constantly running into.

WinRescue 98:
Shareware, commercial software.
A Windows Rescue utility for Windows 98, need I say more. The closest thing to system restore that Win98 will ever see. Other versions are available for other versions of Windows, e.g.; WinXP.

WinRescue XP:
Shareware, commercial software.
A Windows Rescue utility for Windows XP. Can help restore the registry to settings that System Restore fails to do.

WinZip Self-Extractor:
Shareware, commercial software.
Love the SFX Zips.

Edit 1: Updated some URL's that were dead links.
Edit 2: Added some programs. Removed some programs. Removed jv16 PowerTools free version since it times out and stops working.

Essential Software

Reply #17
Star Downloader.  Never heard of it before, but a friend pointed it out.  A freeware download accelerator/scheduler.

Essential Software

Reply #18
TheBat! - best e-mail client for Window$

TaskInfo2003 - TaskInfo2003 is combination of Task Manager and System Information Utility, It visually monitors different types of System information in Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP

System Mechanic - good all in 1 tool. Has regcleaner, netbooster, uninstaller etc. tools.

Jabber - free multiplatform communicator. I use PSI communicator.

RightWeb Monitor - Tool for automatic searching for web & program updates. I set it to check latest versions of Foobar2000... If anyone find free alternative for Window$, tell me please.

AGSM - "aGSM is alternative Game Server Monitor, a new way to quickly find and monitor multiplayer servers for many most popular games. It's a tiny 32bit multithreaded Windows95/98/ME/2000/XP program using WinSock2 (the new network connectivity standard). Our ultimate goal is to give gamers a complete toolbox for all their multiplayer gaming needs - a one small, fast, reliable, and handy freeware tool."

Essential Software

Reply #19
Never thought of software as essential, now I do...

Currently in my systray (honor to be loaded on startup means they're essential, I guess):

Miranda, mainly because it doesn't kill my system on startup

Keybord Ninja, sort of automatic keyboard layout switcher / on-the-go corrector with many handy features. When properly configured (not in my case) it can handle ~90% of typos or other types of mess coming out of keyboard (if you forget to switch language, accidental caps...). Well, as many automation tools it does little bit more than you expect, but I can live with it (but hardly without it, it appears).

Other residents:

Audio / video: it'll be bsplayer and fb2k for playback and lots of utils for manipulating.

CD burning: definetely Nero, since shipped with my drive, I have never used any other cd burning app for any considerable amount of time on my pc. Well, except EAC.

File handling: Flexible Renamer and CDCheck. Still looking for good file comparer, frontend for fc.exe with drag'n'drop and text output would be enough for me.

Browser: Phoenix. Now that i finaly managed to get completely flat and clean look with tiny icons out of it, it's just sweet.

DL manager: FlashGet, the only one I know that can cooperate with Phoenix, and because I get used to it.

Text editor: TxtPad all the way. It hasn't been updated for ages, I thought they dropped the development, just checked now, looks like they didn't. Me happy.

Misc: TrueLaunchBar (QuickLaunch substitution), mainly because of it's rocking and rolling MailMonitor plugin.

Essential Software

Reply #20
FAR Manager - file-archive manager with true NT orientation but TextUI and commandline. And, of course, his plugins.
The russian answer for emacses! 

Essential Software

Reply #21
Add another one - the thread on virus scanners made me give an alternative to Outlook Express another try:

Kaufman Mail Warrior. This really is a neat mail program. It has all I need (thank god it doesn't support HTML mails), and a *really* nice user interface. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. Oh, and it's just 700KB large.

The only drawback is that its database files are very easily readable with any text editor, but OE doesn't do much better than that. The lack of SMTP authentication isn't that much of a problem for me because my email provider allows me to switch to SMTP-after-POP instead, but other users will think otherwise.



Essential Software

Reply #22
You should test MyIE2. It uses your IE-engine, but adds so much features.. Of course the most important are tabs-support  :)
good stuff, so far iam (ab)using 'undo close window(s)', tabbed browsing, no popups. tested phoenix also, very nice, still prefer the ie engine tho  B)
PANIC: CPU 1: Cache Error (unrecoverable - dcache data) Eframe = 0x90000000208cf3b8
NOTICE - cpu 0 didn't dump TLB, may be hung

Essential Software

Reply #23
Damn long lists you have...

Notepad, Winamp, cmd, explorer, JquickTrans, mIRC, Bullet Proof FTP Server, Miranda IM, Kerio Personal Firewall, Daemon Tools, The Bat!, , Windows Media Player 6.4, EAC, FLAC + FlacDrop, DeGlitch, WaveGain, PsyTEL AACEnc 2.15, Phoenix and Paint shop pro 5... That should be enough for now...

Essential Software

Reply #24
I find UltraEdit indispensible. Are there any good opensource/free equivilents which are almost as good?