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Last post Author Topic: Must-have Windows Programs  (Read 37416 times)

zridling

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Must-have Windows Programs
« on: December 23, 2009, 05:02:45 AM »
you_must_have_this.jpg

It's been done to death, but let's make a list of must-have Windows programs for any category. For myself, the best ones are also cross-platform ones, but that's not required.

zridling

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009, 05:10:46 AM »

cranioscopical

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2009, 08:25:22 AM »
Directory Opus
FARR
OED  2  v1.02
Photoshop
Sysinternals suite

40hz

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009, 08:42:17 AM »
AntiFreeze
ReturnilVS
Revo Uninstaller
CCleaner
Canaware NetNotes
CintaNotes
Notepad++
WriteMonkey
FARR
FileZilla




tranglos

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 08:51:24 AM »
TotalCommander (or, I guess, Directory Opus) - the first thing I install on a new system

FARR, obviously! - comes second after TC, only then can I actually run software comfortably.

TrueLaunchBar (can't live without it. I hope it runs under Win7!)

Actual Window Manager (a must for me, but it does so much more than manage windows on multiple monitors)

A text editor is a draw between EmEditor, EditPad Pro or HippoEdit.

Startup Monitor - there are plenty more advanced tools to manage startup items, but this one takes a minuscule amount or memory and prompts you immediately when something gets added to a startup location. Another must early install on a new system, before I start installing much else. For heavy-duty maintenance, Anvir Task Manager.

Firefox. Chrome is just too emo!

Obviously a media player, but I don't have a favorite (they all suck in various ways). The minimum today would be Media Player Classic - Homecinema, I guess. Zoom Player is top of the line, but shamelessly expensive, and not very functional for audio. J-River Media Center is a fantastic organizer and great audio player, but has a sucky UI for playing video (stay with their freeware MediaJukebox, which only does audio). Winamp is great but s-lo-o-w, and AIMP is great but buggy, so...

Um, KeyNote :)

Calendarscope - my preferred calendar; wish it had better handling of to-do tasks

Autohotkey, it speeds up my real-life work like no contest.

TheBat! for email. Even with the editor annoynances, it's always been 100% reliable for me, it would take a lot of convincing for me to even try anything else.

Ditto (another work booster), USB Safely Remove and definitely KatMouse (lets you scroll a window without clicking/focusing it first. Another invisible app I can't live without.)

Backup4All, consistently the best, and I've tried a lot of alternatives. The day it starts supporting real-time backup it will be perfect.

mrainey

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 08:57:59 AM »
The ones I rely on:

Directory Opus
JV16 PowerTools
Firefox
Excel
pdfFactory
UltraEdit
FastStone Capture
BootIt NG
ClipCache
WYSIWYG WebBuilder
ERUNT
avast!
Replay Media Catcher
Foxit Reader
CCleaner



Software For Metalworking
http://closetolerancesoftware.com

app103

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2009, 09:56:11 AM »
I am pretty much a Windows gal, but I installed Ubuntu to give it a try. It wasn't so bad as an OS, but I really missed a lot of the Windows software that I have grown to love and depend on.

These are the applications I wished were cross-platform so I could have them in Ubuntu. Except for Trout, I haven't tried any of them in WINE. (some I won't, since I know they are too Windows-centric to work)

If I am really missing them, then to me they must be the essential must-have stuff.


And these are the ones I am glad are cross-platform:


rodgarnett

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2009, 03:14:53 PM »
Hello Folks. I wish I knew just what you all have forgotten. As I read over the site it is painful to feel so stupid. You talk about 100 things that you must have an I don't have a clue what they are or what you would need them for. I am always trying downloads, when I see them in, Cnet or Znet and with out exception I mess up my computer. In my effort to try and make something that works well run better I end up with a program that dozen work at all.

Josh

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2009, 03:19:02 PM »
WinSCP
PuTTy
Sysinternals Suite
Thunderbird 3
Chrome (Once more extensions are prevelant)
Hamachi

app103

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2009, 03:24:01 PM »
Hello Folks. I wish I knew just what you all have forgotten. As I read over the site it is painful to feel so stupid. You talk about 100 things that you must have an I don't have a clue what they are or what you would need them for. I am always trying downloads, when I see them in, Cnet or Znet and with out exception I mess up my computer. In my effort to try and make something that works well run better I end up with a program that dozen work at all.

Well, my list isn't the stuff YOU must have. It's the list of stuff I must have. Since I don't assume anyone knows what they all are by name alone, I included links so you can find out.

If you can't see why you would want any of them after reading what they are, don't install them. But if one sparks some interest, try it out.

Not everything in my list is meant to "make your pc run better". Some just provide me with information or make some tasks easier to do.

mnemonic

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2009, 03:43:33 PM »
I couldn't do without:
Dropbox - File syncing / backup
Keepass - password management
Editplus - Text editor
Bibble - photo processing software

rudantam

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2009, 03:56:26 PM »
Total Commander - filemanager, programlauncher and swiss knife
Deskangel - ( @Tranglos: if you like KatMouse, you should check out this one!)
Pstart - small, handy programlauncher
Firefox - Couldn't browse without it
CCleaner - fast and thorough system cleaner
Ditto - Clipboard manager
Dexpot - Virtual Desktop manager

tomos

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2009, 04:29:24 PM »
I guess I would say there's programmes I must-have & there's programmes I love :-*
of course (as app says) these reflect how I use my time on my pc. No links, so I add a description of sorts

Love is -
(even though I'm often not a real 'power' user)
Launcher: - FARR (+ especially minicap & most recently used plugins)
Windows manager: - GridMove
Graphics/Drawing: - FreeHand
Information manager (all of it at this stage): - InfoQube
"lets you scroll a window without clicking/focusing it first" (quoting Tranglos!) - KatMouse
AutoHotkey and a lot of mini & not so mini-apps from Skwire & Skrommel and others here on dc

must-have is -
File Managers: - DOpus / Xyplorer (Lucky enough to have Total Commander as well)
Backup: - Super Flexible File Synchronizer
Backup, revisions of files: - FileHamster
Task Manager: - Process Explorer

there's lots of other apps that I maybe love even, but dont get to use a lot e.g. Trout, (music player), or, they are must-haves but I wont mind when I move on to something else e.g. Acronis True Image

Deskangel sounds interesting rudantam - must check if it's customisable... (I avoid middle & double clicks like the plague and have had right-click titlebar closing windows for years...)
Tom

Paul Keith

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2009, 04:53:43 PM »
Not trying to be insulting but since no one has mentioned it yet, "hardware related" software and PC Games are probably the top must-have Windows apps so I'd probably put a master list of games as a subcategory and a master list of applications like Itunes, ActiveSync, Portable Start Menu on the other.

Then on the third subtab, I'd put all work/creativity producing software like Photoshop on it.

Fourth subtab would be all about security like Antiviruses and reliable backup programs. (I'd include most online sync apps like Dropbox under there.)

Fifth would be the browser. Notably fast browsers like Opera/Chrome, heavy third party extensions for Firefox and IE alternatives like Maxthon.

...then I'd probably put the rest of the software mentioned here on that list. (Again, not trying to insult anyone's choices, as tomos said, there are loves and there are must-haves.)

P.S. Btw the image is a tad bit ironic since it's saying that a marketer can make any/most app a "must-have" and thus turning this topic into a list of everything you want to put underneath it, even apps you don't like at all.  



Tuxman

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2009, 08:11:20 PM »
Applications I couldn't live without:

Web browser: Mozilla Firefox
File sharing: eMule AnalyZZUL
Instant Messaging: Miranda IM
IRC client: Gamers.IRC (well, I'm in the team, so I actually should use it, too)
Audio player: Winamp
Image viewer: IrfanView

All the other stuff I use, including my mail client and my chosen text editors, are not an actual "must-have" for me, I could easily go with alternatives...

 :Thmbsup:

Well, just for completion, these are my beloved other ones:

Text editors: Notepad++, Vim  :-*
E-Mail: Mozilla Thunderbird (unless I manage to know The Bat! better)
Video player: Media Player Classic Home Cinema
Writing documents and stuff: OpenOffice.org
Controlling Windows: ac'tivAid
Task manager: Process Explorer
Version control: TortoiseSVN, CommitMonitor

Not much platform-independent stuff, I know... but this is not a criterion for me.  :D

I use a real bunch of other applications not fitting into any of the categories above. I just think "must-have" is not "I always had it and it is quite useless for my typical PC usage but I love it".

 ;D
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 08:13:36 PM by Tuxman »

f0dder

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2009, 08:37:53 PM »
Might be interesting taking a look back at... Software I Love from March 2005 :)
- carpe noctem

IainB

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2009, 09:56:06 PM »
Yes, is there some way of attaching or moving this discussion to the Software I Love" thread - or vice versa?
I can feel myself getting all teary-eyed over Ashton-Tate's Framework IV for DOS already.     ;D

TucknDar

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2009, 01:51:17 AM »
Must-have programs, for different reasons (some essential, some "just loved"):
FARR
Total Commander
bb4win
KeePass
WebSite-Watcher
HippoEdit (plenty of good editors, but this is my favourite now)
OneNote 2007 (have other note-taking apps too, but this has made a huge difference for my studies)

zridling

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2009, 04:05:25 AM »
It's quite interesting to see how the better programs thrive and others fall to the wayside for lack of fresh development. I hope to compose a consensus after this thread slows down.

AbteriX

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2009, 04:08:36 AM »
  • File manager
  • Text editor

IainB

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2009, 05:08:46 AM »
@f0dder: I have only 2 words to say to you: "Carpe diem".

f0dder

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2009, 08:06:05 AM »
Changes from back then:

Opera has been replaced by FireFox.
xplorer2 lite has been replaced with registered version.
WinDirStat has been replaced with SpaceSniffer.
ACDSee has been replaced with XnView (which has a few annoying bugs, but is generally pretty decent).
Daemon-Tools has been replaced with Virtual CloneDrive.
Instead of vanilla PuTTy I use PuTTY tray :)

UltraISO, TrID, PEiD, OllyDbg, Spyware S&D, AdAware (eww!), CrapCleaner (why bother) are hardly used anymore. The rest of the items from the 2005 list are still pieces of software I love, and most of them must-haves as well...

The remaining items from the old list are:

Foxit Reader - small and fast PDF viewer
Notepad++ - free+fast+opensource programmer's text editor, supports plugins

WinRAR - IMHO simply the best archiving tool, with great commandline options
Screenshot Captor - need I say more? :)

PuTTY and related tools - SSH client and more, for connectivity with my linux box
WinSCP (secure copy) - graphical SFTP/SCP client, again for linux connectivity
SubVersion - great source/version control software

SysInternals tools - especially pstools and Process Explorer. "pskill iexplore" is useful if you enter one of those a-zillion-popups websites.
WinSpy++ - spy on windows classes etc. (I also use their lightweight hexeditor)


Added to the list are...

Switcher - exposé clone for Vista and later, which works wonders when switching between lots of apps on multiple monitors.
clipx - the best clipboard history manager I've found so far.
FARR - I didn't use FARR in 2005? Shame on me!
Thunderbird - for emails.
Sunbird - for remembering dates & events.
Pidgin - for instant messaging (even if it's somewhat bloated and has a few bugs).
fSekrit - for snippets of privacy (and shameless self promotion).
TrueCrypt - for large amounts of privacy.
Beyond Compare - for figuring out changes, directory trees as well as file contents.
ImgBurn - for all my cd/dvd burning needs.
Exact Audio Copy - for digitizing my music collection (AccurateRip :-*). Wonder why EAC wasn't on my 2005 list, definitely used it back then.
Console - for running multiple consoles/shells in a single tabbed app. Nice when doing development, but unfortunately somewhat buggy and doesn't always handle "fullscreen" console apps well.
foobar2000 - music player of choice. Switched because musikCube doesn't handle .cue sheets.
RegexBuddy - saves time when designing regular expressions.
Website Watcher - for tracking blogs and software updates.
TortoiseSVN - explorer extension for subversion. Has useful commit dialog and decent diffing between revisions.


This is all software I use on a regular basis, much of it on a daily base. Somewhat is a bit specialized, but I've tried confining the list to stuff that's useful for "power users"... it could have been fairly longer if I included development tools as well.

Operating system is 64bit Windows 7 on my workstation and 64bit Windows Vista Business on my laptop.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 10:51:04 AM by f0dder »

Tuxman

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2009, 08:10:35 AM »
Instead of vanilla PuTTy I use PuTTY tray :)
Tried KiTTy?  :Thmbsup:
(PuTTy tray looks fine, too. I think I'll give it a try myself.)

f0dder

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2009, 08:24:35 AM »
I think I ran across KiTTy a while ago, but didn't find it's added features that useful - what I primarily like about puttytray is URL linkification (useful when running screen+irssi) and minimize-to-tray. Too bad it doesn't add tab support :)
- carpe noctem

Tuxman

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2009, 08:51:05 AM »
I see. Not bad. Running both now.  8)