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Last post Author Topic: Must-have Windows Programs  (Read 37455 times)

cyberdiva

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2009, 09:48:38 AM »
Like app103, I've made a list of the software *I* must have.  I've got lots of other programs I use and like, but in most cases I'd be happy with a similar program.  That's not so true of the following, listed alphabetically:

Beyond Compare
ClipMate
Directory Opus
Everything
Firefox and/or Opera
HyperSnap
LastPass
LaunchBar Commander
Linkman
Magic DVD Ripper
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro
Mulberry
UltraEdit
Web Research
WinPatrol Plus

I hesitated a bit over including Magic DVD Ripper and Web Research.  In both cases, however, I've tried several other programs and found none of them as satisfying.  As for LastPass, I'd agree that RoboForm is just as good, but RF doesn't work with Opera, whereas LastPass does.  Probably the program on the list that I've been most unable to replace is my email client, Mulberry.  It handles my IMAP accounts far better than any other client I've tried (including Thunderbird, The Bat!, Pegasus, PocoMail, Eudora 7 and 8, and Mail Forge, to name those that come quickly to mind).  Mulberry, ClipMate, and a browser are the first three programs I load on any computer (after I've installed an antivirus program and a firewall).

Edit: The above list is based primarily on my desktop computer running Win XP Pro (32 bit).  Thus far, I've also installed all but three of the above on my new netbook, running Windows 7 (32 bit).
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 10:56:32 AM by cyberdiva »

Darwin

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2009, 10:23:11 AM »
Interesting list. It might be informative if we all indicate what version of Windows we're running and whether or not it's 64 bit or 32 bit.

I'm running Windows 7 64-bit and my must have software includes:

Directory Opus
ClipMate
Fineprint
Firefox
Roboform
USB Safely Remove
PDF Converter Professional - use this to view, create, and edit pdfs.
Office 2007 - primarily Outlook, Word, and Excel but have been dabbling with OneNote increasingly of late, though. I think it will probably make the daily-user list next year.

Honourable Mentions:

EditPad Pro
Endnote - used to use this to generate bibliographies in Word. Now use it to keep my pdf and ebook collection (in the thousands) organzied.


I have TONS of additional software installed, but the first list includes the third party applications that I use every day and the second applications that I use weekly - everything I use weakly  ;D.

Edit: added PDF Converter Professional. There *are* other options available but this is the solution I've used for years. Love it's OCR capabilities.
Edit 2: added USB Safely Remove
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 11:17:18 AM by Darwin »

Tuxman

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2009, 10:24:41 AM »
Interesting list. It might be informative if we all indicate what version of Windows we're running and whether or not it's 64 bit or 32 bit.
Vista and XP, both 32 bit.

Darwin

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2009, 10:32:00 AM »
Thanks, Tuxman  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

f0dder

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2009, 10:52:35 AM »
Updated my previous post to include Windows versions and the remaining items from the old list :)
- carpe noctem

cyberdiva

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2009, 10:53:57 AM »
Interesting list. It might be informative if we all indicate what version of Windows we're running and whether or not it's 64 bit or 32 bit.
My list was based primarily on my desktop running WinXP Pro (32 bit).  Thus far, I've put all but three of the programs on my new netbook as well, running Windows 7 (32 bit).

Edit: after I posted this message, I realized it would make more sense to put the information into the original posting.  I've now done so.  If there's a way to remove this second posting, I'd be happy to do so.  I tried, but was unsuccessful.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 10:59:22 AM by cyberdiva »

ljbirns

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2009, 11:11:40 AM »
Quote
I'm running Windows 7 64-bit and my must have software includes:

Directory Opus
ClipMate
Fineprint
Firefox
Roboform

I'm surprised that only Darwin uses two of my "can't live withouts "    Roboform ( I use  portable) and ClipMate.  I too run Win 7  64 bit
Lew

invenit

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2009, 02:16:40 PM »
For 32-bit Windows:

Cheyenne BitWare (aging telephone answering software)
Image for Windows
Sandboxie (no preference in browsers so long as they play well with Sandboxie)
Screenshot Captor
Ad Muncher
LastPass
ClipMate (v4.5!)

Eóin

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2009, 06:11:35 AM »
Haven't really put together one of these lists in a while.

For my developemnt work I rely on

For my college work it's

But perhaps more in line with the thread, these are the day-to-day apps I have to install on any PCs

In manys ways I bet outside of the specialist apps my list is rather mundane :D

mwang

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #34 on: December 25, 2009, 10:58:32 AM »
After browsing through my system (win7 x64) setup log, here's my list (only those not yet mentioned have links):

1. must-haves that I hate or have been trying hard to replace, but still can't:

MS Word - Other programs of the Office suite can be easily replaced since I don't use them that much, but not Word. I need my VBA scripts to get my job done. Besides, neither OO Writer, Softmaker Textmate 2010 or Abiword handles East Asian text as well as Word. I missed the days when Amipro was a viable--even better--alternative.

Powerpro - used to love it, even paid for it before it turned freeware, but it's showing its age. It has no unicode support, no x64 support (quite a problem for a system utility), and only very limited multi-monitor support. Does anyone know another utility (non-free ok) that can allow me to assign different actions to mouse clicks when clicking on different part of a window's title bar?

Bootit NG/Image for Linux and Rollback Rx: all quirky programs, but together they let me administer my system the way I need, and give me fewer headaches than the alternatives.

Internet Explorer - all my banks require it. What can I do?

Directory Opus - still think about going for XYplorer, but the lack of drive bar, true breadcrumb and x64 support is holding me back.

Archivarius 3000 - quirky interface and all, but it's fast, and it index unicode text better than all that I've tried.


2. must-haves that I also enjoy:

Firefox
Thunderbird 3 (Thunderbird 2 was in the previous category, but I'm quite happy with ver. 3 so far.)
Emeditor - though I also paid for HippoEdit and occasionally use it, Emeditor is my everyday editor
Freemind / XMind - surprisingly useful for presentation; I don't use Powerpoint anymore.
SpiderOak - beat Dropbox easily IMHO.
Beyond Compare
Everything
7-Zip

3. Special honor for programs that provide unicode (East Asian language) support better than their competitors:

Ditto - It's funny that none the non-free (and mighty) clipboard managers - Clipcache, Clipmate, Acetext, etc. - is unicode ready, while several free gems are. Among them, I like Ditto the best.

Moneydance.

Irfanview - though I'm looking forward to XnView MP.


AndyM

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2009, 04:48:52 PM »
Does anyone know another utility (non-free ok) that can allow me to assign different actions to mouse clicks when clicking on different part of a window's title bar?
Macro Express supports macro activation by clicks on the various Window Parts (Title Bar, Scroll Bars, etc). Also by clicks on specific screen coordinates, which can be used to designate any rectangular area on a window if the window location is either first calculated or placed at specific location.  This could be used to designate certain places on the Title Bar which when single/double left/middle/right button clicked would activate a particular macro.

Curt

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2009, 06:05:19 PM »
I am on 32-bits Vista.

I must have:

IrfanView as a viewer, and for image resizing, and for moving pictures. The in-build links to my fav' editors is another great feature. Simple hotkey combinations for moving images. The more I get to know IrfanView the more I think it is an absolute must-have for Windows!

Microsoft Office Picture Manager for (lossy) cropping! The design of the user's interface for this is perfect. If I could code, I would "copy" this part!

No video player! "they all suck in various ways", as tranglos said...

True Launch Bar (was updated for Win 7 as well), and PS Tray Factory.

KatMouse, I would say, but now I guess I will have to test DeskAngel ;-)

I used to think that I couldn't do without Process Explorer, but I am doing even better with AnVir Task Manager Pro! It is slower to use, but have all the features.

I am afraid that I will have to do without Quizo QTTabbar when I finally upgrade to Win 7. But until such day may come, I think it is a must-have for XP & Vista's Explorer.

I think everything else I have can be replaced by something just as good. But, to broaden what mwang said, too many programs doesn't fully support Unicode. Neither does IrfanView!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 06:17:28 PM by Curt »

mwang

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2009, 08:39:59 AM »
Macro Express supports macro activation by clicks on the various Window Parts (Title Bar, Scroll Bars, etc). Also by clicks on specific screen coordinates, which can be used to designate any rectangular area on a window if the window location is either first calculated or placed at specific location.  This could be used to designate certain places on the Title Bar which when single/double left/middle/right button clicked would activate a particular macro.

Thanks for the suggestion. Just downloaded the pro version and had a brief test run. On the positive side, it surely is mighty, providing more functionality than usual macro tools. It can't replace Powerpro for keyboard/mouse click macros, unfortunately, for two reasons:

1. Powerpro allows me to define the following mouse click shortcuts with ease:

  • middle click the left half of a window's caption (title bar) to close it.
  • middle click the right half of caption to maximize/restore a window (same as standard Windows behavior as double click on caption).
  • right click the left half of caption to minimize a window.
  • right click the right half of caption to tray minimize a window.

All of them can have exceptions. E.g., there're programs I never want to close, so they're exempt from the standard "middle click left half of caption" action, with other actions defined instead.

By letting the user to define an area (in pixels) where a click could trigger an action, Macro Express pro allows even finer divisions of the caption, not just the two halves of a caption. It becomes much more involved to define a shortcut, however. Moreover, hard-coded pixel range makes it hard to accommodate windows of different sizes.

2. Macro Express pro is also a 32-bit program, and it has even worse x64 support than Powerpro from what I can see during the brief test. E.g., I defined a test macro that lets me left click on some part of a caption to minimize the window (roughly equal to what I do with Powerpro). It worked with 32-bit windows, but not with x64 ones (e.g., Emeditor x64, Directory Opus x64). The mouseclick shortcuts I use with Powerpro work across the board without such issues.

I'm certainly not suggesting Macro Express (pro) isn't a good product. Power tools like these all have their strengths and shortcomings. It's just that for the last 2-3 years I've been trying very hard to replace Powerpro, and I do get a new clipboard manager in Ditto that I'm reasonably happy with. But for its other functions, I've had little success finding good replacements. Suggestions are still welcome, of course.

AndyM

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2009, 12:22:10 PM »
Quote
    * middle click the left half of a window's caption (title bar) to close it.
    * middle click the right half of caption to maximize/restore a window (same as standard Windows behavior as double click on caption).
    * right click the left half of caption to minimize a window.
    * right click the right half of caption to tray minimize a window.

You could do this with AutoHotkey.  But you'd have to write the code.

mwang

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2009, 08:24:06 PM »
You could do this with AutoHotkey.  But you'd have to write the code.
I know, and likewise with AutoIt (which has x64 support), I suspect. Coding is the hard part, however. Powerpro has a rather stiff learning curve, but it's relatively easy to master for a tool this complicated. No coding is involved for things I described, and that's why I've a hard time replacing it. It took me quite a while to learn Powerpro's scripting language, when I was a student. Now, I can't afford the time.

Thanks for the suggestion anyway. It's appreciated.

AndyM

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #40 on: December 27, 2009, 08:45:01 PM »
I sort of figured out how I would go about this using Macro Express.

The 4 things you want to do all are triggered by clicks on the Title Bar, which would be easy with Macro Express except that you want different things to happen depending on where the Title Bar is clicked.

I would write two macros, one triggered by a middle click anyplace on the titlebar, the second triggered by a right click on the titlebar.  Then get the location of the cursor in the window, a Macro Express function (really only interested in the horizontal location).

Then get the width in pixels of the current window (another Macro Express function), and divide it by two.  Compare the horizontal location of the cursor to determine whether the right or left side of the titlebar was clicked.  Two subroutines in each macro, one for the right side, one for the left.

Macro Express has an easy way to either exclude or include particular programs or window titles for any specific macro.

Edit:  just remembered you said you needed better 64 bit support, sorry.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 08:47:16 PM by AndyM »

Curt

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2009, 03:38:35 AM »
Yesterday I updated Desktop Icon Toy to version 4, and when I tested it, I saw all the icons on my desktop and was reminded of a small but necessary, well, a must-have program for Windows: deskicons. On 2000 and on XP it was fairly easy to hide the desktop icons, but on Vista it isn't. Except if you have this program. One Run, and they are hidden, one more Run and they will show. The program closes when the job is done.

I don't know if hwtan wrote this program himself, but I have not been able to find deskicons.exe anywhere else, so maybe he did.

:up: _* deskicons.zip (0.59 kB - downloaded 177 times.)


Edited:
I am using it on Vista 32-bits.
[hint] It would be nice to know if it also works on Win 7, and on 64-bits. [/hint]
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 04:00:33 AM by Curt »

Darwin

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2009, 04:50:11 PM »
Curt - I forget if this works on Vista or not (I *think* it does). With Windows 7 you can:

Right click on your desktop and select "Personalize". You should then see a left-hand pane containing hyperlinks, the first one of which reads "Change desktop icons". Selecting this gives you this dialog:

Change desktop icons.pngMust-have Windows Programs

Which allows you to enable/disablle any of the default icons on your desktop.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2009, 05:01:26 PM »
- yes, Mike, but I was concerned with the 400 other icons...  ;D

The text in the box sounds to me as if it only concerns the (approx) five system icons. Am I wrong (again)? Anyway, deskicons.exe is an excellent program, and is only 1½ kb!!!

tinjaw

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2009, 06:54:28 PM »
Curt,

I run Fences from Stardock. It has a double-click to hide/show desktop icon feature as well. It works just find on Vista and Windows 7.

Tuxman

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #45 on: December 28, 2009, 07:36:23 PM »
I run Fences from Stardock.
Wow, great. Thanks for the hint (although I'm not Curt).  :Thmbsup:

Curt

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #46 on: December 29, 2009, 06:46:30 AM »
I think programs like Fences and Desktop Icon Toy are great if the user has no more than the (72) icons the (1024x768) desktop has natural room for. If the number of icons is like it is on my desktop, well, I have chosen not to see any icons at all, but to have a folder link in my Quick Launch bar. This way I can see ALL of the icons, no-one is on top of another one; and they all come in the proper order. I think a shortcut to the desktop's folder is much more handy than the desktop itself. And this way the desktop sure is a lot prettier to look at :-)
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 06:48:37 AM by Curt »

40hz

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2009, 07:16:46 AM »
I agree with Curt. Putting your collection of desktop icons in one folder and then accessing that via the Quick Launch bar is the way to go if you have a large number of shortcuts you want to keep handy.

You can also use the same technique with any other launcher-type gadget that supports folder links:

MedalFolders.gif

Here's what it looks like under the free MedalFolders launcher ( www.medalware.com/medalfolders.php ).

There are dozens more you could chose from as well. :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 07:19:44 AM by 40hz »

Dormouse

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2009, 07:49:51 AM »
I've never understood all the references to the desktop, desktop icons and programs to manage them.
I practically never see my desktop; even on startup, autostarting progs cover it up.
Makes me feel that my usage must be very different to other people's.

cmpm

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Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« Reply #49 on: December 29, 2009, 08:11:58 AM »
It helps me to have folders for different types of programs.
Audio/Video/Burn-Image-Office-Maintain and then one called 'Stuff, which has mostly programs that already auto start.

The visible icons are Owner, on w7 it houses docs, pics, downloads and more. Computer, Recycle and Control Panel.

Extra icons in the quick launch are Note, Atlantis Nova, Firefox, IE and Flip3d.

Seems to work for me. Every program is on the desktop.
I guess I use folders like fences...sort of.