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List of Useful and Free Software v2

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by Genocidicbunny, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

    Feb 5, 2005
    Orange Town
    Remaking this at Turner's request. Ill try to keep it more up-to-date than Thunderfall did. Now with 100% more useful Websites too!



    • Zone Alarm - Personal firewall. Free version available
    • AVG Antivirus - Free version available here
    • avast! - Great antivirus program. Home edition is free for personal Usage
    • Avira - A good, non-bloatware anti virus program.
    • Windows Defender - Spyware scanning and removal tool, with realtime system monitoring.
    • AdAware Personal - Spyware detectors/cleaners.
    • Spybot Search & Destroy - Useful Spyware removal tool.
    • Spyware Blaster
    • Ewido Anti-Spyware - The free version includes auto update and spyware sheild free for 30 days but the scanner stays indefinately, as does the manual update feature. - Ewido has been acquired by AVG.
    • WinPatrol- A powerful system tool with security features.
    • GRC Research - Can test your firewalls strength (safely) and has lots of free software and hints how to maintain a virus free comp.
    • KeePass - A password management program
    • Firestarter - Linux Only. Free firewall.


    • OpenOffice - Open source word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, and more.
    • AbiWord - A very good alternative to Microsoft Word. (Besides Open Office)
    • Foxit - Small PDF reader, also allows adjustment of the files
    • Cute PDF Writer - write documents in PDF

    • GIMP for Windows - An open source graphics editing program
    • Google's Picasa - Easy to use and has simple image editing abilities.
    • ScreenPrint 32 - Replacement for PrtScrn - Allows capture to clipboard, as well as printer and/or file.
    • Irfanview - Very lightweight, small, and fast image viewer that supports over 30 image formate. Remember though, viewer, not editor. Even though it can resize and do some very basic editing, it's really best used just as your default viewer. Make sure to also download the plugin pack.
    • Paint.NET - an image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Server 2003. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
    • FastStone - A great free photo viewer / lightweight editor.
    • ImageWalker - allows you to manage your image files visually
    • ShellExtension - A Handy program that adds the option to "convert" or "print" your image files with a right click in Windows explorer.
    • XnView - efficient multimedia viewer, browser and converter.
    • PrintKey - Allows you to capture the entire screen or any portion of it, then make changes to the screen capture and save in a variety of formats.
    • Blender - Open Source 3D-Modeling/Graphics program.
    • Inkscape - A free Vector based graphics editor.
    • Scribus - Page layout software.
    • ImageJ - Java-based image editor, viewer and processor.

    • VirtualDub - A free video capture/processing utility for Windows[/url]
    • Bink Player - Let's you play bink videos (video games often use bink format for movies)
    • Winamp - Plays MP3 and videos
    • Mplayer (for Linux) - Video player
    • VLC Media Player - An all-purpose Media Player and available for literally any type of OS.
    • Switch - This program can switch music file types to other types of music file types.
    • Audacity - This is a great program for audio recording/editing. Open Source and works on multiple platforms.
    • massid3lib - Mp3 Tag Tools - Retagging and renaming batches of MP3s
    • MP3cutter - Cutting up a large MP3 in smaller pieces
    • HarddiskOgg - Sound recording in MP3, Ogg etc.
    • Real alternative - Small alternative for Realplayer (doesn't stream though...)
    • Quicktime Alternative - allows your system to play QuickTime movie files (.mov) without having to install the full version of the Quicktime Player. It includes the browser plugins to allow seemless playback of movies within webpages.
    • FRAPS - can be used with games using DirectX or OpenGL graphic technology for benchmarking, screen capture, and realtime video capture.
    • K-Lite Codec Pack - contains many different codecs to help with audio and video playback.
    • Exact Audio Copy - Good audio ripper and can grab any copy protected music CD with amazing quality.
    • foobar - An advanced audio player for the Windows.
    • MP3Gain - For normalizing your MP3's (analyzes and adjusts mp3 files so that they have the same volume)
    • XMMS - Linux Only. Music player modeled after Winamp
    • MythTV - Linux Only. Free DVR software that can transform a computer into a home media center.
    • tvtime - Linux Only. Video capture card software that processes video input and displays it onscreen.
    • Dia - Linux Only. Diagram creation software inspired by Microsoft Visio.

    • Process Explorer - Gives you information about processes running on your system. An excellent replacement to the default Windows task manage. Gives you realtime info on dozens of items such as virtual memory used, physical memory used, CPU usage by core, Process I/O and many more.
    • Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP - Some of these are useful, like TweakUI
    • PC Inspector file recovery - Recovering files you've deleted
    • WinDirStat - disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool
    • The Font Thing - A useful utility that makes browsing your installed fonts a little easier.
    • CCleaner - a freeware system optimization and privacy tool.
    • True Crypt - Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows and Linux
    • Memtest86+ - Updated version of Memtest86. Creates a bootable floppy that you can use to test your system RAM. If you suspect you have bum RAM and want to test it, run this program for as long as possible (let it loop through a few times), as your CPU cache can obfuscate test results for a pass or three.
    • Cacheman XP - lets you know how much free memory (RAM) is available to use. Handy to have when your machine runs slow; at least you know why.
    • WinASO Registry Optimizer - cleans out trash from your registry. Free version will correct 10 errors at a time.
    • Handy Recovery - A tool to attempt to recover deleted files
    • Ant Renamer - Batch renaming tool.
    • Eraser - Securely deletes data by overwriting it several times. Good tool to use if you plan to sell or donate your hard drive/computer with hard drive.

    • eclipse - An extensible development platform and application frameworks for building software. Currently has packages available for Java, PHP, C/C++ with plugins available for Perl, Python, COBOL and many others.
    • Visual Studio Express Edition Downloads - Lightweight, easy-to-use, and easy-to-learn tools for the hobbyist, novice, and student developer.
    • XML Editing - Altova XMLSpy Home Edition and Altova Authentic
    • Notepad++ - A free source code editor which supports multiple programming languages running under the MS Windows environment.
    • EditPad Lite - It's like Notepad but way sweeter. There's also a Pro version which is, of course, not free.
    • AceHTML - Free HTML Editor
    • jEdit: Very powerful programmer's text editor.
    • XML Notepad - from Microsoft
    • Install Creator - a very easy to use and professional tool to create software installations.
    • Paquet Builder - A mix between a Zip, 7-Zip and Cab Self-Extracting file archive maker, and an advanced software Setup routine generator.
    • Nullsoft Scriptable Install System - A professional open-source tool for the development of Windows installers. It's a scriptable installer, using C++ language. Recommended if you have programming experience.
    • Xenu's Link Sleuth - checks Web sites for broken links.
    • Crystal Space - A free cross-platform software development kit for realtime 3D graphics.
    • ConTEXT - Free text editor that works with a variety of languages.

    • Firefox - Good open source web browser
    • Opera - Another good web browser
    • Avant Browser - Multi-window browser, which adds a batch of features and functionalities to Internet Explorer.
    • Trillian - All-in-one instant messenger (ICQ, MSN, Yahoo) and IRC program.
    • Miranda - Multi-platform IM programs.
    • Pidgin - A good open-source instant messenger program. Formerly known as GAIM.
    • FileZilla - Open source FTP program - FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.
    • PuTTY: A Free Telnet/SSH Client - PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32 and Unix platforms, along with an xterm terminal emulator.
    • eMule - Server and non-server based P2P
    • AMule - A P2P client for the E2K and Kad networks.
    • uTorrent - Small Bittorrent utility
    • ABC - Another Bittorent program
    • BitComet - a BitTorrent/HTTP/FTP download management software.
    • Azureus - A very good BitTorrent client
    • Thunderbird - open source email client from Mozilla
    • XChat - A good and free client for IRC chat.
    • Colloquy - an IRC/SILC client for the Macintosh (OSX). Open-source, free, and easy to use.
    • WinSCP - Open source freeware SFTP/SCP client for Windows.
    • UltraVNC - Allows you to remotely access your computer from any Internet-connected computer in the world.
    • FeedReader - A RSS reader that can also download podcasts/videocasts.
    • LifeRea - A Linux clone for FeedReader
    • Skype - Free talk, chat and videochat. Can allow up to 100 simultaneous connections with SkypeCast. For a charge, you can also talk to standard phone lines.
    • DownThemAll Firefox Extension - Download all links off a page. Customizable. Useful for offline reviewing of sites.
    • Video Downloader Firefox Extension - Use to download movies from YouTube, GoogleVideo and others.
    • mIRC - One of the best IRC chat clients available for Windows. Free to try, but a full license costs 20$ (Shareware)
    • aMSN - MSN messenger clone. Linux, OSX, Windows compatible.


    • Linux - Free Linux distributions

    • Google Desktop - Allows you to search your computer and also has a very nice desktop widget system.
    • Yahoo widgets - Yahoo!'s desktop widget system.
    • Rainlendar - A very nice lightweight calendar system with events and to-do list features.
    • Rainmeter - A highly customizable desktop widget system. Can be used to create anything from a simple calendar and clock to giving your desktop a complete makeover, themed however your imagination decides. Requires some basic programming to customize themes.

    • SourceForge - A Project hosting site that houses thousands of different software projects. If you need a program, this is a good place to look. All of the software is free.
    • freshmeat - A Project hosting site similar to SourceForge
    • Google Code - Yet another project hosting site. Gives you free access to an svn repository. Useful if you're working on a software project for school or personal reasons.
    • Mibbit - Web based IRC chat client.

    • Google Earth - A cool satellite image program (Mac, PC or Linux)
    • EarthExplorer - Free version (Both Mac & Windows) generates satelite or topographical map images for anywhere on earth up to 1km. There are 2 version, the DEM version gives topographical map. It even has political overlay, rivers overlay etc.
    • Worldwind - NASA's equivalent to Google Earth.
    • Celestia - Good free Planetarium / space simulation software.
    • Freeciv - Free Civilization-like game inspired by the series.
    • QJoyPad - Linux Only. Translates joystick or gamepad input into mouse and keyboard actions allowing control of any XWindows program.

    //This list is complete to post 66 of the old thread. I will continue to update this post over the next few days. If anyone wishes to compile a list of working links and names starting from post 66, please feel free to pm it to me.
  2. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

    Feb 5, 2005
    Orange Town
    Ah slipped my mind. Reserve post #1
  3. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

    Feb 5, 2005
    Orange Town
    And reserve post #2, just in case.
  4. Turner

    Turner Deity Retired Moderator

    Apr 17, 2002
    And the thread is now open to regular posting..... And let's keep the spam to a minimum, okay?
  5. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

    Apr 5, 2007
    Heres twoo small icons for the non-Windows programs. Took me all of 5 minutes to make.

    Also I did some of the programs in old list, I believe posts 66-150. They've not been put up yet.

    Suggestions for categories:
    Split "Communication" into "Browsers" and "Everythingelse" (make up name.) Or perhaps have them as sub-categories?
    Perhaps have separate category for browser addons.
    Make a "Free Games" category as soon as there's enough. I'll grab some free games out of my bookmarks and send them along

    ANOTHER EDIT: Here are some websites of which to add. I don't think I posted them in the old thread.
    Portable Freeware
    Home of the Underdogs (note: Hosts abandonware. If against the rules could the moderators please remove thankyou, I know warez isn't allowed but dunno about this)
    Open Source Alternative
    The Free Suite
    The Linux Alternative Project
    Linux App Finder
    The LiveCD List
    Open Source Mac

    You can legally download both Vista and 7 recovery discs here.
    Vista Recovery Disc Downlo
    Windows 7 Recovery Disc Download

    If I find more before there's a reply to this I'll just edit the post

    ANOTHER EDIT: I shrunk the icons because they looked funny.
  6. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

    Apr 5, 2007
    Edit: Oh never mind, this is a useless post
  7. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

    Apr 13, 2004
    London, UK
    I suggest we don't suggest things that we wouldn't or don't actively use ourselves...
  8. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

    Feb 5, 2005
    Orange Town
    I agree with this. I dont want to fill up 3 posts with random tiny programs that do one little, once-a-year task. If you dont find yourself using a program often, think about whether or not you should suggest it.

    If there are no other alternatives to the program though, please do suggest it. Someone else might be looking for it and it would be a great help to have it listed.
  9. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

    Apr 5, 2007
    Her'e some programs i do use a regular. I do not know what categoriy they shoudl go in.

    Revo Uninstaller, uninstalls programs. (Now has a paid version which stinks, but oh well.)
    CloneSpy, it finds duplicate files and can delete them automatically.
    Paint.NET, image editor. It is usually my first choice when editing a picture (GIMP is second)
    ImgBurn, which can burn to optical discs. It looks compicatecdddd to used but itnot really
    Avidemux, to edit video files.
    Media Player Classic, to play them.
    Media Player Classic -- Home Cinema, updated version of MPC, personally I like the older version but I didn't think it would hurt to post.

    Some Firefox addons. these are fairly recent ones I installed
    CheckPlaces which finds dead and duplicate bookmarks.
    Save Image in Folder, when you right click picture it makes a menu item which lets you dump the pic into folders of your choosing. very useful
    Automatic Save Folder, set up filters to dump certain file downloads into certain folders (e.g. I set it PDFs go into Documents)
    Screengrab, can take a screencap of the entire page or the visible part or a selection, etc ... Sometimes its useful to take a screenshot of a webpage rather than saving the entire thing.

    I also have some online tools which might be of I use them a lot
    Print What You Like, can remove advertising and other crap from pages (especially if there's no "printer-friendly" version)
    VirusTotal, can run a suspect file through a lot of antiviruses to see what they say.
    Soodonims, forwarding emails
    Down for everyone or just me?, to which to to check website availability.

    Question to moderators: What are the rules on posting things like DVD Decrypter?
  10. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

    Apr 5, 2007
    I found an interesting program which I haven't tried yet but will as soon as it downloads.
    Sisimizi Game Catalog

    EDIT: I'm very brilliant. I accidentally ran the darn thing in French.
  11. Methos

    Methos HoF Quattromaster Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

    Jan 1, 2005
    Launchbar 5

    I love this app. The one thing Apple isn't good at is mice and I'm not that big on the trackpad, so this keyboard application is excellent for me. It indexes everything, so you can use it to locate other apps, files, folders, etc., and you can set certain keys to jump to a certain item. You simply use the Command-Spacebar and then input your search criteria in the launchbar app. What's nice is you can also kick off sites and browser searches with it too. This is one of those apps that I would have a lot of trouble living without.
  12. GVBN

    GVBN Emperor

    Aug 1, 2004
  13. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

    Apr 5, 2007
    MediaCoder also does audio.
  14. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

    Apr 12, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I was about to post that. In any case, seconded. It's a good alternative to the k-lite pack. And MPC-HC is a massive improvement over VLC.
  15. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

    Feb 5, 2005
    Orange Town
    Sorry for not editing the first post yet, I havent had enough time to sit down and take an hour. I promise Ill get to it within a couple of weeks.

    Secondly. VLC and MPC are not in the same category. VLC has its own set of codecs and as such it can play nearly any kind of file. MPC unfortunately cant.
  16. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

    Jul 8, 2002
    VLC and CCCP are pretty much comparable.

    CCCP has a nice summary of media players: http://www.cccp-project.net/wiki/index.php?title=Media_Players

    I'd run through the list, but have some pretty strong opinions about some things that shouldn't be on the list (or the preferred software should at least get a recommended beside them), so am not putting time into a list that I still wouldn't feel comfortable actually recommending to people.

    PM me on IRC if you want my thoughts, GB.
  17. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

    Feb 5, 2005
    Orange Town
    CCCP and VLC are not equivalents. CCCP is a codec pack that works with a variety of media players. VLC is its own, self-contained media player that provides native codecs that work for it.

    Also, I am not about to go vetting the list to my own preference. Please, add your opinion on it as you wish, and if you provide alternatives I will make sure they are added. But I will not be the final judge on what is and isnt useful.
  18. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

    Apr 5, 2007
    I like VLC because its portable and works on computers where codecs aren't installed. Although the quality isn't quite the same. I like the ffmpeg codec, pretty good quality and fast too

    EDIT: Figure I should link to ffmpeg, although its included with K-Lite. http://ffmpeg.org/
  19. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

    Oct 25, 2000
    Thanks Genocidicbunny for doing this. :) I have unstuck the old thread.
  20. Furiey

    Furiey No Longer Just Lurking

    Nov 18, 2003
    Bedfordshire UK
    I use ExtractNow as a simple un-rar (it unzips other things too) utility. Provides drag and drop or right click un-zipping facilities. Nothing fancy but it works. I does not zip, just un-zip.


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