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List of Useful & Free Software Programs

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by Thunderfall, Mar 16, 2006.

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  1. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    If you know some useful programs that are free, please post below. I will update this list from time to time. :)

    Jump to: INTERNET SECURITY | PRODUCTIVITY | GRAPHICS | AUDIO & VIDEO | SYSTEM UTILITIES | DEVELOPMENT | COMMUNICATION | ZIP UTILITIES | OPERATING SYSTEMS | DESKTOP WIDGETS | MISCELLANEOUS

    INTERNET SECURITY


    PRODUCTIVITY

    • 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

    GRAPHICS
    • 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.
    • Paint.NET - an image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 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.

    AUDIO & VIDEO
    • 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
    • Audiograbber - Ripping CDs to MP3
    • 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.
    • XMPEG - An open source video converter built on MPEG1/MPEG2/AC3 high quality decoders.
    • 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)

    SYSTEM UTILITIES
    • Process Explorer - Gives you information about processes running on your system
    • 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.

    DEVELOPMENT
    • eclipse - An extensible development platform and application frameworks for building software.
    • 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 several 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.

    COMMUNICATION
    • 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.
    • Gaim - A good open-source instant messenger program
    • 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.

    ZIP UTILITIES

    OPERATING SYSTEMS
    • Linux - Free Linux distributions
    • Windows XP 64-bit Free Trial Download - Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is a rich platform that enables the next generation of high-performance computing. 64-bit native applications can deliver more data per clock cycle, making them run faster and more efficiently. The trial allows you to evaluate the software for 120 days.

    DESKTOP WIDGETS
    • 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.

    MISCELLANEOUS
    • 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.
    • The Rename[/COLOR][/B] - useful tool for batch re-nameing files.
    • Software for Starving Students - Big ol cd images to burn or mount with free software for OSX and Windows
    • No Flash - Freezes annoying animations (ads).
    • Celestia - Good free Planetarium / space simulation software.
     
  2. Turner

    Turner Chieftain Retired Moderator

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  3. Padma

    Padma the Inbond Administrator

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  4. bhsup

    bhsup Chieftain

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    IMAGE VIEWER
    • 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.
     
  5. general_kill

    general_kill Chieftain

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  6. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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  7. Civrules

    Civrules We the People

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  8. Goober

    Goober Turning Right ...

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    I can't believe that nobody has included VLC. http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

    VLC is an all-purpose Media Player, it plays, well, I've yet to come across a media type that it doesn't play. Except for QuickTime files. It is small, light, and free, and available for literally any type of OS.
     
  9. Chairman Meow

    Chairman Meow Class IV

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    Hmm... a couple obvious ones that haven't been mentioned yet:

    Web Browsers
    Firefox, Opera

    Video and Sound
    Mplayer (This is what I primarily use in Linux... I haven't used Windows for video in quite a while, so I don't know what the best player there currently is)

    I'll post more later when my brain works (note to self: pulling an all-nighter the night before you have classes all day is a bad idea.)
     
  10. MarkC1

    MarkC1 Chieftain

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    Paint.NET
    Windows XP 64-bit Free Download


    Visual Studio Express Edition Downloads

     
  11. MarineCorps

    MarineCorps Explosion!

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  12. Dark Sheer

    Dark Sheer Chieftain

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    EarthExplorer

    http://www.motherplanet.com/download.htm

    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. :)
     
  13. EzInKy

    EzInKy Excentric

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    Sourceforge is fantastic place to start looking when you are in need of free software. Click on "Projects" then "Software Map" to view all the categories or use the search function to find what you need.

    Got to break them in slowly B-)
     
  14. IglooDude

    IglooDude Enforcing Rule 34 Retired Moderator

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    What do Dirkey and the widgets do?

    And doesn't that sound like a great name for a band? :p
     
  15. Padma

    Padma the Inbond Administrator

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    Yeah, but sometimes I just have to yank a few chains. ;)
     
  16. MarineCorps

    MarineCorps Explosion!

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    Widgets do dozens of things.:p Dirkey bookmarks folders. So when hitting ctrl-windows-# the folder pops up.:D
     
  17. Turner

    Turner Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    I used the widgets for a while. Wasn't impressed. Takes up too many system resources.

    :shrug:
     
  18. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    You have to pay to get close to the Earth's surface :(.
     
  19. Turner

    Turner Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    What's the resolution on Google Earth? They seem to get pretty close.

    I was 'flying' over Washington DC and Indianapolis, IN. And I was a few meters off the ground there.
     
  20. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    Yeah, cities on google earth are good, I can see this house I am in right now on it. But I can't see most of a neighbouring Island where my dad lives, I can't even make out the roads!
     
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