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Useful Software/Links (Last updated: 4/23/11)
Forum Index - Donut Plains - Computers & Technology - Useful Software/Links (Last updated: 4/23/11)
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Windows | Mac | Linux



Useful Software for Microsoft Windows



This list aims to provide you with links to Useful Software for Microsoft Windows. It also aims to provide links to useful Windows related websites.


Web Browsers
Internet Explorer -- Windows' default browser. Comes bundled with Windows.
Mozilla Firefox -- Cross-Platform goodness.
Opera -- More Cross-Platform goodness
Apple Safari -- Even More Cross-Platform goodness.
Google Chrome -- Still more cross-platform goodness.



Mail Clients
Outlook Express -- Windows' default mail client. Comes with Windows and IE.
Microsoft Outlook -- Microsoft's more robust mail client. Supports Exchange Server.
Mozilla Thunderbird -- Cross-Platform goodness.



Instant Messaging, VOIP, Chat and IRC
Pidgin -- free, opensource multi protocol IM.
Trillian -- multi-protocol IM. Free and Pro versions.
Skype -- VoIP software
Xchat -- IRC client
SilvereX -- Shareware-free XChat build
Miranda IM -- Tiny multi-protocol IM
Google Talk -- IM using the Jabber protocol, with voice chat.
mIRC
Josh Dick's Irssi 0.8.11 Standalone for Windows



RSS Readers
Please let us know if you know any good RSS Aggregators / Readers!!


Peer to Peer
Azureus -- Powerful, Java based BitTorrent client
BitTorrent -- Official (and original) BitTorrent client.
FrostWire -- Free Gnutella client. Cross-platform
uTorrent
PuTTY



FTP Clients
FileZilla -- open-source FTP
CuteFTP -- easy to use FTP client
WS_FTP -- FTP Client
Core FTP Lite
SmartFTP
WinSCP



Video and Audio
iTunes -- Music and media for OS X and Windows. May support the iTunes Music Store if it's available in your country. Part of the iLife suite of products.
VLC -- Media Player which supports most audio and video, DVD's, VCD's and streaming
WinAmp -- Versatile, skinnable media player for Windows
Extract Audio Copy -- A freeware CD ripper that exports to WAV, instead of MP3 or Ogg Vorbis like most other rippers.
CDex -- rip CDs using the LAME codec.
Audacity -- great for recording and editing sounds
BS Player
FooBar2000
Daemon Tools



Codecs
Combined Community Codec Pack
QuickTime Alternative
Real Alternative
K-Lite Codec Pack
DivX Plus Codec Pack



Photo Editing / Graphics
the GIMP -- funny name, powerful open-source image editing.
Paint.net -- because Photoshop's not free. "Advanced" version of Paint.
Irfanview
Cosmigo ProMotion



Office / Productivity Software
Microsoft Office -- Microsoft's Office Suite.
OpenOffice.org -- open-source alternative to Office.
Mozilla Sunbird -- Calendaring, based on the Mozilla framework



Text / HTML / etc Editors
TextPad -- powerful shareware text editor
Metapad -- Unlike the other "notepad clones" this is probably one of the very few that can actually claim that title
UltraEdit-32 -- The ideal text, HTML and HEX editor, and an advanced php, Perl, Java and JavaScript editor for programmers!
Notepad++
EditPlus
Notepad 2
Finale Notepad - The free version of Finale. Useful for music composition and fun to play around with.



Antivirus / Anti-spyware Solutions
AVG Free Edition -- Free Antivirus for your PC
Avast Antivirus -- More Free Antivirus for your PC
Spybot Search and Destroy -- Spyware Detection and Removal
Windows Defender -- AKA Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta, AKA Giant AntiSpyware
Hijack This! -- Great for finding out what your computer is up to
Autorun Manager - This is a program that allows you to turn off certain processes and functions. Useful for disabling virus/trojans you can't delete and possibly some other uses.
CCleaner



Developer Tools
WAMP -- Simple installation of Apache, MySQL, and php" on Windows.
Dev-php -- A php IDE
JCreator



Utilities (ie, Zip Tools, VNC.. etc.. etc)
Diskeeper -- an alternative to Windows' built in defrag
7-Zip -- Free Zip utility. Excellent compression with native 7z format.
WinRAR -- opens and creates RAR files, also supports Zip, etc.
NirSoft -- handy free windows utilities
Memtest86 -- Extensive memory testing
Portable Application Suite -- Take your stuff with you on a thumb drive!
SysInternals Process Explorer
PowerISO -- A disk image utility that can open, create, edit, compress, encrypt, mount and extract ISO files. Very useful for torrents.
TeraCopy
DropBox



Fun Stuff
Google Earth -- See the world!



Microsoft/Windows Related Websites
Microsoft -- Microsoft's Web Site
Windows Update -- cause sometimes you should update Windows.
Paul Thurrot's SuperSite for Windows -- Lots of Windows Info
M-Dollar -- ArsTechica's Microsoft Blog
Slashdot: Microsoft -- Slashdot's Microsoft articles...




Useful Software for Apple Macintosh



This list aims to provide you with links to Useful Software for Apple Macintosh. It also aims to provide links to useful Apple related websites.


Web Browsers
Safari -- Mac's default browser. Comes with Mac OS X.
Mozilla Camino -- Mozilla's browser designed specifically for the Mac.
Mozilla Firefox -- Cross-Platform goodness.
Opera -- More Cross-Platform goodness
OmniWeb -- shiny Mac browser. 30 day free trial.



Mail Clients
Mail -- Mac's default Mail Client. Comes with Mac OS X.
Microsoft Entourage -- Mac equivalent to Outlook and part of Office 2004 Supports use in an Exchange Server 2000 (or later) environment.
Mozilla Thunderbird -- Cross-Platform goodness.
Bare Bones Mailsmith -- simple mail incorporating BBedit's text functions
Gyazmail -- mmmm Cocoa



Instant Messaging, VOIP, Chat and IRC
iChat -- Comes with Mac OS X. Supports AIM.
Adium X -- Open-source, multi-protocol Instant Messaging. Powered by libgaim.
Fire -- Open-source multi-protocol IM client for OS X
Colloquy -- IRC & SILC Client for OS X.
XChat -- Cross-Platform IRC Client
Skype -- free VoIP tool for OS X
Gizmo Project -- free VoIP tool for OS X
Unsanity Chat Transcript Manager -- allows you to search chat logs from Adium and iChat.
Microsoft Messenger. It's built like older versions of MSN Messenger for windows, and works pretty well, in my opinion.
AIM for Mac. -- Well, it's AIM. For Mac.



RSS Readers
PulpFiction -- RSS for OS X



Peer to Peer
Azureus -- Powerful, Java based BitTorrent client
BitTorrent -- Official (and original) BitTorrent client.
FrostWire -- Free Gnutella client. Cross-platform



FTP Clients
Transmit -- FTP client for OS X.
Cyberduck. It's a really nice open-source FTP, and I quite like it.



Video and Audio
QuickTime -- Apple's Media Player.
iTunes -- Music and media for OS X. May support the iTunes Music Store if it's available in your country. Part of the iLife suite of products.
VLC -- Media Player which supports most audio and video, DVD's, VCD's and streaming
GarageBand -- Digital Music creation / mixing. Part of the iLife suite of products.
iMovie -- Movie editing. Supports HD Video. Part of the iLife suite of products.
iDVD -- DVD Authoring. Part of the iLife suite of products.
Final Cut Studio -- Apple's Professional video and audio tools. Includes Final Cut Pro 5 (editing), Soundtrack Pro (sound), Motion 2 (animation) and DVD Studio Pro 4 (DVD authoring).
Logic Pro -- Apple's music toolkit
Shake -- Apple's digital compositing and effects
Predixis MusicMagic -- analyses your music and generates playlists based on similar features in the music.
Game Music Box -- SPC Player



Photo Editing / Graphics
Aperture -- Apple's own Photo Editing software, designed for Professional Photographers.
Pixen -- Cute open-source software for small-scale or pixel-art.
iPhoto -- Photo editing, sorting, slide-shows, etc. Part of the iLife suite of products.
the GIMP -- funny name, powerful open-source image editing.
Seashore -- An open-source alternative to GIMP.
Inkscape is not a program I've used, though I hear it's good. It's pretty much a free version of Adobe Illustrator.
Pixen. It's a fun little raster graphics editor, and great for making pixel art. It's tailored for game designers, and has lots of neat features to play around with.




Office / Productivity Software
OpenOffice.org -- open-source alternative to Office and iWork.
OmniGraffle -- Diagramming software for OS X
OmniOutliner -- Project planning software for OS X.



Text / HTML / etc Editors
Taco HTML Edit -- Free HTML editor for OS X. Color-codes your code.
Text Wrangler -- good, native text editor for OS X.
Emacs is an HTML editor. Well, it actually does a whole lot more, like C++, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP, and a bunch of other stuff.



Antivirus Solutions
Norton AntiVirus for Mac -- Norton's AV solution for OS X.
Virex -- McAfee's AV solution for OS X.



Utilities (ie, Zip Tools, VNC.. etc.. etc)
Unsanity Shapeshifter -- Sick of the default Aqua theme? This allows you to skin OS X.
Chicken of the VNC -- for all your VNC needs.
StuffIt Expander -- An all purpose expander and compressor. This is much better than the one that is included with the default software. More information can be found on this Apple page, along with another download link.
DropBox



Other
Darwine. It's pretty much a Mac version of WINE. Quite useful, if I do say so, myself.
Magnifique is a skin changer for Mac. The great thing about this one is that it's the only one that works with Leopard.
CandyBar is an icon changer for Mac. It also lets you change your dock around.
Caffeine is a neat little program that stops your computer from going into sleep mode and such when activated. Useful for watching long videos online.

Deeper is a program that lets you enable some hidden options on your computer, and Safari, too. It might do the same for some other applications too, but I haven't used it in a while, so I forget. :P




Apple Related Websites
Apple -- Uh... Apple's Website
AppleInsider -- Apple Rumors
ThinkSecret -- More Apple Rumors
Slashdot: Apple -- Slashdot's Apple section
Infinite Loop -- ArsTechnica's Apple Blog
MacOSXhints -- Handy OS X hints

Useful Software for Unix-like/free operating systems



This list is for free operating systems such as BSD and GNU/Linux. If you want a completely free OS, don't install software marked "PROPRIETARY"

Operating Systems themselves


Fedora Core - Nice and simple, Red Hat based and a very large community to turn for help.
Ubuntu / Kubuntu - Semi-New OS (started Oct 2004) based on Debian, designed for users that never used computers before; pretty nice for those looking for a new OS also.
CentOS - An operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux; recompiled to obey RH's requirements in order to redistribute (basically remove the name "Red Hat" and logos)
PC-BSD - An OS based on FreeBSD, made easy-to-use by having a graphical installer and uses KDE by default for its desktop.
Debian - Gives you complete choice of what software is going onto your system, while being easy to install.

Desktop environments and window managers


KDE - Complete DE including a desktop, panel, web browser, window manager, text editors, games, and all that good stuff.
GNOME - Like KDE, it's a complete DE including a desktop, panel, web browser, etc. In my opinion, the releases aren't as polished as KDE, but it's up to you to decide what you like best.
XFCE - Not-so-complete DE that includes the window manager, a panel, control panel, and file manager. Like GNOME, it's built on GTK, so such applications will also blend into this.
GNUstep/WindowMaker - WindowMaker's a window manager, and GNUstep is a library. Not much of a DE, but with a bunch of OPENSTEP/GNUstep applications, it can be one. Like NeXTSTEP. (There's some support for Cocoa applications in GNUstep, but not all APIs)
Fluxbox - Extremely lightweight window manager. About as much as you can get.

Web Browsers


Mozilla Firefox - Not much explaination needed here, a web browser built on the Mozilla framework to have little features built-in, so that you can expand it with features you want.
SeaMonkey - The Mozilla Foundation cancelled development of Mozilla Suite. So Suite-lovers got together and continue it on their own. (Possibly faster and lighter on resources than Firefox, but it's debatable)
Konqueror - Comes with KDE by default (part of kdebase; it's rare to find someone that left it out). Outstanding browser with support for HTML4, XHTML, and CSS1/2/3. Recently passed Acid2. Also doubles as a great file manager and (simple) FTP application.
Opera - Claims to be the fastest browser, sacrificing web standards-support for speed. It seems to be the same speed as Firefox for me, but here you go if you like it. PROPRIETARY
Galeon - A GTK browser with the Gecko rendering engine. Integrates well into XFCE and GNOME.
Epiphany - The official web browser for GNOME; similar to Galeon.
Dillo - The fastest GUI browser ever made (yes, faster than Opera or Firefox or Konqueror). Aims to fully support HTML4 also.

IRC, IM, etc


Irssi
Gaim - Lightweight, cross-platform GTK IM client that supports many protocols.
Kopete - The KDE Instant Messenger. Like Gaim, it supports many protocols. Plus video chat over Yahoo! and MSN. (This comes with most full-blown KDE installs, but not all; part of kdenetwork)
X-Chat - GTK cross-platform IRC client with many features.
Skype - Free-of-charge voice chat platform. PROPRIETARY

RSS agregators


aKregator - Easy-to-use program that's yet another official KDE component (in kdenetwork).

Peer-to-Peer


Azureus - Popular Java BitTorrent program with tons of features.
KTorrent - KDE BiTorrent program with most of Azureus' features, plus an integrated search for many popular BT search engines. (This is not an official KDE application, so you probably will need to get it separate from "KDE").
BitTorrent - Let's not forget the official BT client! ... it pretty much sucks though <_<
GTK-Gnutella - Connects to some of the popular classical P2P protocols. Gnutella, Gnutella2, FrostWire, etc

Multimedia


MPlayer - It does everyting (with proper codecs installed, of course)
Audacious - Originally a fork of BeepMP with some new features, but then BeepMP was officially discontinued in favor of a client/server thing that hasn't been finished yet. So it's pretty much XMMS using GTK+2 and some other stuff.
XMMS - GTK+1 Winamp clone, mostly obseleted by Beep, but retains the doublesize feature that Beep removed for implementation problems.
JuK - KDE audio player; it's like iTunes except that it doesn't crash every two minutes.
AmaroK - Like JuK, but the UI can take many forms.
Xine-ui - It's like MPlayer but with excellent DVD support.
VLC - The cross-platform media player with excellent VCD, SVCD, and DVD support.
Totem - Minimalist media player for GNOME.
Audacity - Nice audio grabber and editor.
WINE - Allows you to run Windows programs on Linux.

Graphics stuff


GIMP - Almost every feature that Photoshop has, GIMP has. That says enough. Oh yeah, some people seem to forget that GIMP, like Photoshop, isn't meant as a simple painting program.
Krita - Another professional photo editor, like Photoshop or GIMP. Technically, it's part of KOffice.
KolourPaint - Simple painting program that's like MS Paint, official KDE project (part of kdegraphics).
Xpdf - A PDF program, it looks ugly though so there's a few front-ends to the underlying source. It also obeys PDF authors' wishes for locking you from copying from or printing a PDF; search Google to find a fix if you want/need it.
KPDF - KDE PDF program, based on Xpdf but doesn't look ugly!
Evince - PDF, PostScript, djvu, tiff, and dvi viewer for GNOME.

Office / Productivity Software


OpenOffice.org - Complete office suite that can easily replace MS Office or WordPerfect Office.
KOffice - Complete office suite for KDE.
AbiWord - Lightweight, cross-platform GTK word processor. Similar to MS Word
Gnumeric - Spreadsheet application similar to MS Excel (recently got a Windows port). Designed and works for scientific data, but can be used for general stuff.
Scribus - Professional desktop publishing!

Utilities


DropBox


If you have a program you would like to see added to the list, post it and I will add it. Also, if you find any broken links, let me know.
Last edited on 2011-04-24 02:01:58 AM by Alcaro.
I'm surprised WINE isn't on your list, for linux.

Anyways, this deserves a sticky. Awesome list. >:].
Originally posted by MasterPenguin
I'm surprised WINE isn't on your list, for linux


Just added it.
Couple of programs I'd like to recommend for this list.

Autorun Manager - This is a program that allows you to turn off certain processes and functions. Useful for disabling virus/trojans you can't delete and possibly some other uses.

Finale Notepad - The free version of Finale. Useful for music composition and fun to play around with.

Sorry for such a late reply, and my god is it ever, but the thread is stickied, and I have some useful stuff for Mac OS X that I thought should be on here.

First up, for an FTP, Cyberduck. It's a really nice open-source FTP, and I quite like it.

Next, in the graphics department, there's Pixen. It's a fun little raster graphics editor, and great for making pixel art. It's tailored for game designers, and has lots of neat features to play around with.

You also seem to be lacking in vector graphics programs, so here's Adobe Flash, and Adobe Illustrator. These are for both Mac and Windows, though.

Next, we have Magnifique as a skin changer for Mac. The great thing about this one is that it's the only one that works with Leopard.

To go with that, here's an icon changer for Mac, called CandyBar. It also lets you change your dock around.

In the area of screen recorders, which there seem to be none of on here for some reason, here's two Mac ones called iShowU and iShowU HD. I personally dislike the latter, as it slows my computer down a lot, but if you have a relatively fast computer, then it's probably better for you.

As an MSN client, I use Microsoft Messenger. It's built like older versions of MSN Messenger for windows, and works pretty well, in my opinion.

As an AIM client, I use, well, AIM for Mac.

Emacs is an HTML editor. Well, it actually does a whole lot more, like C++, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP, and a bunch of other stuff.

Caffeine is a neat little program that stops your computer from going into sleep mode and such when activated. Useful for watching long videos online.

Deeper is a program that lets you enable some hidden options on your computer, and Safari, too. It might do the same for some other applications too, but I haven't used it in a while, so I forget. :P

Inkscape is not a program I've used, though I hear it's good. It's pretty much a free version of Adobe Illustrator.

And, last but not least, Darwine. It's pretty much a Mac version of WINE. Quite useful, if I do say so, myself.
Last edited on 2009-10-25 02:38:16 AM by Megafonzie.
Updated with the links posted above. Also cleaned up the coding.

Keep the links coming! :D
Good stuff, i'll have to look through this more thoroughly later.
For Windows:

PuTTY-Telnet/SSH client

Daemon Tools-CD/DVD drive emulator

WinSCP-FTP/SCP client
Game Music Box - SPC player for MAC OS 9, OS X, etc.


StuffIt Expander: An all purpose expander and compressor. This is much better than the one that is included with the default software. More information can be found on this Apple page, along with another download link.

Click To Flash: This is a form of a plugin for Apple's Safari. What this does is it blocks out Adobe Flash internet applications, which is the largest cause of Macintosh Safari browser crashes and slowdown (flash seriously runs like a dog on a Mac). Basically it warns you of flash, and blocks it out. You can still access it if needed. More information can be found here.

Both of these downloads are for Macintosh computers.
Last edited on 2010-04-27 03:59:45 PM by E-Man.
K-Lite Codec Pack
PowerISO

PowerISO is a disk image utility that can open, create, edit, compress, encrypt, mount and extract ISO files. Very useful for torrents.
I'm suprised this one isn't on the list.

CCleaner

Originally posted by CCleaner
CCleaner is our system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!


It's very usefull.
You'll be amazed how much data browsers can leave behind that you don't need anymore anyway, and how much crap an uninstalled program can leave behind in the register.
You can all clean it up, and deleting the faulty register keys can sometimes speed up your pc a little bit.

It's a free program and it runs on windows.
If you use it, I recommend to scan & clean atleast at the end of each month.
Last edited on 2010-05-13 05:16:10 AM by BlackEagle766.
I've heard of that, but I am scared that it will delete something that it considers crap that is actually important for one of my programs and such...
Originally posted by Ultimaximus
I've heard of that, but I am scared that it will delete something that it considers crap that is actually important for one of my programs and such...

CCleaner lets you pick what files you want deleted, so if you're not sure about it you can untick it. Regarding the registry clean, from what I understand it only deletes registry keys that are unused or one-time things. It doesn't brick your computer in any way, and I've been using for for months. I run it every couple of days or weeks and it gets rid of 1000MB+.
Although I don't trust it to know what registry entries are unused (What if I use a certain program once a year, but is still important to me?), I may look into it.... God, I wish I had an external to back my stuff on..

EDIT: Well, I did some research on registry cleaners, as well as other things. Interesting indeed:

http://www.windowsbbs.com/windows-xp/61015-xp-fixes-myth-1-registry-cleaners.html
*http://lifehacker.com/5033518/debunking-common-windows-performance-tweaking-myths
http://knowthenetwork.com/blog/2009/01/the-myth-of-registry-cleaners/

*Informative on numerous accounts


I suppose I don't need CCleaner, seeing as I'm fine as it is for hard drive space, and registry cleaning doesn't do anything purportedly.
Last edited on 2010-05-14 03:31:29 PM by Ultimaximus.
Originally posted by Ultimaximus
I suppose I don't need CCleaner, seeing as I'm fine as it is for hard drive space, and registry cleaning doesn't do anything purportedly.

Actually, registry cleaning with CCleaner have helped me numerous of times. When programs start malfunctioning cleaning the registry does help.

As an example; My brother used an old crappy install of XP on his computer, where he had installed Spore. But Spore was after some time acting weirdly, and would only start randomly. I decided to do a registry clean on his computer, and Spore started working surprisingly well again.

And CCleaner does not give you any "bogus" reg problems. I've recently used it on a new install on XP, and it didn't find anything. After I had installed and uninstalled a few things on it, CCleaner started finding problems. Like leftover files.
List updated.
You should add video editors to the list. Here are some I recommend for Windows.

Sony Vegas
Corel VideoStudio
Adobe Premiere Elements
TeraCopy.

It basically speeds up the copy + paste speed for Windows. Great for those huge files that take ages to copy.
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