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Helpful programs Ver. 3.0

Discussion in 'Technology Help' started by Erik Destler, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. This post is in dire need of an update, I will get around to that eventually, just bear in mind that some of these things may suck or not even exist any more in the mean time.
    -Hydrohs


    Okay, so yeah.
    This was supposed to be posted a LONG time ago.
    But, I forgot.
    And, this post was full of server inducing error words.
    It was super frustrating. :'(
    But, now I've gotten everything completely.
    And, yeah. I'll be updating this every so often when people post other decent programs. [Yeah, the list is a tad out of date]

    Some positives before posting:
    1. Free prog rams. This does not include shareware, trial software, or "free" progr ams with a catch, such as mandatory installation of another program.
    2. Ad-free programs. This includes programs free of spyware and adware. The person should be able to install the program and nothing else that isn't related to the program.
    3. "Intuitive" programs. These programs should be at least somewhat user friendly. If you're talking about a command line interface program (not that CLI is a bad thing), unclear/intimidating instructions, or one that takes too long to actually get down to doing what you want, then it's not intuitive.
    4. I'm going to assume everyone here either uses Windows XP or Windows Vista. Mac OS X or Linux is welcome. So no whining if you use Windows 98.

    I'll list the ones here, but I can only comment on what I know or used.

    Media Programs
    Windows Media Player (Upd ates on XP require a valid copy)
    Apple Quicktime
    VideoLAN (VLC) - This media player has the ability to play almost any video file without additional dow nlo ading (i.e. cod ecs).
    Media Player Classic - This is a very light stand alone video player. However it does need a few things to play certain video files.

    Real Alternative - Media Player Classic with a Real Media co dec, in order to play Real Media files without Real Media Player (it's bloated, so I'm not recommending Real Media Player)
    Winamp - A digital music player with customizations to both appearance and playback.
    Foobar2000 - Another digital music player that plays a variety of formats and is custo mizable.
    Apple iTunes - A digital music player for mainly playing MP3, MP4 audio, and AAC.
    Exact Aud io Copy - A free CD Ripping program that focuses on accuracy. With some plugins, you can con vert to a variety of formats. I believe it comes with an O GG Vorbis enc oder by default.
    VirtualDub - An AVI/MPEG ed itor program. It's powerful in the sense that you can crop to the frame and add effects to videos (possibly more with plugins) and then enc ode it using any of the enco ders you have on your computer.
    Audacity - A free, open source software for rec ording and ed iting sounds. Very good. :]
    MediaCoder - An alternative to SUPER. While the interface may not be as user friendly as SUPER (not that SUPER is user-friendly), it's more stable. It also handles audio.
    Audiacity - A powerful audio e dit or and rec order.
    SCMPX - A light MP3 <-> WAV con verter.
    Combi ned Community C odec pack - It has all the code cs you need.

    Productivity Programs
    Open Office - A suite of office document processing tools (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc). Though not as feature rich as Microsoft Office, it provides many features that you'll need in your office life.
    Foxit Reader - An alternative to Adobe Reader for PDF files.
    PDF Creator - A program that allows the option to save documents as a PDF by "printing" them.
    PrimoPDF - Another PDF creator that "prints" out PDFs.
    Paint.net - A free photo editing program with common features you'd find on commercial products. It's not as powerful, but it's simple to use.
    GIMP - A free photo editing program designed to be on par with commercial products like Adobe Photoshop.
    Blender - A free 3D modeling tool.

    Online Programs
    Internet Explorer 8 - Now it doesn't require a valid copy of Windows. Comes with tabbed browsing, RSS feed, and antiphishing. However it's not recommended as often due to security concerns. Also if you're using Windows Vista, turning off User Access Control (UAC) forces IE7 to run without Protected Mode.
    Firefox - A great alternative to IE, which you can customize greatly using extensions and skins. However a pressing issue I keep coming across (and no matter how many times I "fix" it) is that it uses up a lot of memory after some time.
    Opera - Opera is another great alternative and is a happy medium between Firefox and IE. It has customization features but not as much as Firefox. It's also been reported to be the fastest browser between IE7 and Firefox.
    Safari - I'm only putting this up here if you like Apple based products. However I cannot recommend this over any of the other browsers due to bugs I've encountered that made it unstable.
    Flock - It's a branch of FireFox that's pretty good :D
    Google Chrome (Beta) - Google's answer to a browser. It's decent.
    AIM - AOL's IM client
    AIM Express - If you want to use AIM without downloading it, you can use this (make sure to set your pop-up exceptions to aol.aimexpress.com first!)
    Windows Live Messenger - Microsoft's IM client
    Trillian -A multi-client compliant program. Speak to users on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, mIRC, etc. with this program.
    Pidgin - Same as Trillian, used to speak to users of AIM, MSN, etc.
    Thunderbird - An e-mail client software. If you use Outlook or Windows Mail, this program is an alternative to that.
    Hamachi Virtual Private Network - Want to host an internet game or network but your router isn't letting you and you don't feel like port forwarding? Hamachi will cre ate a virtual private network that only you and people you give the IP address of that network to. However it may be unsuitable for some applications as ping is quite high.
    Skype - A free voice over IP (VoIP) program that allows you to make "calls" to anyone on Skype.

    Offline Pokedexes

    Pokedexer 1.0 - First 251?, has russian/english translations. A version 2 is mentioned on the site, but cannot be found.
    Offline Pokedex - In german, but with english translations.
    Gastly & Haunters Pokedex - Only covers the first 251. Viewable online and offline
    NW's Pokemon Program Suite 2.0 - Currently BETA, still missing some info, covers all 493 with information on other things, not just Pokemon but berries and other things too. Note: Large file size due to volume of content.
    The Masters Pokedex - Only first 251.

    Security Programs:
    AVG Anti-Virus - Comes with real-time protection, E-mail scanning (although major providers such as G-Mail do this for you), and an optional daily scan.
    Avast! 4.0 Anti-Virus - While it is free, it has a 60-day "trial", after that you have to register online to get a key (again, free).
    Spyware Doctor - While it does provide good protection and detection, I've noticed that it slowly ate up memory. It may just be me, so I'm putting this up anyway.
    Windows Defender (Requires a valid copy of Windows) - Despite it being a Microsoft product, it's actually quite good at detecting spyware. But the only problem is that it doesn't offer the best protection you could be getting with paid software (But then again, most free stuff doesn't do that well).
    Spyware Terminator
    Kerio Personal Firewall
    Panda Anti-rootkit
    Rootkit Revealer

    System Programs:
    ATI Tool - Used to overclock your ATI/AMD video card. It also works with NVIDIA's cards.
    NTune - NVIDIA's official system diagnostic and video card overclocker utility. Comes with a stability test as well
    CPU-Z - Analyzes what your CPU is down to the stepping. Also detects your RAM and motherboard information.
    GPU-Z - Analyzes what your graphics card is and all the useful information about it.
    WinDirStat - A file manager program (like Explorer or Finder) that represents files in the normal fashion, and as blocks depending on the size of the file. Useful for finding big files.
    7-Zip - A free compression utility that can access and decompress various common archives such as ZIP and RAR.
    CCleaner - This utility will clean your computer of unneeded junk (temporary files, cache, etc). It also comes with a registry cleaner and a system startup configuration.
    Driver Cleaner Professional - Before upd ating drivers, uninstall the old ones, run this program to clean up the leftovers, and then upd ate. This helps prevent "driver rot".
    Google Desktop - Want a sidebar with various widgets? This one's for you.
    Yahoo! Widgets - Instead of a sidebar, display those widgets on your desktop!
    Windows XP Powertoys - A various set of tools fro m Microsoft to enhance the XP experience. Recommended fr om here is TweakUI and PowerCalculator. All require Windows XP to install.
    WinDirStat - A file manager program (like Explorer or Finder) that represents files in the normal fashion, and as blocks depending on the size of the file. Useful for finding big files.
    7-Zip - A free compression utility that can access and decompress various common archives such as ZIP and RAR.
    CCleaner - This utility will clean your computer of unneeded junk (temporary files, cache, etc). It also comes with a registry cleaner and a system startup configuration.
    Driver Cleaner Professional - Before updating drivers, uninstall the old ones, run this program to clean up the leftovers, and then up date. This helps prevent "driver rot".
    Google Desktop - Want a sidebar with various widgets? This one's for you.
    Yahoo! Widgets - Instead of a sidebar, display those widgets on your desktop!
    Windows XP Powertoys - A various set of tools fr om Microsoft to enhance the XP experience. Recommended from here is TweakUI and PowerCalculator. All require Windows XP to install.

    TweakVI - A tool designed to tweak many aspects of Windows Vista. While you have to pay to get all the features, it comes with enough on the free version to work well.
    Virtual CloneDrive - A hassle free image mounting software. Supports the common formats such as ISO and BIN. Hassle free in that you just double click on the image it supports and it automatically mounts it. Fr om what I know, it also works in Vista as in XP.
    Unlocker - Can't delete or move a file or folder? Use this program to release whatever is holding that file or folder down!
    Auslogics Disk Defrag - A free disk defrag tool that 1. works 2. is faster than Microsoft's program 3. works in Vista.
    Auslogics Registry Defrag - While I'm not certain what defragging the registry does, I'm just putting this up for good measure.

    Image uploading services
    Imageshack - Granted it's slow at times, it's free and the only restriction is that the file must be kept under 1.5MB.
    Photobucket - Faster than Imageshack, but free accounts are only restricted up to 1024x768 resolution

    E-mail providers
    Gmail - Google mail, offers 6.5GB (and counting) of space. Tools can be used as well to make it into an online storage (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-...-storage-tool/ )
    Windows Live Mail
    Yahoo! Mail
    AOL Mail

    Useful Firefox Extensions
    Download Sort - Sorts what you download into user-specified folders based on keywords or extensions. So you can tell it to save any png, jpeg, or gif file into a pictures folder.
    Download Statusbar - Track your downloads in the same window as Firefox.
    Fasterfox - Tweaks Firefox to run faster
    Tabs Mix Plus - Extended tab options for Firefox.
    Adblock Plus - Blocks certain ads fro m appearing, thus saving you fro m annoying adverts.

    Mac Programs
    Adium - Like Trillian and Pidgin, Adium is a multi-client program for people to talk to AIM users, MSN users, etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2015
  2. This is now open for business, you guys.
     
  3. Kujo1229

    Kujo1229 *munch*

    I'm guessing that means post stuff here. <_<;

    Well, I have a nifty little program that I use called Paint.NET, it probably isn't quite as powerful as GIMP, I never tried GIMP, but for people looking for something basic, and not scary it's nice. I rather like the program for doing my linearts, and I managed to figure most of it out all by myself. If you are having some issues there are tutorials on the forums for the site. There is a lot of potential in this little thing. There are Plugins but they aren't necesary by any means. I'd recammend it, but I have no clue whether or not if it can do transparencies. <_< I use another free program for that. :p
    Link: http://paint.net/

    Positives:
    So simple a Kujo could do it.
    Layers!
    One of those nice colour wheel thingies, or make your own colours, either or.
    Unlimited Undo
    Simple controls
    You can have a fairly large palette.
    You can rearrange the placement of your layers, palette, tools, ect... So nothing is in your way.

    Negatives:
    I'm not exactly sure how the paint bucket tool works. o_O
    Probably not the most powerful thing on the block...
    The line/curve tools aren't quite as sharp as in MSPaint, meaning there is some blurring around the edges.

    Overall: I rather like it, it's neat, and not scary at all. I can't say the same for Photoshop Elements, boy that one's scary!
     
  4. Noctourniquet

    Noctourniquet ∆∆∆

    Well, I am a guitar player who sometimes learns music from tabs. Many guitarists who have ever googled for a tab will sometimes come across ".ptb" files. These were made by a program called PowerTab Editor. This is a program that creates, reads and plays guitar tablature and bass tablature in the .ptb file format, and is capable of saving in the .mid format, IIRC. Musicians looking for a simple, effective way to create or read tabs should definitely take a look; I had used this program for a very long time until i switched to Mac and always liked it. Windows only.
    Pros: creates, reads and plays guitar tablature and bass tablature in the .ptb file format, and after some time, becomes very easy to use.
    Cons: An old interface means that people who dont like the windows-2000 look may not want this.
     
  5. harrypits

    harrypits New Member

    Oh Great ....
    I really glad from this information !!!!!!

    I using Version 3.0 for this software .......
    So from your link I really find my way to wards technology ...

    Thank You
     
  6. siburke939

    siburke939 <------ my 1st shiny

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  7. Raichu4u

    Raichu4u I'm not josh'n

  8. Noctourniquet

    Noctourniquet ∆∆∆

    This is really good. However, be aware that this download is only a trial, IIRC.
     
  9. Raichu4u

    Raichu4u I'm not josh'n

    I use the trial, and it's good enough
     
  10. Noctourniquet

    Noctourniquet ∆∆∆

    Agreed. It is good, but I thought it expires after a while? Mehh, maybe I'm imagining things.
     
  11. Raichu4u

    Raichu4u I'm not josh'n

    I've been using it for more than a year, I think some parts are just taken off.
     
  12. Raichu4u

    Raichu4u I'm not josh'n

  13. Frank The Bunny

    Frank The Bunny 01001011101010101001

    There's a few things you missed or should be added :) and some that I think should not even be up there to begin with, but I won't go into those, to each is own.

    I would never take AVG over Avast! or Avira for that matter. You should really put Avira up there.

    http://www.avira.com/en/download/index.php

    Avast! V 5.0 is due in January btw.

    I'm shocked that Malwarebytes isn't up there as well. Malwarebytes is easily the best anti malware tool on the net at the moment.

    Add Malwarebytes to the list of recommended software. It catches just about every trace of malware that might be on your computer, in fact a simple quick scan often does the trick. It's a light weight program that is constantly updated to keep up with any new rouge threats. The free version doesn't come with real time protection so it wont conflict with your already running anti virus program. If you wish to pay for it, which would be a good idea you would simply get rid of any anti virus program you may have.

    http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php

    You also forgot to mention that windows firewall only protects you from incoming traffic and does not monitor out going activity. For this, install Online Armor Firewall, protects you from both incoming and outgoing activity. Comodo firewall is also a good choice.

    http://www.tallemu.com/ - Online Armor

    http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/ - Comodo

    Startuplite is a program from the creators of Malwarebytes, it helps you eliminate any unwanted startups. It basically tells you what DOESN'T need to be running on start up and gives you the option to disable it.

    http://www.malwarebytes.org/startuplite.php

    Avast now comes with built in anti spyware protection. For everything that Avast can't handle install Spyware Blaster. You have to manually update it as the only difference between the free and full version is automatic updates.

    http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html

    As for firefox pluggins, adblockplus obviously, but also.

    - Web Of Trust, lets you know when a site is known for hosting malware and how safe it is. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3456
    - NoScript, lets you disable Java on all pages except the ones you tell it to do otherwise seeing as malware can use Javascript to infect you. Great plugin. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/722

    On a side note you should warn users to never run two antivirus programs at the same time as the results could be pretty damned bad. Also suggest that Firefox be used over any version of IE.
     
  14. Darkrai0203

    Darkrai0203 Propaniac

    Thanks... this could come in handy.
     
  15. SpiffThis

    SpiffThis New Member

    Here are some Firefox extensions:

    Prefbar: Lets you turn stuff like colors, images, Javascript, Java, etc. on and off. Handy if you run into one of those sites that's yellow-on-white or image heavy.

    FlashBlock: Makes it so you have to click flash objects before they can play. If you open up a lot of tabs of YouTube, it's especially useful.
     
  16. Disgruntled Goat

    Disgruntled Goat has his moments

    Google Chrome has been out of beta for a LONG time now. It's pretty awesome actually, one of the fastest browsers around, clean and simple interface, supports extensions etc.
     
  17. 2D Thom

    2D Thom Im a tombsone

    i use winRAR for system programs
     
  18. Disgruntled Goat

    Disgruntled Goat has his moments

    WinRAR is closed source and basically obsolete with 7zip around. The best compression rates from from 7z or bzip files, whatever the file is.
     
  19. Engineer

    Engineer Practical Problems

    BROWSER
    I use Pale Moon for my browser - it's a modified version of Firefox that takes out some features that are unused by most users, optimizes code for newer CPUs, and has speed increases for scripting and page rendering to make it run faster. Pale Moon claims it's 25% faster over normal Firefox. Never had a problem with it, and it does seem to run faster for me. It even has a cute portable version that I like to keep on a flash drive, as well as a 64-bit version as of version 4.
    http://www.palemoon.org/

    DESKTOP CUSTOMIZATION
    Rainmeter is a desktop customization program that just...is useful. It puts useful information onto your desktop so you can quickly see it. I don't know how else to explain it, so here's a screenshot of my current desktop to show what my Rainmeter looks like.
    It's just an interesting program that's either hit or miss. But be warned that it can sometimes become confusing, so you should definitely read the documentation before using it. The payoff is very nice, though.
    http://rainmeter.net/RainCMS/

    GRAPHICS CARDS
    I'd also like to mention EVGA Precision for any brand of Nvidia graphics chips. I've been using it since it came out and it's beyond useful. RivaTuner is ingrained into this program, but Precision itself is more clean and simple in the overlay. It also makes it super easy to overclock, combined with ATi Tool for stability testing.
    http://majorgeeks.com/EVGA_Precision_d6209.html

    And EVGA Precision doesn't work with ATi graphics chips, but RivaTuner itself will. I've never used an ATi card myself, so I'm not really sure if an outside program is necessary, unlike Nvidia's fan speed issues. But having a FPS counter with temperature where you can see it in-game is always nice.
    http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=163

    USEFUL
    This is kinda in the gray area, but Youtube to MP3 Converter is works really well for downloading stuff from Youtube. You can batch download, auto-add a video just by copying the URL, and even shut down your computer when it's done downloading. The interface is very simple. I'm also not promoting this kind of pirating.
    http://download.cnet.com/Free-YouTube-to-MP3-Converter/3000-2194_4-10665553.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  20. Raddaya

    Raddaya My Little Ponyta

    Uhh...a few threads here have been asking if they can "run this game?" and since there's no "useful websites"(if there is move it there please)

    System Requirements Lab

    You have to download software, yes, but it's not malicious or anything.
     

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