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Other => FAQ solutions database => Software => Topic started by: Rob Pomeroy on March 31, 2006, 07:44:58 AM

Title: Essential Software tools
Post by: Rob Pomeroy on March 31, 2006, 07:44:58 AM
Essential Software Tools

This is our master list of all the useful (and free!) software and tools that we use and recommend.  Feel free to add to this thread; suitable software will then be incorporated into the main posts.

Note that some software here is only free for personal use, or may be limited in some way.  The majority however is completely free and unfettered.  :)

Categories
Tip: Use your browser's "find" feature (Ctrl+F) to go to your chosen category quickly.

Key

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - recommended (i.e. I use it a lot)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif) - new in this issue

Filesystems


Name/Link - Description
Ant Renamer (http://www.antp.be/software/renamer) - Clever multiple file renamer
Eraser (http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/default.php) - Secure total file eraser/shredder
JDiskReport (http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/index.html) - Disk/space analysis
JkDefrag GUI (http://www.emro.nl/freeware/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Front end to an exceptional defragger
FIPS (http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/people/chaffee/fips/fips.html) - DOS/FAT non-destructive partition resizing tool
IsoBuster (http://www.isobuster.com/) - CD/DVD data recovery tool
KillBox (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/files/killbox.php) - Delete stubborn files
Smart BootManager (http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=4185) - Boot from any device, even unsupported CDROMs
NTFSDOS (http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/NtfsDos.html) - Access NTFS partitions from DOS
Ultimate Boot CD (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/) - Boot CD with lots of diagnostic tools
Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (http://www.ubcd4win.com/) - As above, but completely "Windows-ised" version


Games
Note: Of course games are "essential software"!  ;)

Name/Link - Description
Flyff (http://flyff.gpotato.com/) - Online RPG
Legends (http://www.legendsthegame.net/) - Multiplayer FPS with some innovative features
Nexuiz (http://www.alientrap.org/nexuiz/) - Multiplayer 3D deathmatch FPS a la Quake Unreal Tournament

Graphics

Name/Link - Description
The Gimp (http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/) - Photoshop-rivalling bitmap editor
IconShop (http://users.pandora.be/liontech/Downloads.htm) - Manage ICL and EXE icon libraries
Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org/) - Open Source scalable vector graphics Editor
Irfanview (http://www.irfanview.com/) - Graphics viewer with HUGE feature set
Paint.net (http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/index.html) - Paint Shop Pro-rivalling bitmap editor
Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/) - Picture album/organiser from Google


Hard drive diagnostics

Name/Link
*Testdisk - generic free data recovery tool* (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk)
Fujitsu (http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/storage/hdd/support/utilities.html)
Hitachi (http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm)
Maxtor (http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/products/index.htm)
Samsung (http://www.samsungelectronics.com/hdd/support/utilities/utilities_index.html)
Seagate (http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html)
Toshiba (http://www.csd.toshiba.com/cgi-bin/tais/su/su_sc_home.jsp)
Western Digital (http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp)


Hardware

Name/Link - Description
Aida32 (http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=183) - System information, diagnostics and benchmarking
CmosPwd (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/CmosPwd) - BIOS password recovery
Everest Home Edition (http://cgi.zdnet.de/c/?s=32&t=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zdnet.de%2Fdownloads%2Fprg%2F1%2Fx%2Fde011X_is-wc.html) - System inspection
Memtest86 (http://www.memtest86.com/) - Stand-alone memory diagnostic
Prime95 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime95) - A program to find prime numbers, commonly used for stress-testing
SiSoft Sandra (http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/) - Information & diagnostic utility
System Information for Windows (http://www.gtopala.com/index.html) - And again!  (This one is quite up to date.)


Internet/Networking

Name/Link - Description
Angry IP Scanner (http://www.angryziber.com/ipscan/) - Quick IP and port scanner
*Blocked Russian URL*/]ejabberd[/url] - Jabber server (instant messaging)
ePrompter (http://www.eprompter.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Auto-check web, POP3 and IMAP email
Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Open Source tabbed Internet Explorer replacement
FileZilla (http://sourceforge.net/projects/filezilla)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - FTP client/server software
FTP Surfer (http://www.whispertech.com/surfer/) - Excellent FTP program
HOSTS Secure (http://www.timdorr.com/syko86/ycsoft/hostssecure.htm) - Automatically update hosts file to assist in blocking ads etc.
HTTrack (http://www.httrack.com/) - Recursive website copier
Karens WhoIs (http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptwhois.asp) - A useful lookup tool
KompoZer (http://www.kompozer.net)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif) - WYSIWYG HTML editor derived from NVu
LogMeIn (https://secure.logmein.com/go.asp?page=products_free) - Another remote control program
NetMeter (http://readerror.gmxhome.de/) - Realtime bandwidth monitoring tool
NetStumbler (http://www.netstumbler.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif) - Wireless network discovery
Opera (http://www.opera.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif) - Another good web browser
PeerGuardian (http://phoenixlabs.org/pg2) - Blocks government etc spies
POPTray (http://sourceforge.net/projects/poptray) - Reads POP mail on the server
Psi (http://psi.affinix.com/) - Client for Jabber (instant messaging)
PuTTY (http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Telnet/SSH program
Sam Spade (http://www.samspade.org/ssw/download.html) - Comprehensive collection of network tools for Windows
UltraVNC (http://ultravnc.sourceforge.net/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Remote control PC software

Graphics

Name/Link - Description
The Gimp (http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/) - Photoshop-rivalling bitmap editor
IconShop (http://users.pandora.be/liontech/Downloads.htm) - Manage ICL and EXE icon libraries
Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org/) - Open Source scalable vector graphics Editor
Irfanview (http://www.irfanview.com/) - Graphics viewer with HUGE feature set
Paint.net (http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/index.html) - Paint Shop Pro-rivalling bitmap editor
Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/) - Picture album/organiser from Google


Hard drive diagnostics

Name/Link
*Testdisk - generic free data recovery tool* (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk)
Fujitsu (http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/storage/hdd/support/utilities.html)
Hitachi (http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm)
Maxtor (http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/products/index.htm)
Samsung (http://www.samsungelectronics.com/hdd/support/utilities/utilities_index.html)
Seagate (http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html)
Toshiba (http://www.csd.toshiba.com/cgi-bin/tais/su/su_sc_home.jsp)
Western Digital (http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp)


Hardware

Name/Link - Description
Aida32 (http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=183) - System information, diagnostics and benchmarking
CmosPwd (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/CmosPwd) - BIOS password recovery
Everest Home Edition (http://cgi.zdnet.de/c/?s=32&t=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zdnet.de%2Fdownloads%2Fprg%2F1%2Fx%2Fde011X_is-wc.html) - System inspection
Memtest86 (http://www.memtest86.com/) - Stand-alone memory diagnostic
Prime95 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime95) - A program to find prime numbers, commonly used for stress-testing
SiSoft Sandra (http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/) - Information & diagnostic utility
System Information for Windows (http://www.gtopala.com/index.html) - And again!  (This one is quite up to date.)


Internet/Networking

Name/Link - Description
Angry IP Scanner (http://www.angryziber.com/ipscan/) - Quick IP and port scanner
*Blocked Russian URL*/]ejabberd[/url] - Jabber server (instant messaging)
ePrompter (http://www.eprompter.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Auto-check web, POP3 and IMAP email
Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Open Source tabbed Internet Explorer replacement
FileZilla (http://sourceforge.net/projects/filezilla)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - FTP client/server software
FTP Surfer (http://www.whispertech.com/surfer/) - Excellent FTP program
HOSTS Secure (http://www.timdorr.com/syko86/ycsoft/hostssecure.htm) - Automatically update hosts file to assist in blocking ads etc.
HTTrack (http://www.httrack.com/) - Recursive website copier
Karens WhoIs (http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptwhois.asp) - A useful lookup tool
KompoZer (http://www.kompozer.net)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif) - WYSIWYG HTML editor derived from NVu
LogMeIn (https://secure.logmein.com/go.asp?page=products_free) - Another remote control program
NetMeter (http://readerror.gmxhome.de/) - Realtime bandwidth monitoring tool
NetStumbler (http://www.netstumbler.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif) - Wireless network discovery
Opera (http://www.opera.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif) - Another good web browser
PeerGuardian (http://phoenixlabs.org/pg2) - Blocks government etc spies
POPTray (http://sourceforge.net/projects/poptray) - Reads POP mail on the server
Psi (http://psi.affinix.com/) - Client for Jabber (instant messaging)
PuTTY (http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Telnet/SSH program
Sam Spade (http://www.samspade.org/ssw/download.html) - Comprehensive collection of network tools for Windows
UltraVNC (http://ultravnc.sourceforge.net/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Remote control PC software

Inventory/catalogue software

Name/Link - Description
eLibPro (http://songstech.com/elibpro.html) - Excellent book inventory software


Multimedia

Name/Link - Description
Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/windows)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Advanced audio recorder/editor Cross platform
AudioGrabber (http://www.audiograbber.com-us.net/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Audio CD ripper, MP3, WMA, OGG Vorbis encoder
CDEx (http://gnuwin.epfl.ch/apps/cdex/en/install/cdex_151.exe) - Audio CD ripper
dBPowerAmp (http://www.dbpoweramp.com) - Audio conversion tool
HACP Audio CD Player (http://www.xs4all.nl/~hneel/software/hacp.zip) - Tiny, efficient CD player with FreeDB support
KRISTAL Audio Engine (http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/) - Multitrack audio mixer and sequencer
MediaCoder (http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/) - Convert between many audio/visual formats
ScreenShotAssistant (http://sourceforge.net/projects/screenassist) - Take screenshots in MS Windows
SUPER (http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/loudhailer.gif)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - All-format multimedia file converter
The-Codecs (http://www.theorica.net/codecs.htm) - All the codecs you'll ever need
VLC Media Player (http://www.videolan.org/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Extremely compentent DVD/Audio/Media player and LAN streamer


Office/Business Software

Name/Link - Description
FreeMind (http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page) - Mind-mapping (idea-linking) software
Keynote (http://www.tranglos.com/free/keynote.html) - Powerful tree-based notebook/information store
OpenOffice.org (http://www.openoffice.org) - Free MS Office Pro replacement


OSes, Emulators, Virtualisation

Name/Link - Description
DOSBox (http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/) - Intel x86 emulator
FreeDOS (http://www.freedos.org/) - MS-DOS compatible OS
Knoppix (http://www.knoppix.org/) - Complete OS on a CD - useful for diagnostics
Microsoft Virtual PC (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Run multiple virtual OSes on one machine
Microsoft Virtual Server (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/default.mspx) - Run multiple virtual servers on one machine


Security

Name/Link - Description
A Free (http://www.emsisoft.com/en) - Anti trojan/malware scanner
Ad-Aware (http://www.lavasoft.de) - Adware detector/remover
AVG Free (http://www.grisoft.com/doc/289/lng/us/tpl/tpl01)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Personal anti-virus
Clam for Windows (http://www.clamwin.com/) - Fully open source antivirus
ewido (http://www.ewido.net/en/) - Anti trojan/malware scanner
HijackThis (http://computercops.biz/zx/Merijn/hijackthis.zip) - Startup/browser hijack detector
IE-SpyAd (http://www.spywarewarrior.com/uiuc/resource.htm) - Bad IP safeguard -
Spybot Search & Destroy (http://www.safer-networking.org) - Ad/Spy/Foistware detector/remover
SpywareBlaster (http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html) - Browser hijack prevention tool
X-Cleaner Free (http://www.xblock.com/download-freeware.php) - Malware Detector/Remover Plus

System Tools

Name/Link - Description
CCleaner (http://www.ccleaner.com)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Cleans temp folders redundant registry entries etc
Dial-a-fix (http://wiki.djlizard.net/Dial-a-fix) - Easily fix many problems with 32-bit Windows
Win9x Power Toys (http://www.microsoft.com/Windows95/downloads/contents/WUToys/W95PwrToysSet/Default.asp) - Tweaks and addons for Windows 9x
XP-AntiSpy (http://www.xp-antispy.org) - Fixes annoyances and loopholes in XP
XP Power Toys (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx) - Very useful tweaks for XP

Utilities

Name/Link - Description
7Zip (http://www.7-zip.org) - Archiver
AutoHotKey (http://www.autohotkey.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Macro scripting/keyboard shortcuts/etc.
Convert (http://joshmadison.net/software/convert/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Unit conversion program
DeepBurner (http://www.deepburner.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - DVD and CD burning program
Foxit Reader (http://www.foxitsoftware.com) - Acrobat Reader replacement
Notepad++ (http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm) - Notepad replacement/syntax-highlighting programmers' file editor
Notepad2 (http://www.flos-freeware.ch/notepad2.html) - Notepad replacement
Notetab (http://hhttp://www.notetab.com/ntl.php) - Tabbed notepad replacement
PrimoPDF (http://www.primopdf.com/)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Save from any application to PDF
TClockLight (http://homepage1.nifty.com/kazubon/tclocklight/index.html)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - Enhance the system tray clock
Weather Watcher (http://www.singerscreations.com/AboutWeatherWatcher.asp) - System tray weather forecast
ZipGenius (http://www.zipgenius.it/eng/index.php)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/blinketyblink/ch/cup.gif) - User-friendly zip/archival tool


Other places to look

With thanks to:
for their contributions.

FEEL FREE TO POINT OUT ANY ERRORS/OMISSIONS.

<admin edit> Removed table formatting and combined all Rob's posts into one post.
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: Rob Pomeroy on January 07, 2008, 05:58:47 AM
Added:

JKDefragGUI
KompoZer
NetStumbler
Opera
SUPER

Removed:

O & O Defrag (in favour of JkDefrag)
SlimBrowser (superseded by other browsers, including IE7)

A lot more to come - watch this space!
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: techgranny on March 26, 2011, 10:50:22 AM
I see Malware bytes referred to often in the forums and I use it myself but I didn't see it listed under security.

I have tried many free programs and I keep a list of them which I rank from 1 to 5 stars. I have quite a few five star programs but TuxPaint is a 5+. It can be used on almost (if not all) OS's and is a fun way to introduce children and mature people to the world of computing. Although it is simple and easy to use I have been able to create some extraordinary works of art with it.
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: Salmon Trout on March 26, 2011, 01:09:32 PM
A lot more to come - watch this space!

... we're still waiting!
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: Rob Pomeroy on August 11, 2011, 06:22:18 AM
Hmm... perhaps I should do something about that...
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: kpac on January 12, 2012, 03:24:48 PM
Great post! Only noticed it now...

BTW, some categories are there twice...
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: namsnice on January 14, 2012, 02:31:56 AM
these are also useful.

smart defrag 2.2
protected folder
google transliltrator
advance system care5.0
iobit malware fighter
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: Salmon Trout on January 14, 2012, 02:37:00 AM
transliltrator

What language is that?
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: namsnice on January 14, 2012, 05:01:18 AM
yup its translitrator only (not translater).
this is a powerfull tool given by google to write your local languages by directly typing the concern words or the languages installed and selected. :D

as in my language for writing जाओ i have to type it in english same as i pronounce it.
hope its available for your language too.

nice and very handy tool with small size of approx 8 mb.
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: phumphr1 on January 22, 2016, 01:45:53 PM
I guess this would go under hard drives. If you ever want to swap out a larger hard drive for an SSD. I would recommend MiniTool petition it made it easy.
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: patio on January 22, 2016, 03:48:46 PM
Since you managed to bork your HD...not sure if this will be taken seriously...
Just sayin.
Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: Geek-9pm on January 22, 2016, 06:57:34 PM
paint.net
page not found on http://www.eecs.wsu.edu
try this:
http://school.eecs.wsu.edu/node/798

Title: Re: Essential Software tools
Post by: rgb on February 15, 2016, 01:51:21 PM
Ultimate Boot CD for Windows - As above, but completely "Windows-ised" version

is no more.