Essential Software for your PC

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Essential Software for your PC

Post by Kenny on Thu May 21, 2009 9:25 pm

Software we recommend you have install on your PC. All the software listed is free, but the are also some paid versions of the same software, which you might feel wish to invest in. Please post any software which you think is essential to a PC, which includes a link to the main site, so that we can add it to the list.

Anti-Virus Software

AVG 8.5 - Free Anti Virus program. Features most of the common functions available in modern anti-virus and Internet security programs, including periodic scans, scans of sent and received emails (including adding footers to the emails indicating this), the ability to "repair" some virus-infected files, and a "virus vault" in which infected files are held (A quarantine area; also known as a "virus chest").

Spybot S&D - Free spyware and adware removal program. Has problems if you have Ad-Aware, Norton Internet Security or Kaspersky Internet Security install on your PC.

Ad-Aware by Lavasoft - Anti-spyware and anti-virus program which detects and removes malware,spyware and adware on a user's computer. It detects spyware, viruses, dialers, Trojans, bots, rootkits, data miners, aggressive advertising, parasites, browser hijackers, and tracking components. Rootkit detection was remove from AVG 8.5, so may be wise to install it just for that.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - Removal of and protection from malware,and one of the first programs able to disinfect the so-called Antivirus XP 2008 spyware/scamware. Will also get rid of the Antivirus XP 2009 version. (Has been a life saver for me!)

Hijack This - Spyware-removal tool for Microsoft Windows, for advance user only as this is only a last resort if the other anti-virus programs can't get rid of the infection. Used wrongly it can corrupt Windows very badly, thus you needing a format or a reinstall of the PC.

System Tools

Ccleaner - 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, usually taking a few seconds to run.

TweakUI - A free user interface customization application to aid users in customizing the Windows OS. By itself, it does not do anything that would not otherwise be possible. However, it provides a simple graphical user interface for performing tweaks that otherwise would require editing the registry, which is considered by many a daunting and risky task for novice users. For Windows XP only.

Windows Install Cleanup - Looks up for registry references and files related to Windows Installer that were installed by various programs, and forcibly wipes them out. Useful when after a failed install or when the installation program is corrupted or malicious. It works correctly in all 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows.

CPU-Z - Detects the central processing unit, RAM, motherboard chipset, and other hardware features of a modern personal computer, and presents the information in one window. CPU-Z is more in-depth in some areas than the features that Windows XP provides to identify various hardware components, and is thus needed to identify certain components without opening the case, especially the core revision and RAM clock rate.

GPU-Z - Like the above program is a lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU. Supports all version of Windows

3D Mark06 (XP) or 3DMark Vantage (Vista) - Computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark Corporation (formerly MadOnion, formerly Futuremark) to determine the performance of a computer's 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities.

SiSoftware Sandra 2009 - Diagnostic and benchmarking software.

Belarc Advisor - Builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder - Retrieves your Product Key (cd key) used to install Windows from your registry. It allows you to print or save your keys for safekeeping. It works on all version of Windows, Office 2003, and Office 2007 family of products. It also has a community-updated configuration file that retrieves product keys for many other applications,( Cyberlink PowerDVD). Another feature is the ability to retrieve product keys from unbootable Windows installations.

Unlocker 1.8.7 - If you've ever been unable to delete a file in Windows, and can't figure out what program's using it, Unlocker is the solution. Have you ever seen these Windows error messages?

* Cannot delete folder: It is being used by another person or program
* Cannot delete file: Access is denied
* There has been a sharing violation.
* The source or destination file may be in use.
* The file is in use by another program or user.
* Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

Unlocker can help! Simply right-click the folder or file and select Unlocker. If the folder or file is locked, a window listing of lockers will appear. Simply click Unlock All and you are done!

Last edited by Kenny on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:29 am; edited 2 times in total

It does work!


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Re: Essential Software for your PC

Post by Kenny on Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:43 am


Open Office - Office application suite. It is distributed as free software. It supports the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data interchange as its default file format, as well as Microsoft Office formats among others. If you can’t afford Microsoft Office the get this, as all Microsoft Office files will work with it and it looks and work the same as Microsoft Office.

WinZip, WinRAR or 7-Zip - File archivers and compressors for Microsoft Windows.

Adobe Reader 9.0 - View, create, manipulate and manage files in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF).

PDF Creator - Create PDF files from nearly any Microsoft Office program.

Primo PDF - Create PDF files from 300+ file types. Make PDF documents for different uses, including online viewing, eBooks, office printing, and prepress (high-end printing). Combine PDF files after they are converted. Secure with passwords and add document information (title, author, etc.) during creation.

Gimp (The GNU Image Manipulation Program) - Raster graphics editor used to process digital photographs and other graphics. Primarily GIMP is used for photo enhancement. Uses include resizing and cropping photos, altering colors, combining multiple images, removing unwanted image components, and converting between different image formats, as well as creating graphics and logos.

Internet Browsers

Firefox - Firefox features include tabbed browsing, a spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, and an integrated search system that uses the user's desired search engine (Google by default in most localizations). Functions can be added through add-ons, created by third-party developers, of which there is a wide selection, a fact which has attracted many of Firefox's users.

Be sure to get the following plugins if you use Firefox:

Adobe Flash Player - Need this to play YouTube videos.

Java - The Java Runtime Environment enables your computer to run applications and applets that use Java technolog. You should have this install you have Open Office on your PC, but just check.

Shockwave - Shockwave Player displays Web content that has been created by Adobe Director.

Windows Media Player plugin - Lets you play streaming audio, video, animations, and multimedia presentations on the web.

Opera - Features of Opera include tabbed browsing, page zooming, mouse gestures, and an integrated download manager. Its security features include built-in phishing and malware protection, strong encryption when browsing secure web sites, and the ability to easily delete private data such as cookies and browsing history by simply clicking a button.

Safari - Web browser developed by Apple. Safari offers most features common to modern web browsers.

Internet Explorer - Yes you still need this, if you want to get your Windows updates, on every second Tuesday of the month and if you want to use the Steam browser you will need this installed. I can't get Version 8 to work, so if your having problems then install and use Version 7.

Real Player - RealPlayer 10 can play all of the major formats used on the Web, including Real, Windows Media, QuickTime MPEG-4, MP3, as well as the secure versions of these formats used by online music stores. Has a nice plugin which allows you to download YouTube videos.

QuickTime Player - A multimedia framework developed by Apple, capable of handling various formats of digital video, media clips, sound, text, animation, music, and interactive panoramic images. When downloading there are two versions, one with iTunes and one without. If you don't use iTunes get the one without.

WinAmp - Besides MP3, Winamp supports a wide variety of contemporary and specialized music file formats, including MIDI, MOD, MPEG-1 audio layers 1 and 2, AAC, M4A, FLAC, WAV and Windows Media Audio. Winamp was one of the first common music players on Windows to support playback of Ogg Vorbis by default. It supports gapless playback for MP3 and AAC, and Replay Gain for volume leveling across tracks. In addition, Winamp can play and import music from audio CDs, optionally with CD-Text, and can also burn music to CDs.

CDBurner XP - The program supports burning data on CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD as well as burning audio files (WAV, MP3, MP2, FLAC, Windows Media Audio, AIFF, BWF (Broadcast WAV), and Ogg Vorbis) in the Red Book format. ISO images can be burnt and created. It can burn UDF and/or ISO-9660 formats. Bootable data discs are supported as well.

Audacity - A digital audio editor and recording application. Too many features to list.

VLC Media player - A highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac ...) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols. I ve heard the latest version is not as good at the previous versions.

GOM Media Player - Key strengths are the ability to play the majority of media files without the need to obtain a codec, and the ability to play some broken media files, both advantages over traditional players, like Windows Media Player. GOM player can also play .flv files. I hear not so good with DVD's, but one of the best for playing broken and corrupted video files. Can also play FLC files, which VLC Media Player can't.


Windows Live Messenger 2009 - Windows Live Messenger (formerly named MSN Messenger, and colloquially referred to as simply MSN) is an instant messaging client created by Microsoft that is currently designed to work with Windows. Most people find the new version won't let them log in. I've found that the higher version, which won't automatically update you to the latest version and still works is MSN Messenger 7.0.

Skype - Allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet. Calls to other users of the service and to free-of-charge numbers are free, while calls to other landlines and mobile phones can be made for a fee. Additional features include instant messaging, file transfer and video conferencing.

Ventrilo - Voice over Internet Protocol program. Most users of Ventrilo use a headset or microphone and use the program to talk to each other, similar to a telephone conference call. Ventrilo is often used by multiplayer video game players.

X-Fire - Instant messaging service targeted at gamers, that also serves as a game server browser and has various other features including Game detection, Voice chat, Screenshots and videos and In-Game Web Browsing are a few.

Game Software

Hamachi - A zero-configuration virtual private network (VPN) shareware application capable of establishing direct links between computers that are behind NAT firewalls without requiring reconfiguration (in most cases); in other words, it establishes a connection over the Internet that very closely emulates the connection that would exist if the computers were connected over a local area network. Great for gaming with your friends.

Steam - You guys know what this is. A digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute a wide range of games and related media entirely over the internet, stretching from one-man independent efforts to some of the world's most popular games. Steam is set apart from its peers in terms of functionality primarily by its residency in the system tray, and the desktop tasks that the client software performs to make use of that position.

But it still break and crashes easily!

Desktop mods

Desktop Sidebar (XP Only) - Like the Windows Sidebar in the Vista, but less resource hogging. Load of apps to install, from Windows Media player, News feeds, mail checker plus hundreds of more and thousands of skins to suit any Window theme which you may have.

Zune Style (Windows XP) - Just Google this and you will get the download straight away. Great looking Windows desktop theme which was bundle with SP3 for XP last year. If you didn't download the full version of Service Pack 3, you can download and install it separate. Will only take a minute to download and to install.

It does work!


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