Essential software — 13 Comments

  1. Richard,

    Like you, I too am a great believer in the cleansing effect of a system re-build. It’s like getting a new machine.

    My list of essentials would be similar ..

    Most important:

    Firefox and/or Chrome, no mail client as I use GMail as my “client”, redirecting or POP’n all my email addresses through it.

    KeePass, for my passwords, (free OSS)

    After that:

    Instead of notepad, Notepad++ (free OSS)

    For zip.un-zip and encrypt 7-Zip,
    (free OSS)

    Avira antiVir as my AV of choice. (Free, unless you use a email client, then paid version recommended)

    JungleDisk for backup and storage on Amazon S3 (about US$20 for perpetual license plus cost of S3 storage, for me about US$3 per month)

    Putty , telnet/SSH client for accessing remote servers (fee OSS)

    For fun:

    Stellarium for gazing at the wonders of the night sky (free OSS)


  2. Well…since you asked…

    For the anti-virus/malware I use Avast! 4.8 much for the same reason you use AVG. I used to use AVG until version 8 came out. I also use the Comodo Firewall Pro along with it as I never trusted the built in Windows firewall.

    I also use Firefox and Thunderbird, great minds think alike.

    For compression software I use two different programs. ZipGenius is my default which takes care of most of my needs and 7zip for .gz files and the like.

    For PHP and MySQL (local WordPress sandbox) I’ve been using XAMPP for two years now. It also includes a FileZilla FTP server which I use often and a Mercury Mail server which I don’t.

    And absolutely, Notepad is horrible and I use Notepad++ as a replacement. It covers more file types then I can possibly recognize and shifts to each type automatically (most of the time). Of course I use this to edit only file types associated with WordPress so much of Notepad++ functions aren’t used. It also has a built in FTP client used strictly for editing files online without having to fire up a full fledged FTP client. Comes in real handy.

    On a couple other notes:

    I use Windows Live Writer for all my blog writing needs and Filezilla (of course) for the FTP stuff. I also keep “SysInternals” Process Explorer running in the Tray so I can track down buggy processes and threads when testing pre-release software.

    That’s my 3-1/2 cents worth. Thanks for asking. šŸ˜€

  3. Essential software other than firefox and thunderbird would be Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Microsoft Expression Web, Office 2007 (for college), OpenOffice, Putty SSH, 7zip, TextPad, VMware Workstation, Windows services for Unix and Winamp.

    By no means a complete list either!

  4. Kirk: I know I shouldn’t, but I use Avast as well (I forgot to mention it) in a belt and braces philosophy. I also forgot to mention CuteFTP Pro which is an application I have been using for a long time. I have looked at Notepad++, but like most software, once you get used to something you tend to stick with it?

    Robert: They are all the things that go on after the essentials. I forgot to mention Putty, but I’ll class that as one of the ‘non-essentials’. It’s still very high on the list though. Nice to see another TextPad user!

    Have either of you though of installing a check box reminder? šŸ˜‰

  5. I would be lost without TextPad I first started using it about 10 years ago. What I love about it is that it hasn’t bloated since and is just as fast as ever.

    I have subscribe to comments installed and activated and I just noticed now that it isn’t appearing with my current theme! Must go and investigate that.

  6. Essential Windows software? I have pretty much everything already mentioned, but I’d add VLC for playing media files, DVD Decrypter for ripping DVD’s, Microsoft Office (not my favourite piece of software – but essential for documents and spreadsheets), CloneDVD for burning DVD’s – easy to use.

    I prefer to use something like Norton Ghost to create images of my hard-drive once I have all my applications installed, but before I’ve transferred all my data. It makes reinstalling so much easier – takes an hour or two instead of a whole day.

  7. Hmmm, seems someone (Kirk, not you!) has a few similar traits to me šŸ™‚

    Antivirus: Avast
    Web browser: IE8 (Chrome as backup)
    E-mail: Windows Live Mail
    Compression: ZipGenius
    FTP: Filezilla
    Text editing: Notepad++
    Image editing:

    But the most important bit:

    Gaming: Steam, Xfire, Raptr, and a few other minor thingies šŸ˜›

  8. Tom: Welcome šŸ™‚ With all your links, you ended up as spam! It seems that Notepad++ is getting a few votes? Though, as Robert says – I love the simplicity of TypePad without losing any of the features. Avira looks interesting too – I may investigate that.

    Paul: I take it you are into ripping/burning CDs? šŸ˜‰ I really must investigate ghosting software?

    TheCHrisD: Having visited your blog, I did get the impression that you played a game or two? Sadly, there isn’t a single one on my machines. I’m getting old. šŸ™

  9. I’m a great believer in minimising the effort required in re-installing. I use PING (PartImage Is Not Ghost), mainly because it’s Free and it allows disk imaging over a network. Very useful, and relatively pain-free.

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