- Essential Programs
- Antivirus, Antispyware & System Cleaning Tools
- Web Browsers
- Web, E-mail, Presonal Information Management
- Download & File Sharing
- Bittorrent, Usenet, FTP & Download Accelerators
- Burning & Drive Emulation Utilities
- Remote Desktop Screen Sharing
- Drive / Partition Image Backup Software
- Disk Maintenance
- Defrag, Recovery, Partition Management, File Backup
- System Utilities
- Office & PDF Editing
- Video Playback
- Codec Packs & Video Players
- Video Editing
- Image Editing
- Image Viewing
- Audio Players
- Audio Editing
- Dual Monitor Utilities
- Web Design
- OS Customization
- Themes, Modifcations
- Obsolete / No Longer Recommended
This is a list of great free alternatives and tools for doing just about anything. This is a growing list of my personal favorite programs that has been evolving over many years.
Most (if not all) programs in this list are completely free and some will suggest installing some third party program during the installation. This helps keep these programs supported with a small amount of revenue and helps further the development of these free programs.
The third party programs are not spyware or viruses and will not mess up your computer. For the sake of keeping your system tidy, I recommend opting out of any suggested third party software during installation. To do that, simply perform a custom or an advanced installation for any of the programs you decide to download.
If you would like to see a program added to this list, send me an e-mail at neilvmoore (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a comment below and I will review and consider it.
Adobe Reader is required for viewing PDF Files on the internet.
Alternative: Foxit PDF Reader
It's important to get the latest version of DirectX, especially for 3d applications or games. If you don't, you may get an error saying, "d3d...dll not found" while launching a certain game. You don't want to hunt down that specific dll and inject it, as this will likely create more problems. Getting the latest version of DirectX is safer and will likely solve the problem. Most games ship with DirectX included, but just about every month, there's an update to directX so it would be wise to get the latest version.
|DirectX 10 (For Vista)||Download from Microsoft.com (Requires Validation)|
|DirectX 9.0c (For Windows XP and older)||Download
from Microsoft.com (Requires Validation)
Download from third party website (No Validation)
Security - Antivirus, Antispyware & System Cleaning Tools
MalwareBytes is a fantastic spyware, adware, and malware remover. It's best to use this in conjunction with Spybot Search and Destroy for maximum protection. MalwareBytes gained its fame by being the first program to remove the malicious "Antivirus XP 2008". -Wikipedia
A free, really good Antivirus program for Windows. It has real time protection and scheduled scanning. It has a good detection rate and is very simple to use. It does a good job of not degrading system performance if you disable real-time protection and scheduled scanning.
Detects adware and removes it from your PC.
Scans and removes unreferenced registry entries which can wreak havoc on any modern system if left untreated.
Rkill is a small, freeware and portable tool designed to terminate active
malware processes allowing you to use other removal tools. Rkill is made
by a Microsoft MVP “Lawrence Abrams” and is available in 4 different
file types: .EXE, .COM, .SCR and .PIF.
The reason why Rkill comes in 4 different versions is because some malware will block .EXE files in an attempt to prevent you from running other malware removal tools. This gets around that problem.
Spybot Search & Destroy detects spyware, adware as well as rootkits and removes them from your computer. It scans your harddrive and memory. Spybot S&D can also immunize your browsers so it makes it more difficult for spyware to enter your system. It comes with a program called TeaTimer which monitors your computer and prevents programs from adding themselves to the startup or services with your permission.
"Spybot-S&D can repair (Registry), Winsock LSPs, ActiveX objects, browser hijackers and BHOs, PUPS, computer cookies, trackeware, heavy duty, homepage hijackers, keyloggers, LSP, tracks, trojans, spybots, revision, and other kinds of malware. It can also to some extent protect a user's privacy by deleting usage tracks like tracking cookies." - Wikipedia
The fastest, feature rich, standards abiding browser for Windows. Google Chrome uses the Webkit rendering engine, the same one Apple's Safari uses. It supports extensions and is constantly being improved. Google Chrome provides the most lag free web browsing experience, and is great for watching Youtube videos without stuttering.
Mozilla Firefox is a great alternative to Internet Explorer. Firefox keeps up to date with web standards, protects you from dangerous websites and offers a plethora of third party extensions for added functionality.
- MozBackup - For creating and restoring backups of your Firefox profiles. It lets you choose exactly what you want to backup. (settings, cookies, bookmarks, history, addons etc.)
Opera is a great contender in the alternative browser market. It keeps up with standards, it's fast, and it works great out of the box. It doesn't have the same extension capabilities as Firefox and Google Chrome, which is a big negative, but otherwise it's a solid browser.
Apple's Safari is a fast alternative browser, based on the Webkit rendering engine. It doesn't have extension support, otherwise it's a good browser.
Personal - Web & E-mail
A Free, lightweight note program. CintaNotes lets you easily create notes with a title, a tag, or a link. CintaNotes has a great search filter so that you can quickly find your notes. Cinta can be minimized or closed to your system tray and can be accessed via hotkey. You can even automatically create a CintaNote by selecting some text in any application and then pressing a special hotkey.
A super simple, free online file backup and synchronization tool. Dropbox creates a folder on your harddrive and all files in that folder will be automatically uploaded to your Dropbox account on the internet. You can then access your files from any computer or portable device that supports Dropbox. This is great for streaming videos, music or pictures to your iPhone, or working on a document from any computer. Dropbox will replace the need for a USB thumb drive (unless an internet connection is unavailable, of course). To make matters even better, Dropbox gives you 2GB of free space to start and you can get up to 8GB by inviting others to Dropbox.
Mozilla Thunderbird is a free alternative to Outlook and Outlook Express. It works great, it's fast, it handles IMAP folders better than outlook, and is more efficient than Outlook at handling large amounts of messages.
Lightning is an extension for the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail program. It provides a Calendar which allows you to set up and manage events and tasks. It can even ben integrated with Google calendar and others.
"SwizzTool allows you to create personal reminders and automated tasks that can play a sound, display a message or launch a program at a specified date/time, weekday or after a countdown has elapsed. From the built in hotkey-editor you can create global hotkeys that can execute programs and alarms, hotkeys can also be set to control the volume among other things. SwizzTool also contains a memo to save notes. From this Memo you can also create new alarms and search on the Internet. " - I couldn't have said it better.
Download & File Sharing
A great, crossplatform Usenet Downloader, Repairer and Unpacking program that uses a web interface that can be accessed remotely. It supports almost everything you would need in a usenet downloader and it has lots of features. A Firefox extension can be installed to improve SABnzbd. This is definitely worth downloading and using as a primary Usenet downloader.
CD/DVD Burning & Drive Emulation Utilities
ImgBurn lets you create or burn images of CDs and DVDs. ImgBurn lets you verify a burned disc. You can also use it to build DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray Video discs from their respective folder structures with ease.
Daemon tools is the free and lightweight disk image mounting CD Emulator. It can circumvent common anti-mounting techniques employed by PC game developers so that you can play your games without the DVD in your CD Drive. Daemon Tools supports .iso, .bin, .mds, and many more formats.
Pismo File Mount is a tiny program, similar to Daemon Tools, that lets you mount a highly compressed file as a folder. This lets you create, edit or remove files in realtime with encryption for security or compression to reduce harddrive space. Pismo also lets you convert your CDs and DVDs into a highly compressed disc image (Compressed ISO .CISO) that you can mount or burn later. Pismo can also mount zip files with LZMA compression, ISO files and Blu-ray ISOs (UDF 2.50 ISOs).
If you have a lot of programs in your startup folder, it's probably unhealthy to have them starting up all at the same time. This saturates your CPU, Memory and harddrive making programs take a long time to start up. Startup Delayer allows you to create delays for your startup programs from just a few seconds to minutes or even hours later. You can even show a graphical loader at the top of the screen at startup which gives you a visual and a countdown timer for programs waiting to start. As an added bonus, you can choose to pause or stop the startup altogether from buttons right on the graphical loader.
Remote Desktop Screen Sharing
TeamViewer is the best screen sharing program if you're looking for something easy for beginners and always works right out of the box. It's fast, and even your grandma can figure out how to use it.
- Always works.
- Extremely easy for beginners and/or lazy people.
- Decently fast.
- You can login to remote computer without someone being at the remote computer (if TeamViewer is running on the remote computer).
- Professional use is expensive.
- A bit naggy if it suspects you're using it for professional use, but doesn't prevent you from using TeamViewer
LogMeIn is a very good alternative to common screen sharing programs like VNC. It is maintained and improved regularly and everything takes place right inside of your web browser.
- Always works.
- Decently fast.
- Convoluted setup for beginners.
- Requires someone to be at the other computer in order to begin desktop share.
Drive / Partition Image Backup Software
A free drive backup program similar to Acronis True Image and Norton Ghost. It lets you create backups of your drives or partitions and store them to a compressed file so that you may restore your computer at a later date. This is useful for undoing the damage caused by viruses and malware, and is more reliable than the built in system restore.
- Has been around a while and should contain fewer bugs, stability and reliability issues.
- Does not install additional background services.
- Allows you to check the integrity of backup files.
- Allows you to restore the OS partition without need of a bootable rescue disk.
- Allows backing up over the network.
- Allows you to exclude certain files such as the pagefile.
- Does not allow you to retrieve individual files from backups in the free version.
- No automatic scheduling in the free version.
Disk Maintenance - Defrag, Recovery, Partition Management
"Areca-Backup is a file backup software that supports incremental, image and delta backup on local drives or FTP servers. Areca-Backup also allows you to browse your backups and navigate among different version of the files contained in your archives." Areca Backup is free, open source and cross platform.
- Pretty sophisticated and reliable.
- The incremental features are actually quite impressive.
- Has the most absolutely horrible and innefficient method of automating backups for Windows based OSes.
CDCheck is useful for determining if a CD or DVD you have burned is still good to use. Lets say you have a copy of Windows that you burned a while back, but since then it has been scuffed up or scratched. If any of those scratches is deep enough, you may run into issues during the installation or files might be corrupt when they are installed. If you need to be absolutely certain a disk is still good to use, especially in critical instances like that, you should check your CD for read errors using CDCheck. CDCheck can also offer to recover the data if it's possible.
A lightweight defrag alternative to Windows Defragger.
- Has more defrag options than the stock defrag program that comes with Windows.
- Can consolidate free space to help curb further fragmentation.
- Portable Mode
- For being free, it has none.
Ultimate Defrag | Download 30day Full Feature Trial
Ultimate Defrag lets you designate certain files, folders, or programs as either High Performance or Archive. Then, during the defrag, it will consolidate all of your high performance files closer to the outside of the platter, all of your archive files towards the inside of the platter, and leave a huge chunk of free space in the middle. In addition, it lets you sort files and folders alphabetically, it can defrag the master file table (AKA: offline defrag), and more. I don't expect a free defrag program will ever compete against Ultimate Defrag, and I wouldn't recommend any other commercial defrag program unless it supports all of these features. I purchased this program and recommend it to gamers.
EasyBCD is a graphical user interface for modifying the Windows Bootloader, the screen that allows you to choose which OS you would like to boot during startup. If you have several operating systems installed, you can change the name, reorder, or create new entries for installed Operating Systems. This tool is useful for adding Windows 7 to the boot screen if you installed an older OS after installing Windows XP.
From NeoSmart Technologies:
EasyBCD is the ultimate bootloader modification tool created to give end users complete control over everything from that happens before and during Windows startup. With EasyBCD, adding Windows 7/Vista entries, legacy Windows entries, Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, and more to the boot menu is truly a one-click experience. It gives you the power to easily create and manage bootable USB devices, boot from ISO images or virtual hard disks, boot from network paths and usb devices, and much, much more. With EasyBCD, users can make and restore backups of BCD settings, set up the MBR, repair boot files, change the boot drive, diagnose system boot problems, disable driver verification, create safe mode entries, limit CPU and memory usage, create multiple boot files and so much more in a snap. Just point, click, and watch as your boot loader automatically does magic.
A free, lightweight, yet very sophisticated automatic backup solution for scheduling and creating backups of files and folders. It has tagging for generating names with the date and time and wildcard filters for including and excluding files or folders.
SeaTools is a tool for determining the condition of your harddrives. Unlike the default Windows Diskcheck, it includes various stress tests that can more accurately determine if your harddrive is still in good condition or if it's on its way out, or if it needs to be replaced immediately.
Hard disk maker Seagate's SeaTools for Windows scans your disk drives for driver corruption, broken master boot records, viruses and Trojans, spyware, and any hardware conflicts. -CNet Download.com
TrueCrypt is free open-source cross platform disk encryption software. TrueCrypt lets you create a virtual harddrive that is encrypted, password protected, and can be hidden to protect your personal files quickly and efficiently.
7-zip is a free, opensource compression utility meant as an alternative to Winrar or Winzip. 7-Zip can unzip most archive types including Rar, Zip, and 7-Zips very own superior 7z format.
"Everything" is a simple file searching program that works
in an extremely advanced way. Unlike other search programs, it doesn't create
a gigantic index file that takes 8 hours to make, it simply searches files
and folders based on their name. It's like a giant filter more than a search,
it narrows the list down in real time.
Everything's main goal is to provide a quick and easy way to search your files without having to wait around while it gobbles up CPU cycles or waste time accessing the harddrive for hours, it's extremely fast. You can even configure it as a server so you can search other computers on the network.
An extraction utilitiy similar to 7-zip, except it supports the automatic extraction of multiple archives simultaneously. It supports most modern archive formats including zip, rar and 7-zip. You can tell it to automatically delete the archives upon successful extraction. It can monitor a directory for new archives and then automatically extract them, and more.
Fences is a great way to organize your desktop icons into groups. Fences are boxes with titles that you can create on your desktop wallpaper. These boxes can be customized to be any size, color and transparency. These boxes allow you to drag and drop your icons into them for easy sorting. Fences even gives you the ability to quickly hide and show all of your desktop icons by double clicking your desktop wallpaper. Best of all, Fences is free.
Free Launch Bar lets you create custom your own custom Quick Launch
toolbar on your taskbar. You can make popup menus out of quicklaunch icons
for easy access to programs or games.
A very simple, lightweight, and (alternatively) portable program for storing all of your passwords. This can be used for storing passwords of anything including websites, programs, video games, IRC channels, or anything you can think of. It creates an encrypted database that is password protected and if you are really worried about losing your KeePass database, simply store it in a Dropbox folder. Dropbox will upload your KeePass database to the net and keep a revision history, which will prevent your database from being permanently destroyed in case of corruption.
This is a free open source app that lets you launch programs using keystrokes. Unlike Vista's start menu search bar, this program lets you customize the directories for which your applications may reside and the file extension to search for. It can also be customized with skins and plugins.
Listary simulates the linux "find as you type" text box that appears when you begin typing in a file explorer. When you begin typing, a box appears in the lower right corner of your explorer window with a list of suggested files and folders that reside in that folder. It will automatically select the closest match so that you can literally browse your entire harddrive using only your keyboard. It supports regular expressions, and you can tab through the list if you need to choose a different file or folder.
Listary is an excellent find-as-you-type search utility that makes searching items in large unmanageable lists of Windows applications a breeze. Items in Windows Explorer, Task Manager, Registry Editor, Windows Desktop, file Open/Save dialogs and numerous other components and third-party applications can be found instantaneously with this free utility that allows you to type any part of the item name to be searched.
A very good, free alternative to the Task Manager that comes with windows. Some of the key features include individual process CPU history, process trees and the ability to suspend and resume processes. Process Explorer can even become the default task manager.
Note: Process explorer is a blacklisted program by SecuROM, a Digital Rights Management software that is installed with many PC games. You can still run Process Explorer, it's simply forbidden while launching certain SecuROM protected games.
Additionally, Process Explorer has issues on Windows 7 if you try to use it to replace the default task manager. Your best bet on Windows 7 is to make a global hotkey to the Process Explorer shortcut and use that instead of ctrl+alt+del.
A very good, free ping traceroute program that can trace the route of an IP address or website and give you a very good idea of how low or stable your pings are. It can monitor an IP address as many times as you like. It's great for proving to your ISP that you have a crappy connection so that maybe they can do something about it.
Useful for creating repair files for files. These repair
files can be used to fix damaged files. For example, if you have a video
that you plan on burning to a DVD, but you're afraid that DVD will get scratched
and damaged, you can include PAR files. These PAR files can be used to fix
the video in case it becomes damaged. Par files usually take up 10% of the
file. If a file is 100MB, the par files will be 10MB. You can create more
PAR files for repairing highly damaged files, but the more PAR files, the
more disk space.
PAR files are popular for download programs such as Usenet readers. Files downloaded from usenet consist of multipart zip or rar files. Sometimes, these zip files do not upload entirely and are therefore incomplete (i.e. damaged). Files uploaded to Usenet servers that do not fully propogate are useless and therefore PAR files are useful for reconstructing the missing data.
Another use for Par files is for repairing very large files sent over instant messaging programs. If the file becomes damaged or does not complete successfully during transit, rather than resend the entire file, you can simply send that person a few Par files. QuickPar will tell you how many blocks are required in order to reconstruct the missing data and since Par files are small, only a few small Par files may be required.
A Par2 utility similar to QuickPar, but specifically for repairing, unpacking, and deleting par2 files. It combines multiple steps into 1.
Features listed on site:
- Job queueing and scheduling
- PAR2 checking and repairing
- RAR unpacking with password support
- Joining spilt files
- Advanced monitor feature with filters/rules allow to automatically check/repair PAR sets, unpack RARs, etc.
- Configurable pop-up notifications with sounds effects when jobs are finished.
- NFO file detection and support for NFO viewers.
- Option to delete empty source folders.
- Option to create folder cover image (if available).
- Display of folder cover (if available).
- Detailed activity and error logs.
- Minimizing to tray option and animated tray icon when working.
- Attractive and intuitive user interface.
- Supports Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 in both 32bit and 64bit variants.
The perfect utility for renaming files. Automatically add or remove numbers and words from filenames with a preview.
Revo Uninstaller is an alternative uninstaller program for Windows.
Revo Uninstaller works by performing additional tasks after an application
has been uninstalled to remove all traces of it from your computer. It does
this by searching your registry and harddrive for leftover files.
RivaTuner is a CPU and Video
Card temperature monitoring tool. It will let you adjust the fan speeds
of your hardware and overclock. Use extreme caution when using RivaTuner,
it's possible to choose really bad settings and damage your hardware.
A simple and fast screenshot program. Unlike most screenshot programs, it captures Windows 7's Aero glass transparency effect and saves the image as a PNG. It supports several different methods of screen capture including region, fullscreen, window and can do a delayed capture which is great for capturing screenshots of things like menus, that would otherwise not be captured. On top of this, it allows you to quickly upload the image to the net and it provides you with a URL.
A a very simplistic, yet feature rich calculator alternative. Just download it, you won't regret it. Seriously. This description isn't very professional. Oh well, who cares. Just download it.
A tiny program that simply kills the foreground application when using the CTRL+ALT+F4 hotkey. Unlike regular ALT+F4, it kills the program the same way as ending it via the Task Manager. This is handy for those pesky programs that have froze up or crashed so hard that they prevent you from accessing your Task Manager. Do not use this to close programs that have not crashed, it can cause data loss for the associated program.
TeraCopy is a Windows Copy replacement. When moving large amounts of data, the built in copy method in Windows XP can be a major inconvenience. TeraCopy copies your files faster, lets you pause and resume transfers, shows you an interactive list of queued items to be copied and has built in error recovery. Best of all, it's free.
Unlocker will unlock those pesky files that refuse to delete, so that you can delete, move or rename the file. It will show you which programs have a handle on your files so you can unlock them or kill the process. If the file still won't delete, Unlocker will offer to delete it at startup before Windows can get a lock on the file.
A tool that can analyze your
connection to find out if UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is working correctly
on your computer.
An English Dictionary and Thesaurus program. It can look up the definition of any highlighted word in any program. It has Wikipedia, Wiktionary and other online references integrated into the program. You can bind Word Web to a global hotkey for faster access. Word Web is a great tool to have.
Office & PDF Editing
A free NFO and TXT viewer designed specifically for distinguishing between NFO and TXT files. NFO files are generally help files that contain ASCII formatting. NFOPad will perfectly display the ASCII text so that NFO files appear the way they were meant to be viewed. NFOPad can become the default handler for NFO and TXT files if you prefer. It's a tiny program and comes in a portable version. Check it out.
A free alternative to the notepad that comes with Windows. It supports tabbed sessions and can easily replace the default notepad in Windows.
An open source, free alternative to Microsoft Office. LibreOffice is the successor to the discontinued OpenOffice.
Scribus is a free, open-source program that allows you to make all kinds of different documents. Scribus is for making professional looking page layouts.
Scribus is an Open Source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout. Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.
Allows you to compare 2 text files or folders to easily see the differences and make changes to each text file if necessary.
Video Playback - Codec Packs & Video Players
K-Lite Codec Pack is a very good set of codec packs that install just about everything you need to turn your computer into a media PC. It supports different variants which install codecs based from "Essential Codecs" to "Absolutely Everything". K-Lite lets you choose precisely what you want installed and there's no confusion before or during the installation process. You know what's going to install and you have total control. K-Lite Codec Pack has been around for ages and it's no wonder it's the best.
For a detailed rundown of the differences between Mega, Full, Standard and Basic, go here.
Alternative: CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack)
VLC is a great, free video player that will handle most video formats without requiring codec packs to be downloaded. Typically, I recommend getting K-Lite, but occasionally there's a pesky video file that won't play. When that happens, VLC comes in handy.
VLC does not have the fastest Mpeg-4 / AVC / H.264 decoder and it doesn't produce the best image. For that, MPC-HC (Media Player Classic Home Cinema) is the better candidate, however MPC-HC relies on installed codecs.
A free and open source alternative to Windows Media Player. If used in conjunction with FFDShow Tryouts, MPC can play nearly any video format including those that even VLC cannot. MPC-HC has its own internal codecs, similar to VLC, so it can play almost any video.
By itself, MPC-HC is very capable, but for the best result, I recommend installing FFDShow Tryouts. When used in conjunction, it enables MPC to playback almost any video without installing hundreds of different codecs.
Video Editing Programs
Similar to VirtualDub, but supports more input and output modes. It's a free, open source, cross platform, minimalisic video editing program for modifying and encoding videos.
AviDemux differentiates itself from VirtualDub by being able to open almost any video format and convert to a variety of formats including XviD and H.264.
VirtualDub is a free, minimalistic video editing program for modifying and encoding videos. Virtualdub relies on your installed codecs and codec packs and is only able to open very few video formats, such as AVI. It was popular during the prime days of XviD, but now that newer formats have taken hold (such as WMV and H.264 MKV, MP4, VirtualDub has very limited uses.
For H.264 editing and conversion, it's recommended to use a different program such as AviDemux. The creator of VirtualDub has made it very clear that he does not intend to support new container formats such as MP4 and MKV, so there's very little room for VirtualDub, but it's still useful to have for editing AVI files.
A great drag and drop program for converting almost any video to almost any video format of your choice.
Supplies technical and tag information
about a video or audio file.
A small program for directly editing MKV (Matroska) video files. MKVToolnix allows you to create an MKV file from elementary streams (media file with only one kind of data such as an audio file or a video).
To extract video or audio streams from an MKV file, you can use a separate program that requires MKVToolnix called MKVExtractGUI.
A small program for directly editing TS, M2TS, VOB or MPG files. It lets you create TS or M2TS files or extract the individual elementary streams (media file with only one kind of data such as an audio file or a video).
This is useful for extracting the streams from DVD or Blu-ray movies, or converting Blu-ray M2TS files to an M2TS file that can be viewed on your PC. The same is true for regular DVDs for VOB and TS files.
A great batch video conversion program for converting videos to various formats.
A small program for directly editing MP4 files. YAMB allows you to extract the video, audio, subtitles, chapters, or other files from MP4 files. This is great for extracting the audio from youtube MP4 videos to AAC audio.
In addition, you can use YAMB to convert an MKV file with H.264 / AAC / AC3 to an MP4 file so that it can play on an Xbox 360, PS3, or any hardware media streaming device. You can also assemble an MP4 file from elementary streams (media file with only one kind of data such as an audio file or a video).
Image Editing Programs
Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program) A free, cross-platform open source alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Gimp is great for removing red eye and touching up photos etc.
An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X.
Video Tutorials: Inkscape Video Tutorials - at the tutorial link there will appear to be only a few vids. There are in fact many tutorials located at the right in links indicating the month and year. Two of my favorites are Episode 059 and especially Episode 009 Just sit back and watch like a TV show.
XnView is similar to IrfanView in the sense that it is a lightweight alternative image viewer. It has pretty much everything IrfanView has including basic image editing capabilities, batch processing and an image browser and support for hundreds of different image types, but it has so much more.
- Import about 400 graphic file formats
- Export about 50 graphic file formats
- Multipage TIFF, Animated GIF, Animated ICO support
- Image IPTC, EXIF metadata support
- EXIF auto rotation support
- IPTC editing
- Resize, rotate, crop support
- Lossless rotate & crop (jpeg) support
- Adjust brightness, contrast...
- Auto levels, contrast
- Modify number of colors
- Apply filters (blur, average, emboss, ...)
- Apply effects (lens, wave, ...)
- Fullscreen mode
- Slide show with effects
- Batch convert, batch rename
- Create WEB page easily
- Screen capture
- Create contact Sheet
- Create or edit Multi-page file (TIFF, DCX, LDF)
- TWAIN & WIA support (Windows only)
- Print support (Windows only)
- Drag & Drop support (Windows only)
- Compare image side by side
- Filmstrip layout
- 44 languages support (Windows only)
- And many many other things...
- No Adware, No Spyware
(Source: XnView Website)
Picasa is a great program for organizing and viewing your picture collection. It even has good support for viewing videos. For best results, use FFDShow Tryouts to playback nearly any video file in Picasa.
A visually attractive player packed with features. It has an extremely feature rich, tabbed playlist. It can display album art, allows you to rate your songs, supports crossfading between songs, shows technical info about each file in your playlist, has a visualizer and an equalizer. AIMP2 works right out of the box and has plenty of preferences for fine tuning and can be upgraded to do and play just about anything with plugins.
A lightweight media player with a very competent media library. No bells and whistles, just efficient gapless media streaming.
The ultimate music player with support for nearly a hundred different audio formats. Winamp has a very competent library for organizing your music but can be painfully slow even on the fastest of systems.
A very simple, fast and efficient music player. XMPlay is regarded as the best mod player. It can be extended to play almost any audio format, it can be themed with skins and it has a decent library.
A good alternative to Windows Media Player.
A free minimalistic media library player.
Audacity is a basic audio editing program that lets you modify or add audio effects to music or audio files.
A free universal tag editor for audio files. MP3Tag allows you to create or modify tags for your collection of music. MP3tag fixes tags with incorrect tags on the massive scale for keeping your music collection organized. Great for keeping your iPod or MP3 player organized.
An open source, cross platform messenger. It is very much like Miranda IM; for instance, multi protocols, lightweight, and is very configurable.
A multiprotocol instant messenger with a slick design that looks great in Windows. It supports e-mail notifications, chat history, contact organization (renaming and grouping), emoticons, file transfer, and more.
An AJAX, multi protocol web messenger. Meebo is much like Trillian, however, no installation is necessary. Everything takes place in the browser. Remember to use the secure login.
A great, high quality voice ip program for calling other skype users or landline phones.
A gaming messenger similar to X-Fire, but is also an online store where you can buy PC games and download them to your computer. Steam can also automatically patch your games and eliminate the need for CDs and nasty DRM.
The number one voice chat program for gamers. It has very little CPU use which makes it the best choice.
The gamer messenger of choice boasting features like game detection, in-game messaging, voice chat, video recording and automatic patch downloading.
Dual Monitor Utilities
A package of free, open source, small and lightweight utilities for managing a dual monitor setup. It comes with several different programs, none of which require installation, which is great because that means it has a very small footprint on the system.
- Swap Screen - Allows you to set up a global hotkey that automatically tosses the active window onto another monitor. It can minimize all windows on a particular window or automatically flip flop the windows from one monitor onto the other.
- Dual Launcher - Launch an app with a global hotkey and have them open on a pre-configured position on any monitor.
- Dual Wallpaper - The only good, free wallpaper configurator for dual monitors. It lets you set up individual wallpapers per monitor, and includes a variety of scaling methods that ensure no wallpaper has protruding black borders or aspect ratio issues.
- DisMon - Lets you disable a monitor or change which monitor is primary and secondary, etc.
- Dual Snap - Captures a screenshot of the primary monitor and displays it on the secondary monitor.
A free HTML editor with WYSIWYG capabilities. Previously known as Nvu.
OS Customization - Themes
"VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). See "About VirtualBox" for an introduction."
A free 2D shooter, similar to games like Quake and Unreal Tournament, but small enough to put on a thumb drive and play anywhere. It is meant to be played online or via lan with other players and has a thriving online community. Users can amend the game with custom content like maps and additional gametypes. It is also cross platform so it works on Linux and Mac as well.
Pronounced "Nex-ee-us", Nexuiz is a free first person shooter available for Windows, Mac and Linux and is based on the Quake engine. It has a decent online community and has plenty of custom content to keep you entertained.
An arcade styled game that's heavily based off of the Amiga classic, Emerald Mine. It's essentially the same game but with different textures, different name, but all new maps. For reminiscing value, it includes every level from the original Emerald Mine game. On top of this, it has a level editor that enables you to easily create new levels. There are thousands of maps that you can download and best of all, the game is completely free.
- - arcade style game for Unix, Mac OS X, Windows and DOS
in the tradition of:
+ "Boulder Dash" (C 64)
+ "Emerald Mine" (Amiga)
+ "Supaplex" (Amiga/PC)
+ "Sokoban" (PC)
- network multiplayer games (upto 4 players) for Unix platform
- local multiplayer games (upto 4 players) for all supported platforms
- soft scrolling with 50 frames per second
- freely customizable keyboard and joystick support
- stereo sound effects and music
- music modules and fullscreen in SDL version
- contains levels to play Boulder Dash, Emerald Mine and Sokoban
- lots of additional levels available (over 10.000)
- distributed with full source code under the GNU General Public License
- available for Unix (all flavors), DOS and Windows (95/98/NT/2000/XP)
(Source: Rocks'n'Diamonds website)
Obsolete or No Longer Recommended Programs
Maxthon is another alternative browser that has lots of features. As of version 3.0, it now supports the Webkit engine, making it a standards abiding browser and fast.
Total Text is a free, open source personal information manager for all things text related. It stores documents, notes, passwords, images, bookmarks, contacts, spreadsheets, calendars, CD/DVD catalogs all from an easy to backup, portable database.
A great, free download manager & accelerator. It gives you downloading control like bandwidth speed, default download locations and can integrate with popular browsers like Firefox, IE, Safari, Opera and Chrome. Also includes great torrent support and some FTP support too.
Adds an extra context menu that contains shortcuts to folders. You can middle click in Explorer windows, browse windows, or just about any program when you are searching for files in Windows. It can even resize these browse windows to a bigger size for easier viewing. It can change the default view method to details mode, which is great for those pesky programs that do not default to details mode (or the mode of your choice). This is one great program which makes it extremely easy to multitask and be more productive. Do not overlook it!
A simple, yet very feature rich volume replacement tool for Windows (including Windows 7). You can control your volume via mouse actions or keyboard shortcuts. Unlike most volume control alternatives, this lets you control the step size (increments) for increasing or decreasing your volume. Also, it can show an onscreen display and can fully replace the volume tray icon if you prefer.
AbiWord is a free, open source, extremely lightweight, yet competent
document editor. AbiWord can open and save .doc files and with an optional
plugin, you can open and save .odt files. AbiWord is great for quickly viewing
and editing documents without having to load up Open Office.
A free video player that can play most video formats. It is very similar to MPC-HC in regard to being able to play most formats out of the box, but also being able to utilize installed codecs and codec packs (such as FFDShow Tryouts).
GOM Player has built in Subtitle support and a sophisticated playlist that can automatically add media files residing in the folder of the current playing media file.
It has a built in equalizer, brightness and contrast adjustment, and is a very customizable program. It supports skinning, so there's plenty of eye-candy.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 22 January 2013 08:40)