Software Directory

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Software Directory

Post  Reon on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:33 am

100% free and SafeTABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. Introduction
  2. Graphics Software
  3. Internet Software
    1. Mozilla
    2. Browsers
    3. Email Clients
    4. Instant Messenger Clients
    5. BitTorrent Clients
    6. Other
  4. Media Software
    1. Codecs
  5. Office Software
  6. Security Software
    1. Antivirus
    2. Antispyware
    3. Firewall
    4. Other
  7. Text and Code Editors
  8. Miscellaneous Utilities
  9. Other Free Software Indices
  10. Unclassified Software
  11. Removed Software


Introduction
The following is a directory of 100% free software, many of which can replace much more expensive commercial software. This directory aims to provide a concise, comprehensive database of quality freeware and open-source software. Now that it is under my lead, I also aim to provide brief reviews of applications as submitted by our users.

This list is organized by category, then alphabetically by program name (not by developer or company name). The first credited name is the original suggestor; names listed subsequently are users who also recommend the software.

You may suggest your own, as long as they meet the following criteria:
  1. Fully legal (it's up to the user whether or not they do something illegal with any program, so P2P etc. is fine);
  2. 100% free (in the sense of money), i.e. no time-limited or crippled trial software;
  3. Must contain no malware or intrusive adware (but you must mention ads or non-harmful adware);
  4. Not games

I also encourage you to add your comments regarding the already-listed applications; your experiences, pros and cons, what you've heard …

Note that I reserve the right to edit submissions for length, clarity and language (spelling/grammar). I also reserve the right to edit a description in order to ensure it accurately and concisely describes the programs' functions and features.

For historical reasons, here is a link to the original thread: http://tales.namco.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=21970

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[list=1]
[*]Graphics Software

  • Apophysis (Conquest)
    Apophysis is a freeware Windows program for designing and rendering fractal flames (algorithmically generated images and animations).

    Conquest says: It can do some pretty amazing things and is fun to just mess around with.

  • Bitmap Font Writer (Shinryu, description from site)
    Bitmap Font Writer is a free program that let you draw text using a font where each character is drawn in a bitmap file.

    If you’ve drawn your own bitmapped font in for example Photoshop, you are forced to manually Copy & Paste each character in order to combine them into a word. This gets pretty tedious if you’re doing buttons for a website, as an example. The purpose of Bitmap Font Writer is to make this procedure smoother. By arranging your font in ASCII order and put markers to define the width of each character you may load the image into Bitmap Font Writer which the combines the characters for you. Then you simply copy everything to the clipboard to get it back into your painting program.

    The program is aimed towards graphic artists, web designers and developers.

  • Blender3D (Laogeodritt)
    Blender is the open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback (see the features and screenshots). Available for all major operating systems under the GNU Public License.

  • Free Serif Software (Taiyz)
    If I remember correctly they only allow early-version downloads of Photoplus, a Photoshop-type application; Pageplus, a MS Publisher remake; Webplus, I didn't see any difference between it and Pageplus when I checked it out, really; DrawPlus for vector work, similar to CorelDraw; and 3DPlus, obviously for 3-dimensional graphics.

    Laogeodritt adds: I took a look at 3DPlus a long while ago, and it seemed pretty glitchy and low-quality. I'd prefer going with the quality open-source software that's available for these purposes.

  • GIMP - Windows users download EXE installers here (Fawkes, Laogeodritt)
    A very good image manipulation program. While some Photoshop power-users might find it a bit lacking, for most it should easily replace Photoshop.

  • Google SketchUp (Hot.TD)
    An easy-to-use 3D modelling program designed for professional architects, civil engineers, game developers, etc. Can export the 3D model as a .kmz file, which can be opened in Google Earth. This allows for accurate geo-referencing of SketchUp models and accurate placement of those models in Google Earth.

  • GIMPShop (Fawkes, description from site)
    GIMPShop is a free open-source image editor that is similar to the popular Adobe Photoshop. Specifically, GIMPShop is a version of the GIMP that has been edited to be more user-friendly for Photoshop users. The menu structure and terminology are adapted to to look and feel more like Photoshop, and other adjustments were made to make the GIMP more usable. In the Windows version, the Deweirdifyer Plugin has been used to place all of the various windows into one nesting window, so it will act more like a single program that multiple little programs.

    GIMPShop was originally developed for Mac OS X, but has been ported to Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

  • Inkscape (Laogeodritt, description from site)
    Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Supported SVG features include shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, patterns, and grouping. Inkscape also supports Creative Commons meta-data, node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, text-on-path, flowed text, direct XML editing, and more. It imports formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and others and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats.

  • IrfanView (Laogeodritt, Fawkes)
    Image viewer.

    Laogeodritt adds: I've had trouble with saving PNGs with Irfanview. With higher compression rates, it tends to garble the image, on compression lvl 9 to the point that it's just noise. Note that this was around 2005, so it might have been fix by now.

  • Paint.net (Fawkes, Laogeodritt; description from site)
    Paint.NET is free image editing and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. Originally intended as a free replacement for the MS Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple tool for photo and image editing.

    The programming language used to create Paint.NET is C#, with a small amount of C++ for installation and shell-integration related functionality.

  • Photofiltre (Genjis Fagando, description modified from site)
    PhotoFiltre is a complete image retouching program. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image and apply a vast range of filters on it. It is simple and intuitive to use, and has an easy learning curve. The toolbar, giving you access to the standard filters with just a few clicks, gives PhotoFiltre a robust look. It is available in many different languages.

    Genjis Fagando says: I have been working with this program for years (…) 2 years ago, it was my favorite because Paint.NET didn't exist, and GIMP was too complicated for me. I haven't tested the other programs now, but I can tell you that PhotoFiltre is better than MS Paint because it's easy to use and supports the minimum features, and PhotoFiltre Studio probably can keep up with Paint.NET and Abode Photoshop, but it's not free. So, you could say that PhotoFiltre is a free trial version of PhotoFiltre Studio, because it includes everything besides the layers and the feature to create animated GIFs.

  • Pixia (Natsumi)
    Pixia is a nice, free, easy-to-use graphics program. It was originally written by a Japanese person, but now supports several languages.

  • Terragen (Vaniwan, Laogeodritt)
    A powerful landscape rendering program. Renders professional landscapes easily.

  • XnView (Laogeodritt)
    An image viewer. It is useful for viewing, managing and converting files (single or batch). However, it doesn't boast many editing features aside from basic cropping and a few filters.


[*]Internet Software [list=a]
[*]Mozilla

  • Mozilla Firefox (recommended by many, description by Laogeodritt)
    An excellent open-source browser, Internet Explorer's main competitor. Is is faster to render than IE, is striving for compliancy with standards and the ACID2 test (unlike Microsoft), supports tabbed browsing (though now, IE7 does too ...), has a session restoration feature to restore your old windows/tabs (natively as of 2.0, via an extension in prior versions). It is extremely customizable via extensions, most of them user-written, and many visual themes too.

    It is arguably more secure than Internet Explorer, the latter which has exhibited many serious vulnerabilities over its life span. Firefox also doesn't support ActiveX, which, while being used occasionally for legitimate purposes (e.g. Windows Update), is mostly used for drive-by downloads of spyware, trojans and other malware.

    Some weak points include its somewhat slower startup and some memory leak problems.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird (recommended by Lord Fawkes Garde and Laogeodritt, description by Laogeodritt)
    Mozilla's email client, from the creators of Firefox. It can be considered superior to Outlook for similar reasons that Firefox is seen as superior to Internet Explorer (e.g. security). Supports POP3 and IMAP email servers.

  • Mozilla Sunbird (Lord Fawkes Garde)
    Finishing the Mozilla Trinity is Sunbird. A calendar project that seems to work quite well.

[*]Browsers

  • Avant Browser (R.I.P)
    Based on the Internet Explorer engine, Avant Browser adds useful capabilities, such as grouped favorites, an RSS reader, and tabbed browsing.

  • Opera Web Browser (Laogeodritt)
    Another excellent web browser. It has a very meagre user base compared to IE and Firefox, but is arguably the best of the three. Features include: tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, pop-up blocker, session saving and restoration, restoration of closed tabs, ad/content blocker, phishing protection, automatic "Next Page" detection (e.g. in search results), site-specific preferences, integrated IRC client, integrated BitTorrent client. Fully passes the ACID2 test. Often cited as being faster in rendering than either IE or Firefox.

  • Slimbrowser by Flashpeak (Wilder, description modified from site)
    Slimbrowser is another tabbed browser wrapping itself over the Internet Explorer engine. It incorporates a large collection of features like built-in popup killer, skinned window frame, form filler, site group, quick-search, auto login, hidden sites, built-in commands and scripting, online translation, script error suppression, blacklist / whitelist filtering, URL alias.

[*]Email Clients

  • Eudora Email Client (Vaniwan)
    A POP3 email client. It is more powerful than Thunderbird. There is an ad in the corner, but it's relatively unobtrusive. It will soon be open sourced.

[*]Instant Messaging Clients [list]
[*]AOL Instant Messenger (Shinji)
AOL Instant Messenger's official client.

[*]Gaim
See "Pidgin" for description. This program has been renamed to Pidgin following legal disputes with America Online, Inc.

[*]Miranda Instant Messenger (Shinryu)
Another instant messenger that supports multiple protocols like Trillian; it's a more resource efficient alternative. It's extremely extensible by plugins, which can be found in their plugin database.

[*]Pidgin (Laogeodritt, Marillion; description based on website description)
Pidgin is an open-source multi-protocol instant messenger program. It can simultaneous connect to multiple accounts on multiple IM networks, including AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, ICQ, IRC, Jabber and more.

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Re: Software Directory

Post  Reon on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:34 am

Pidgin supports many features of the various networks, such as file transfer, away messages, and typing notification. It also goes beyond that and provides many unique features. A few popular features are Buddy Pounces, which give the ability to notify you, send a message, play a sound, or run a program when a specific buddy goes away, signs online, or returns from idle; and plugins, consisting of text replacement, a buddy ticker, extended message notification, iconify on away, spell checking, tabbed conversations, and more.

Pidgin runs on a number of platforms, including Windows, Linux, and other UNIX operating systems. Looking for Pidgin for OS X? Try Adium!

[*]Trillian IM client (Laogeodritt)
A very good universal IM client. The free version supports AIM, YIM, ICQ, MSN and IRC. Paid version supports certain plugins that add features and other IM services.

3.1 Basic features and advantages include but are not limited to:
  • Only have one client for all your IM services, instead of wasting memory with multiple;
  • Can place windows in containers with tabbed windows (so you have multiple IM windows but just one window in the taskbar); you can have it place them in one container, one container per buddy list cateogry, etc.;
  • Away message auto-response for all services, even those that don't ordinarily offer those such as MSN. Note that in those cases, they're sent like ordinary messages;
  • Notification windows near systray. For which events they appear is customisable;
  • Skinnable using user-created skins;
  • You can set custom events, including global hotkeys, for various actions;
  • Can automatically saves IM chatlogs (includes IM convos) in .log files;


[*]Skype (Marillion, Laogeodritt, many Talesforum users; description by Laogeodritt)
Skype is a VoIP and instant messenger application or service. VoIP means "Voice over Internet Protocol"; in other words, a telephone service over the Internet. Calls between Skype users are completely free, but calls to and from real telephones does cost a certain fee.

It also supports instant messaging and quite large multi-user chats. These chats are perpetual, since the concept of "offline messages" applies in part (the message will be sent when both users are online simultaneously).

The service is used by multiple users, especially for Skype calls and conferences and its perpetual chats.

Being a peer-to-peer service (except for the logon server), Skype does sometimes exhibit a few problems with messages not being sent, especially with long-standing chats and randomly for some users. It also sometimes acts as a supernode without the user's knowledge or control, and can sap a lot of bandwidth.
[/list]
[*]BitTorrent Clients [list]
[*]Azureus (Shinryu)
A very powerful, popular BitTorrent client. It includes many useful features.

Laogeodritt adds: However, it tends to be a bit heavy on RAM and CPU, depending on the number of torrents and the settings.

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Re: Software Directory

Post  Reon on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:35 am

[*]µTorrent (Laogeodritt, ~Kaz, description adapted from Wikipedia)
µTorrent is a freeware BitTorrent client for Microsoft Windows. It was designed to use as little resources as possible while offering functionality equivalent to the most popular, full-featured clients, such as Azureus or BitComet. In fact, it succeeds well at keeping CPU and RAM use low (c.f. Azureus, which can use 60+ MB of RAM depending on number of torrents and settings) yet is still quite powerful. Some users claim that it is even faster than clients such as Azureus in download time.

It is written in C++, and has been translated into 39 different languages. The program has been acquired by BitTorrent, Inc.

Laogeodritt says: Some µTorrent users have expressed concern regarding the acquisition of the program by BitTorrent, Inc., fearing that the company might introduce a backdoor into the application for the **AA and other organizations against piracy.
[/list]
[*]Other

  • FileZilla (Laogeodritt)
    A free, simple FTP client for Windows: "FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface." It is open-source.

  • LeechGet (Laogeodritt)
    Download manager. Can split files into multiple parallel downloads for faster downloading if the server you're downloading from supports resuming. Free version can only download one file at a time. Patrick Koller, creator of Spybot S&D, considers LeechGet the best among the Download managers he reviewed: "And the winner is ... LeechGet, followed by Download Express. Both are easy to very easy to use, have a nice looking (but not too crowded) user interface, are spyware-clean and free for personal use."

[/list]

[*]Media Software

  • Audacity (Shinryu)
    An audio editor that allows you to record from various sources such as a microphone, line input, or all audio being played; it can import and export several file types such as WAV, MP3, and Ogg Vorbis. It supports VST plugins, but unfortunately can't display their GUI.

  • iTunes (phoenix_seraphim)
    Media player for both Windows and Mac. Very good if you have an iPod.

    Laogeodritt adds: Note that you don't NEED iTunes to transfer data to and from your iPod; many popular media players have third-party iPod plugins or even native support for iPods.

  • Finale Notepad (Laogeodritt)
    A free music notation program. It's extremely limited in contrast to higher versions (PrintMusic, Allegro, Finale), and doesn't have features like changing key (you can do it to the whole composition but the music is transposed also) and pickup notes, though it's still better than naught. No MIDI import/export feature either. You can play it though, so if you want to distribute your own music, you can compose it in Notepad and record it, though you'll be getting no better quality than your MIDI device's sound.

  • Foobar2000 (Kassad, description by Kassad)
    An alternative to Winamp : supports most audio formats (everything besides Real Audio), can display several playlists in tabs, includes a 'masstagger' to format the names of several songs at once, and more...
    The downsides are that it doesn't look quite as good as Winamp (though you can skin it) and that Winamp can play all those audio formats with the right plugins. It also can't rip tracks from CDs.

  • VideoLAN media player (Lucian)
    The VideoLAN project targets multimedia streaming of MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and DivX files, DVDs, digital satellite channels, digital terrestial television channels and live videos on a high-bandwidth IPv4 or IPv6 network in unicast or multicast under many OSes. VideoLAN also features a cross-platform multimedia player, VLC, which can be used to read the stream from the network or display video read locally on the computer under all GNU/Linux flavours, all BSD flavours, Windows, Mac OS X, BeOS, Solaris, QNX, Familiar Linux etc.

  • VLC Player (Laogeodritt)
    While it's been mentioned in another entry, I think it's worth giving VLC its own entry. VLC Player is known for its library of codecs, which avoids the hassle of having to download codecs and the headaches that can bring.

  • Winamp (Vaniwan, Laogeodritt, many others; description by Laogeodritt based on Vaniwan's original description)
    An excellent media player; it could be considered the "Firefox of media players". It is skinnable and extensible through user-written plugins, including those for media formats not already among the large range of default playable formats.

    Laogeodritt adds: In my experiences, it's better with music than with video.

    1. Codecs

      • Quicktime Alternative (Paratroid, Laogeodritt, description based on Paratroid's)
        Yes, Quicktime is free. But who wants all the junk it installs, too? Quicktime Alternative is a codec package that only installs the files necessary to view Quicktime-only files and to integrate into the browser.

      • SUPER: Simplified Universal Player Encoder and Renderer (~Kaz)
        SUPER is a simple yet efficient tool to encode, convert and play nearly any audio or video file. (A list of formats can be found on the website.)

        Technically, the program is a front-end to ffmpeg, MEncoder, mplayer, x264, mppenc, ffmpeg2theora and the Theora/Vorbis RealProducer plug-in.



[*]Office Software

  • OpenOffice.org (Fawkes, Laogeodritt, description by Fawkes and Laogeodritt)
    A very powerful, quality alternative to Microsoft Office, including a word processor (Writer replaces Word), spreadsheet application (Calc replaces Excel), presentation application (Impress replaces PowerPoint), vector-based drawing program (similar to CorelDraw), database frontend (Base replaces Access), and math application. All of these essential applications are downloadable for 100% free, as opposed to the hundreds of dollars for MS Office.


[*]Security Software [list=a]
[*]Antivirus

  • AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic by Avira (Laogeodritt, Renegade of Life, Jase)
    Avira AntiVir's free version is an excellent real-time and on-demand scanner. It doesn't boast features such as email scanning (which some consider superfluous anyway), but its basic antiviral features are enough. According to the latest on-demand results from this site, this antivirus has an excellent detection rate of 99.51% and detected 10 out of 10 polymorphic viruses in their tests (i.e. viruses that change their code to do the same thing but be more difficult to catch).

    Laogeodritt adds: Some users here have been introduced to Avira AntiVir and have come to be very satisfied with it.

  • AVG Antivirus by Grisoft (n/a)
    One of the more well-known free antivirus applications. According to the latest on-demand results from this site, this antivirus application has an overall detection of 91.69%, and detected only 2 out of 10 polymorphic viruses (i.e. viruses that change their code to do the same thing but be more difficult to catch).

    Laogeodritt adds: I've never used it personally, but I've seen various problems with false positives and other little quirks. Personally, I'd suggest going with Avira AntiVir. Still keeping it listed to be fair even if I am the one who suggested it first. =P

[*]Antispyware [list]
[*] Laogeodritt's advice: Concerning anti-spyware, I would usually suggest using all of Ad-Aware SE Personal (the free version), Spybot S&D and Windows Defender. None are perfect, but each complements another by making up for one's weaknesses with regard to detection rate. As far as real-time protection goes, Defender seems good for less experienced users or those who don't want to be annoyed too much, and Spybot's TeaTimer is great for having a lot of control on startup registry keys and such, but pops prompts up a lot to ask about changes.

Be wary of rogue anti-spyware applications.

[*]Javacool SpywareBlaster (Laogeodritt)
SpywareBlaster is a spyware-prevention utility, mostly useful for Internet Explorer users, that does the following:
  • In Internet Explorer:
    • Add websites to the Restricted Sites group
    • Adds its list of blacklisted site cookies
    • Block Javascript from certain websites


  • In Firefox/Mozilla:
    • Adds its list of blacklisted site cookies


*** NOTE: Spyblaster is not the same product as SpywareBlaster.
*** NOTE: SpyBlast is not the same product as SpywareBlaster. It contains adware, advertises aggressively, and its vendor was prosecuted by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for those rasons.

[*]Javacool SpywareGuard (Laogeodritt)
SpywareGuard is real-time antispyware protection, like the real-time component of the antivirus but for spyware. Warning: This application could potentially cause conflict with your current real-time antispyware or antivirus utility.

[*]Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal (Laogeodritt)
A very good and free anti-spyware utility. Free version supports the plugins available on the same website. Paid version also available, which includes real-time protection.

[*]Spybot S&D (Fawkes, Laogeodritt, description by Laogeodritt)
A high-quality antispyware scanner application. It is very efficient in terms of speed, being that it doesn't search every single file but instead certain points where each application in its definitions leaves its traces; a full scan can take under ten minutes (Laogeodritt's system). It also includes various tools, some of them suited for advanced users only. (A separate program, called RunAlyzer, has been created by the team with the intent of replacing said tools integrated in Spybot.)

[*]Spyware Doctor (R.I.P)
"With its quick scanning and multiple tools for stopping malware before it infects your computer, Spyware Doctor is a solid spyware remover."

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Re: Software Directory

Post  Reon on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:36 am

[*]Windows Defender (Laogeodritt)
It's Microsoft, yes, but worry not: it was acquired from Giant, and is in fact an excellent anti-spyware tool, if not a bit on the simplistic side. It offers real-time protection in addition to scanning.
[/list]
[*]Firewall [list]
[*]Kerio Personal Firewall by Sunbelt (Laogeodritt)
Firewall—although paid, it offers a free trial that, after the trial period (30 days), reverts to a "basic" free version. Offers both application- and port-based filtering of traffic, logging, network intrusion protection and stopping programs from starting without your permission (modified programs since last run, programs starting other programs and just programs starting—each can be enabled or disabled or exceptions for certain programs be made). The paid version also offers web filtering and host intrusion protection.

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Re: Software Directory

Post  Reon on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:37 am

Laogeodritt says: I use it personally, and find it to be good for semi-advanced to advanced users. PRobably not for novices though.

[*]Zonealarm Firewall (Fawkes)
The standard version is free and will help guard your PC against intruders.

Laogeodritt adds: I have not personally used this firewall, but I have heard things regarding conflicts with applications and difficulty using it. I have confirmed conflicts with some applications, such as the file-sharing application DC++, which apparently render the application unusable unless the firewall is completely uninstalled. I, personally, recommend Sunbelt Kerio Firewall over ZoneAlarm's firewall.
[/list]
[*]Other

  • Merijn.org (Fawkes, Laogeodritt)
    Various other free anti-spyware or otherwise security tools. While some of the applications are automated, others are intended for more advanced users, and should only be used with knowledge of what you're doing or under the advice of a more experienced user.

    Of particular note is HijackThis!, which is very well-known and used to combat spyware. Do not use HijackThis if you do not know what you are doing. It does not detect spyware or other malware, but only scans places where you MIGHT find TRACES of spyware and malware. It is up to the user to differentiate the "good" from the "bad" and act accordingly.

  • RootkitRevealer by SysInternals (Laogeodritt)
    RootkitRevealer is one of the more well-known freeware rootkit detection programs. It searches the hard drive in different ways to try and notice differences between the contents of each search, so that it can try and determine if some software (i.e. a rootkit) is hiding files or registry keys on your hard drive (i.e. making them impossible to see via Windows Explorer). This only detects these differences and reports them to the user—it doesn't detect rootkits themselves.

    Note: Since RootkitRevealer doesn't detect rootkits but only possible hints to a rootkit, it is recommended that you have some experience or knowledge or know how to Google and don't jump to conclusions. Furthermore, removal of rootkits can be tricky—it's probably better to go and ask for help on a reputable security-help forum if you find out you have a rootkit.

[/list]

[*]Text and Code Editors

  • www.bluej.org (tordana)
    Not sure if anyone would be interested, but a great Java and Javascript compiler is BlueJ. From the site: "The aim of BlueJ is to provide an easy-to-use teaching environment for the Java language that facilitates the teaching of Java to first year students. Special emphasis has been placed on visualisation and interaction techniques to create a highly interactive environment that encourages experimentation and exploration."

  • ConTEXT (Shinryu)
    A small text editor with some nice features such as customizable syntax highlighting, opening multiple files in tabs, and the ability to search and replace in all open documents; it's useful for programming in general.

  • HTML-Kit (Laogeodritt)
    A good HTML and text editor. Syntax colouring for HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP. Includes a simple integrated FTP client and the ability to directly edit files on the server. Very little Unicode support; it can't input or display Unicode directly (you have to use the Unicode Pad tool), but inputs and displays them as ASCII in the normal editor.

  • JWPce (Shinryu)
    A Japanese Word Processor with some nice features such as kana to kanji conversion and radical lookup; it's a nice alternative to NJStar Japanese Word Processor which only has a limited free trial.

  • Notepad++ (Laogeodritt, description adapted from site)
    Notepad++ is a free text and source code editor (and Notepad replacement) for Microsoft Windows. It's much more powerful than Notepad; it supports tabbed editing of multiple files, viewing two files in parallel (with synchronized or independant scrolling), various plugins, and a host of other features. As a source code editor, it supports many languages, such as Ada, Batch files (Windows), C, C++, C#, Objective-C, Java, Fortran, Haskell, PHP, HTML, CSS and SQL; you can also define your own language and syntax highlighting.

    Laogeodritt says: It's a fast yet very powerful little utility. I'm still only learning how to use its most intricate features, but I've pretty much replaced Notepad with this one by now. I highly recommend it. The only caveat is that all the options and menus might be a bit confusing at first. I'm still trying to find one option I remember seeing yesterday …

  • Notepad Pro (Paratroid)
    A small, low-resource text-editor. It is skinnable, supports eight languages, can write PDF files, able to control Winamp, can be configured to remain in the system tray for easy access, and includes various useful features and less useful little toys.


[*]Miscellaneous Utilities [list]
[*]BioniX wallpaper cycler (Laogeodritt)
A wallpaper cycler. Timer can be set anywhere from 1 second to many hours. Includes a screensaver that also uses BioniX's playlist. It also has Smart Stretch and Smart Tile features that determine when to stretch/tile; however, Smart Stretch has always caused my wallpapers to look cheaply resized. The spelling/grammar isn't very good, though.

[*]Daemon Tools (Marillion, Laogeodritt)
Daemon Tools is a virtual disc drive for Windows. Its function is, in essence, to mount optical (CD, DVD, etc.) disc images, such as ISO or CUE, and run them as if they were physical discs in a physical drive.

[*]Desktop Sidebar (Marillion)
It's a 100% free sidebar for Windows, much like Windows Vista promises to have.

[*]Everest Home Edition (Laogeodritt)
A diagnostic tool; it's pretty much the most complete tool I've ever found. More complete than dxdiag in terms of completeness of computer data. *** FREE VERSION NO LONGER OFFERED. You might find it lying around somewhere online. ***

[*]FileAlyzer (Laogeodritt)
A tool to analyse and display file contents. For advanced users. From the creators of Spybot S&D.

[*]Foxit PDF Reader (Laogeodritt)
Foxit Reader is a freeware PDF viewer and printer. It is small in size and much faster and more lightweight than Adobe Reader.

[*]Fresh Devices (various utilities) (Jase)
Various utilities, including: Fresh Download (a download manager), Fresh Diagnose (a diagnostic tool—detects information about one's system/hardware), FreshUI (a tweaking tool for Windows) and FreshView (a media browser/organizer that lets you browser, organize and convert audio, video and image files).

[*]Google Earth (Hot.TD)
A virtual globe program that maps the earth by images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe.

[*]IZArc (Shinryu)
An archive utility similar to WinZip or WinRAR, but with support for more file types.
[*]Keepass (Laogeodritt)
Keepass is an open-source password management application released under the GPL. Encrypts the database using AES and Twofish encryption. Supports importing from and exporting to various formats and plugins. It allows you to be quite organised with your entries, much more than Keywallet, but the fields limit themselves to the Title, Username, Password, URL and Comments.

Laogeodritt says: The plugins could be a potential security problem. What I've done is that, instead of using a shortcut to Keepass, I use a shortcut to a .bat file of which the contents are below. It will delete all .dll files in the directory, warning you before each, and then start KeePass. I made this file read-only, along with all files in my KeePass directory. This solution does not allow ANY plugins to be used whatsoever.

Note that it is important to lock the .ini file to prevent a malicious plugin from automatically activating itself, but that your changes to settings won't be saved when you have a read-only .ini file containing your settings—you have to unlock it temporarily before changing your settings.

Code:
del /p /f /s E:\Programs\Cat\Utilities\KeePass\*.dll
START "" E:\Programs\Cat\Utilities\KeePass\KeePass.exe
exit /b

[*]Konfabulator (Fawkes)
Originally 20 dollars but now it's FREE! The program lets you run little mini-applications called Widgets on your desktop; examples of such widgets include clock, meters, calendars and others. I find it to be very useful.

[*]Launchy (Laogeodritt, description partially adapted from website)
Launchy is a free, open-source Windows utility that indexes programs in the Start menu—or any file you want—and lets you start or open them quickly by typing in a few keys to search for one's name. It is designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager.

[*]Linux (Fawkes)
GNU/Linux, the free operating system. *** REQUIRES EXPERTISE TO RUN AND USE.

[*]Motherboard Monitor (Laogeodritt)
Monitors the CPU and case temperatures and voltages along with fan speed. Essential to overclockers. Note: I recommend that you know the manufacturer and model of your motherboard.

[*]NetAlyzer (Laogeodritt)
Tool to gather network info, trace routes, and gather and manage whois queries. For advanced users. From the creators of Spybot S&D.

[*]Omega drivers (_outlaw, MasterT; description modified from site)
The purpose of the Omega Drivers is to provide gamers with an alternate set of drivers, ones that have more options and features than the original sets. The drivers contain optimizations, extra features (like OC capabilities), more resolutions and internal tweaks that can give them the edge in a gaming environment over the normal drivers, which are often tailored for synthetic benchmarks.

Install at your own risk. If you don't know what a driver is, don't know how to update, uninstall or install one, and/or wouldn't know how to recover without reformatting if they mess up your computer, stay away from them.

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Re: Software Directory

Post  Reon on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:37 am

_outlaw says: If your video drivers have betrayed you (cmon, if you're running an ATI they're screwed up as is) then these third party ones are amazing. They contain speed tweaks, have way more customization options, and in the case of Master T saved his World of Warcraft from the poorly designed ATI drivers. No, it did not only save his WoW... it saved his LIFE.

Highly recommended, easy to install, free, and a vast improvement over first-party support.




[*]PowerToys for Windows XP by Microsoft (Laogeodritt)
Utilities by Microsoft for Windows XP, including TweakUI.

[*]Process Explorer by SysInternals (Laogeodritt)
Process Explorer, like its name implies, is a program that lets you look into and manage processes running on your system, a bit like Task Manager. However, it's a lot more advanced than that.

[*]QT Address Bar by Quizo (Wilheim; description adapted from site and Wilheim's description)
QT Address Bar is a Vista address bar clone for Windows XP. It has certain advantages such as drop-down folder browsing.

[*]QT Tab Bar by Quizo (Wilheim)
Tab bar for Windows Explorer. QT TabBar allows you to operates files and folders like tab browser: folder grouping, histories, etc.

Wilheim says: It takes about 5-10 minutes to configure everything (and install some plugins — I recommend FileTools, for some of the options it has, like Move Folders and what-not), but having one folder in XP/Vista with different tabs is a god-send. Plus, the image/text preview and subfolder browsing options are great if you have a modified msstyle and can install shellstyles that have a miniaturized task pane.

[*]Rainlender and Rainmeter (Vaniwan, Laogeodritt, description by Laogeodritt)
Useful calendar and resource/performance meter, respectively. Rainlendar's feature set includes event lists (and notifications), a todo list, and floating elements that can utilize Win2000/XP's native transparency and behave like normal windows, always on top, or desktop. Rainmeter has similar floating elements and is able to measure a variety of system resources. Both are skinnable and have a variety of skins available, which can be edited relatively easily.

Laogeodritt adds: I recommend the XPert 2.0 skins for Rainmeter; I also have customized some of them, so if anybody wants their details or the files, I can provide them. (It's licensed under the GPL, so I can redistribute them legally.)

[*]RegAlyzer (Laogeodritt)
A registry editor, more powerful than Windows's Regedit utility. Very useful, especially for searching out strings in the whole registry. Might have a few glitches, but nothing crippling or dangerous aside from some very few registry keys being unreadable. (Based on an older version.) From the creators of Spybot S&D.
*** EDITING THE REGISTRY CAN MAKE YOUR COMPUTER UNUSABLE. Do not edit it without knowing what you are doing, and preferably with backups and a means to restore it in the case of disaster.

[*]RunAlyzer (Laogeodritt)
Gives an overview over many relevant system settings. Intended to replace the Tools section currently integrated into Spybot-S&D. From the creators of Spybot S&D.

[*]Sysinternals (Laogeodritt)
Sysinternals was formerly a website run by two programmers/hackers that hosted a large variety of utilities for Windows. They have since been acquired by Microsoft, but both of them still work on Sysinternals at Microsoft.

Warning: Many of these utilities are more advanced and should only be used if you know what you're doing.

[*]TweakUI by Microsoft [See PowerToys for link to Windows XP version] (Paratroid, Laogeodritt)
TweakUI gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.

If you're looking for the Windows XP version, please see the entry under the name "PowerToys for Windows XP". If you're looking for the 2000/ME/98/95 version (TweakUI 1.33), note that the page no longer seems to be on Microsoft's site; try Googling it—however, install at your own risk!

[*]WinDirStat "Windows Directory Statistics" (Fawkes, NonToxic; description from site)
WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows (all current variants).

NonToxic says: I'll have everyone know that [WinDirStat] is a miracle of a program.

[*]ZipGenius (Laogeodritt)
Freeware Compression Utility, like WinZip and WinRAR. Supports ZIP, RAR (read only), TAR, GZ, CAB, and the 7z format among others. Integrates into the Explorer Shell (slightly slower than WinZip). Has a nice GUI also.
[/list]

[*]Other Free Software Indices

  • TinyApps.org
    TinyApps.org is a database of very small size for Windows. There are also pages dedicated to the Palm and OSX operating systems.


[*]Unclassified Software


[*]Removed Software

  • Security/Firewalls: Sygate Firewall (tordana)
    Sygate acquired by Symantec, unable to find free version.

[/list]
Software directory by: Fawkes,Laogeodritt, Shinryu,_outlaw, others

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