Useful Software Thread:

Total posts: [202]
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Thought the wiki needed one.

You know how everyone wants to find a new software to use for their computer but doesn't know which one is the best for whatever it is they want to do for. Well this thread is here fo... ok, this is another recommendation thread, you happy? But this one is going to be something similar to what the music thread did, so listen up.

  • Make sure the software of choice works at least. We have computer software experts here on this forum and they somewhat have a good idea on what works and what's been coded by drunk monkeys. I'm not one, but I'm certain there's one here on the forums
  • If it has 5 recommendations, it's on the list.
  • Give as many recs as you like, there's no limit.
  • In the event the software uses plugins, addons or apps, we'll make a seperate list for them.
  • Yes, you are allowed to post Commercial Software here, though do bear in mind Crack Is Cheaper

Ok, so start reccing and have fun.

edited 12th Feb '11 12:45:41 AM by revertedtozero

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Recommended Software

I'll do a quick summary and review of all of them later.

edited 9th Mar '11 9:45:35 AM by revertedtozero

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My First choices:

And there's some others I've forgotten, but I'll be sure to post more here in the future.

edited 22nd Jan '11 9:33:02 AM by revertedtozero


CCleaner: Cleans up your registry, uninstalls programs, and does general cleanup work on your PC.
Defraggler: Good defragmenting utility.
Speccy: Gives you a very comprehensive look at your PC's stats.
Recuva: Restores any lost data you might have deleted.

edited 22nd Jan '11 8:48:40 AM by JBridge

There's no space in the name.
5 storyyeller22nd Jan 2011 08:16:29 AM from Appleloosa , Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
More like giant cherries
Firefox, 7zip, GIMP, Audacity,, Songbird, Code::Blocks, PS Pad, Chrome.

Of those, I'd say the first five are pretty much essential to have.

edited 22nd Jan '11 8:18:24 AM by storyyeller

See ALL the stars!
I prefer Paint.NET to GIMP, but it's Windows-only.

Also, the entire Sysinternals collection. I suppose they're more technical than most stuff here, but they're still high quality.

edited 22nd Jan '11 8:56:20 AM by Yej

Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
7 MajorTom22nd Jan 2011 08:57:40 AM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Wireshark. Use it to analyze how your networks function so that you may improve your security. (Open source)

Additionally, snort. The single best Intrusion Prevention Software piece on the market and it's open source!

edited 22nd Jan '11 8:59:11 AM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
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C Cleaner is a brilliant and essential piece of software to use, though if you need to clean just more than the basics, I'd advise CCEnhancer which is an Addon that help C Cleaner clean up more software.

Also another good piece of software (And pretty useful if you have multiple hard drives on your computer) is Steam Mover. Whilst made for gamers (hence the name), this software can move any file whatsoever to a certain hard drive in your computer making it very useful if you need to free up HD space.

Speaking of which, you might want to try out Steam. Almost all PC gamers use it and we really don't need to go into detail for you.

If you want an alternative to Steam though, then I'd recommend either Comrade (For you Direct2Drive users) or Impulse.

edited 22nd Jan '11 9:50:28 AM by revertedtozero

9 Deboss22nd Jan 2011 08:49:21 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Spybot for general security and purging some crap. Hm, there's other things, but I can't think of them.
10 Tangent12822nd Jan 2011 10:07:36 PM from Virginia , Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
I agree with Chrome and GIMP.

I'd like to add Opera to the browser list. Usually as fast as and sometimes faster than Chrome, with a built-in mail reader and RSS aggregator. Also does widgets if you like that sort of thing.

POV-Ray is a neat 3D renderer, though there's no visual editor.

MPlayer is good for pretty much any video file you throw at it.

Foxit Reader is more lightweight than Acrobat.

On Windows, Hobocopy is handy for copying flash videos out of the cache.
Do you highlight everything looking for secret messages?
11 Pykrete22nd Jan 2011 10:31:50 PM from Viridian Forest
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Hijack This and related analyzer

Also, poor Internet Explorer. The most popular browser for downloading a better browser.

edited 22nd Jan '11 10:33:18 PM by Pykrete

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More Recs
  • WinRAR: Extraction and Archiver system. What most of our users use if they don't use 7zip
  • Rocket Dock: Application Launcher. Helps make your desktop cleaner.

  • Also Seconding Opera, Songbird and Speccy, along with 7zip
  • Funny how No-One's posted any commercial software yet.

edited 22nd Jan '11 11:41:50 PM by revertedtozero

13 TuefelHundenIV22nd Jan 2011 11:42:13 PM from Wandering , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
I add another one for C Cleaner and one for Malware bytes.

A seldom known program combofix. It is very good ad digging out really stubborn viruses that embed and hide themselves form other detection and removal means. Becareful in it's use and should be used when other attempts have failed.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
Things make people happy
^^On Rocket Dock: I find it funny that docks are supposed to reduce desktop clutter while the next iteration of OS X is going to look like an iPad with all its apps on the desktop by default.

My suggestion: Any semantic launcher, like Quicksilver (for Mac), Synapse, Gnome Do, or Kupfer (for Linux) and that one for Windows that I don't remember the name of right now. They're great, just hit your preferred command, type in two or three letters, hit enter, and your program is loading/your file is opening/your message is being posted to Twitter/whatever you want.
,%,..@@@,.%,.@G,.@@,.% / Playing with animals.
Moments Like Ghosts
I use Tugzip for dealing with extracting and dealing with compressed files. I'm quite happy with it.

edited 23rd Jan '11 6:04:18 PM by apassingthought

16 Tangent12823rd Jan 2011 09:06:32 PM from Virginia , Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
[up][up] Launchy for Windows?
Do you highlight everything looking for secret messages?
Things make people happy
^That's the one.
,%,..@@@,.%,.@G,.@@,.% / Playing with animals.
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@Funnyguts: wondering if someone's made something like that for windows or linux.

19 kurushio24th Jan 2011 05:28:57 AM from Berlin, Germany , Relationship Status: I've got a total eclipse of the heart
Happy Human
Opera definitely needs more love. Open Office and Hotspot Shield get a rec from me, too. And for people who still have their mid-90ies vintage games lying around: DOSBox.
Hotspot Shield, really? I installed it early on, and it was terrible. It slowed the internet down to a halt, it was undependable, and the banner ads were a pest. Is it different now?
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[up]Yeah, the Ad thing is somewhat annoying, but it still works at times. There is Anonymiser, and that works quite well, but costs $70 per year, which is quite a hefty price to pay, but you get what you're paid for  *. But I'm not sure whether there's a good piece of software similar to the two that works just as well, wondering if anyone's got any good ideas?

Along with seconding DOSBox, I'll also recommend Scumm VM if you want to play classic LucasArts games of yesteryear.

edited 24th Jan '11 11:14:08 AM by revertedtozero

If you've ever downloaded an old LucasArts game from Steam, you already have Scumm VM, BTW.
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[up]Same, but replace LucasArts with any MS-DOS game and Scumm VM with DOSBox  *
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  • foobar2000 is one of those items that may look simplistic at first, but caon be transformed into a brilliant audio player when you install various addons.
  • Chatzilla: Firefox IRC client. Really easy to use.

edited 2nd Feb '11 7:01:22 AM by revertedtozero

25 snowfoxofdeath30th Jan 2011 02:16:08 PM from San Francisco Suburb
Thou errant flap-dragon!
VirtualBox by Oracle works better than Microsoft's Virtual PC.

Also, blender is a good 3-D graphics creator/animator, though you'd probably be quite lost without their manual.

Total posts: 202
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