Useful software

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Tech Sergeant
Apr 6, 2005
I am in the process of moving to a new PC so I had the thought that I needed a repository for the software I have found useful and could hyperlink so I could go there and retrieve it. That made me think I could post the reference here so everyone could benefit.

To kick things off here is an alternative to the crappy Windows Explorer - it is called Explorer2 and used to be free as 2xExplorer, see:

Not perfect even so but has some good features which make WE look the under-developed Pile of Poo it is for shame. It is incredible how little MS has developed the basic tools you get in XP. Too much faffing about with multimedia etc I reckon.

Next time I will give a link for a better search tool and then a way to print out a list of folder contents (another thing WE still does not do without some lengthy jiggering about).
Thanks for the reply! This is perfect! You must be referring to the XP default net browser when in fact I am referring to the file explorer not the browser. This is another example of how stupid MS is. Why name two different tools with the same name? Very confusing.

I do use Firefox - as my net browser. I was later on going to ref this as well.

Opera is an alternative to OE (another vulnerable spam-ridden PoP) but I use GMail which is excellent.

Incidentally I use GMail as an online back-up - I email myself my work. Not only does that mean I can access it anywhere but also it is safe.

That said I still back it up onto a memory stick or CD etc.
Aha, now I understand. I don't use Explorer very often, I just use the default folders of WinXP. Suits me well.

That with the GMail, damn that's a good idea! GMail has 1 Giga box memory, right. ;)
I have used Yahoo for mail for years and have no complaints. They have fairly good spam and virus filters too. I may want to take a look at explorer 2, but am seriously considering a linux box for my file storage needs.
Yahoo is also free and I also use MSN and Firefox. I wish somone would make a new sofware program that would kick Bill Gates ass the sun of a.......

MS has a near monopoly and that makes it arrogant and lazy.

But people who are not only fed up but also have the savvy are writing better software as a result so it is not all bad.

That is precisely why I started this thread.

To tell anyone who wants to know what else they can get (often for free) to use instead.

Theoretically you don't need to use ANY MS products - I still feel obligated to use Word etc in MSO but often my writings begin in EditPad Lite (the superb alternative to the knackered up Notepad (which used to be OK esp for HTM etc). You have to plonk the copied text from web-pages into such a crude text editor before you let it see Word or MSP otherwise it will be accompanied by a ton of mark-up crapola.
Yes, the thing is that I wish somone would make a sofware programe like Windows ( 95,98,2000,me and XP ) and thus make it so that you do not need Bill Gates shit.

As I said, one of the shortcomings of Windows (file) Explorer is the lack of folder contents printing, ExpPrint is a utility to solve that. A lite version suits me but you can get a full version for cash:

Nice to have when making a contents list for that back-up data CD you just made and it won't all fit in the CD box (so use a DVD box).
Screen recorder is probably Fraps, useful for recording 30 seconds or so worth of screen capture on the demo version, used for IL2 movies a lot ;)

GIMP is an opensource free Photoshop alternative

UltraEdit is another program I find extremely useful, but it isn't free.

Google Earth of course, but everyone knows about that by now I guess

AVG antivirus is one of the best around and it's free for homeusers

AdAware antispyware

OpenOffice - opensource alternative to MS office

FileZilla free FTP tool

MP3 ripper

Trillian for accessing all your MSN Messenger/ICQ/Yahoo IM/AIM through one interface

Mp3 editing tool

Winamp MP3 player

ZoneAlarm Firewall

DVD region decoder

Video Codecs

For those with trouble playing videos

automatic insult generator

DVD shrink

My Firefox is fully customised at work, though I use Opera usually at home, it's auto crash recovery and ability to download multiple large files with autorestart and pausing make it more useful at home than firefox. Heres a screen shot of some of the plugins I find useful for FireFox.

A summary of the features

Quicklinks along top bar

Couple of IP Tracers

Latin Gibberish Generator

XE Currency Convertor Tool

Webdeveloper Toolbar

Cookie Editor

Advanced Calculator

Bottom Row

Pixel Ruler for measuring lengths on screen

Beer O'Clock (countdown to end of day/week)

Stopwatch/Countdown timer

Spellchecker/theasaurus tool

Gmail notifier

Dual Time display
(displays ten other cities on mouseover)

Weather Radar
(brings up current weather radar map for UK on mouseover)

Current weather and next two days forecast (updated every 30mins or however often you like)

Popup menu

Compose Gmail from whichever of my accounts I wish

Highlight something in text (such as a name) and then you can run it through any of the services listed which then opens with results in a new background window)

Defunk brings up a random famous quote

Periodic table brings up the periodic table

Streetmap link allows you to highlight an address in the text and search it via streetmap, multimap or google maps, which then opens in a new background window

Translate allows a highlighted word to be translated into any of the langauges available, usually set to one main language

abcTajpu is for those obscure characters needed in text

Map this looks something up in google maps

and webdeveloper is just the same again, with a ton of useful stuff for people like me in that line of work.

There are also some less obvious extras like the ability to completely clear all stored data for privacy, removes all those nefarious cookies and other hidden data.


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