Hugh's Favorite Freeware List
As much as I dislike so many things about Windows, the bottom line is that
I still must use Windows XP/7 a large portion of the time. The best thing about
the platform must be the many excellent applications developed for Windows,
many of which are completely free to use. Here is a list of my favorites.
Many of these can be found on my own
freeware archives here
- Mozilla Firefox
- The best web browser out there keeps getting better. It runs on Linux, Max
OS X, and even on Windows XP/Vista/7. My second favorite is now Google Chrome or
its open source relative Chromium
I cannot understand why anyone would
choose Internet Explorer over Firefox. And there are even some people still
running IE6! Yikes, some people like to live dangerously...
- My favorite FTP/SFTP client. It is now multi-platform (Linux, Mac, Win32)
and works well on all platforms.
- VLC Media Player
- Another cross platform gem that plays just about any music or video file
you can throw at it, and also uses little resources. It's simple but it does
the job wonderfully.
Tectia Client - I'd like to say that putty
is my favorite free SSH client, but I actually prefer the old client from
SSH.com. It just looks and feels better to me.
AVAST! Home Edition - I've tried several free anti-virus packages and Avast!
remains my favorite. It is light on resources, yet provides good protection
including some trojans and spyware. My second favorite is
Avira Antivir, which
might have topped Avast if it did not keep popping up those annoying ads.
The Symantec Endpoint Protextion 11 we run
at the university is fairly powerful and comprehensive, but it brings our
older systems (P4 systems w/ <1GB RAM) to a deathly crawl.
I run Avast! or Antivir on those systems instead.
ThreatFire - A nice add-on to any anti-virus package is Threatfire that
further protects Windows systems from Spyware, trojans and other malware.
PC-Tools also has its own
PC-Tools Anti-Virus Free Edition available, but I prefer
using Avast! as the main anti-virus software with Threatfile as its partner.
- WinDirStat -
Where are df and du for Windows when you need them? Instead, to track
disk usage on Windows systems I love to use WinDirStat. Plus its display is
just so cool looking!
- Tera Term
- Sometimes you just wish you had an old DEC VT100 or VT220 lying around so you
don't have to use Window's lame HyperTerminal. Instead I use Tera Term which
does a much nicer job of terminal emulation. It can even act as an SSH terminal
- If you like to record, edit and modify music files, you have to use
Audacity. My son was even able to use it for a Science Fair project, and he
won a blue ribbon! Make sure to install LAME so you can write MP3 files.
- If there is one thing that Windows excels at doing, it would be leaving
temporary files all over your hard drive. That is why you need CCleaner to get
rid of all that extra junk. It also has a very nice software
uninstaller, a tool for removing unneeded or rogue startup programs,
and a registry cleaner as
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