Gathering Great Free or Inexpensive Programs.

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by ShepsCrook, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. ShepsCrook

    ShepsCrook Red Sox Fan!

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    It sounds strange. But I'm gathering programs that are free or inexpensive for a website and custom computers I build for people.

    Programs that are very useful and work great:
    IE: Trillian, Spybot, Winamp, Firefox, Thunderbird, Object Dock, Powertoys, Grabit, TweakUI, IPFinder, Windows Uptime Stuff like that.
    I'm looking for great or inexpensive programs for:

    Disk Defragmentation (I'm liking Pefect Disk but it's not free)
    Free program for changing visual styles or GUI.
    Tweaking Windows
    Freeing Memory program.
    some sort of Paint Shop Program
    CD/DVD Burning program
    Some sort of Compression program (like Winrar, Winzip or Winace). Maybe there's a good free one out there.

    Or if something that you feel is a great program to have that's not on the list, let me know. Another reason why I want to do this is because it would be interesting to see what people use and what sort of tricks of the trade there are.
     
  2. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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  3. ShepsCrook

    ShepsCrook Red Sox Fan!

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    The only thing is is that I'm reading through a lot of the posts there and it you'll see that they list about 10 programs for each sort of thing. Like 10 FTP programs, or 10 zip programs. :)

    I don't want a list. I'm looking for specifics. Maybe opinions on the programs. Perks, features. I will be reading through a lot of these programs that are listed there as well as testing them. Still wondering what people think of certain ones. Maybe there are some programs that a lot of people use. I know there's like 100 different AV programs but maybe there's some that most people use. AVG or the free version of Avast.

    See my main grudge is, is you get a lot of people that will download one program and say it's great. It gets good ratings on sourceforge, and then other people will download that and not try anything else, and give it good ratings. Next thing you know, the program is on the top of the list because it's the only thing most people try and it stays up there just because of that reason. :)

    I just tried 7-zip because it was on the top as well as a few people suggested it. I didn't like it. The way to access a file was terrible. You have to start from My Computer and work your way to your file. Just think if you distributed that in a custom PC to a customer that didn't really know how to do that. And they browsed to the wrong file. No good.

    I'm looking into starting a small business and want to keep costs down initially by incorporating good small, free programs or inexpensive programs that work just as good as the "pay for" kind. I know sometimes that's asking a lot but it makes sense right? Or am I just nuts?
     
  4. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    that's GOT to be dealer bait
     
  5. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    That will always be the case. Not everybody uses the same software, so if you ask people to recommend something belonging to a certain category (defrag software, for example), you'll get a list of people's favorite apps. Rarely will you get one single app that almost everyone uses.

    Then again, if you want opinions on specific apps, feel free to post them and I'm sure you'll get people's inputs. :)

    I was thinking the same thing. :p
     
  6. ShepsCrook

    ShepsCrook Red Sox Fan!

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    I'm banking on averages I guess.
     
  7. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Alright then. I'll post some of my recommendations under the categories you mentioned. :)

    * Defrag - Diskeeper or PerfectDisk, neither of which are free. The Windows Defragmentation utility works fine too (it's a lite version of Diskeeper licensed from Executive Software by Microsoft), but it doesn't include advanced features like scheduling, pagefile/MFT defrag etc.
    * Free program for changing visual styles or GUI - The UXtheme patch, pretty much. For other desktop customization apps, take a look at the pinned thread in the themes and graphics section. muzikool has done a wonderful job compiling a list of OSNN favorites. :)
    * Tweaking windows - The Windows Registry editor (regedit), TweakUI from Microsoft, and X-Setup if you really want the swiss-army knife of tweaking. Also take a look the The Tweaking Experience, a nice collection of tweaks put together by Lex (aka avdhorst). It should be under the downloads section on the front page.
    * Freeing Memory program - Click the link on perris' sig. ;) Memory "freeing" applications are counter-productive on an NT-based system like Windows XP or 2000. Both do a fine job at memory management, and it's not something you should worry about at all.
    * Some sort of Paint Shop Program - The GIMP is an nice open-source image manipulation app. Since it's GTK-based, the UI might look a little awkward on Windows, but it works well. Paint.NET is another open-source project by students at the University of Washington. It's sponsored by Microsoft, and it's another great free app. It's still under development, so it's less mature than The GIMP as far as features, filters etc. Magic wand support is coming in the next version. \o/
    * CD/DVD Burning program - CDBurnerXP Pro. Excellent, free app that burns data and audio CDs, as well as DVDs. Very Nero-like interface, so it's easy to use.
    * Compression program - I tend to use XP's Compressed Folders feature for ZIP files, and WinRAR for RAR files (less often), although the latter is again not a free app.

    I'd have posted links to some of the apps I mentioned, but I'm on a rather slow wireless network at the moment, so I'll have to leave it up to Google. ;)
     
  8. Kr0m

    Kr0m Moderator

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  9. ShepsCrook

    ShepsCrook Red Sox Fan!

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    See, now there are some opinions on programs. That's another thing I wanted to see. I think I'll be adding Winrar into the builds as nothing that is free seems to compare to it.
     
  10. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    lol - my website already does this (in signature;))