The BIG LIST OF USEFUL WINDOWS UTILITIES v3.5 (Dec08)

Computer issues and app recommendations
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Underwater
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The BIG LIST OF USEFUL WINDOWS UTILITIES v3.5 (Dec08)

Postby Underwater » 10 Aug 2006, 14:15

December 31 2008: OOH GET YOU AN UPDATE

BIG LIST OF *FREE* COMPUTER TOOLS & UTILITIES
V3.5 (Codename: PIGEON SAUCE)

Please Note: Check here for the alternatives if you still can't find the free program for what you want done. If that fails, don't hesitate to request a solution in this thread or elsewhere on OKC.

FIRST AND FOREMOST COME USEFUL WEBSITES

Jotti's Online Virus-Scanner NEW Dec08
An INVALUABLE tool. If you don't use or don't trust your antivirus software, you can upload a file here and Jotti's server will scan it with all popular anti-virus utilities and show you the results. Saved my ass more than once.

AVG Online Spyware scan NEW Dec08
Scan for spyware on your computer online. Useful if you don't want to install yet another security program or are using someone else's computer. The results seem reputable enough, but don't rely on this as your only means of protection. Remember, if you need help, make a thread here.

Kaspersky online Virus scan NEW Dec08
Remember, viruses and spyware are different. They are often lumped into one term- 'malware'- but most users will find safety in running both anti-spyware and anti-virus shields. Kaspersky searches for viruses first and foremost with their online scan service. Best used in tandem with the previous online scanner, if these are your only option.

ScanR online OCR tool NEW Dec08
Imagine this scenario: You have a document you need to edit, but have only a printed copy. If you scan the document in and email the JPGs to this service, they will extract the text from it and give it to you in an editable form. They use the term 'cameraphone' a lot, but you can disregard that. I think the newbie user account only lets you scan one document, but the thing seems exploitable enough. Just sign up a lot if you have to.

ZamZar File converter
--Upload a file, have them convert it, and grab an email from them with your file. Magic!

ImageShack
--The old favourite. Upload an image, link to it. Ideal for sites like this 'un.

MyImager
--Free online photo-shopping tool. Add swirl effects, B&W colour correction, etc., etc., to any image (or image URL) you upload! Also supports creation of new images. UNDERWATER'S PICK

Yahoo! Answers
--Simple sign-up and ask interface in case you have a burning question that needs answered.
Note: Yahoo! answers is also WHERE KNOWLEDGE GOES TO DIE. Exercise extreme caution.

QuestionSwap
--Got a burning question? Not sure who to ask? Then ask the questionswap team, and answer someone else's when you're done! A great bit of fun.

Vixy FLV conversion
--Place a YouTube video link in and it will convert it on the fly and allow you to download it as an AVI or MP3 file. It shines because you can rip just the music from videos, which many people on this board have been asking about.


Anti-Virus Tools
AVG Free Edition

Avast! 4 Home Edition Popular

AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic

Firewall (Just the one)

Comodo Personal Firewall
--FREE personal firewall, certified to be leak-free. Supposedly the best.

Anti-Malware Tools

MailWasher
--Free spam-burner. Supposedly very good, large following.

Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE
SpyBot S&D
-These two are essentially the same product. Sometimes one will pick up something the other doesn't, and then a definition update will render the whole thing pointless. I'd pick Spybot, since it has more features, but Ad-aware has a simpler interface. Whichever takes your fancy, really.

Audio Creation & Editing

Windows Sound Recorder
-- Found in Start Menu -> Programs -> Accessories -> Entertainment -> Sound recorder

Audacity
--Record directly what you hear from your speakers, as well as a full-featured audio editor.

Audio Playing

PodPlayer 1.0
Free iTunes replacement. Allows iPod music extraction! Recommended

Windows Media Player
--Fairly decent all-rounder and included with windows by standard. I don't use it though. Popular

Winamp
--Excellent sound player with nearly all codecs included. Don't use it for video!

Foobar2000
--Very light, small music player. Designed for long playlists, eg CDs. Bare-bones look and feel may discourage some, but for those who just want music, give this a go. Recommended

RealPlayer
--Intrusive and annoying, but the only player besides Real alternative that plays RealMedia (RM) files.

Real alternative
Uses the Media Player Classic shell. Much better than RealPlayer, and without all the intrusive, 'Message-center-here-have-some-newsletters-OH-WAIT-I-HAVE-TO-DOWNLOAD-A-NONEXISTANT-CODEC' bullshit.

VLC Media Player
--Simple and to-the-point, with most codecs required included. Use for video in conjunction with Foobar2k for sound and you have a mean combination.

GOM Player
--A free video player with many codecs included and half-downloaded file support. Similar to VLC, but without that 'lag' you get when you pause. Recommended

MediaMonkey
--iTunes replacement, put simply. Think of it as iTunes Diet. There is a 'Gold' option available, but its similar to that of Winamp Pro, and they don't pester you to upgrade to it.

Spywareless Peer-To-Peer & File Sharing

SoulSeek
--Simple P2P Program searching the SoulSeek network. Also home to the Black Cat Bone chatroom. Popular

eMule NEW Dec08
--Not to be confused with eDonkey2000, this program searches both the eD2K network and the Kademlia network. Bear in mind people monitor this network, so it might be worth checking what you're downloading and making available for upload. Recommended

µTorrent (MicroTorrent)
--A BitTorrent client with a very small footprint, known to use only 4MB of memory while downloading. Recommended

Music tools

iTunes
--Media Player & Organiser. Useful for those with iPods. Never saw the charm myself. Popular

Switch
--Music File Converter. Make sure to download the free version, not Switch plus.

Office Tools

Writely (Now Google Docs & Spreadsheets)
--Online word-Processor. Requires sign-up.

OpenOffice
--Free office software. Personally, I never liked it, but you might.

AbiWord
--Free word-processor, similar to Microsoft word.

Sphygmic Software Spreadsheet
--Free spreadsheet software.

Adobe Reader
--Reads PDF files, but does not allow you to edit or create. Popular

Web Browsers

Mozilla Firefox
--Alternative, small web-browser. Insanely popular despite Opera (below) being the clear superior. Popular

Opera
--Tabbed browser with RSS reader, Mail, IRC and Newsgroup access as well as voice-controlled browsing and mouse gestures. Recommended

NetScape Browser
--Tabbed browser, similar to FireFox but with in-built RSS feeds and an in-built spyware scanner. Not sure how reputable it is, though.

Instant Messaging

MSN Messenger
--IM Client for the MSN network. Not to be confused with Windows Messenger or Microsoft Messenger service. Popular

ICQ Messenger
--IM Client for the ICQ network. Screen-names are long numbers rather than email addresses.

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
--IM Client for the AOL internet company. Known to be a rather annoying program.

Jabber Messenger
--IM Client for the Jabber network. Never tried it.

Yahoo! Instant Messenger
--IM Client for the Yahoo! network. Also with voice capabilities.

Trillian Basic/Pro (Pro not free)
--IM Client designed to run on AOL, ICQ, MSN, Y!IM, Jabber and IRC networks. Pro version also does RENDEZVOUS. Skinnable. Recommended

gAIM (Now Pidgin)
--IM Client designed to run on AOL, ICQ, MSN, Y!IM, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, and Zephyr networks.

Skype
--VoIP Program designed to let users call each other's computers for free. Popular

Gizmo Project
--VoIP Program designed to let users on the Gizmo network call each other's computers for free.

Ventrilo
--VoIP Program designed for voice-conferencing between three or more people. Requires a server and a room to be set up, though. *ADVANCED USERS ONLY*

IRCFree
--Client for the IRC (Internet relay chat) network. Advanced users only.

CD and DVD tools
CD BurnerXP Professional
--Don't let the name fool you, this is a 100% free CD-R, CD-RW DVD+R/RW & DVD-R/RW burner. Works well, too. Recommended

InfraRecorder
--InfraRecorder is a general Disc-image tool. It lets you burn and mount different disk images and delve into their contents, and as with everything else here, is 100% free.

ISOBuster
--Recover damaged data from CDs and DVDs. Standard version is free, Pro version is not.

DVD Shrink
--'Shrink' DVDs from a 9.4GB DVD into one 4.7GB DVD. Requires Nero Engine. 'Shrunk' DVDs may suffer from lack of quality ("JPG'd" look)

Image creation & Photo-editing

Paint.NET
--Free photo-editing software, similar to Photoshop and more popular than the GIMP.

The GIMP
--Free Photo-Editing software, multi-platform.

Download Accelerators and FTP Clients

FileZilla!
--Free FTP client. Works very well. Popular

Free Download Manager
--Accelerate your downloads by up to 600% through segmentation. Stores all your previous downloads in a list so they can be re-accessed or re-downloaded.

Windows Maintenance

CleanUp!
--The last word in junk removal for your computer. Has removed almost 4GB of data from my system in total. Recommended

TreeSize Free (Top of page)
--Sorts all the folders on your computer by size, so you can see what needs to be cleaned. Recommended

FreeRam XP Professional
--Lurks in the system tray and frees trapped system RAM at time-set intervals. Popular

Archivers

7-Zip
--Free file archiver with high compression ratio. Native file extension is 7Z. Popular

KGB Archiver
--Free file archiver, very simple. Supposed to be VERY good at compression for some file types, but requires a souped-up machine to run as well as possible.

Miscellaneous Utilities

JoyToKey
--Map keystrokes or mouse input to buttons on your joypad/stick. Example: Press fire, keyboard types, say, an E.

PuTTY
--A free telnet client that fits on a floppy disc. Useful if you know what do do with it.

Popcorn
--Simply-built email previewer. Useful if you're the type who gets more than they bargain for in their inbox.

SUPER
--Simplified Universal Player, Encoder and Renderer. Perfect for converting tons of different sound and video formats between each other, and 100% free.

MediaCoder
--Better than SUPER, basically. Easier to use, more intuitive interface, audio support and easier to obtain. Have at it! Recommended

Pando
--Designed to let one send e-mail attachments of ANY SIZE to anyone. It's very similar to the torrent system, but private between you and the recipient. Recommended

WinHTTRack
--Website Copier; Copy the entire contents of a website (HTMs, JPGs, SWFs ETC) to your hard-drive. Recommended, Popular

Torrent Harvester
--Search hundreds of torrent websites.

Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
--Make your own programme installers. *ADVANCED USERS ONLY*

Web2.0 Sites

ZamZar File converter
--Upload a file, have them convert it, and grab an email from them with your file. Magic!

VideoDownloader
--Download FLV files from Youtube, etc. A lethal combination when used with Riva FLV Encoder.

ImageShack
--The old favourite. Upload an image, link to it. Ideal for sites like this 'un.

30Gigs Free eMail inbox
--Free eMail inbox with a 30-gigabyte storage limit.

MyImager
--Free online photo-shopping tool. Add swirl effects, B&W colour correction, etc., etc., to any image (or image URL) you upload! Also supports creation of new images. UNDERWATER'S PICK

Yahoo! Answers
--Simple sign-up and ask interface in case you have a burning question that needs answered.
Note: May cause cranial explosions in those with an IQ over 100.

QuestionSwap
--Got a burning question? Not sure who to ask? Then ask the questionswap team, and answer someone else's when you're done! A great bit of fun.

Vixy FLV conversion
--Similar to VideoDownloader. Place a YouTube video link (or a link to an FLV file) and it will convert it on the fly and allow you to download it. It shines because you can rip just the music from videos, which many people on this board have been asking about.

=======================================================

EDIT 9th April 07: Much later than planned, removed link for Startup Mechanic. Reason: Installs NSIS spyware. Avoid. Profuse apologies to all affected.
EDIT 1st September 07: Web2.0 sites added. Web2.0 is a term used to describe websites that will help users out in a simple and clean fashion. Forums are not Web2.0, but ImageShack is, if you catch my drift.
Expect [EDIT]s and updates. Feel free to add your own.
Last edited by Underwater on 31 Dec 2008, 18:41, edited 27 times in total.
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Underwater
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Postby Underwater » 10 Aug 2006, 14:16

I'm afraid I've lost all the updates you kind folks made, so if you post them here again, like before, I'll be happy to re-add them.
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The Dríver
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Postby The Dríver » 10 Aug 2006, 17:55

I seem to remember previously recommending DVD Shrink and Switch, a very useful audio file converter
He's a simpleton. 200 years ago they wouldn't have let him milk a cow.

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Postby Underwater » 10 Aug 2006, 18:21

PileDriver: Thanks, added.

JQW: Can I pester for a sticky, please?

Also, anyone experiencing problems with uTorrent (Microtorrent), which I class as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, let me know. I have a friend who's on the developer team (Firon, check the ABOUT box) so I'll let him know if you find any bugs.
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Postby The Dríver » 05 Sep 2006, 13:35

Just a bump to stop the thread from being purged
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Underwater
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Postby Underwater » 05 Sep 2006, 17:54

Thanks :D It's ok though, I keep a copy on my HD just in case

Better safe than sorry
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Postby The Tourist » 19 Sep 2006, 11:09

Underwater wrote:PileDriver: Thanks, added.

JQW: Can I pester for a sticky, please?

Also, anyone experiencing problems with uTorrent (Microtorrent), which I class as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, let me know. I have a friend who's on the developer team (Firon, check the ABOUT box) so I'll let him know if you find any bugs.


That program is my favourite find all year... I used to use Bitcomet cos it was fairly small and relatively stable, but anytime i wanted to play a game of Counterstrike or something i still had to shut it down... microtorrent is and should be regarded as the greatest bittorrent client ever concieved!

The main reason iM posting here though is to offer a warnign about AVG, I haven't used it in 2 years since the blaster worm came out - i had installed it on my girlfriends pc, and she rang me saying that it wouldn't boot up one day, basically i discovered that while AVG is fine for your small basic viruses, it had absolutely no idea what to do about blaster/sasser (i forget which one precisely, they both came out roughly the same time...) and just wiped the hard drive without asking...


it might have improved in the last 2 years or so, but i'm not gonna trust it...

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Postby Underwater » 19 Sep 2006, 17:08

Grandchester NCP wrote:
Underwater wrote:PileDriver: Thanks, added.

JQW: Can I pester for a sticky, please?

Also, anyone experiencing problems with uTorrent (Microtorrent), which I class as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, let me know. I have a friend who's on the developer team (Firon, check the ABOUT box) so I'll let him know if you find any bugs.


That program is my favourite find all year... I used to use Bitcomet cos it was fairly small and relatively stable, but anytime i wanted to play a game of Counterstrike or something i still had to shut it down... microtorrent is and should be regarded as the greatest bittorrent client ever concieved!

The main reason iM posting here though is to offer a warnign about AVG, I haven't used it in 2 years since the blaster worm came out - i had installed it on my girlfriends pc, and she rang me saying that it wouldn't boot up one day, basically i discovered that while AVG is fine for your small basic viruses, it had absolutely no idea what to do about blaster/sasser (i forget which one precisely, they both came out roughly the same time...) and just wiped the hard drive without asking...


it might have improved in the last 2 years or so, but i'm not gonna trust it...


I must say I don't use AVG any more, but only because I can afford Something better. To my knowledge, however, AVG has never simply wiped my hard drive without permission :lol: or those of anyone I know who uses it. There are many AVG users here also who can vouch for it. Experience, however, as well I know, is 90% when deciding what protection to pick.

For anyone here considering AVG, don't let GNCP's comments put you off (No offense, mate :D). As for the whols Blaster/Sasser issue, they do offer you a free service, it might take them a bit longer to hand out decent protection. If you're feeling cautious, however, there's always Avast!.

I'll let Firon know you like his work.
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Postby Hag-man » 03 Oct 2006, 06:15

A great free telnet client (fits on a floppy disc) is PuTTY - available here -> http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/

A useful text-based email browser to preview emails before actually downloading them is Popcorn -> http://ultrafunk.com/products/popcorn/ . Alas, no longer under development, but still works fine. Useful to edit out email with attachments that are not needed, and spam - especially if you're paying for downloads.

By far the most powerful text editor available is Textpad, available here -> http://www.textpad.com/ The evaluation copy doesn't appear to expire - you just get messages urging you to register. And it's really cheap.
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Postby Errant Panda » 04 Oct 2006, 13:14

I thought Blast wiped out most people simply because it spread so fast, that by the time updates and fixes were available, the demand crashed the servers.

Perversely, I was lucky enough to get it very early on, so I just managed to duck under the tape and get the fix downloaded before demand crashed everything.
As I am right 98% of the time I see no point in quibbling over 3%

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Postby Underwater » 04 Oct 2006, 17:07

Errant Panda wrote:I thought Blast wiped out most people simply because it spread so fast, that by the time updates and fixes were available, the demand crashed the servers.

Perversely, I was lucky enough to get it very early on, so I just managed to duck under the tape and get the fix downloaded before demand crashed everything.


Good point-- but certainly no reason to boycott Grisoft.
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Postby Underwater » 10 Dec 2006, 01:25

Monty Dump to evade tread delectation.
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Google_[Bot]

Postby Google_[Bot] » 10 Jan 2007, 13:40

I've loaded Pando but it's not something I expect to use very often so I don't really want it signing-in every time I switch on. However, I can't seem to find an option to switch off autostart. Any ideas? The same goes for that Freeram XP pro for that matter.

Billy

Postby Billy » 11 Feb 2007, 21:08


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Postby Underwater » 16 Feb 2007, 20:39



Well, the list was designed to make sure the best of the free apps available got their time in the limelight, but christ, good find! I shall add it immediately.
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Postby Uncle Spellbinder » 21 Feb 2007, 18:19

GOM Player

Be Free from Codecs
GOM Player supports most popular codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX plus many more) with its own embedded codec system that you won't have to look for appropriate codecs everytime you can't play a certain video format. For those codecs that require a license that cannot be distributed, GOM will automatically lead you to an open-source codec web-site.

Plays Broken Files
Watch video files while you are downloading them! GOM has a registered patent for playing broken AVI files and files that are still being downloaded. So try one of your broken AVI files or one that you are downloading right now. You'll find it amazing!

Enjoy Advanced Features
GOM supports a lot of advanced features for advanced users. You can customize the player by creating your own skin, setting toggle keys, VMR modes, detailed resolution among others. It also provides features such as an overlay mixer, real-time index rebuilding for AVI files, unicode support, key frame based RW/FF and many more!

Image
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Postby Underwater » 21 Feb 2007, 18:35

Thanks US, I've been using that one for a while myself. Never thought to add it though- I shall now. Cheers!
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purgatory brite

Re: The BIG LIST OF USEFUL WINDOWS UTILITIES, V. THREE POIN

Postby purgatory brite » 10 Mar 2007, 11:41

Underwater wrote:SoulSeek
--Simple P2P Program searching the SoulSeek network. Also home to the Black Cat Bone chatroom. Popular


It's taken me a very long time to register on SoulSeek, but have now done so. How do you access the BCB chatroom?

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Re: The BIG LIST OF USEFUL WINDOWS UTILITIES, V. THREE POIN

Postby Underwater » 09 Apr 2007, 17:46

P Brite wrote:
Underwater wrote:SoulSeek
--Simple P2P Program searching the SoulSeek network. Also home to the Black Cat Bone chatroom. Popular


It's taken me a very long time to register on SoulSeek, but have now done so. How do you access the BCB chatroom?


Go to rooms window, Right click -> Add room -> "Black Cat Bone" -> Press enter -> Wait

Jimmy Jazz wrote:This is brilliant Underwater. I just got rid of 5,8 Gb of useless harddisc fill
with Clean Up. Thanks.


You're welcome! Good to know it's making a difference.

Also, monthly bump to avoid purging.
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Postby brotherlouie » 02 May 2007, 17:32

Does anyone have a link for iCal for PC's that's up to date. I'm looking for a calendar/address book/to do list in one place to replace my old Palm Desktop. I don't use a Palm anymore.

if there's anyway to put a To do list on the desktop that's be great to.