Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Tech: Good free download computer software

Stilly River Sage 24 Apr 11 - 11:15 PM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 11 - 11:32 PM
JohnInKansas 25 Apr 11 - 01:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 11 - 10:46 AM
Geoff the Duck 25 Apr 11 - 11:29 AM
Bill D 25 Apr 11 - 12:12 PM
Nick 25 Apr 11 - 12:13 PM
Bill D 25 Apr 11 - 12:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 11 - 01:12 PM
Arkie 25 Apr 11 - 02:36 PM
Nick 25 Apr 11 - 03:25 PM
Nick 25 Apr 11 - 03:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 11 - 06:07 PM
Tattie Bogle 25 Apr 11 - 06:21 PM
Bill D 25 Apr 11 - 07:09 PM
Bill D 25 Apr 11 - 07:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 11 - 09:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 11 - 09:06 PM
Bill D 26 Apr 11 - 10:32 AM
Bill D 26 Apr 11 - 10:50 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Apr 11 - 10:01 AM
Bill D 27 Apr 11 - 10:44 AM
Bill D 27 Apr 11 - 01:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Apr 11 - 10:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 11 - 12:05 AM
Nick 28 Apr 11 - 06:37 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 11 - 09:07 AM
Nick 28 Apr 11 - 09:17 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 11:15 PM

We share links all of the time for good computer programs. I've learned about a lot of these from Bill D and John-In-Kansas, among others. I share them regularly. I hope the techies in the group will contribute to (and trace) this thread so we can find these discussed in one place.

The occasion for starting the thread was finding a really great list that covers all sorts of eventualities - from a blogger I hadn't heard of until I found that he is a respected enough reviewer of technology that Lenovo has given him a computer to review and give away. He writes from an education standpoint, lots of programs that teachers can use, but programs teachers can use are often good for everyone else as well.

The page that caught my eye was Must-Have Windows Software (Updated - 12/31/2010). I have barely cracked the surface of this fabulous list, but I'll share it now so you can take a look.

BTW: The program that Bill D has sent me to that has been most useful over the years is BillP Studio's WinPatrol. That one little program, even in its free form, has saved me a lot of grief, because it guards my registry. Won't let anything write to it without my sayso. And I can disable programs that managed to sneak in when they were installed. If they aren't needed at startup, they don't need to preload the program, and this easily disables those push-to-the-front-of-the-processor programs.

I also have started using Malwarebytes. I go to ZNet and Cnet to read reviews about these programs before downloading them, and malwarebytes is good for a lot of reasons. Adware, spyware, viruses. I use other background software also, but this one is my new favorite.

Anyone else have programs to share?

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 11:32 PM

http://sourceforge.net/ is a great place for downloads of open-source software. I think it's all freeware, quality software like the Audacity sound editing program, and Gimp for photo editing, and WinSCP for FTP.

Lots of good stuff to explore at SourceForge.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 01:04 AM

I hardly ever use freeware, since the few (but very important of course) things I do with my computer generally are best done with fully developed programs that offer "real" support.

I do frequently get rave reports about freeware that might be of interest to others.

Although I didn't find anything of interest to me, the latest "Best of" report I got a notice on was at PC Magazine: Best Free Software of 2011.

The source, PC Magazine, has a good reputation, and anything listed has been reviewed by professionals at one or another of their affiliate technical magazines, so you should be able to trust their choices if they look like they'll do something useful to you.

For UK and/or AUS people, a magazine called "PC Advisor" offers a "eurocentric view" that may be more appropriate, but I haven't received any newsletters from them recently that included advice on freeware.

At almost any site for either of the above publishers, one can find places to sign up to receive "email news" that can be informative; but caution is advised since they can flood your inbox with advertising if you sign up for too many things. They both are pretty good at stopping the flow if you let them know they've become annoying.

Probably the most common "free" programs that nearly everyone has are Flash and PDF Reader. These are so ubiquitous that we often forget that they are "freeware."

Flash for some time had a rather poor reputation for failure to issue prompt or effective patches for vulnerabilities that were discovered, and although it's improved some since Adobe bought Macromedia they remain the subject of some "disrepute" in AV circles. Adobe has also been somewhat slow in patching Reader vulnerabilities as they appear, sometimes allowing them to circulate for months before doing anything.

BOTH FLASH AND ADOBE READER have issued CRITICAL updates within the past week. (The Adobe Reader release began Tuesday 19 APR.) If you have automatic updates turned on for them, you might have received one or both of them without noticing, since neither appears to require a reboot; but if you rely on manual updates YOU NEED TO GET these two.

There are indications that the bigger vulnerability for the PDF Reader has as much to do with the PDF document specification as with the program, so it's not clear whether other (especially freeware?) "readers" may need similar patches. If you use another pdf reader program, it might be well to check for updates/new versions soon, and possibly again in a couple of weeks.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 10:46 AM

I have used a lot of the free programs, but in several instances I have upgraded to the full paid version. I think the companies learn a lot from the free users, so it isn't a one-way street.

I remember paying for a version of Netscape years ago. Times do change!

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 11:29 AM

http://portableapps.com/ has a whole suite of PC programmes which are set up to run from a USB stick without installing anything on your Windoze PC.
That said, you can put them into a folder anywhere on your actual PC and run them from there. If you decide that you do not need a programme, you just delete the sub-folder it is in.
The suite contains portable versions of Firefox, Chrome, Open Office, The Gimp and many more, so you can work with your own programmes and settings on any compatible PC.
Quack!
GtD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 12:12 PM

SRS...I'm glad you found some useful... WinPatrol is so essential, I forget it's there until it DOES remind me that something is trying to 'change' something...(usually by putting a program in startup).

In that page you found, I see several favorites....but also several that I think have better alternatives. None look like problems, so whatever one thinks would be useful.

Right now, let me suggest several that help in managing a Windows computer..(bearing in mind that I am still in XP, and that Win7 can get picky about what it runs)


IndexYourFiles will do what it says... index any or all of your drive(s)
and allow you to INSTANTLY find any file, and show a preview of it. If have lost a file you know should be there, but may have downloaded or moved, this is an excellent way to find it.
   Use it in combination with WinDirStat, which gives a graphic view of an entire drive and allows you to quickly 'see' what is taking up space. Amazing way to get familiar with locations and disk usage!


Then, to manage everything that you find, FreeCommander is an **excellent** replacement for MyComputer. It is a powerful, configurable 2-pane file manager which is the easiest way I've found to MOVE files (it needs certain non-default features to be enabled for the easiest tricks) and a quick way to preview files...images and text and sound, etc... right in the 2nd pane.
   It is regularly updated & improved. There is one file manager that is probably better, but it is not free)

I'll think about other programs...

(Oh...and yes...those portable apps are great...I have a bunch on a flash drive, thought I seldom actually need/use them since I am mostly at home.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Nick
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 12:13 PM

I like and use Reaper which you can use for free uncrippled - but I paid for it because I thought it was great

A few others

VLC media player
Real Player
DVD Flick
Muse Score
ASIO4all
PDF995
Skype
Spotify
Super from erightsoft
Audacity
MySQL
Tree Size free
Power Tab
Virtual Dub


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 12:22 PM

Oh yeah...by the way, everyone should have a good way to *backup* files, in case of a problem...like disk failure.
I have an external drive and use Cobian Backup (I linked to his main page, as he has several other programs that are also great)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 01:12 PM

I have had my eye open for a version of Ghost on sale to use with Win7, haven't looked for a while. I liked the compression that Ghost would do, and it got a lot easier. Can you compare how Cobian Backup looks beside Ghost? I have to decide how much space I want to use to backup my files. If I let a program backup my photos, for example, it will be huge, but if I keep backup photos on separate disks and backup everything else, then I wouldn't need to buy another large drive to use for my backup. My external drives that I've had for a while are now too small for that backup.

RealPlayer? Really? I find that an annoying little pest of a program and usually uninstall it. On the others, some are obvious, but not all are clear in their function. Could you expand your list a bit and tell us why you prefer those over other software?

Bill D, I hope you'll tell us what programs you found on that list that aren't as good as the ones you use, and tell us about them. No list is going to be perfect, and before I install a new program I go read the reviews and sometimes find something that sounds better that way.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Arkie
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 02:36 PM

Anyone have experience with MP3 Gain software for normalizing volume?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Nick
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 03:25 PM

>>RealPlayer? Really? I find that an annoying little pest of a program and usually uninstall it.

I turn off all the options I don't want and use the bits I do. I quite like the ease of downloading videos from YouTube if I want them with it. I know thee are lots of options on that but just find it easy. Having said that I do rather prefer YouTubeHack which is a nice way to download the best quality video available from YouTube - can't remember where I came across that one though.

>>On the others, some are obvious, but not all are clear in their function. Could you expand your list a bit and tell us why you prefer those over other software?

Which ones? In some cases they are things that I use, but also use others. I may well use them alongside rather than preferring. I have a copy of PhotoShop and Fireworks on this machine but rarely use them - much of the time I use an old legal (and free as it was on a magazine) copy of Paint Shop Pro because it's less hassle (or even an even more ancient copy of Adobe Photo Deluxe only because I taught myself to use it quite well and didn't need to know more than that)

Quite like CamStudio
too which is an open source Free Streaming Video Desktop Recording Software. I've used that at work as well though I can get access to Camtasia if I an be bothered to teach myself how to use it properly.

I'm not sure if it's technically free or not but I'm a huge fan of notepad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Nick
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 03:28 PM

I have use MPGain but couldn't find an advantage over what I was getting out of Reaper so only used it once.

I quite like MpTrim for chopping up mps when I've needed to. Again just easier than re-importing the mp3 into something else and resaving it


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 06:07 PM

I have a link on my Firefox for the KeepVid for saving YouTube files and it lets me save it in all sorts of formats and sized files. It's a browser extension the way I use it. Here's a review from CNet. Is this the same kind of stuff that RealPlayer does? There is a downloadable fee version that is commercial free. And of course, when you visit the page, there is a competitor's ad at the top of the page, so be sure you get the correct program.

I probably need to review some of my sofware and see if any of it should be swapped out or updated.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 06:21 PM

I use the free version of Finale Notepad for simple music scoring: it does most of what I want tho' can't, as far as I can see, change key or time signature in the middle of a score, which I might be able to do if I paid for the upgrade.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 07:09 PM

Been busy today, but I'll add some ideas. I NEVER use RealPlayer anymore, as there are other ways to play Real audio/video now. The one I've best luck with is Jet Audio, though MPlayer is also good. (So many videos are now .FLV. that I seldom need Real lately)

In that list SRS linked to, I much prefer MWSnap as a screencapture utility and PDF-Xchange Viewer for PDF files.

I have to confess I've never seen 'Any Video Converter' before. I have been using 'Super' converter, which has solved problems that nothing else would....even though it takes a bit of work to download and wade thru its GUI. I will try A.V.C

Also, I much prefer Foobar2000 in the list to SongBird, as Songbird is clever, but is mostly a vehicle for ads and commercial stuff. It works...but....
I also LOVE MediaMonkey for organizing music...and much more. I think Foobar is a better player, but it is not 'quite' as friendly as Media Monkey for sorting.

More later..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 07:11 PM

(Oh..BTW, I use SMPlayer as a front-end for MPlayer.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 09:03 PM

I dipped into that initial list again. I used to use Comodo antivirus, but it was so ponderous, all sorts of interruptions during the day. I use the Microsoft antivirus in the enterprise version they provide at work, and in the background I run Spyware Blaster. If I wanted to kill Flash, block various ActiveX controls, or change settings in IE, it will do that. It restricts a lot of tracking stuff in IE, primarily, though it does have some features for FireFox. I suppose I should start using it more actively.

I scan periodically with Spybot Search&Destroy, but I stopped letting TeaTimer run in the background because it slowed things down. If there are sites that I know are really bad for popping up ads or sliding them in behind the browser, I use IE because it blocks them most efficiently.

I love Malwarebytes, and I scan with it every so often. That's the one I'll buy the full version of one of these days.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 09:06 PM

Oh! I also use ghostery to tell me what is tracking my use in IE. I can block those things (though it would probably mess up some of my favorite sites to do that).

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 10:32 AM

For both education & fun, take a look at several products from http://www.freshney.org/index.html

He has produced a couple of amazing programs to identify rock, minerals, gems...and to study the entire periodic table! Both of these can be entirely portable...take 'em on your flash drive.

Then Xinorbis adds one more way to be aware of what your hard drive contains.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 10:50 AM

One of the most interesting, useful...and safe/dependable collections of free software is at NirSoft
I was just remindedon the alt.comp.freeware newsgroup of updates of a couple, including USBDview:
   Do you have trouble keeping track of drive letters and identities of various USB devices?

"USBDeview is a small utility that lists all USB devices that currently connected to your computer, as well as all USB devices that you previously used.
For each USB device, exteneded information is displayed: Device name/description, device type, serial number (for mass storage devices), the date/time that device was added, VendorID, ProductID, and more... USBDeview also allows you to uninstall USB devices that you previously used, and disconnect USB devices that are currently connected to your computer. You can also use USBDeview on a remote computer, as long as you login to that computer with admin user."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 10:01 AM

I did some comparing last night after PCWorld sent an ad for a discounted version of software called "easyDuplicateFinder." Has anyone heard of or used any of the programs like this? I know I have duplicates of things - a consequence of the easy "drag and drop" ability of the computer. It often seems to make copies instead of move the files, and I would like to clear up some of that. I poked around TuCows for programs, but the ratings over there are ambiguous. Hard to tell how many users rated it, and it is so commingled with the sponsored answers that evaluation is not as easy as it used to be.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 10:44 AM

This program has a feature to find dupes, but it doesn't say it goes past Win XP
EasyCleaner

Getting dupes in drag 'n drop is 'usually' a matter of whether you hold down the 'shift' key or not. Sometime you want a 2nd copy in another folder. Since I forget, or miss the key, I usually use the above mentioned FreeCommander to do moving of files, although if I am in IrfanView image viewer, I will often use its very nice system ..(it will let you drag OR just designate a folder and click a 'move' button.)

I used to have on an old computer, a program for finding duplicate images by checking various stuff from size to color patterns, but I almost never used it as it was slow when asked to 'look hard', so I never added it to this PC.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 01:20 PM

Here is another dupe finder from Auslogics, a quite reputable company (They make a good defrag utility, also)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 10:59 PM

I saw that one (Auslogics) in the search results when I was looking for software. Thanks for the recommendation! You hit the nail on the head with the earlier remark - finding software that will work with Win7 is the challenge these days.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 12:05 AM

Here's a list from a business technology writer about the program he runs on his computer. Simply FYI.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Nick
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 06:37 AM

Another one I like - Autostitch to create panoramic images

As I'm sure you'll know, and depending on the flavour of Windows 7, you can run pretty much anything on it if you use XP Mode and Windows Virtual machine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 09:07 AM

I've heard that, but never actually tried it. Thanks for the reminder, Nick! There are some programs that Win7 simply refuses to install. Have you gotten past that by using the XP Mode?

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Good free download computer software
From: Nick
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 09:17 AM

One of the pieces of software we support at work is a still much used 16bit piece of software which will not run on a 64bit operating system (it's happy on a 32 bit O/S) so we have been doing some experimenting with running it on Windows Virtual Machine. The XP Mode part of it is great and makes the launching and running of the program via the VM very straightforward and, once set up, it runs alongside all the other progams and you are hard pressed to notice - apart from when it launches - thatn it is anything other than a program runing noormally on a machine.

Was really quite surprised to be honest as we have always assumed it would not be so simple to set up.

It's a free download too!

Needs at least 4gb of RAM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 September 1:47 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.