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Old 25 Jul 2002, 03:22 PM   #1
joelpt
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Question OT: What freeware do you use?

This is offtopic! Just a warning for those who may care.

I'm interested to know what people are using for freeware on their Windows boxes. I've found quite a few real gems in the past few months and am looking for more yet. I'd also like to share my list of items I've found, in case one of them may be something you could use too.

Here is my list. It's rather long


Browser: Mozilla. I won't go into why I like Mozilla just now, suffice to say IE may have some catching-up to do for a change This is also my mailreader. http://www.mozilla.org

FTP client: LeechFTP. Nice GUI ftp client which lets you browse ftp sites while simultaneously downloading/uploading selected files to any number of sites (multi-threaded). Older but still rocks. http://stud.fh-heilbronn.de/~jdebis/...downloads.html

IRC client: XChat. Designed for Unix, runs on Windows. My favorite feature compared to MIRC, etc. is that usernames are right-aligned in a separate column from channel conversation, making it easier to see what's been said lately. http://www.xchat.org



Ad/popup blocker: Proxomitron. Not only does it block ads and popups, but can be configured to modify any given webpage as it comes across the pipe using a regular-expression like text matching language; lots of filters available at the prox-list yahoo group. (Note v4.3 + a firewall + WinXP induces bluescreens on some machines, use v4.2 if this is you) http://proxomitron.cjb.net

Firewall: Agnitum Outpost. Best freeeware firewall currently available, little doubt about it. Does everything the others do and more (ad blocker, intrustion detection, etc. etc.) http://www.agnitum.com



Notepad replacement: EditPad Lite. Beats the pants off of Notepad while avoiding being too feature-laden for a general text editor. Has tabbed windows for multiple files. http://www.editpadpro.com/editpadlite.html

Calculator: PowerCalc, part of the PowerToys package for Windows XP by Microsoft. Does almost everything my old TI-82 did. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/p.../powertoys.asp

Zip (un)archiver: UltimateZip. Looks like Winzip, feels like Winzip, handles more archive types than winzip, and it's free. http://www.ultimatezip.com/

CSS stylesheet editor: TopStyle Pro. This is the CSS editor for Windows. TopStyle Lite is also available (true freeware), but many of the best features are taken out of it. Using the Pro version works great if you don't mind a nag box popping up every 20 or so commands executed. New version 3.0 just came out, but only 2.5 is available as a trial version for now. http://www.bradsoft.com/topstyle/index.asp



Hotkeys/Bars: PowerPro. I found this truly amazing utility just a few weeks ago. Warning, it's pretty tricky to configure, but then it does just about anything you could want it to. Place custom bars or menus anywhere on your desktop, assign almost any hotkey or mouse button/gesture combination to almost anything you can imagine, sticky notes, clip manager, wallpaper/saver manager, etc. etc. Must be tried to be believed. It now serves as my Start Menu and taskbar. Suitable for hardcore geeks who want to control everything in their Win environment. http://www.windowspowerpro.com -- for a simpler yet great hotkey tool try Winkey, http://www.copernic.com/winkey/

Clipboard manager: ArsClip. Assign a hotkey to pull up a menu of recently copied clipboard contents, select one and hit enter to paste. PowerPro also does this but I'm still using this great tool. http://jackass.arsware.org/ac.shtml

Mouse gestures: Pointix Scroll++. This awesome utility lets you makes small clockwise and counterclockwise circles with the mouse to do back/forward in your browser, or other functions. It also works as an auto-scroller for those who don't have mousewheels (but you can more or less disable this if desired). I like this more than other mouse gesture software because you don't have to hold a mouse button while gesturing. This product is no longer available -- Pointix died -- but you can get the installer here. http://misrule.org/~mm/Scroll.exe



Spyware destroyer: Ad-aware. I recommend anyone to use this. Removes spyware covertly installed by other programs, especially filesharing utilities. Get the RefUpdate utility too to monitor for the latest spyware as it comes about. http://lavasoft.de

Antivirus: AVG. Totally free and constantly updated virus cleaner. Also monitors for new viruses as your box runs, and can monitor Outlook attachments too. http://www.grisoft.com/html/us_index.htm



Memory manager: RAMpage. Cleans unwanted stuff out of memory by doubleclicking the tray icon, which also shows your current memory usage. http://www.jfitz.com/RAMpage/

Motherboard monitor: MBM5. Show cpu temperature, fan speed, cpu activity, and some other things as tray icons or in a desktop window; very configurable. http://mbm.livewiredev.com/

Email monitor: Why Fastcheck, of course! http://www.fastcheck.org



Startup monitor: StartupMonitor. Watches for programs to install new items into your Startup group and associated registry keys, and asks you each time if you want it to happen. Very nice. http://www.mlin.net/StartupMonitor.shtml

Startup manager: StartRight. This handy utility puts everything in your startup groups into a special folder, and then on login it loads each, one at a time. This results in the computer booting faster because not all startup programs are trying to do their thing simultaneously. Also serves as an easy way to manage what's in your startup groups. http://jackass.arsware.org/sr.shtml



Gaming server tool: The All Seeing Eye. Like Gamespy3d or Gamespy Arcade, but free, and much more flexible and speedy. Only fetches what it actually needs (based on filters) from server lists, gobs of filtering features, autoupdating. http://www.udpsoft.com/eye/

File sharing/P2P: I use two programs for the task. KazaaLite (http://www.kazaalite.com) is Kazaa with all the spyware ripped out. I use this to find most audio/video/software which I'm interested in, and I usually succeed. I also use SoulSeek (http://www.soulseek.org/), which is superior to Kazaa, but is focused primarily on electronic music. They have chat rooms, a wishlist feature (notifies you when a hard-to-find item becomes available), and a real community.

Audio companion: Moodlogic. Note that I use Winamp for playing audio. Moodlogic is a standalone or Winamp-plugin program which gets 'thumbprints' of your MP3s, then looks them up on Moodlogic's master server to get info about them. You can then generate playlists based on mood -- aggressive, happy, etc. -- and other attributes. It also can fix your MP3 filenames/ID3 tags and organize them into directories for you based on the database information. You get some # of 'credits' when you sign up, and use them up as your songs are automatically identified; to get more credits you must manually profile some of your tracks (and this is how the Moodlogic database gets built). http://www.moodlogic.net

ISO reader: IsoBuster. If you don't want to burn .ISO files to a cdrom (or haven't got a burner) you want this tool. Lets you look in .ISO files basically like Windows Explorer. http://www.isobuster.com/



Boot optimizer: Bootvis. For WinXP ONLY. A handy utility from Microsoft that rearranges files and adjusts registry settings to speed up your boot process. Mine got about twice as fast after running this. http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/platf...ot/BootVis.asp



There's more but these are the main ones I use. Freeware rocks.

If you know of any other freeware gems please post. I like loading up my Windows with nifty features, and not having to pay for it.

joel
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Old 25 Jul 2002, 03:45 PM   #2
Jeremy Howard
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Can I ask a friendly moderator to move this to the Off-topic lounge please?...
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Old 25 Jul 2002, 03:55 PM   #3
joelpt
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Oops - didn't realize there was such a forum! *grin*
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Old 25 Jul 2002, 09:47 PM   #4
spiderman
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Representative of:
Fastcheck.org
Thanks for listing FastCheck as your favorite Email monitor!


SM
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Old 25 Jul 2002, 10:33 PM   #5
chrisdamato
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Wow cool I just blew 45 minutes fussing with Bootvis and trimming down my startup time significantly!

Did your 50% boot-time savings come from using the Optimize command, or from deleting unnecessary startup processes that were slowing things down, or both?
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Old 25 Jul 2002, 10:41 PM   #6
psalzer
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That's a nice list. I use several of those and learned about the free virus protection right here on this forum.

A couple more that I use are:

Irfanview

A really handy image viewer/converter.

For FTP I've gotten to like Filezilla

Looks and acts a lot like CuteFTP, but for some reason I like it better and it's free which is nice.

I use Mozilla and MyIE for browsing. MyIE is another thing I learned about here. It's a tabbed interface for IE, which also gives you lots of options that you don't get with IE. There are quite a few of those but I like MyIE best of the ones I've tried. One of my favorite features that it has is the text collector. That's come in handy for me quite a few times.
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Old 25 Jul 2002, 11:38 PM   #7
mklose
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Thanks for the tip psalzer!

That program is damn cool! :-)

I was looking for something like this for a friend that has now got a website where you have to upload stuff per ftp.

I use ncftp usually (command line, pretty powerfil stuff), but this is the best gui ftp client I have ever seen.

It is way better than WS_FTP32 (or do they call it ftp explorer nowerdays?)
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 12:14 AM   #8
psalzer
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I don't know. I never did get comfortable with WSFTP in the newer versions. I was still using the old text version until Filezilla.
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 01:30 AM   #9
chrisdamato
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I will have to check out filezilla but I am very happy with a recent free ftp client I found called SmartFtp:

http://www.smartftp.com/download/

Very smooth. I like it way better than CuteFTP but I admit I never used most of the very advanced features of CuteFTP.
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 06:16 AM   #10
polo
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Browser: K-Meleon

http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/

Joel, please test it for me and tell me what you think.

K-Meleon is a lite Web browser based on gecko (the mozilla rendering engine). It's fast, has a minimal interface, and it is fully standards-compliant. To make it simple, K-Meleon may be considered the unbloated Mozilla for Windows.

Complementary to Ad-Aware is SpyBot Search & Destroy:
http://patrick.kolla.de/spybotsd.html

psalzer, what exactly is MyIE and what do you mean by 'the text collector'?

Last edited by polo : 26 Jul 2002 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 06:46 AM   #11
psalzer
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MyIE is just an interface for IE. It has tabs, pop-up filters,
a nice option for saving passwords with a keyboard shortcut. I like that because you have to know about it to find the password. Someone who's just casually using your computer isn't going to end up in one of your accounts by mistake. The text collector is just a little window that you can pop-up from it and use as a scratchpad. You can type something into it or copy and paste text and it'll stay there until you remove it. Another nice feature is that you can place programs on the toolbar and open them from the browser. I have Fastcheck and AIM on mine at the moment, but it could really be anything. MyIE is a very small file, and IIRC doesn't even require installation. I think you can just save it to the directory where you want it. I could be remembering that wrong, though.

The only problem with K-Meleon is that it's based on Mozilla .9.4, unless they've upgraded since I last tried it. Mozilla has come a long, long way since then.
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 07:04 AM   #12
ReuvenNY
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Another great email checker is ePrompter - http://www.ePrompter.com
It checks many types of accounts: POP, AOL, Yahoo - works like a charm and is well supported.
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 07:07 AM   #13
Adrian Bell
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I used to use FTP Explorer, which I found to be excellent and very intuitive to use, if not very advanced. However since upgrading to Windows XP I have found that it does not work properly (the upload feature refuses to work sometimes for no apparent reason). I have just downloaded Smart FTP which at first sight appears to be just what I need.

I have also used Arachnophilia 4 for text based HTML authoring, which I liked, and I am now trying version 5 which is now a java program and is a lot different, I am not sure which version to keep yet.

A small simple mail program which I like is i.Scribe, it supports POP3/basic IMAP/SMTP and is only 550Kb. It is constantly under development.
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 09:16 AM   #14
psalzer
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iScribe

<dumb question> I downloaded iScribe but haven't really used it yet. I know it doesn't have synchronization as yet, so when it downloads your messages in IMAP mode, what happens with that? Are they available offline? Does it delete them from the server? I didn't want to set it up to run without really understanding what it'll do on the server side.</dumb question>
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Old 26 Jul 2002, 12:04 PM   #15
mail2me
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Quote:
Originally posted by ReuvenNY
Another great email checker is ePrompter - http://www.ePrompter.com
It checks many types of accounts: POP, AOL, Yahoo - works like a charm and is well supported.
I like ePrompter too. Works like a charm, just one mail checker for all accounts (Runbox, FastMail, ISP POP and works with hotmail too).
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