Weekend open forum: What are your software 'essentials' or the first things you install after a clean format?

By on September 26, 2008, 6:38 PM
The operating system debate is too big and heated to diminish its value, but then again, the OS is meant to sit there and serve as the platform where your work is actually done, not in the OS, but in the applications you use.

You may call them your software essentials because you rely on them on a daily basis for work or for pleasure. Another way of going about it is that after a clean format you simply cannot move forward without first installing those applications you use.

Tell us about those software gems you love, share them with the rest of the community, so we can all learn about new apps. As the discussion moves forward, me and other members of the staff will share our favorite applications as well.


User Comments: 44

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KingDingDong said:
AVG-soon to be EST or BitdefenderTrillian instant messengerDvd Decrypter to load dvdsOffice 03-and 07Wake on LAN programAmd Orb - to access anything I need at anytime, anywhere. (check it out its awsome-can stream live tv if you have a tuner, real time video if you have a camera,access files, etc....)To be honest thats about it right away, the rest do as i need.
glitch32 said:
All these programs I install whenever I re-image my system, they're all free and work really well with vista and xp. So, here's my list of programs I can't move forward without:Winpatrol, [url]http://www.winpatrol.com[/url]Keypass, [url]http://keepass.info/[/url]Revo Uninstaller, [url]http://www.revouninstaller.com/[/url]Cybershredder, [url]http://www.cylog.org/utils_9.asp[/url] Imgburn, [url]http://www.imgburn.com/[/url]CDburnerXP, [url]http://cdburnerxp.se/[/url]Comodo Firewall, [url]http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/[/url]Paint.net, [url]http://www.getpaint.net/[/url]McAfee site advisor, [url]http://www.siteadvisor.com/[/url]and the usual like Firefox, MS Office, a virus scanner etc...
fullmetalvegan said:
You install a lotta crap glitch. =P As in, a lotta stuff that could probably be handled by one program. i.e. BitDefender has a lot of tools.Firefox, Thunderbird, WLM, BitDefender, CCCP + VLC, WoW (=P) are my core programs.Secondary would be daemon tools, convertxtodvd, getright, office, etc.
Kastan said:
First all driversFirefox + useful pluginsEset Nod WinampWindows live messengerXfireBsplayer & (FFDshow codec)
Cueto_99 said:
After formatting and reinstalling an OS (usually XP) it's vital for me to install...AVG Free Antivirus: [url]http://free.avg.com/ww.download?prd=afe[/url]K-lite Codec Pack: [url]http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_lite_codec_pack.h
m[/url]DFX audio enhancer (not free, but I use the shareware limited version, it still rocks, literally)iTunes (Just to sincronize ipod music)Mozilla Firefox 3Office XPMcAfee site advisorPowerISOWinRarCPU-Z / GPU-Z / ATi Tray ToolsThat's basically it... maybe some games and Eclipse, but I can't live without the ones mentioned above.
Soul Harvester said:
Firefox 3 + pluginsThunderbirdK3B - an amazing burning/mastering suitetsclient - best remote desktop/vnc/all around terminal client aroundx11vnc - for remote controlPidgin - all messengers in oneAmsn - MSN messenger cloneGoogle Earth - so awesomeOpenOffice - of coursescreen - awesome app for remote management of consolesAudacious and Amarok - of courseWine - mostly for ancient windows games i can't get rid ofDosbox -dittoKtorrent - of courseVirtualBox xineEverything I need for a complete desktop !
jhill3d said:
MS Office 2007Norton 360Adobe CS3 Master Collection (everything)Autodesk 3DSMAX 2009Vray and Shader LibrariesFileZillaImgBurnRD Tabs (to control my render farm)Vegas ProMdm ZincSidebar Gadgets (Monitors, color selector, weather, etc..)Windows Media Encoder x64MyLib (DVD backup database) trying out Camel Disc nowWinRARDIVX SuiteMagic ISONotepad++TweakVIPerfect Disk 2008LogMeInApplian FLV player
GangGreen said:
1- Sygate Firewall2- WinPatrol3- Unlocker4- CCleaner5- RegScrub6- Hijack This7- WinToolsNetNow it's safe(r) to proceed.....
raul_bejarano said:
First all the drivers and available updates from Microsoft. Then:MS Office 2007Mozilla Firefox 3.0Malware BytesCCleanerSpybot Windows Live MessengerAvast! Antivirus
old101 said:
After MS updates:Eset Smart SecurityThreatfireFirefox 3 + addons + RoboForm ToolbarThunderbirdRevo UninstallerCCleanerOpen OfficeEverNoteIn about that order. My data files and backup password manager are not on drive C.
Julio said:
My work/personal essentials go like this:Roboform - Awesome password manager, I barely remember some of my passwords so this comes as a real essentialFirefox 3 - my preferred browser although work demands me to also install and test using all other browsers out thereMS Office Suite - Word and Excel are the basics but I also rely more heavily on Outlook and OneNotePopfile Bayes-based spam filteringTrillian 3.1 - Same IM client for the past 3+ years, not even the latest version can touch itAdobe Fireworks - Vector-based image editingWinSCP Better than vanilla FTP, more secureUltraEdit Notepad on steroidsSecureCRT Even more secure environment (ssh) for checking on the TS serverAlso Web-based: Gmail, Google Calendar.
captain828 said:
1. MS updates2. Display Driver (read: latest GeForce)3. Mouse Driver (read: latest Setpoint)4. NOD32 3.0 (currently still using 2.70)5. Latest WinRAR6. Latest DirectX re-dist7. Firefox 3.0 + FEBE so i can restore my previous backup8. Office 20079. Usual HD-ready codecs:Latest CCCP + FFDShow 1980 + various Core codecs (FLAC, Vorbis) + AC3 Filter + Matroska Splitter + QT Lite (used to be called QT Alternative)10. PowerDVD 8.011. Diskeeper 200812. Latest Rivatuner13. Latest Hamachi14. Latest Ventrilo + srv15. Latest FRAPS16. Encoding software:VirtualDub + DivX 6.6 Pro + AC3 ACM Codec + latest mkvMerge 17. Adope Premiere Pro CS3 + After Effects CS3 + Photoshop CS318. Yahoo! Messenger19. Picture Motion Browser...and I think that covers most of the stuff
ElShotte said:
After Format, Personal Workstation:All Newest DriversWindows UpdateLiveMessenger (Plus Addon)SkypeWinRARMaya 2008Photoshop CS2GoLive CS2FlashFXPTortoiseSVNNotepad++Daemon ToolsVLC PlayerGames......When reinstalling OS on someone's PC:Latest DriversWindows UpdateSpyBot S&DSymantec AVVLC Player(Other per-user apps)
JosVilches said:
My essentials list goes something like this:Firefox 3 + Plug-insRoboForm - Great password manager, works seamlessly with FirefoxLaunchy - I like to keep my desktop clean and this awesome tool lets me launch any application (or folder, document, and much more) with just a few keystrokes. Try it!MS Office - Basically Word, Excel and OutlookAdobe Fireworks - For some basic image editingPidgin - though sometimes go back to Windows Live Messenger or TrillianFilezilla - A free FTP client.Notepad++ - Basically notepad with a tabbed UI, code highlighting and a bunch of other features.FeedReader - A powerful yet simple RSS reader.Avira AntiVir Personal - relatively lightweight anti-virus protectionRainlendar - Works with Google Calendar (paid version)uTorrent - Hands down the best torrent client out thereVLC Media Player - Plays just about anything you throw at itAnd perhaps not 'essential' per se but still useful to have around:CCleanerAutoHotKeyProcess ExplorerMyUninstallerFastStone Capture
mGuy said:
drivers, Windows updateCA AntiVirus (free from RR) or AV dujourFirefox, 7zip, gVim, puttycpu-z and HWMonitor (CPUID)remove compress disk from disk cleanup and Windows XP Hacks #54 Speed up network browsingXP PowerToys: open command window here, Power calculator, Image resizerDiskPie2 (old PCmag utility)
Julio said:
Hmmm, forgot to mention VLC media player as one of my essentials. Highly recommended if you don't mind a super compatible, zero bloat media player.
deepmartin said:
Firefox 3 plus pluginsTrillianspybot with teatimerReg scrub XPUltimate defragand then i worry about ItunesVLC playercFosSpeed Traffic Shapingwinrar
The Muffin Man said:
[b]Originally posted by The Muffin Man:[/b][quote]-VirtualGirlHD[/quote]Last time I let my friends near my PC -Open with Notepad vista regedit -xfire -Windows Live messenger -CoD 4 -Kaspersky AVThe rest gets added when I need it
whiffen said:
Newest drivers then,Eset Smart SecurityDiskeeperCCleanerVLCiTunesFirefoxWindows live messengerSteamThen whatever games I want to play.
skitzo_zac said:
Drivers and updatesComodo FirewallAVG Anti VirusOperaK-lite codecsLive MessengerZune ThemeFolding@Home (for CPU & GPU)Last FMXfireThats pretty much it I think, apart from whatever game(s) I'm into at the time.
9Nails said:
1. Firefox (Essentials: AdBlock, Flash, FireGestures, Quicktime)2. UltraEdit3. MS Office 20034. Internet Explorer Pro5. WinAmp6. Foxit PDF Reader 7. Cyberlink Power DVD / HD Suite8. Avast Free9. Steam10. Nero
Poertner_1274 said:
In no particular order:AVGIrfanviewmIRCOperaVLCMS Office[Edited by Poertner_1274 on 2008-09-26 22:14:21]
redk said:
Wow, there's a lot.RegSupremeSybot S&DFirefox 3.0VSO ConvertXtoDVDMicrosoft Office 2007 Enterprise Blue EditionWindows Live (Wave 3 Beta)VLC PlayeriTunesQuicktimeLimewire ProuTorrentAudacityAdobe CS2Magic ISO
ElShotte said:
Ahh yeah, I forgot FireFox 3 in my comment, I have a question, why does everyone install password managers when FireFox remembers them for you...?
Julio said:
[b]Originally posted by ElShotte:[/b][quote]Ahh yeah, I forgot FireFox 3 in my comment, I have a question, why does everyone install password managers when FireFox remembers them for you...?[/quote]Portability, manageability, security... I have like seven different passwords for TechSpot alone. Then about two more dozen passwords for different services, partner sites, and other stuff I don't use too often.
tedster said:
1. Symantec Corporate (Free - US government)2. OpenOffice - open source3. Crap Cleaner - open source4. 7Z - open source5. Thunderbird - open source6. Firefox - open source7. Sunbird - open source8. Acrobat Professional (Also free US government License)9. TCP Optimizer (open source)10. Mile Lin's startup editor (open source)11. Spybot search and destroy (open source)
Rage_3k_Moiz said:
In the following order:NOD32Comodo Firewall ProOperaUpdated drivers for all my hardwareLatest Windows updates and service packsMicrosoft Office uTorrentAlcohol 120%Daemon ToolsK-Lite Mega Codec Pack7-ZipWindows DefenderSpyware DoctorNero 7 EssentialsOrCad PSPICEMATLABGarenaSteamAll my games and their patches
kimsland said:
In EXACT order1. All updated system drivers2. All MS updates3. Varied Custom MS updates (sometimes all) including WMP; Dx; Codecs etc4. Flash Player5. Adobe Reader6. Open Office (or if user has it MS Office)7. CCleaner8. Startup Control Panel9. Antivirus (always properly installed last)10. Optimizing tools (these are a bit general, but they are all uninstalled once complete11. Sometimes customized wallpaper and screen saverThen it's ready to go :)9.
captain828 said:
[b]Originally posted by ElShotte:[/b][quote]Ahh yeah, I forgot FireFox 3 in my comment, I have a question, why does everyone install password managers when FireFox remembers them for you...?[/quote]roboform, if that's what you're referring to, isn't just a password manager but also a "form" manager; it remembers how you entered a common form, for eg. a Billing form or a Registering formit's not what I'd call essential, but it's useful for us lazy power users ;) EDiT: didn't saw the second page of comments...
camuss15 said:
1. Nvidia drivers for 9600GT.2. Firefox 3 (addons:Adblock plus, better Gmail 2, Cooliris (piclens), DownloadHelper, etc)3. Avast antivirus4. Paint.net5. AIM6. Burning software (Power2Go or Nero)7. uTorrent8. Limewire Pro9. Daemon Tools10. ConvertXtoDVD11. Office Pro 200712. VLC media player13. Games (Crysis Warhead, COD 4, Sims 2, Mercs 2, etc)14. Any vista updates + Sp115. Audacity16. Foxit pdf ReaderThen I still have to go through and adjust all settings and stuff to my liking. I didn't realize how much stuff I use. There is too much to list here.
Amano said:
1. Drivers2. Windows updates3. ESET NOD32 antivirus4. the reset of software I use randomly (Firefox, WLM, Adobe CS3, DX, Office, uT, 7zip, etc...)
toerings said:
Acronis True Image because I don't want to do it all over again ever.Backups are on a second HD. Data (My Docs & Application Data) are in a separate partition from the OS and Programs, any data changes are instantly backed up w/ FieBackPC. Properly setup this is a Zero Touch backup system that functions for years w/o any manual chores.
tw0rld said:
AVGSpybot S&DAd-AwareCcleanerZoneAlarmNeroMS Office
midlorollin said:
Avast! Anti-virus ProCCleanerSpybot: S&DOffice 2003Firefox 3PidginFeedDemonVLC Media Player
red1776 said:
FireFoxOperacpu-zgpu-zHW MonitorAVGAd-AwareSandraspeedfanCcleanerATI ToolKM Playerriva tunerauslogics reg defragsysternals Process explorerWinDirStatgoogle earth3ds MaxAdobe PhotoShop
VBKing said:
Don't forget one of the best File Managers around - TOTAL COMMANDERIt's absolutely the very FIRST thing I install so I don't have to use the less robust "My Computer".Don't leave home without it! You'll learn to love it... Trust me.... I'm not a politician!www.wincmd.com or[url]http://www.ghisler.com/[/url]
mrtraver said:
1. All Windows updates2. AVG free3. Peerguardian4. latest Nvidia GPU and motherboard drivers5. whatever game i was focused on when i decided to reinstall the OS6. Spybot7. AdAware8. CCleaner9. whatever else as needed.
anguis said:
Drivers/updatesNOD32MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (free)ConvertXtoDVDMagicDVDCopierFirefox (free)VLC Player (free)Zone Alarm Firewall (free)mIRC/chat programs (free)OpenOffice (free)ATF Cleaner (free)UltimateDefragVisual StudioPhotoshop
Auldian said:
OperaWinRARDriversNorton Internet SecurityDiskeeperOffice 2007iTunesa few games
heythere! said:
Nothing. Everything installs along with Vista (I have modded the x64 install disc) and I have a separate Programs partition for the other programs that aren't OS dependent (or Registry settings, etc). Mozilla FirefoxPaint.NETK-lite CodecsVisual Studio ProNeroAdobe CS3 Master Collection (& Reader/Writer!)LimeWire ProFileZillaMicrosoft Office 2007 Enterprise Blue Edition 7-ZipUltraISOAvast! ProDaemon Tools
outlando said:
FirefoxZoneAlarm (free)AVG (free)Notepad++PhotoshopCCleanerSpybot S&DNormally a few others depending what I'm working on/with at the time
Burned said:
Because I use Raid 0, I create a custom Install XP CD every couple of months that has my programs and updates integrated.Ryan Post SP3 updates.AntiVirCCleaner7ZipUltra ISOCabPackJkDefragFireFoxNero LiteWLM LiteConvertEruntFoxit PDF readerRevo UninstallerVirtual BoxSysinternals ToolsVLC
TorturedChaos said:
Something along these lines,Winrar -unzip driversDrivers - Ethernet FirstFirefoxAvast!Zone Alarm FirewallSpybotRest of my driversFrom there it depends on my system. On my laptop I installed WoW and haven't put anything else on there. My pc I would put things likeWowCS 2 Power IsoMS office 2003VLCuTorrentNeroiTunesthen whatever games and as I go along I remember other programs I want. Usually takes me about 2 weeks to get everything back on my computer. Always forgetting a program until I want to use it :P
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