Weekend Open Forum: What are your software essentials?

By on October 17, 2011, 12:10 AM

Let's revisit an old topic for this installment of the Weekend Open Forum. Three years ago we asked about your software 'essentials', those that you rely on everyday and usually install on your machine first thing after a clean install.

For me things have changed quite drastically since then. For the last year or so I've been using Mac OS X as my primary operating system so I was forced to research and, for the most part, become accustomed to a new assortment of apps to get stuff done. I still rely on Microsoft Office for word processing and firing up a spreadsheet once in a while, but I've switched browsers from Firefox to Chrome, my password manager from RoboForm to LastPass, and I don't run an anti-virus 24/7 anymore.

Other essentials: Mail.app, Adium for instant messaging, Dropbox for cloud storage and synchronization, Reeder for RSS feeds, Pixelmator for image editing, MPlayer OSX for video playback, Droplr for quick image sharing, Evernote for notetaking and archiving, Air Video to stream videos from my computer, among others.

What about you: what are your software essentials and how have they changed over the past few years?




User Comments: 77

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SammyJames said:

Cubase, Kontakt, FM8, Korg ALC, and ASIO4ALL.

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

After a clean install of windows the first things i install are Avast, FireFox, Steam.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Nice one, Jose.

Today vs. three years ago (in parenthesis): Lastpass (Roboform), Firefox/Chrome (Firefox).

Same as before but newer versions: Office, Trillian, Fireworks, WinSCP, Ultraedit, VLC.

New: Droplr, Filezilla (mac), Textwrangler (mac)

Don't use anymore: SecureCRT, Popfile

Web-based: Gmail, Google Calendar + Chartbeat, Backpack

Other apps for specific uses: uTorrent/Transmission, Notepad, Frontpage, IE, OpenVPN, WinMerge.

All in all, the apps I use daily have changed very little.

Guest said:

Free Download manager, uTorrent, Ccleaner, Defraggler, VLC media player, Shark007 codecs, Firefox, Chrome, Google talk, MS office, Openoffice, Avast, Teamviewer, Teracopy, 7-zip, Adobe reader, Audacity, X-lite, LastPass.

Yes, I have a long list.

psp100travis psp100travis said:

After I install windows 7 or XP I usually download and install avast, firefox, ccleaner, itunes, and flash player. All my computers have to have these. Plus a few addons for firefox.

psp100travis psp100travis said:

Thats just the main ones i download first but i get alot more! Including photoshop and filezilla.

Clrabbit said:

Basic essentials:

Art: Illuststudio + Faststone Maxview

Media: Foobar 2000 + Audacity + Media player classic HC + AviSynth

Internet: Opera + Palmoon + Aurora + Iron + Privoxy + Windows firewall control + Miranda + PuTTY + FileZilla

Office: Libra office + *Palmoon (Custom portable CMS) + Evince + WordWeb

Tools: X-Mouse + Auto Hot Key + Unlocker + Hash Tabs + 7-zip + CDisplayEx + virtual Box

Games: Dolphin + PCSX2 + Minesweeper Pro

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

All OS X:

Sparrow, Quicksilver, Coda, Textmate, Transmission, TV Shows.

Guest said:

Opera

Firefox

Comodo AV

Sandboxie

Virtualbox

Copernic Dektop Search

Picasa

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack with Media Player Classic

Daemon tools

Utorrent

Shareaza

notepad++

audacity

avidemux

C(rap)Cleaner

PDFCreator

Foxit reader

7zip

Unlocker

... and that's all

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Firefox

VMware Workstation

iTunes

Spotify

The entire MS Office 2010 suite

Utorrent

VLC Media Player

Photoshop CS5

Avast Internet Security

TeamworkGuy2 said:

I like to keep my programs to a minimum, although I am not sure if this benefits or hiders me more.

*Firefox Beta

*Java (32 and 64 bit and 64 bit JDK)

*eclipse (for Java programming)

*PDF X-Change (fast, has a firefox plugin)

*open office (saved me 100 bucks)

*PSPad Editor (got it a while ago for hexadecimal editing and have never switched over to something more feature rich like notepad++)

*gimp (so many features once you figure out how to use them)

*VLC media player (when windows media player can't open a file, I like how it does not have to install, you just unzip the download folder and place it where ever you want)

rvnwlfdroid said:

After a clean install of windows.

Office Suite

Daemon Tools

winrar

XBMC

Adobe X Suite

DVDFab

Misc DVD/Bluray Software (BDInfo,eac3to,EAC3toGUI,Ripbot,tsMuxer,VDubMod)

Nero

Android SDK Tools

WBFS Manager

Calibre

That covers just about everything that I would use on a semi regular basis. Although I should add Ghost to that as well since I use that to create/restore an image with the (core) software.

rvnwlfdroid said:

opps, forgot vlc player on that list.

Guest said:

Ccleaner, Perfect Disk 12, Avast! 6.0, Catalyst,

ramonsterns said:

uTorrent, CCleaner, Chrome, Media Player Classic, Skype, Steam, and Photoshop.

Guest said:

Media:

VLC

DivX

PowerDVD9 (for Blu-Ray playback)

Social:

Windows Live Messenger

Skype

Other stuff:

Ccleaner

WinRAR

CPUID's CPU-Z

CPUID's HWMonitor

Adobe Flash

Adobe Acrobat Reader

I like to keep it light.

Guest said:

firefox & lots of addons

utorrent

kaspersky anti-virus

comodo firewall

malware bytes

ccleaner

rainmeter

codex pack for windows media player

deamon tools

word / excel / pp

paint.net

autocad

sketchup

darkzelda said:

Opera of course

Ccleaner

Steam

AIMP Player

K-Lite Codec Pack

MatLab

Microsoft Office

Rdesc

Trillian

Avira

CD Burner XP

Fraps

Core Temp

PDF-Viewer

7-Zip

MP3 Tag

Catalyst

And many more actually

Jibberish18 said:

Windows:

Auslogics Disk Defrag

CC Cleaner

Flash

Browsers (Depends on type of computer and user but Firefox for me)

If XP then Taskbar Shuffle is a must

Microsoft Security Essentials

VLC Player or K-Lite Codecs For WinMPlayer

Paint.net

Java

Foxit or Sumatra PDF Reader

OSX:

Transmission

Handbrake

Just Looking

Sophos Anti Virus

The UnArchiver

Flip4Mac

Perian

iZip or Keka

Burn Or SimplyBurns

Guest said:

windows 7 home premium x64:

vlc mediaplayer

k-lite megacodec pack

paint.net

microsoft security essentials

libreoffice

mozilla firefox 7.0.1

ie9

ccleaner

7zip

cyberlink photodirector 2011 (beta tester, given with retail key by cyberlink :))

dap free

orbit (secondary download manager)

imageburn

Guest said:

-chrome

-ccleaner

-malwarebytes antimalware

-comodo (firewall only)

-cdburnerxp

-daemon tools lite

-imgburn

-notepad++

-utorrent

-sabnzbd

-nitro pdf reader (or foxit)

-7zip

-everything

-cccp

-sharepod

-winamp

-checksums

macazart said:

-Firefox

-CCleaner

-AutoRuns

-Process Explorer

-Notepad++

-7zip

-foobar2000

-CPUID Hardware Monitor

-Internet Download Manager

-Paint.NET

-uTorrent

-K-Lite Mega Codec Pack

-Dataram RAMDisk

-Daemon Tools Lite

-Yahoo! Messenger

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Alcohol 120, AnyDVDHD, Bullzip, CCleaner, ClownBD, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Handbrake, Karen's Directory Printer, Media Player Classic, Nero suite, Notepad ++, RAMDisk, Skype, Steam, TeamViewer, WinRAR

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Windows Update for 1 hour =P

First security: MSE, Spybot S&D, Adaware

Internet: Chrome and Firefox

Then stuff to install other stuff: 7-zip, Quickpar, Daemon Tools

Media: VLC, Media Player Classic

The rest: Newsbin Pro, Skype, Adobe Reader, CC Cleaner, CPUID, CoreTemp, LibreOffice, MixMeister, Steam, CD Burner XP

M1r said:

Chrome

AVG

Flash Player

Porn

Guest said:

Seems a lot of us use Ccleaner. :)

Leeky Leeky said:

First things for me on a fresh install are: Google Chrome, LastPass, and Xmarks and MSE. Not including the obvious like Flash, Air, Java and GPU drivers.

Everyday essentials include the above, plus, Gimp, Filezilla FTP, Skype, aMSN, Virtualbox, Office 2007, Steam, VLC, and Xchat. That's whether I'm in Windows or Linux.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

The Leek's first install.

[link]

...thank you!..try the veal and so forth..

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have been using the same set of tools / software (but newer versions off course ) for last many years, which are:

1. Productivity: MS Office (well the freebies are okay for a normal user, but are rather rubbish for an advance user when one compares them with it)

2. Browsers: FireFox + IE

3. Email: MS Outlook + Mozilla Thunderbird

4. Media: Media Player Classic Home Cinema x64, WMP

5. Security: MSE / Commodo x64 / MWB

6. Utils: Foxit Reader, Image Burn, 7zip, CPUID, Fraps, GPUZ

7. Entertainment: Steam

t3chn0vamp said:

I have been using Ubuntu along with Windows for a long, but now I am completely moved on to Win 7 Ultimate x64.After Installing windows, I go for these:

Firefox

Chrome

Safari

Among these I use chrome most.Mozilla less often due to high memory uses.Other essentials are:

Skype

ESET Smart Security 5

GTalk

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Dreamweaver

Maya

TeamViewer

Steam

Diskeeper

Winrar

VLC

Splash PRO

CCleaner

WAMP Server

µTorrent

Media Player Classic

Adobe Reader

blah blah blah....lolz xD

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

so users won't fallback to the old Gnome interface

I hate when that happens.

Nima304 said:

Chrome or Firefox, MS Office 2010, uTorrent, Skype, TeamViewer, VLC Media Player, InfraRecorder, Flash Player, Java, etc.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting topic.

Let's see....Malwarebytes, Encrypt on click, unlocker, Ccleaner, Media player classic, VirtualBox, Video inspector, VirtualDub, Open Office...and Flash player, Java.

Leeky Leeky said:

The Leek's first install.

[link]

I actually have multiple mains powered smoke detectors, all complete with continually recharged battery back-ups, and a carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen wired the same way.

So when one goes off, they all do... Splendid, until they become faulty and scare the living jesus out of you overnight when they go off!!!

Guest said:

Avast

Total Commander

Firefox

Thunderbird

LibreOffice

EasyCDDA

TagScanner

ImgBurn

Picasa3

VLC

RadioSure+Screamer Radio

MusicBee

RevoUninstaller

CCleaner

Macrium Reflect

Easeus Partition Manager

FastCopy

FoxitReader

Guest said:

Installing order in ALL the machines I have, sell, or do up for friends or family:

1. Windows + Drivers

2. Updates

3. Malwarebytes Pro

4. CCleaner

5. Defraggler

6. Chrome

7. Flash

8. Java

Then after this, depending on person, other things may get installed like Skype, Jdownloader, Partpoker, etc. etc.

Guest said:

Chrome is usually the first thing that gets on there. Also

Ubuntu

Malwarebytes

AVG

Teracopy

Infrarecorder

Office

Adobe Reader x

Fresh Diagnose

Google Earth

Mozilla Firefox

I'll probably think of more later.

Ithryl said:

This thread I like. What I consider essential for my computer use right now:

Opera,

Miranda IM,

TweetDeck

Winamp (used to use aimp)

VLC Media Player

Adobe Suites (CS5.5 Design Premium atm) + Adobe Acrobat X

Microsoft Office

Total Commander

uTorrent

LogMeIn

Wireshark

Process Explorer

Eclipse

Python Shell

SICStus, SPIDER

Not many changes throughout the years, except for TweetDeck and new versions of the same programs.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Chrome

CCleaner

Auslogics Disk Defrag

SpyBot

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Ventrilo

Spotify

VLC Player

CDBurnerXP

Driver Sweeper

WinRAR

MS Office 2010

dBPowerAmp Music Converter

Guest said:

In no particular order:

* TeamViewer

* Q-Dir

* Firefox/Chromium

* DC++

* TeraCopy

* iTunes

* Windows Theme Installer

* Freemake Audio Converter

* WinSCP

* Everything

* CopyTransManager

* 7-Zip

* Everest Ultimate

* Avast

* Outpost Firewall

* VLC Player

* CCleaner

* PDF-Xchange Viewer

* PicPick

* Unlocker

* Revo Uninstaller

* MyDefrag

* MS Office

blackcat77 said:

General:Firefox, Avast Pro, Office 2010, Tune Up Utilities, CCleaner, Karen's Replicator, 7-Zip

Graphics: Paint Shop Pro, Picasa

Gaming: rFactor, Logitech Gaming Software, VNC Viewer, Team Speak

I used to use a lot more software - Diskeeper, Spybot, etc. - but I've found that they are redundant and just waste processor cycles so the goal now is to keep things simple.

nismo91 said:

Avast 6 + MalwareBytes

Firefox + Chrome + IE9

foobar2000 + K-Lite Full incl. Media Player Classic

Skype + Windows Live Messenger

7zip

Flashget 1.96

3RVX (volume OSD)

DaemonTools Lite

EASEUS Partition Master

Fraps

MSI Afterburner

CCleaner

Revo Uninstaller

Faststone

Freemake Video Converter

Audacity

MiniLyrics

Guest said:

No particular order

(1) Zone alarm

(2) Chrome

(3) AVG

(4) Adobe Suite

(5) Office Suite

Guest said:

Free:

7Zip

CamStudio

DeFraggler

DosBox & D-Fend Reloaded

FFDShow

FileZilla

Firefox

Foobar2000

ImgBurn

ManyCam

Notepad++

Renamer by Den4b

Sharky007 Windows 7 Codecs and X64 Components

Skype

Steam

STDU Viewer

VLC

Virtual CloneDrive

VirtualDub

Windows Live Essentials & Messenger Plus & A-Patch

Windows Security Essentials

Yahoo Messenger

uTorrent

Colors by Den4b

Paid:

AnyDVD

DVD Rebuilder

Arrr:

Adobe CS

Microsoft Office

Avid Media Composer

Avid Pro Tools

dedparrot said:

Media Player Classic, JDownloader, CCleaner, Steam

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

LightWave

AdobePhotoshop

3DMax

CCleaner, Defragger

Mostly 3D Animation, Modeling Software...etc etc..

No Internet Browsers, have other machine to do that...

Then Strip Windows 64 bit down to Bare Bones OS, Remove all the OS Bloat....that takes the

longest...

Remove all internet Browser Programs, Like Internet Explorer, First Thing Removed...

Then go to work...on Modeling and Animations

Guest said:

web browser:

Internet explorer 9 (tracking protection- Abine, Easylist, Fanboy)

Multimedia:

Windows Media Player, ALPayer, Flash Player/Reader, Divx Web Player, Freemake Video Converter, Steam.

Security:

Microsoft Security Essentials, PCtools Firewall Plus, Returnil (with secure external hd).

Tools:

nCleaner, Winrar, LibreOffice.

Guest said:

Firefox, Thunderbird, Zonealarm, Avast, Malwarebytes, Ccleaner.

Guest said:

Use alot of the same ones.One I have not seen listed that is a must for me is startup monitor by mike lin one the best software you can install,be sure to install it early on before you add a bunch of other software.

Qrypt0 said:

-Avira antvir

-Ms office

-Vlc media player

-Mozilla

-uTorrent

-32bit ftp

-Devv Cpp

-Daemon tools

-Xdesk

-Adobe reader

-Photoshop

-Pspad editor

-Winamp

-UltraIso

-Pcsx2

-unlocker

-Tuneup utilities

-apache

-Fl studio

-IDM

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