Interesting Windows programs

Here are several links to various software and other related websites for Microsoft Windows 10/8/7/Vista (and maybe XP).

With many great Free and Open Source Software for Windows listed and included in our TTCS OSSWIN DVD collection, this article will focus on useful freeware programs.

This article was last updated on September 16 2016.

AntiVirus

For Windows 8 and 10, Windows Defender is preinstalled.

For Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials – free anti-virus software from Microsoft for Vista and Windows 7.

For Windows XP, BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition – lightweight, free anti-virus software.

Windows Utilities

  • CCleaner –  quick and easy way to remove temporary files generated by Windows and 3rd party applications, freeing up hard drive space
  • Defraggler– hard disk defragmentation utility to re-arrange files on your hard drive to speed up access.
  • Speccy – system information tool for your PC
  • John’s Background Switcher – periodically changes the wallpaper on your Windows desktop – you can specify to update your wallpaper from a variety of online sources (Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, etc) as well as images from your computer or network share
  • ProduKey – displays the product keys of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows – useful when you want to re-install the software and you don’t have it available.
  • CutePDF Writer – Create PDF documents from any Windows application that can print
  • Neutron – small and simple time synchronizing program that retrieves the accurate time from one of several time servers on the Internet and updates the Windows’ clock.
  • Attribute Changer – Windows Explorer addon to easily change file and folder attributes and date/time stamps, including photo (EXIF) information.
  • CDBurnerXP – burn CD and DVDs including Blu-rays
  • Classic Shell – brings back the Classic Start Menu for Windows 8

Windows Internet Applications

  • Google Chrome – web browser by Google noted for its speed and minimalist interface.
  • MailStore Home – archive and backup/restore email from a variety of email clients and Internet mail (POP3 / IMAP / Gmail / Yahoo!)

Windows Applications

  • LibreOffice free office productivity suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations) compatible with all major office suites
  • 7-Zip file archiver with high compression ratio. Supports ZIP files
  • Stickies – place sticky notes on your desktop and/or send to other users’ desktops over a LAN ; can be set to disappear and reappear on your screen to acts as reminders
  • Convert – easy to use unit conversion program that will convert units such as distance, mass and MANY others
  • VideoLAN – multimedia player for various audio and video formats
  • IrfanView – excellent image viewer / converter / manipulator
  • FastStone Image Viewer – image browser, converter and editor. Free for home use.
  • XMPlay – minimal, yet powerful audio player. Support skins to change its appearance
  • Paint.NET – image and photo editing software with features such as layers, unlimited undo and special effects.

Other Useful Windows Sites

  • Black Viper’s website – lists each possible service in Windows and offers advice on which services you can safely disable.
  • MDGx MAX Speed WinDOwS Tricks and Secrets – site with detailed tips, tricks and useful information on optimizing and updating Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and even Windows 9x and DOS
  • FileHippo.com – well organised collection of Windows software organised by categories to download
  • TinyApps.Org – a catalog on tiny (< 1.44MB) programs for Windows

Interesting Mac OS X Programs

This is a list of Macintosh-based software that we’ve found interesting over the years. Not all the software listed is free, and this is not an exhaustive list. If you don’t see your favourite program here, email us, and let us know!

Note: All links listed here are for Intel-based Macs.

Office Productivity

  • LibreOffice for MacOS X fork of OpenOffice.org using Java and Carbon instead of X11 for better integration with the Mac OS X environment.
  • Abiword simple to use cross-platform word processor.
  • Smultron open-source text editor has features such as syntax highlighting.

Web Browsers (other than Safari)

  • Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.
  • Mozilla Firefox free web browser with features such as including tabbed browsing, pop-up blocker, privacy/security controls, integrated search, and more.
  • Opera Browser free alternative web browser

Email client software

  • Thunderbird free email client with features such as POP3/IMAP support, intelligent spam filters, a built-in spell checker, RSS feeds, saved search folders and more.

Utilities and functionality extenders

  • Main Menu Pro gives access to hidden Mac OS X settings and let you easily optimize your system. (US$19.99)
  • Perian extends QuickTime support for many popular types of media
  • Flip4Mac allows you to view/listen to Windows Media files on OS X
  • Carbon Copy Cloner creates bootable clones of your current OS drive, making for quick recovery in times of disaster (Donate-ware).
  • SheepShaver probably the only way we know of to run the OS 8/9 environment on an Intel Mac for those with software that just hasn’t been ported to OS X yet. Takes a bit of fiddling (not a simple setup), but actually works.

Multimedia

  • Roxio Toast one of the best ways to create your own audio CDs (allows cross fading between tracks), crunching your (personal video content) 8GB DVDs to fit the 4GB DVD spec. (US$80)

Educational / Lifestyle

  • Kindle App allows you to read your Kindle purchases on your Mac
  • Comic Life engage your children’s (or your) storytelling skills, with this app that helps you create your own comic book from your own images. Quite addictive.

Image Editing

  • Pixelmator is an image editor which is not quite a Photoshop killer, but is more cost effective, and also allows you a 30 day free trial. (US$14.95, via AppStore application).