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Here is a list of assorted programs which I find quite useful, and would recommend to others.


7-Zip

http://7-zip.org/

This is a great file archiver, with great compression, and the ability to open almost any type of compressed archive, it really is very good.


AC3Filter

http://ac3filter.sourceforge.net/

This is a great decoder, useful for anyone who works with DVD's or digital video containing AC3 tracks. Will allow you to work with the tracks and play them in any media player of your choice.


Aston 1.9.2

http://hazexp.googlepages.com/aston192-epirate.rar

RAR pass = epirate.net

This is what I use for my desktop, it's very lite, very customisable, and best of all, it looks great. Use the key.txt for the serial to register it. For a screenshot, have a look at THIS 


Audacity

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

A great free and open source alternative to other digital audio editing applications, like CoolEdit and Goldwave. This is great for anyone who needs to edit any form of digital audio.


Autopatcher

http://www.autopatcher.com/ 

For people who install windows often, this software is made for you, it'll install pretty much everything you need on a new desktop like, all Windows Updates/Hotfixes, DirectX, VB Runtime files, .NET Framework 1.1 and 2.0, TweakUI, and more.

 

Autostreamer

http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=223562 

If you have a Windows Xp installation disc that has SP1, or possibly no service packs at all, and you want to update that disc to SP2, then this tool is made for you. Very easy to use, no delving into CMD is required. A great program for slipstreaming SP2 onto a Windows Xp disc.

 

BeLight

http://corecodec.org/projects/belight/ 

This program will convert almost any audio format to any other format, along with making changes (if you want it to) like, maximising the volume to 100%, changing the sampling rate. I use it whenever I encode ANY audio.

 

BitComet

http://www.bitcomet.com/ 

My favoured bittorrent client. I switched to it fronm Azureus because I felt that Azureus was using FAR too much resources, and although BitComet isn't as feature rich as Azureus, it does exactly what I want it to do. When installing however, DO NOT install the optional toolbar, it is spyware.

 

Crap Cleaner

http://www.ccleaner.com/ 

This program is basically a replacement for Windows' Disk Cleanup. However, this does the job MUCH better. This will clean temporary files, junk files, user history, basically everything that isn't necessary.

 

Daemon Tools

http://www.daemon-tools.cc/ 

A virtual drive program. Allows spoofing of a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive on your computer. This means you can play games on your computer, without having to have the CD/DVD in the real optical drive.


Diskeeper

http://www.savefile.com/files.php?fid=1861773

This defragging program is SMART. Allows you to set a 'Set it and Forget it!' routine. This basically allows you to use the computer as you like, but, when it is idle, it'll defrag. This means you will never actually notice the computer defragging (apart from the obvious hard drive noise).

 

Firefox

ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/1.0.8/win32/

ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/1.5.0.7/win32/

This is my favourite web browser by far, my only gripe with it is that the latest versions 1.5.x tend to leak a lot of memory, however, by simply closing the browser every once in a while, it seems to avert major problems. Features include tabbed broswing, great 3rd party support in the form of extensions, better security than IE6, and more. 


Foobar2000

http://www.foobar2000.org/ 

My favourite media player for music. This really is about as lite as you can get for a media player, I doubt you will even see foobar2000 using only 1% of your CPU at any given moment (assuming you have no visualisations going). foobar2000 is highly customisable, and has great 3rd party support through plugins. A plugin I would suggest that everyone get is the ColumnsUI plugin, it makes organising your media library a whole lot easier.


Hamachi

http://hamachi.cc/ 

This program is the best VPN program I have come across so far. Requires NO configuration with your routers. What it basically does is trick your computer into thinking it's in a LAN with whoever you want in your Hamachi network. I use this to play people over the internet in computer games, such as Counter-Strike. All I do is create a LAN game, and they join it, it really is as simple as that.


Irfanview

http://www.irfanview.com/

My favourite image viewer, opens and exports all formats, lite, it's pretty much everything you need in an image viewer.


Keytweak

http://webpages.charter.net/krumsick/ 

This is a program which allows you to remap your keyboard. However, my main use for it is to disable the annoying 'Windows' keys on my keyboard.


Media Player Classic

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=82.... 

My favourite media player when it comes to playing video. It's lite, and not overloaded with the bloat that other media players have.

 

MPUI, a GUI for MPlayer

http://mpui.sourceforge.net/ 

For slower computers, playing video can be a real struggle, luckily, MPlayer can decode video as fast as possible, and works well on older hardware, however, the main difficulty in using it is the lack of a GUI. This is where MPUI comes into the equation, it is a GUI for MPlayer, and really does work VERY well on older hardware, I highly recommend it for people who have CPU's of less than 1.5GHZ.

 

Netmeter

http://readerror.gmxhome.de/ 

This program is awesome for someone like me, because it accurately measures the traffic flowing through your network card, and, it logs traffic volumes going through it. This means that I know whether I have (or am going to) exceed my ISP's monthly traffic cap. This also displays a neat little graph on your computer, which will accurately show your download/upload speeds because it actually measures traffic going through your network card, not like in Firefox, where it measures the speed from when you click the 'save' button.

 

nLite

http://www.nliteos.com/ 

Don't like some of the programs/features which Windows installs? You can get rid of them with nLite to make an installation disc with the features removed. A word of warning though, don't remove anything which nLite says not to remove, like any part of the IE rendering engine for example, a lot of Windows applications depend on them. You can also integrate Windows Updates/Hotfixes with nLite using this update pack. Another useful feature is the ability to integrate any program you like onto the Windows installation disc, there is a tutorial on how to do this, HERE.

 

PDFCreator

http://sector7g.wurzel6.de/pdfcreator/index_en.htm 

Self explanatory really, allowsyou to turn anything which is printable, into a PDF file.


PearPC

http://pearpc.sourceforge.net/ 

If you would like to try out Mac OSX on Windows or Linux, look no further than this emulator. Will only work on the PowerPC builds of Mac OSX, and requires a CPU with SSE2 optimisation, to find out it you have it, run this tool: CPU-Z    

 

Quicktime Alternative

http://www.free-codecs.com/QuickTime_Alternative_download.htm

As the name suggests, this is an alternative to using Quicktime. It gives the same functionality as Quicktime, but, allows you to play any Quicktime media in any other media player, like Media Player Classic for example.

 

Real Alternative

http://www.free-codecs.com/Real_Alternative_download.htm

Just like Quicktime Alternative, this is an alternative tousing Realplayer. Once again it allows you to have all the functionality of Realplayer,but allows you to play Real media in any media player.


RegSeeker

http://www.hoverdesk.net/freeware.htm

This program cleans and fixes your registry, allowing Windows to run more smoothly, and quite possibly with less errors too.

 

Royale theme

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhance... 

This visual style really does make Windows look a lot more slick, originally it was only for Windows Xp Media Centre Edition, but now it's available for all of us. I like it, and use it everyday.

 

Spybot S&D

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

My personal favourite program for removing malware, it does what it needs to do, no more. This is what more programs should be like.

 

TCP Connection Patch

http://www.lvllord.de/download.php?url=en/EvI... 

This allows more half-open TCP connections in Windows. Originally it was limited to 10, which hinders P2P speeds, by raising it to 100 you can increase P2P speeds, but it's not guaranteed. The idea behind it was that if someone got a worm/virus, they wouldn't be able to affect people as quickly, well, it doesn't really matter in this day and age, because it's still going to affect a lot of people anyway.


TightVNC

http://www.tightvnc.com/

Allows you to control other computers running a VNC server, much like Windows' Remote Desktop, however, this uses a LOT less bandwidth, and will even work well for people on dialup. This software can even do File Transfers, however, it's only available in the 'dev' version, which hasn't failed me yet, even though it says it's a beta version.


Tiny Personal Firewall 2.0.15a

http://www.oldversion.com/program.php?n=tpfirewall

A good, free firewall, that does all you want it to do. It's lite, and not full of crap.

 

Thunderbird

ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/thunderbird/releases/1.0.8/win32/ 

ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/thunderbird/releases/1.5.0.5/win32

My current email client. I use it for my Gmail account, very well done, especially with the extensions, which make it behave similar to Firefox. Great for personal users managing less than 10 email accounts, for larger email managing, I would suggest Eudora.


TweakUI

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/System-Tweak/TweakUI.shtml 

A simple tweaking program for Windows released by Microsoft. Nothing too special about it, but it does several nifty things, like with the "Right Click -> New", that was something that it did well that I saw use for.

 

Unlocker

http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

This program is great, if you've ever got the error "Cannot Delete File: The source or destination file may be in use"? If so, this will help you out, Unlocker will 'unlock'any file from any process, so that you can delete it. I even found use for it once to delete an infected DLL.


vPod

http://www.vonnieda.org/vPod/

As the name would suggest, this program will transfer songs from your computer to your iPod. I only really got it because I REALLY hate having to use iTunes. It's very functional, does everything I need, and is about 100x liter than iTunes :P.


WMLite

http://codecguide.com/download_other.htm

Some tools like nLite and XPLite allow you to remove Windows Media Player from Windows, with good reason, however, this leaves you stuck if you want to play any Windows Media Audio/Video. This is where WMLite comes into play. It will install all the runtimes necessary for Windows Media playback to occur.