10 of my favorite softwares

Posted on October 9, 2007. Filed under: FOSS, free, open source, software, windows | Tags: , , |

I like to explore softwares. I usually install a lot of softwares on my system. I thought that I should make a list of my favorite softwares and share it with everybody. All of there softwares are either open-source or free.

1. Autohotkey(FOSS): It manages your hotkeys globally and allows you to create complex actions based on the keys pressed. Its actually got its own scripting language which is rather easy to learn. Just write a script in a file with extension .ahk and double click the file to execute it.

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With AutoHotKey you can:

  • manage processes, windows and control both keyboard and mouse.
  • create macros saving you precious keystrokes.
  • re-map keys and buttons on your keyboard and mouse.

I have been using AutoHotKey for quite a while now and I use it to manage my code snippets, have consistent hotkeys across applications and creating macros like googling the selected text in any application. The following is the AutoHotKey script for it:

   1: #g::
   2: Send ^c
   3: Run http://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&q=%clipboard%
   4: return

So by using this script whenever I press Ctrl+G the script will open a browser and search the selected text in google. Nice isn’t it?

2. CCleaner(FREE): CCleaner is a simple system cleanup tool that removes temporary files, empty folders, redundant registries and application log files. It recognizes a lot of softwares on the system and removes their temporary and log files too. Its really simple to use, just right click on the recycle bin and select Run CCleaner. Some advanced options are revealed when the application is run from the start menu. Usually it just takes few seconds to clean up the system and makes the system speedier by removing useless stuff.

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3. Console2(FOSS): Console is a Windows console window enhancement. Currently in beta but still packs a punch.

Features include:

  • Tabbed interface
  • Customizable background
  • Custom tabs

Each tab open a different process. I normally have tabs for powershell, ruby and irb. Each of there tabs are bound to a different hotkey.

I think Microsoft should include Console2 with default once it comes out of beta because normal console just sucks.

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4. Foxit PDF Reader(FREE): Foxit is one PDF reader that is actually fast. Opens up just as fast as notepad and I am yet to come across a pdf that it doesn’t render correctly. Its got a real small install size (~1.5 MB) and the whole application is contained inside a single exe, so no messing around with the system. Its got the same feature set as Adobe reader although searching seems a bit better in Adobe reader, but speed matters to me the most.

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5. FlashGet(FREE): Flashget is a download manager that has only recently become free. It makes multiple connections to the server download the same file thus speeding up the download. Its interface is simple to use and the download options are really easy to configure. It also supports other protocols like Bit-Torrent and e-Mule.

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6. ImgBurn(Free): Image Burn software is used for burning CDs and DVDs. It can also be used to creating ISOs from CDs and DVDs. The best part about is software it is really easy to use, lightweight ~1.5 MB and of course FREE.

Unlike the most famous software (~ 1 GB size) in this category ImgBurn doesn’t bring your system to a drag when using it and also doesn’t mess around with your settings.

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7. Media Player Classic(FOSS): MPC is a compact media player that mimics the look and feel of Window Media Player 6.4. I don’t install it as a standalone software but as a part of K-lite codec pack which allows me to play encoded video files. Its got a really simple look and feel but has a fast interface and nice default hotkeys. One of its features that I like is ability to change the aspect ratio of the video to anything.

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8. Microsoft Virtual PC(FREE): It is a virtualization suite from Microsoft which is optimized for windows based systems. Although other virtualization softwares are available that run Linux much better as a guest OS but Microsoft Virtual PC is better if you want to run a windows OS as the guest. Virtualized OS runs almost as fast as natively and its great for testing softwares that only run in older versions of windows like IE6. I usually need to run IE6 to test web-pages and a virtual machine is the only way possible to run IE6 alongside IE7.

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9. Microsoft Visual studio express editions(Free): Primarily I am a Ruby on Rails developer but I also love to program in C#. Microsoft has a free edition of Visual Studio for hobbyists like me. Its a bit limited in features as compared to Visual Studio. You can only program only in one language at a time, but that is good enough for me. Its fast, feature rich and Free, what more can I want 🙂

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10. Paint.NET(FOSS): An easy to use image editing software. This is one of the most famous open source software for windows. It is meant to be a free alternate to MS-Paint that comes bundled with windows but it has a feature set that rivals to other expensive image editing softwares.

Paint.NET has a really small installation size, runs fast, supports for layers and supports a wide variety of image formats.

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