Useful Links / Programs

On this page you will find links to a lot of very useful PC programs. Did I mention that all of these are free for personal use? Check the license for each program before using it for commercial purposes.

AntiSpyware / AntiMalWare / Antivirus:

Microsoft Windows Defender: This is, surprisingly, a very good / free antispyware tool. It looks like Microsoft did something right for once. My only gripe is that this program only works with Windows 2000 w/ Service Pack 4 (SP4) and Windows XP w/ SP2.
Lavasoft AdAware:A very good AntiSpyware application!
Spybot Search & Destroy: Another very good AntiSpyware application!
Housecall by TrendMicro: Get a free antivirus and antispyware scan with cleanup ONLINE using your web browser. When you go to this site you click where it says "Scan Now". It will ask to download some special programming to your web browser so it can be used to scan your computer. Answer yes or ok to any alerts talking about the Trend Micro software during this process. I just noticed there is a CWShredder link on the page that will help you remove CoolWebSearch Spyware.
HijackThis!: This is another really good Antispyware application. It is a bit more advanced than some of the others. It might be worth a shot if the others are not getting your system clean enough.
Avast Home Edition: Avast Home Edition is a free antivirus program. If you don't already have antivirus software, or your antivirus software has expired, this is MUCH better than that at least!
ClamWin: ClamWin is a Free Antivirus for Microsoft Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and 2003. It provides a graphical user interface to the Clam AntiVirus engine. While open source software may not be the best bet for protecting your computer it is definately better than nothing and it is free! If you need other up to date brand name protection at low prices, be sure to contact me for quotes. I can usually get the latest version of McAfee and Norton for between $20 amd $35

Web Browsers:

FireFox: You don't have to use FireFox, but you SHOULD use ANYTHING other than Internet Exploder. IE is a target and its slogan should be "Browse the web with a big bullseye on my front and a "Kick Me" sign on my back. Firefox isn't perfect either, however the developers are a lot more responsible and responsive for their software.
Opera: Opera is another really excellent choice for browsing the web. Like Firefox, it supports tabbed browsing; in addition it also has an email client built into it. The folks that make Opera made it free for download last year (2005), cancelling their paid version.

CD / DVD Related Software:

CDBurnerXP: This a very good all around CD and DVD authoring/burning program. The features are too numerous to list and get updated in every version!
DVDDecrypter: This is an awesome tool for making backups of your movies! (For personal/private use on movies you legally own.) I also use this program to read (create) and write (burn) ISO files to CD AND DVD! This program may not be availble any more unless you do a search for it on Google.
Doom9.net: Everything you wanted to know about working with digital video and audio files including dvds, resizing, compressing, DIVX/XVID, and a whole lot more. Not only does this site have all the guides you could want, but it also has a very comprehensive download section!
AudioGrabber: This a great program to taking your legally owned audio cds and ripping them. I use it in conjunction with the LAME MP3 codec to compress the audio into Variable BitRate MP3s.
VideoLAN: VLC (initially VideoLAN Client) is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network. Basically, this is an awesome multimedia viewer. If there is a file format that this program can't play, you probably don't need to play it.

File Utilities:

7-Zip: This is a really excellent Open Source / free file compression program. It replaces WinZip, WinRAR, and a bunch of others. It handles Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and Unpacking: RAR, CAB, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM and DEB

Other Online Based Programs:

GAIM: Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging (IM) client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, and Zephyr networks. Basically, this Instant Messenger can replace all those other clients. Do you run multple clients? Did you know they all suck up a lot of memory? GAIM uses a lot less memory when compared to running all those clients side by side.
FileZilla: This a great little open source FTP Client program. It has many features including bandwidth management, multiple connections, and more. There is also a FileZilla FTP Server available. This program isn't quite as advanced as SmartFTP, but it is still very good.
SmartFTP: This is one of the end all be all of FTP clients out there. It has TONS of features and is free for personal use. If you use FTP a lot, this is a very good program to check into!
PuTTY: A free telnet/ssh/sftp and other secure services client. If you use SSH or other secure shell/access clients, then you should be familiar with PuTTY. If you use SSH/etc. and aren't familiar with it then you should give it a try!
Free Download Manager: FDM is a very comprehensive download manager program. My favorite feature besides the ability to resume downloads is that on high speed connections it can split downloaded files and max out my internet connection to get these files downloaded faster. I've hit a full 8Mbps using this program!

Office Programs / Utilities:

OpenOffice.org: OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute.
Microsoft Viewers: For Office Programs: Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, Access, and Visio.
PDFCreator:
PDFCreator is used to create PDF files out of ANY PROGRAM that has a Print option. In fact, if you choose "Waiting" during the printing process, you can print multiple files, then highlight them in the PDF Creator window, right-click on them, and combine them into one single file!
TurboPad: A very good replacement for Notepad including openning multiple files in tabs and content sensitive formatting!
PFE: Programmer's File Editor is another advanced text editor that is much more useful than Microsoft's Notepad.