Archive | September, 2005

Essential Software

I’ve recently had to rebuild my computer which required me to reinstall all of my software. Its given me the chance to update and try out a bunch of software that I think would be useful for everyone:

General

xplorer2

Do you like the tabbed browser feature of modern web browsers like Mozilla and Opera? This is sort of the same concept, allowing you to view your file system with one extra window pane. I love the flexibility and the ability to see more of my file system.

Notepad++

Hate Window’s built in text editor notepad? Don’t use vi? Then Notepad++ is for you. A much nicer experience than with plain ol’ notepad.

Gimp and GimpShop

Gimp is a neat graphics editor with a lot of the features that Photoshop has (well, at least the ones I can figure out). For its price (free), it is a worthy replacement for Photoshop. But if you want the full Photoshop experience for free, try GimpShop. It is a customized version of Gimp but with all the menus rearranged to look like Photoshop.

Internet

Firefox

Natch

Azureus

A darn good open source BitTorrent client.

FreeDownload Manager

Every so often I have to download a big file from a site with a flaky internet connection. This program will keep after that download until its finished. It also integrates with most browsers.

Avant Browser

Sometimes you just have to use Internet Explorer but the IE interface is awful. You can recover a lot of the nice tabbed browsing features of Firefox but you can still browse sites that require IE.

Security

Sygate Personal Firewall

Always run a firewall when you’re online, every little bit helps. The Sygate is a pretty good personal firewall with a high degree of customization in what you let through. It just got bought by someone so get the latest version while you can.

Games

PCGen

A really great d20 character generator. Its got just about everything from 3.5 (classes, feats, equipment, etc.), its customizeable, and its free!

Battlefield 2 Demo (BitTorrent link)

Man this is a really cool demo! Everything is gorgeous and lifelike, there’s lots of options for characters, and its a blast to play. One of the multiplayer games lets you start the fight from an aircraft carrier. How cool is that!

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