Essential Software for new computers

Discussion in 'Technology' started by MohtasaUnique, Oct 23, 2012.

Essential Software for new computers
  1. Unread #1 - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM
  2. MohtasaUnique
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    Essential Software for new computers

    Updated, 12/8/2019

    PROLOGUE

    Many of the things you're going to find on this list is available at
    www.ninite.com
    Ninite offers a Check-and-Go installer system that allows you to select all the free
    software you want to install simultaneously. This list comprises of mainly free and open-
    sourced software. While it offers a nice variety of alternative software, their big-box
    counterparts are omitted from their site since there are no free versions, and only maybe
    free trials.

    ------------------------------------------------

    WARNING
    Freeware often slips in extra software during their installation processes as a way to
    generate revenue for their free product. If you are downloading a program straight from
    the client, PAY ATTENTION TO THE DOWNLOAD PROMPTS. You may not notice that you
    are agreeing to download a ton of extra, unwanted software.

    ------------------------------------------------
    If you'd like to visit the websites yourself and view the other options of those suggestions, then onto the main thread. Please note these download links are for Windows 10 machines. In no particular order, these are the programs I find most useful on new machines:

    • Alternative web browsers - Microsoft Edge has made improvements after retiring Internet Explorer, but old habits die hard, including the instinct to shred Microsoft web browsers
      • Chrome (free)
        • A note on google: there has been a lot of flack received by google and their methods of handling user data, especially on their search engine. If you're among those concerned about how your data is being used, I suggest checking out www.duckduckgo.com
      • Firefox (free)
      • Opera (free)
    • Runtimes - Many website applications and functions that extend beyond simple HTML and CSS will require some extra runtimes to execute. Usually any web browser will alert you when you're missing a necessary runtime, but here's the links if you'd like to be proactive
    • Documents
      • Microsoft Office 365 (paid)
        • This is a paid software. It is very easy to find through alternative means, and there are company deals offered to students, but there are also equally easily acquired free alternatives.
      • OpenOffice (free)
        • This is a free alternative to Microsoft Office as a Windows application.
      • Google Docs (free)
        • This is a free alternative to Microsoft Office as a web-based, cloud application. In the menu, you'll also find Google Sheets (Excel alternative), Google Slides (PowerPoint alternative), and Google Forms (Access alternative).
      • Adobe Acrobat
    • Online Storage - These are essential for backing data up into the cloud. If you have important documents that you cannot afford to lose, it's recommended to keep BOTH a physical hard drive AND a cloud storage backup.
      • Dropbox (paid)
        • This is a paid software. It used to be free, but all that I can find is a standard license for $12.50/month at the time of writing this thread.
      • OneDrive
        • This has a free plan as well as paid plans. The free plan offers 5GB of storage-- you might want to invest in a paid plan if you wish to back up more than like 2 feature length movies.
        • There are alternatives like SugarSync, however, they offer 250GB for $10/month, whereas OneDrive offers 6TB for the same price on a monthly fee, or slightly discounted if you pay for the year AND it comes with Office 365 if you buy the yearly plans.
    • Messaging - It seems most people use discord, and if you're here, you're probably already using it, but just in case:
    • Imaging - Here's where you probably want to invest if you don't know how to acquire software through alternative means. Then again, most people really DON'T need the full power of Photoshop or 3D editing software. As usual with technical software, there are steep discounts for students.
      • Adobe
        • Creative Cloud (paid) - This link will provide you with all the free trials and paid licenses for each of their products within the suite
        • Photoshop (paid)
        • Photoshop CS2 (free) - NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Adobe used to provide a download link for a copy of Photoshop CS2 for free, but this has been removed for their site permanently. I am including this note for those who have seen this offer in the past and are still looking.
      • Paint.NET (free)
        • This is a basic and free photo editing software with an active community that develops plugins, makes tutorials, and provides forum-based help
      • The GIMP (free)
        • Another Photoshop alternative, open sourced, multi-platform
      • Inkscape (free)
        • Adobe Illustrator alternative, open sourced, multi-platform
      • Blender (free)
        • 3D modeling and simulation/animation software, comparable to 3DS Max or Cinema4D
    • File Sharing - There are many useful applications in a casual or professional setting to share files.
      • uTorrent (free)
        • This is really the only platform I've used. If there's better ones, feel free to suggest and I'll include them in the thread.
    • Gaming
      • Steam (free client)
      • EA Origin (free client)
      • Battle.net (free client)
        • FREE HONG KONG.
      • itch.io (free client)
        • A fun platform for indie games
      • GOG Galaxy (free client)
        • Good Old Games is a DOS emulator platform for DRM-free retro PC games. These are completely legal to download since they are DRM-free.
    • Developer Tools
    • Media
      • iTunes (free)
      • VLC (free)
        • Highly recommended open source multimedia player. This lets you play pretty much any filetype without the need to convert to mp4, wav, or mov.
      • Spotify (subscription-based)
    • Security - Most anti-virus software is paid, so I'm not going to bother listing them. Yes, there are free versions, but the spamware they use to get you to upgrade is ridiculous, so you should go out there and research what people find works best for them.
      • Malwarebytes (free scan)
        • This program is one of the few that offers a useful deep scan of your computer as well as follow-up procedures to correcting the issues it finds. There are paid versions for continual protection, but their scan and repair service is free, and I've solved one or two malware issues in the past with it.
    • Utilities
      • WinRAR (free)
        • Extremely useful in casual and professional settings. A Windows and OSX machine has native zipping functions, but this program can compile multiple archives, split a large archive, etc. They will always ask you to buy their software when it starts up, but will never remove features if you opt to stay with the free "trial" version (which is, truly, the full version with a "buy now" reminder).
      • Screenshot software
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  3. Unread #2 - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:55 PM
  4. Viviant
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    Essential Software for new computers

    Have most of these or alternates to them, Id have to argue that notepad++ isn't necessarily "essential". But nevertheless very helpful, thanks!
     
  5. Unread #3 - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:01 PM
  6. MohtasaUnique
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    Essential Software for new computers

    True enough, notepad++ is only really for people who can program/code. I figured though, if they're BUILDING their own computer, there's a chance they're savvy with a language or two. But then again, they wouldn't need this list if they're already so knowledgeable as far as computers go.
     
  7. Unread #4 - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:11 AM
  8. Laptop65
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    Nice list Tony.

    Switch out CCleaner for Advanced SystemCare, way better. Or add it as an alternative.
     
  9. Unread #5 - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:56 AM
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    Essential Software for new computers

    Awesome, thanks for this.

    Already knew most of these however LogMeIn sounds very interesting.

    CCleaner is definitely a top choice, however I might look into Advanced SystemCare if it's as good as you say it is.
     
  11. Unread #6 - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:57 AM
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    Essential Software for new computers

    Teamviewer is a good alternative to LogMeIn. I use TV to remotely access my PC when I'm out of town or otherwise incapable of physically accessing my PC.
     
  13. Unread #7 - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:41 AM
  14. Emperor Nero
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    Essential Software for new computers

    I would change WinRAR to 7 Zip, 7 Zip is so much more versatile and also free.
     
  15. Unread #8 - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:59 PM
  16. MohtasaUnique
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    Essential Software for new computers

    LogMeIn is very helpful, I would highly recommend it to anyone. And you're weclome yo
    I think I already have teamviewer linked up there in the indented note below LogMeIn
    I'll include 7Zip, in the list, thanks for the suggestion!
     
  17. Unread #9 - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM
  18. Laurie
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    Essential Software for new computers

    Notepad++ alternative = ConTEXT
    uTorrent
     
  19. Unread #10 - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:41 PM
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  21. Unread #11 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:20 AM
  22. Dynamic Dungeons
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    Essential Software for new computers

    OpenOffice is also a dead program now, rarely updated. The developers have moved over to LibreOffice. It's quite clean, and nice, although, definately can't beat word.
     
  23. Unread #12 - Oct 27, 2012 at 2:59 AM
  24. MohtasaUnique
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    Will add ConTEXT when I get home this weekend
    uTorrent is illegal and we don't allow links to sharez/warez downloads.
    I forgot to put paint up there, I'll do that when I get home this weekend
    I'll look into it when I get home this weekend. Last time I checked, OpenOffice functions perfectly, there shouldn't be a problem with lack of updates unless Microsoft creates a new encrypted file type for their word docs which older versions of OO can't read. That's entirely possible of course since the update from office 2003 to 2010 came with a whole new encryption; the difference between .doc and .xdoc etc.
     
  25. Unread #13 - Oct 27, 2012 at 3:24 AM
  26. mage3158
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    What? uTorrent is legal, there are perfectly legitimate and legal uses for torrents.
    Also under video reading software, I've been very happy with GOM player, very versatile and free.

    And in case you want to add it, filezilla is the best program I've used for FTP management, plenty of uses for that.
     
  27. Unread #14 - Oct 27, 2012 at 3:34 AM
  28. MohtasaUnique
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    FileZilla I considered adding, but really there's NO use for it unless you run a site or a server of some sort, and users would already have a preferred FTP program if they run their own site; they don't need me telling them what to download.

    uTorrent is capable of downloading illegal material, therefore I'm omitting it.
     
  29. Unread #15 - Oct 27, 2012 at 3:37 AM
  30. mage3158
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    Fair enough, although shared FTP situations do exist, and being able to access public FTPs is awfully nice.

    And so are web browsers? I don't get this logic.
     
  31. Unread #16 - Oct 27, 2012 at 10:13 AM
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    uTorrent has many acceptable and legal uses, like downloading freeware, or downloading a Linux OS. Torrents can be faster than downloading elsewhere, which is another up side. It can be used to share non copyrighted songs that people are trying to distribute to get their name out there in the business, or even sharing homemade videos.
     
  33. Unread #17 - Oct 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM
  34. MohtasaUnique
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    Would you like me to prove why uTorrents isn't going to be posted? I'm sure it will only take one thread with a poll, a day's exposure, and another 25 minutes of research to prove my point that the main purpose of it is acquiring cracked software. Or, simpler still, a PM from Richard when I ask if I can link a download to a torrent program. I mean, I CAN do this for you, it'd be a waste of time, but I can show you...

    And again for FileZilla, if people were into any of that stuff that requires an FTP program and knowledge of using this FTP, they would already have a preferred program.
     
  35. Unread #18 - Oct 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM
  36. justinkiller
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    I personally don't care, I was just trying to say there is legitimate reasons for using torrents.

    Please add paint.net though!
     
  37. Unread #19 - Oct 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM
  38. MohtasaUnique
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    Will do, love, I'm home from university for the weekend with naught but my phone though, so it'd be too much trouble to do it ATM, but when I get back Sunday I'll do itttt
     
  39. Unread #20 - Oct 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM
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    Great list, a few of these I need to look in to. Some I never even knew existed. You should add in screen-recorders, or maybe they weren't deemed essential enough to be added? Music players like iTunes or Spotify?
     
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