19 December 2011

"My Program Files Look Quite Lonely..."

A clean installation of Windows 7 left my son with just a few, lonely-looking applications in his Program Files folder. "What else do you think I should get?" he asked. I was tempted to say "Nothing - you can do everything on-line these days" but I just know he won't be capable of leaving half a terabyte of space empty so before he starts downloading this, that and probably the other too, I decided to list what I had lying around and which did actually get used. And why. And, by the way, they're all *free.

It may be a useful guide to others too so I thought I'd publish it here. That also saves me typing it in an e-mail. (I've omitted games which you'll know far more about than me!)

Security stuff:
CCleaner helps tidy drives up and remove rubbish
WinPatrol (Scotty) keeps an eye on changes you may not want applications to make
Microsoft Security Essentials (it may be there already) jolly good anti-virus and general protection from Microsoft getting it right for a change
Prey (for mobile phone protection link) activate a camera and GPS or shut down if you think it's stolen

Design / photos etc
Irfanview open anything, quickly.
Picasa Google's brilliant album and editing application
JAlbum Another excellent on-line album maker
Sketchup make shapes, be an architect or just have fun
ColorPix get exactly the colour you need
Rasterbator make huge pictures and cartoon effects
Serif DrawPlus design
SerifPhotoPlus edit
SerifWebPlus publish
ArtRage draw, paint, splash around

Windows MediaPlayer (if not there already)
Spotify one of the first in the on-line music field
VLC Media Player play anything
Total Recorder record anything

Nuance PDFReader better PDFs
Skype communicate
7Zip compress and extract
LibreOffice if you haven't got Microsoft Office

Rockmelt or just Chrome
Firefox (English UK) still useful to have around
(and ensure Internet Explorer updates automatically even if you never use it!)

*Serif offer free older versions but students can get the latest versions for about £10.
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are all freely available on-line via SkyDrive.

No comments: