The idea for this has been copied wholesale frombut hopefully it’ll give you an idea into what software I use and maybe help you if you’re on the lookout for something.
Firefox. I think you may know that by now. I usually add the MiniT extension since I like to be able to drag+drop tabs. Naturally IE’s there for sites that require it (i.e. Windows Update) and I have a copy of Mozilla 1.8 Alpha 4 for some reason.
Thunderbird. Again, this is a given. Even my parents use it.
Irfanview. Great for viewing images and for simple manipualtion, and it will open almost anything you throw at it. I also have Serif PhotoPlus 7 and a very dated copy of Ulead iPhoto Plus 4 for more advanced stuff.
Trillian Pro. I have friends who use all 5 networks so having a multi-network client is invaluable. Gaim has come on in leaps and bounds lately but the Windows version is a port and feels like it. Miranda is still very basic and hasn’t had a release for months. Trillian just works for me and I’ve been happy to pay for it, and renew it this year.
OpenOffice.org. This suite continues to amaze me in how feature-rich it is considering it’s free. It takes a bit of time getting used to the menus, since some items are in different places when compared to MS Office, but it’s certainly a real contender. Pretty good compatibility with MS Office makes this invaluable. PDFCreator looks after my PDF creation needs.
McAfee VirusScan Enterprise, because I get it free from the university and since it’s an enterprise version it doesn’t come with loads of bells and whistles. For a firewall, I use Sygate after ZoneAlarm had paddies with my P2P applications, although the new firewall in Windows XP SP2 is adequate. Spybot Search & Destroy and SpywareBlaster look after the spyware side, and I’ll get around to installing Ad-Aware again soon as an extra precaution.
7-Zip is good for compressing files far beyond the capabilities of other utilites. I used to use WinZip quite a bit but for simple decompression the built-in support for zip files in Windows is actually quite adequate.
A tweaking article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning X-Setup, especially as I wrote some of the code for it a few years ago (do a search for my name in the program). That said, TweakUI is invaluable, particularly for getting rid of the garish purple background that Packard Bell put into Internet Explorer’s toolbar…
SmartFTP has fallen out of favour with some people lately due to its nag screen but I still like it. Many now like FileZilla but I found the interface ugly and unintuitive. However, SmartFTP doesn’t support SFTP whereas FileZilla does, however WinSCP looks like a good SFTP client though I’ve yet to try it.
Pre-iPod I used to swear by dBpowerAMP Audio Player but I now prefer iTunes. It needs a good machine to run well but if you have one it’s a joy to use. Winamp 5 is good for playing odd songs or obscure files and I have a copy of foobar2000 lying around too. ensures that I can play a whole variety of audio and video files.
I think that’s everything. No doubt you’ll be wanting to recommend alternatives to me. There’s also Freeware replacements for commonly warez’d programs which is very useful – found via .