Whether you just bought a new Vista machine or rebuilt your current one, you need a list of the software you had installed. Everyone has their own unique blend of software they just have to have on a machine to make it truly their own. I have been carefully crafting Windows based machines for a long time so I thought I would publish the list of software that I use. You can build a very functional machine and not spend a dime beyond the original purchase price. I do have some commercial software listed here that some people will tell me has free alternatives. I know, I have tried them. The stuff I spend money on just works or saves me a ton of time on configuration because it is the best in its class.
So here is the TecLifeWeb Blend. I’ll try to keep it updated. You’ll find links to all the software so you can build download and blend your own.
- AVG Anti-Virus
- Firefox – Best web browser and the following add-ons
- GreaseMonkey Add-on
- Double Click Relinker Script – Script I wrote to prevent your click from being hijacked by Double Click
- Google Secure – Make sure Gmail and other Google services are accessed by https
- Old Bar – Cleans up the way the URL Bar (aka Awesome Bar) presents results. Makes it more like Firefox 2.
- IE Tab – Embedding Internet Explorer in tabs of Firefox
- Better GMail 2 – Add useful extra features and skins to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, macros, signatures, file attachment icons, and more.
- Shareaholic – Lets you post links to all kinds of social sites include del.icio.us, digg, facebook, etc.
- Tab Mix Plus – tabs on steroids and a whole lot more
- Video DownloadHelper – for downloading clips from YouTube and elsewhere
- Foxmarks – Foxmarks is a free add-on for your Firefox browser that syncs and backs up your bookmarks and passwords across multiple computers and more.
- Silverlight (this also checks what version is installed to be sure it is up to date)
- 7-zip – MUCH better and faster than the native unzipping tool
- Foxit PDF reader (light weight and very fast)
- CuteFDF Writer (Printer driver to print to PDF)
- OpenOffice (Open Source MS Office alternative)
- ISORecorder – Create CD/DVD from ISO images. No need for Nero or others
- VLC (Cross-platform media player and streaming server)
- Picasa (Google’s photo organizing software)
- Java – You also get Java with Open Office so no need to download separately.
- Dropbox – Sync files between your machines
Install these 2 and follow my instructions an you’ll be able to play any video file type in Vista Media Center or Windows Media Player
- Ffdshow (Latest stable build /ffdshow_beta5_rev2033_20080705_clsid.)(Instructions)
- Haali Media Splitter – Lets you open files so ffdshow can play them. For Matroska, MP4, AVI, OGG/OGM, MPEG TS.
- Video Studio 11
- Adobe Photoshop Elements
- Neat Image – noise reduction for scanners and cameras
- Text Aloud and voices – Best text to speech and voices that don’t sound realistic
- Video Redo – For editing mpg2 and dvr-ms files
- Virtual Box – Virtual Box is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.
- EAC-Exact Audio Copy – follow download link on the left hand side (Setup Instructions)
- AutoIT3 – Scripting Tool
- Daemon Tools – For mounting iso images as virtual optical drives. People are getting best results with version is 4.12.3. Especially with blu-ray ISOs.
- The Levelator – For audio recordings. Levelate a wav file before you compress to mp3 or other. Good for podcasters.