Fri, 17 Dec 2010

Software I use

A long list of mostly stable software

Note: updated list available

It were lists like this, that introduced me to a majority of the software I have in use today. So I decided to put up my own little(?) list.

This list contains all the software I use on Windows, but a lot of it is deliberately cross-platform. I prefer open-source software or at least freeware, that is why only three items on this list are commercial software (marked with '*'). But this shouldn't keep you from supporting/donating to projects you like! And finally, let me add, that I prefer software that is small, sleek and takes care of one thing only.

Floppy magnetic discs wrapped in a sheet of plastic


  • 7-Zip
    Handling of archive files.

  • ClamWin
    Open-source Antivirus.

  • DAEMON Tools Lite
    Perfect software for archiving your precious CDs/DVDs and mounting them in Windows.

  • Desktops
    Creates up to 4 virtual desktops. It does so by creating 4 distinct desktop objects, instead of hiding/showing windows, like most(all?) other virtual-desktop solutions do. This results in a lot restrictions, however. But nothing that can’t be worked around or got used to.

  • DOSBox
    Emulates an old DOS machine. Useful for very old programs or games.

  • FreeCommander
    Nice alternative to standard Windows Explorer. Especially useful if you need Administrator-access to your filesystem, because you can run it as Administrator. Something you cannot do with Windows Explorer when logged in as restricted user.

  • grepWin
    File-searching under windows done right.

  • HotSwap!
    Allows you to remove internal SATA drives, which Windows considers to be non-removable. This is incredible helpful when using SATA HDDs as backup-medium.

  • TrueCrypt
    Encrypt whole partitions or create an encrypted container to store files within.

  • VirtualBox
    Virtualisation. Not only helpful for running old games under W9x or XP, but essential to compiling and testing software on multiple operating systems.

  • WinDirStat
    Get a graphical view of your filesystem. Makes it very easy to free up space, or more important to me: reduce the absolute number of files.


  • SumatraPDF
    A PDF Reader, nothing more, nothing less. No fancy features but slim and tiny.

  • VideoLAN Client
    Self-contained video player that does not require any external video codecs to be installed. Wonderful piece of software.

  • XMPlay
    A very sleek but fully featured audio-player.

  • XnView
    Viewer for image files. Including conversion, simple editing, etc.


  • FileZilla
    FTP/SFTP client.

  • Firefox
    Web-browser with important (for me, at least) add-ons:

    • Vimperator
      VIM-like control of Firefox. Makes using the web so much quicker/easier. Absolute deal-breaker for me.

    • Tree Style Tab
      Finally gives tabs an added bonus so they are not only a duplication of the task-bars functionality in each and every application.

    • Extended Cookie Manager
      There may be other cookie managers, but I like its user interface. Informative and fast to work with.

    • Flashblock
      No words could ever describe…..

    • NoScript
      Similar interface as the Extended Cookie Manager. And I prefer to get information from webpages, not interactive multimedia presentations. Seems like the 90s all over.

  • FishSpeak
    I couldn’t find a voice communication software that fit my requirements. So I decided to write my own and with that, FishSpeak was born.

  • Miranda
    Multi-protocol instant messenger. Including support for OTR via plugin.

  • Putty
    SSH-client and other utilities for working with SSH.

  • RSSOwl
    Finding the right RSS-reader was really hard. But I finally settled on RSSOwl. It’s cross-platform, the user-interface is arranged they way I like it and - most importantly - each feed can be updated at a different rate.

  • Thunderbird
    Thunderbird certainly fulfills all my needs in regards to E-mail. I’d like to use mutt, but on Windows that’s a hassle and Muttator doesn’t do it for me. So I stick to plain vanilla Thunderbird and be happy.


  • AbiWord
    Word processing without all the bloat.

  • Blender
    3D modelling/animation/..

  • Canon Digital Professional
    RAW Converter for my Canon DSLRs.

  • FL Studio*
    If you ever feel the urge to be a musician, that’s where I’d go.

  • Gnumeric
    Spreadsheet. Plain and simple, albeit sometimes buggy in its Windows release.

  • IcoFX
    Wonderful icon-editor. I had to look for something like this a very long time.

  • Photoshop CS*
    It’s a very old version that I use, but it’s the only one I’ve got and it does everything I need.



  • DVD Decrypter
    Because my external Plextor DVD drive is annoyingly loud, I used DVD Decrypter to copy my DVDs to my hard-drive. As an added bonus I don’t have to change discs every two episodes when watching a series.
    Keep in mind, that based on where you live, using DVD Decrypter may be illegal to use.

  • InfraRecorder
    CD/DVD burning. No fancy bloat included.

  • SportTracks*
    In combination with a Garmin GPS watch I use SportTracks to keep track of my training.
    I use SportTracks 2 because it is free and has no limitations. Unfortunately that version is no longer available and the trial version of SportTracks 3 is rather limited.

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