Software on my Windows machine

Here's a short summary of the software I use on my Windows PC. I try to use as most free software as I can. Leave me a comment if you think you have a better alternative than the ones listed below.

I don't think I have to say that I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser and Mozilla Thunderbird as my email client. Since I like living on the edge I use nightly builds of both.

My picture viewer is currently FastStone Image Viewer which is quite fast and good at getting a quick overview of my pictures. I use FastStone rotating my pictures and giving them comments. I only comment my vacation photos. I've also started using Picasa as an experiment. Normally I never touches my pictures. Don't crop them and don't even remove those red eyes. Picasa provides and easy and fast way to do this modifications and at the same time has a nice way to preserve the original image and only saving the "diff" between the original and modified picture. But since FastStone saves the comments in the EXIF comment block of the picture and Picasa uses the IPTC standard I cant see my FastStone comments in Picasa and vica versa.

For editing pictures I use both GIMP and Paint.Net. I'm very close to giving up on GIMP since the program is a joke when it comes to GUI. Both GIMP and Paint.Net are freeware.

As Office program I use It reads all of the Microsoft Office documents I throw at it, but the GUI isn't perfect. Personal I think the Microsoft Office GUI is much better than It's not perfect but much better. is open source and free.

For defending my system I use AVG Free as anti virus and Spybot - Search & Destroy for scanning for spyware. AVG Free is fast and works perfectly. Spybot is updated frequently and it updates automatically when I start it. Both programs are freeware.

I use the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack which is a collection of codecs and tools to play virtually all movies and music found on the net. Having everything in one packing is very convenient. Just update it and you have all the latest codecs and players. K-Lite Mega Codec Pack is freeware.

For SSH I use SecureCRT. I have been using SecureCRT for ages and it's still the best. SecureCRT is payware.

For connection to my mobile phone I use floAt's Mobile Agent (FMA). FMA is a phone editing tool that allows you to manage all of the personal data stored in your phone. FMA is freeware.

My instant messenger is Miranda. It's a open source multi protocol instant messenger client for Windows.

I always have had a soft spot for utilities as most of my colleagues knows. For keeping my system fast and clean I use CCleaner. It removes left over DLLs, fixes illegal startup items and optimizes the Windows registry. Not as good as jv16 PowerTools but CCleaner if free and jv16 PowerTools isn't.

For blogging I use w.bloggar. It's not perfect but again it's free.

For keeping a eye on the programs running on my PC and killing my nightly builds of Firefox when they go memory crazy I use Process Explorer. It can replace the original Windows Task Manager so when I press SHIFT+CTRL+ESC I get Process Explorer. Process Explorer is freeware.

For file management I simply couldn't live without my Total Commander. Basically Total Commander is a little bit like the good old classic Norton Commander. Total Commander is normally the first application I open when I start my PC. Total Commander is shareware.

For viewing PDF files I now use Foxit Reader. I used to use Adobe Reader but it started to include all kind of weird stuff and took forever to startup. It also added a small program to my startup folder which kept reappearing when I deleted it. So bye bye Adobe Reader and hello Foxit Reader.

For storing my secrets I use KeePass Password Safe which is a free, open source, light weight and easy-to-use password manager.

I also use 4NT which is a command prompt replacement. I mostly use this for my two Mozilla related tools 4getmoz and xfer. 4NT is payware and the only program which I don't have a license for. So I keep updating the trial version to get those free 30 days of evaluation. Sad but true.

For editing I use UltraEdit and Zend Studio. Since we program in PHP at work I use Zend Studio as the editor for all PHP files. It has nice code completion plus loads of other useful stuff but the application is a bit slow. The code profiler is really really nice when it works. I found some really interesting optimizations in my PHP programs with the profiler. Both UltraEdit and Zend Studio is payware.

June 06, 2006 03:03 PM | Posted in Interesting


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I like the way you put the comment on MS Office versus It's not really about what is better. A Mercedes is better than a Civic. A 10,000-square-foot home in Aspen with solid gold bathroom fixtures and a robot to serve you dinner is better than my tri-level 1300-square-foot robotless house.

BUT do you need the expensive product? And do you need to pay for it? (And is the more expensive product just too much of a hassle, dealing with all the licenses?) It's not about what has the most features; it's about getting what you need for the best price.

Site icon Comment by Solveig Haugland at June 6, 2006 03:46 PM | Permalink

Solveig Haugland: I'm just saying: Spend more time fixing/improving the GUI instead of adding more new features.

Site icon Comment by Henrik Gemal [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 03:52 PM | Permalink

Given the software you use, does Spybot even ever find any spyware?

Site icon Comment by Block Sheep at June 7, 2006 01:15 AM | Permalink

Of course you shouldn't remove those read eyes, you should remove red eyes only. :-P

For the image viewer, I recommend IrfanView (through freeware, not free software).

ClamWin is also a good choice for antivirus.

Instead of K-Lite, I would recommend ffdshow, which seems to be much cleaner (one codec instead of a collection of codecs).

Gaim in a great IM software, through version 3.0 (still in beta) isn't as good as 2.x as it removes the UI for sending message using Enter key.

I use Crimison Editor (a freeware) as my text editor. It is very similar to EditPlus, but even more powerful (and free in charge).

Site icon Comment by minghong at June 7, 2006 03:32 AM | Permalink

For file management, try Servant Salamander ( ) instead of Total Commander and You'll never look back :)

I know I like it :)

Comment by Roland at June 7, 2006 03:51 PM | Permalink

Roland: I have been trying Servant Salamander and discarded it because it lacked several features from Total Commander. The directory hotlist is missing and most important the ability to see zip files in zip files.

Site icon Comment by Henrik Gemal [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2006 09:07 AM | Permalink

I recommend Notepad++ ( as text editor.

It supports a large amount of filetypes and is open source.

Comment by JAT at September 3, 2006 02:43 PM | Permalink

I gave up on UltraEdit two years ago after paying for it and am now using the free version of EmEditor, which has more robust Unicode handling and Unicode regexp.

Site icon Comment by a-giu at November 7, 2006 05:13 PM | Permalink

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