New computer = new software to install



I got my first laptop computer this weekend and, as with all new computer purchases, it’s time to fill the hard disk with the software I use on a daily basis. I thought I would list the software I use, and why below. Partly because I thought others might be interested to see what I use, and partly because I will then have a list of software I use for the next time I get a pc (no doubt things will have changed by then).

So, in no particular order…

  • AVG Free – a free virus checker. Much less intrusive than Norton, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I’ll have one of those thank you very much
  • PSPad – a free text editor. There are loads out there but in my opinion Pspad is the best, and it has a built in ftp system so I can edit files directly on the server.
  • Firefox & thunderbird – these go without saying really. I am a big fan of the open source movement, and these two are some of the best. Firefox seems to have gotten a little less stable with version 2 but I’m hoping things get back on track soon – and it’s still better than IE. That said IE 7 is a big improvement on the old versions, and looks a lot better in Vista than on XP
  • Keepass a handy little program for keeping all my passwords together. I could use notepad but Keepass has a master password meaning things are kept that little bit more secure. The only thing I miss is some way to synch the passwords across all my computers (home pc, work pc, and new laptop)
  • EasyPHP – A very handy development suite. This is actually apache, php, and mysql (+ phpmyadmin) in one handy package. I could setup and install them all individually but easyphp takes care of everything for me.
  • Irfanview – an image viewer. It let’s me view images without loading something like photoshop. Slightly less useful now Vista is out, since the new image features are a big improvement over the old, but still nice to have.
  • Media Player Classic (with quicktime, and realplayer alternative) – a nice simple media player. Let’s me play almost any video file, without the vast memory overheads of something like Quicktime or RealPlayer.
  • Filezilla – an ftp client. Very useful for us web designer types
  • Open Office – I don’t do office based stuff very often but when I do Open Office does everything I need and more.

Notice the word free appears quite a bit – I don’t like to pay for things unless I have to, so generally find free alternatives if I can.

Now it’s your turn. What software do you install when you get a new pc? What is the one program you can’t do without?

Was it good/ useful/ a load of old rubbish? Let me know on Mastodon, or BlueSky (or Twitter X if you must).

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