Ben is a lifelong Nintendo fan who likes to build websites, and make video games. He buys way too much Lego.
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?