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Desktop April 07 | by Twinmama
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Desktop April 07

My CPU fan died recently, which corrupted Windows and required that I reinstall everything from scratch. Though it was an absolutely excruciating experience, it did allow me to ditch a lot of crap I wasn't using and set everything up just the way I wanted.

 

Below is a list of my new favorite software, mostly free and the rest pretty cheap:

 

* PDFCreator - $100 for Adobe Acrobat? Screw that.

* SensorsView Pro 3.1 ($19) - to monitor temps and voltages of everything in your system

* Network Magic - an awesome program for helping you setup and maintain your network

* Tag&Rename ($30) - for renaming and tagging MP3s correctly

* File Hippo Update Checker - checks to see if your software has updates...this managed to find an obscure update for Nero that I needed that wasn't even listed anywhere on their website

* AM-Deadlink - checks your bookmarks for 404s and gets those favicons

* Audacity - sound recorder and editor, very popular

* Azureus - bitorrent...I HIGHLY recommend using with plugin called SafePeer to avoid getting a letter from your ISP like I did...and be vigilant about updating your antivirus

* Firefox - goes without saying

* Juice - podcast receiver, this is what I use to download and listen to Weekly Signals

* DVD Shrink - great free program for copying encrypted DVDs

* DVDFab - This will usually get around any new encryption that DVD Shrink can't. Platinum version is great for getting video converted for ipods

* ImgBurn - you'll need this to actually burn your DVD copy if you don't have Nero

* HD Tune - monitors your hard drives and warns you of impending disaster

* FLV Player - plays those downloaded YouTube videos

* Exact Audio Copy - great MP3 ripper; try LAME encoding (not lame!)

* Winamp - great lightweight yet feature-rich MP3 player (see this if you want to use with your ipod)

* Soulseek - for getting MP3s (excellent!)

* Picasa - I've tried a lot of photo organizers, and I think this one's pretty darn good (with one caveat: discover how to back up your albums/labels, because Picasa doesn't do this for you and if you switch and restore hard drives you lose all your labels and albums. I lost three years worth of labeling in something like 80GB of photos because I didn't know this. I sincerely hope Google fixes this in future editions).

 

Other useful programs:

* WinAudit - not the prettiest UI, but tells you everything you could possibly want to know about your computer system

* PC-Decrapifier - This is a GREAT tool for automatically uninstalling all the CRAP that they install on new computers

* Trend Protect IE - say you have a relative that simply will not release their grip on Internet Explorer. You can make their online life a little safer with this plugin.

* TweakUI Powertoy - a little Microsoft program that's very handy for eliminating Windows' default annoyances, like the "informative" balloons and login hassles

 

Also: Firefox extensions!

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Uploaded on April 7, 2007