Emilio Suarez's WebLog

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Top Windows software

Today, SysInternals and WinInternals have been acquired by Microsoft... so this is the perfect excuse to list the top applications that I always install on a Windows machine... and they are all free or shareware.
This is something that several people have asked me before, so I thought it was a good idea to put it here.

So here they are:

- ProcessExplorer and FileMon from SysInternals. These are the best tools for finding exactly what is going on with your processes and files. And I would suggest you grab all of their free tools before they get into Microsoft's hands.

- Mozilla Firefox. This is a no-brainer. IE is evil, Firefox is the best way to browse the web on Windows.

- Textpad. I have used Textpad for many years, and it is my preferred program for editing all kinds of files. They also have syntax files for almost every language, scripting and tool available, and it's support of macros is really nice.

- TreeSize. An essential utility for finding who is responsible of eating all that disk space.

- VMWare Player. Now that VMWare is offering the free player, there is no excuse not to use it, and with the rapidly growing library of virtual appliances, this is becoming a very simple way to install easily other operating systems and applications, that otherwise would require some expertise to install and use. I recommend you install the Ubuntu virtual appliance, which gives you a full installation of Ubuntu ready to use.

- Real VNC. I always need to access my computer remotely, and nothing beats VNC, it is fast, simple to use and free.

- Google Earth. Just because it is great, just because it is plainly amazing, and just because it is free. A must-have.

- Trillian. Really nice chat client that allows you to manager your accounts under one program. Handles Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Jabber (Google Talk), AOL AIM, IRC and ICQ.

- Skype. I have started to use Skype increasingly because it is better than using the regular phone, and now that calls within the US are free until the end of the year, it is a great deal. And the quality of the calls is excelent.

- Winamp. The best MP3 player out there. Easy to use, simple and full of features.

- VLC Media Player. This program enables you to watch any video, in almost any format. From DVD VOD files, to DivX, to streaming video. If you can't watch a video with your player, VLC will play it for you.

- IntelliJ IDEA. Well, this goes in the list because I am a developer, and this is hands down the best Java IDE on the planet. Period. And it is now becoming even better for editing HTML, XML, JavaScript, CSS and JSP, which are the languages of AJAX.
IDEA is not free, but every January, they offer a personal license at a very reasonable price. I have been a loyal customer since version 1.0.

- Eclipse. Again I am including this because I also use it for development, but the Eclipse platform is growing so rapidly that there are now plugins for all kinds of tasks. So from editing wiki's in the Confluence platform, to tracking bugs in Bugzilla, to building applications in RubyOnRails, Eclipse plugins make your life easier.

So here it is... there are other apps that I usually use and find particulartly good, but this is the top of the list...

Next installment will be the top Mac apps.