It were lists like this, that introduced me to a majority of the software I have in use today. So I decided to put up my own litte(?) list.
This list contains all the software I use on Windows, but a lot of it is deliberately cross-platform. I prefer open-source software or at least freeware, that is why only three items on this list are commercial software (marked with '*'). But this shouldn't keep you from supporting/donating to projects you like! And finally, let me add, that I prefer software that is small, sleek and takes care of one thing only.
Handling of archive files.
- DAEMON Tools Lite
Perfect software for archiving your precious CDs/DVDs and mounting them in Windows.
Creates up to 4 virtual desktops. It does so by creating 4 distinct desktop objects, instead of hiding/showing windows, like most(all?) other virtual-desktop solutions do. This results in a lot restrictions, however. But nothing that can't be worked around or got used to.
Emulates an old DOS machine. Useful for very old programs or games.
Nice alternative to standard Windows Explorer. Especially useful if you need Administrator-access to your filesystem, because you can run it as Administrator. Something you cannot do with Windows Explorer when logged in as restricted user.
File-searching under windows done right.
Allows you to remove internal SATA drives, which Windows considers to be non-removable. This is incredible helpful when using SATA HDDs as backup-medium.
Encrypt whole partitions or create an encrypted container to store files within.
Virtualisation. Not only helpful for running old games under W9x or XP, but essential to compiling and testing software on multiple operating systems.
Get a graphical view of your filesystem. Makes it very easy to free up space, or more important to me: reduce the absolute number of files.
A PDF Reader, nothing more, nothing less. No fancy features but slim and tiny.
- VideoLAN Client
Self-contained video player that does not require any external video codecs to be installed. Wonderful piece of software.
A very sleek but fully featured audio-player.
Viewer for image files. Including conversion, simple editing, etc.
Web-browser with important (for me, at least) add-ons:
VIM-like control of Firefox. Makes using the web so much quicker/easier. Absolute deal-breaker for me.
- Tree Style Tab
Finally gives tabs an added bonus so they are not only a duplication of the task-bars functionality in each and every application.
- Extended Cookie Manager
There may be other cookie managers, but I like its user interface. Informative and fast to work with.
No words could ever describe.....
Similar interface as the Extended Cookie Manager. And I prefer to get information from webpages, not interactive multimedia presentations. Seems like the 90s all over.
I couldn't find a voice communication software that fit my requirements. So I decided to write my own and with that, FishSpeak was born.
Multi-protocol instant messenger. Including support for OTR via plugin.
SSH-client and other utilities for working with SSH.
Finding the right RSS-reader was really hard. But I finally settled on RSSOwl. It's cross-platform, the user-interface is arranged they way I like it and - most importantly - each feed can be updated at a different rate.
Thunderbird certainly fulfills all my needs in regards to E-mail. I'd like to use mutt, but on Windows that's a hassle and Muttator doesn't do it for me. So I stick to plain vanilla Thunderbird and be happy.
Word processing without all the bloat.
- Canon Digital Professional
RAW Converter for my Canon DSLRs.
- FL Studio*
If you ever feel the urge to be a musician, that's where I'd go.
Spreadsheet. Plain and simple, albeit sometimes buggy in its Windows release.
Wonderful icon-editor. I had to look for something like this a very long time.
- Photoshop CS*
It's a very old version that I use, but it's the only one I've got and it does everything I need.
- Debugging Tools for Windows
It may take some time getting used to, but I'm not aware of any other debugger that is more powerful.
Documentation-system for your code. It uses HTML Help Workshop to create .chm files.
Debugger for OpenGL applications. Now free!
Text-editor. Sorry: THE text-editor. I mean: THE ONE AND ONLY text editor.
- Microsoft Windows SDK
Compiler, headers, libraries. All you need to develop software for Windows.
- mirkes.de Tiny Hexer
My favourite hex editor. Unfortunately it's not available on mirkes.de anymore. But you can find it on various download-sites: Find download locations.
- Strawberry Perl
Call me old-school, that's okay with me. But I like Perl.
I use Mercurial as revision-control tool and TortoiseHg to interface with it.
- DVD Decrypter
Because my external Plextor DVD drive is annoyingly loud, I used DVD Decrypter to copy my DVDs to my hard-drive. As an added bonus I don't have to change discs every two episodes when watching a series.
Keep in mind, that based on where you live, using DVD Decrypter may be illegal to use.
CD/DVD burning. No fancy bloat included.
In combination with a Garmin GPS watch I use SportTracks to keep track of my training.
I use SportTracks 2 because it is free and has no limitations. Unfortunately that version is no longer available and the trial version of SportTracks 3 is rather limited.