Focal Curve

The Essential (Software) Mix

As mentioned previously, I reformatted my laptop recently and installed a fresh virginal Windows XP. Then began the task of reinstalling all the of software I need. Here’s my list of essentials (some are obvious no-brainers, I’m just including them here for completeness).

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • HomeSite – my favorite text editor.
  • Dreamweaver – I find myself using this less and less but it still comes in handy.
  • Mozilla – The very first thing I do with a virginal Windows install is open up IE, download Mozilla, set it as my default browser and mail client, and then try to avoid ever opening IE again. I favor the full Mozilla suite instead of the Firefox-Thunderbird duo.
  • WinRAR – Compression, baby! (It handles .zip too).
  • IrfanView – Lightning-fast freeware image viewer/editor/converter. Handles about every format you can think of, crop, resize, resample, scale, etc. Gotta have it.
  • Winamp Classic – I don’t care for the bloated new versions. It peaked at 2.6.
  • FileZilla – Excellent freeware FTP client.
  • My old version of PHPTriad – Outdated, but free. Installs Apache, PHP and MySQL in one fell swoop without the headache of installing all three separately.
  • MySQL-Front – Nice front-end client for working with mySQL databases, friendlier than phpMyAdmin.
  • Trillian Basic – Cross-network chat client.
  • Avast! Antivirus – Free virus protection.
  • Ad-Aware – Spyware protection.
  • Spybot Search & Destroy – More spyware protection, worth having and running both regularly, as each one will catch things the other may miss.
  • The latest Flash player for Mozilla.
  • The latest Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • The latest Quicktime player.
  • MicroSoft Word – I know, I know, there are other less evil alternatives. I’ve used StarOffice, haven’t tried OpenOffice.org though I may give it a shot. Meanwhile I have a copy of Word 2000 so I might as well use it.

There are probably others I could mention. Opera, SnagIt, Arachnophilia, etc. But this list pretty much covers my core neccessities. Any suggestions for more essentials to add to my arsenal?

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