Software i use & other Computer tips 15Aug19

Software I use listed Alphabetically ( this is mostly  Software  I currently use  I am not going to list all the software I have ever used as it would take far too long but I will list some things I used to use as they may be of use to other people ) I highly recommend you install all the software I list here that’s for security or privacy. I have used Computers heavily since 2001 so after that amount of time I have learned to do a great many things using Computers. As well as software I will also include info and links to a few other Computer tips or services you may like to try .

I highly recommend you keep notes on all software you install in an A to z file , 1 piece of paper per different software programme kept alphabetically in a folder so you can keep notes of the date and time you got it, and how you use it, its also a good idea to keep a log in order of what changes you make to your pc so that if and when something goes wrong you can look at your log to see what changes you made recently that maybe caused the problem.

Acronis True Image 2019  from https://www.acronis.com/en-eu/personal/computer-backup/   costs from 50 Euros and can be used to make a copy of your hard drive :   Protect everything to recover anything with a mirror image of your system disk or a selected partition. In the event of data loss, you can easily recover whatever you need – from your full system to an individual file or folder. ( this means you can not only make a copy of your Windows Operating system you also get to copy all the other software you have installed on that Drive and your personal files ) .

Adblock Plus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adblock_Plus  is free from https://adblockplus.org/  it’s a Chrome browser plugin I highly recommend you install this to block as many adverts as possible on webpages.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is free from https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/   you use this to open pdf files ( in the old days most technical things you bought eg a tv or washing machine came with a huge paper manual now your more likely to get a manual as a pdf file. More info see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Acrobat  you need to keep this up to date. Most Magazines now come as pdf files.

Adobe Digital Editions free from https://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions/download.html  is what you use to view epub books ( a type of digital book )

Adobe Flash Player is a browser addon that chrome seemed to have stopped supporting, on 29 June 2019 I got version 32.0.0.207 which is 20.1mb https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/  info here says in July 2017 Adobe say it will end support for this in 2020 as HTML5 takes over https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash_Player

Antivirus  (for what I use see  see Windows Defender and Malwarebytes)  , Antivirus is absolutely essential to have on a Computer, you should scan your computer at least once a week,  in the past ive used AVG from May 2015  , McAfee , Norman I used for a year as I got it for free from some monitoring company , Avira from March 2011 and got again after AVG messed up chrome browsers from September 2017,  , and other antivirus programmes , . https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antivirus_software  also see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_antivirus_software   

Ant Video Downloader from https://www.ant.com/   I got on 1 july 2019 as a firefox extension it also works on chrome. Version 4.3 released 29 May 2019. This is to download videos off websites.

Any MP4 Video Converter Ultimate costs $33 from https://www.anymp4.com/video-converter-ultimate/  I used it to edit videos , it can also be used to rip dvds. Ive used this since December 2014. I heard of this via the webuser forum.

ARC 125 by Butel.nl is software to programme Uniden Scanners used to listed to Air traffic control https://www.butel.nl/download_125.html  https://www.butel.nl/index.html  its about £27  I think in 2019

Asus 3d Monitor I use needed Nvidea update 1.7.11, Physx system software 9.12.0209, 3d vision controller driver 295.73, HD audio driver 1.3.12.0, Graphics driver 295.73, 3d vision driver 295.73 these were on a cdrom with the monitor.

Audacity https://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/  is no longer at Sourceforge now you download it from https://www.audacityteam.org/download/ , I first used it in September 2012 as it came with a usb cassette capture device I bought to convert music on audio cassettes to mp3 files. Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. I have used it to record internet radio shows.

Avidemux is free from http://avidemux.sourceforge.net/  I use it to edit .mov videos off my SJCAM  Action cameras / dashcams, its very good and quick. I Can give tips on how to use it

Belarc Advisor is free software that scans your computer to tell you what hardware and software you have installed get it from https://www.belarc.com/products_belarc_advisor  in November 2017 I got version 8.5c.

BitMeter 2 is free from https://codebox.net/pages/bitmeter2  and a brilliant way to know how much data your using as you surf the internet. It counts how much your using which lets you know what ISP package to go for as you know how much data you will need per month. Ive been using this since March 2011

BitTorrent Classic the desktop software from https://www.bittorrent.com/   is used to download Torrent files https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent  Typically Torrent files are large  Videos or Music.   you need to use a VPN if getting torrent files unless of course your 100% sure they are copyright free files. There are websites that only list copyright free torrent files see https://www.techsupportalert.com/content/finding-legal-and-free-torrents.htm  BitTorrent can crash occasionally which can lead to all the torrent files you had active in it disappearing, I know ways to get them back plus can give a lot of advice on using this. This gets Magnet files off websites that contain the trackers used to coordinate the exchange of files between computers.

CCleaner https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCleaner get from https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner  I use the free version , CCleaner (/ˈsiːkliːnər/, originally Crap Cleaner),[6] developed by Piriform (a company acquired by Avast in 2017,) is a utility used to clean potentially unwanted files and invalid Windows Registry entries from a computer. It is one of the longest-established system cleaners, first launched in 2004.[7] It was originally developed for Microsoft Windows only,[8] but in 2012, a macOS version was released. I use this daily to clean up and remove Cookies, trackers etc from my PC. I have use dthis since at least 2008.

Chrome Browser  ( Google ) is my no1 choice of browser. Get it from https://www.google.com/chrome/   this is to view websites. Once you have it you can then add the Chrome browser addons I list in this article to improve your web surfing.

Clone DVD 7 Ultimate is to copy dvds but I never used it.

Coinhive Blocker is free from https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/coin-hive-blocker/ccagdbjcbhmcdcbbknfebhhdbolnfimo?hl=en  it’s a Chrome browser addon that blocks websites from using your CPU to mine for Bitcoin etc , I noticed I needed this when my CPU went to 100% once after I landed on a website, I investigated and found out scum bags hijack your computers cpu to mine coins for themselves without asking for your permission. Use Coinhive blocker to stop them. Version 0.4 was released on 3 october 2017.

Crucial Memory system scanner https://eu.crucial.com/eur/en/systemscanner  is a small free bit of software you can install to use to see what memory your computer uses and be advised what new memory you could buy to add more memory to your computer if trying to make it run faster etc.

Cyberlink PowerDVD I use https://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd-ultra/features_en_EU.html?r=1  its up to version 19 now and costs 100 euros so around £100 I use this to play 3D films on my 3d pc monitor, it also plays normal 2d videos / dvds etc . This can play 4k videos too.

Daemontools Lite https://www.daemon-tools.cc/products/dtLite  is free with ads, is a way to mount iso images and all other popular types of images

Driver Pack solutions I used back in 2014 it hunts through your drivers and shows what can be updated . I don’t use this now.

Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/  is a way to transfer files to the Cloud I got it in July 2017 as a way of sharing a file with a friend. Theres a 2gb limit for free accounts.

DVDFAB from https://www.dvdfab.cn/   can be used to rip DVD’s  to back up a copy of your films etc in case you scratch the disks. The DVD Copy + DVD Ripper costs $129 the all in one package of everything they make is $369 , I have used the DVD ripper and it does work. I have used this since 2012

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard https://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/free-data-recovery-software.htm  let you recover 2gb of data for free in the past , if you need to recover more data from a damaged hard drive it costs £74.99 plus another £17.09 if you want the software on a CD , I tried to use this to save 4TB of data on one of my external hard drives when something eg Microsoft Windows 10 caused a fault and made everything on my external hard drive disappear. It takes time to recover your files but it it did find some ( about 1.3TB out of 4tb I was trying to recover)  and help me to save them to another hard drive but it also didn’t work as well as a rival product called Zar X so see my info on Zar X further down this article.  I first got this in 2013 to recover files off an MMC card. I recall this took ages actually eg 2 or 3 days with PC left on 247 its very very slow.

Epson printer is the make of printer  I use so I have software for that installed . They tend to give you the software on a disk / cd to install on your computer  but if you loose your disk they should provide it via a website you can download it from .  https://epson.com/Support/Printers/sh/s1  

Fat32 formatter https://download.cnet.com/MiniAide-Fat32-Formatter/3000-2094_4-75701815.html  version 1.05 I got in August 2015 I tried it on a 32gb micro sdcard in my Gopro action camera I used this software to reformat the card to fat32 I had to do this so I could set the correct time on my Gopro.

Final Draft is software you use to write Screenplays with ( Movie scripts or TV scripts )  https://www.finaldraft.com/  version 11 is the latest release. You have to buy this. This is what the top Hollywood screenwriters use. I got Final draft 10 in late 2017 ,

Firefox Browser is free from https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/   back in 2001 My Windows ME computer came pre loaded with Microsofts internet Explorer browser so everyone used it , but every hacker found and exploited the security flaws in it to put pop up windows on your computer, install viruses and all kinds of malware so rapidly many people switched to Firefox as an alternative that didn’t cause people so much hassle. Firefox was good for a long time but then as Google built its Chrome browser off the same open source code Firefox is built on Firefox began to have issues so I stopped using it. I hardly ever use it now but I do have it on my PC incase I need it . Firefox is a browser used to view websites. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox ive used ff since at least 2012.

Flacsquisher https://sourceforge.net/projects/flacsquisher/  is a way to convert music flac files to mp3  files ive used this since 2015

Freemake Video Downloader   I no longer use , I used to use it to get videos off youtube but the installer came with adware and its just not as good as IDM Internet Download Manager so I now use that .

FreeRAM XP Pro made by YourWare Solutions  is a memory freeing tool I no longer use but I did use it in the past for many years. Im not sure it works ok on win10 so don’t get this its now very old and hasn’t been updated in far too long.

Ghostery https://www.ghostery.com/  is a browser addon watch video tutorial chrome-extension://mlomiejdfkolichcflejclcbmpeaniij/app/templates/hub.html?justInstalled=true#tutorial/1  it blocks trackers and adverts to improve your privacy. I used it on my laptop first then put it on my oc from August 2019 . version 8.4.0 I got. This is a must have .

Google Earth used to be software you installed to view planet earth from above it was brilliant but now it’s a website https://earth.google.com/web/@54.088568,-2.54651468,-2741.06343042a,7697842.23714709d,35y,0h,0t,0r   use the scroll wheel on a mouse to zoom in on an area you want to see close up, its just like your  a plane above the land, make sure you go to the menu ( top left 3 horizontal lines) then map style and choose everything to get road names labelled etc. You can drag the icon like a little man onto roads and it drops you into a street view to show you photos of the location, its brilliant if your planning to go somewhere new as it lets you work out exactly where to go and what you should see.

GoPro Action cameras https://gopro.com/en/gb/update  update their software via that link.

GoPro Studio https://gopro-studio.en.softonic.com/  I got version 2.5.7 back in feb 2016 to try edit videos my gopro recorded . it works on mp4, .mov, h264 etc. you will also need Apple Quicktime for audio on .mov files  I found .mov files on my sjcam wasn’t a supported format , ive not used this software in ages now.

G-Spot is used to tell what codec a video needs I got version 2.70 in 2013 https://www.headbands.com/gspot/  ive not used it in years.

Hijack This https://sourceforge.net/projects/hjt/  HijackThis is a free utility that generates an in depth report of registry and file settings from your computer. HijackThis scan results make no separation between safe and unsafe settings , which gives you the ability to selectively remove items from your machine. In addition to scan and remove capabilities, HijackThis comes with several useful tools to manually remove malware from your computer. However, HijackThis does not make value based calls between what is considered good or bad. It is important to exercise caution and avoid making changes to your computer settings, unless you have expert knowledge. Source code is available SourceForge, under Code and also as a zip file under Files. I used this in 2012 I ws trying to work out why utorrent software kept crashing. Ive not used this for years.

Honey from https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/honey/bmnlcjabgnpnenekpadlanbbkooimhnj?hl=en  is a chrome addon I never use it never finds me useful shopping stuff like it promised to do. Automatically find and apply coupon codes when you shop online! Is their promise.

HTTPS everywhere https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. I got it in 2012 as a Firefox addon and ill get it again on 13 August 2019 for chrome. HTTPS Everywhere is an extension created by EFF and the Tor Project which automatically switches thousands of sites from insecure "http" to secure "https".  It will protect you against many forms of surveillance and account hijacking, and some forms of censorship.

IMGBURN I got 2012 to try and finalise dvd-r disks with tv recordings from my dvd recorder. https://www.imgburn.com/  ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!

It has several ‘Modes’, each one for performing a different task:

  • Read – Read a disc to an image file
  • Build – Create an image file from files on your computer or network – or you can write the files directly to a disc
  • Write – Write an image file to a disc
  • Verify – Check a disc is 100% readable. Optionally, you can also have ImgBurn compare it against a given image file to ensure the actual data is correct
  • Discovery – Put your drive / media to the test! Used in combination with DVDInfoPro, you can check the quality of the burns your drive is producing

Internet Download Manager ( IDM ) is a brilliant bit of software I use to download files off websites, https://www.internetdownloadmanager.com/download.html  you can get a 30 day free trial of this. Internet Download Manager supports all popular browsers including IE, Chrome, AOL, MSN, Mozilla, Netscape, Firefox, Avant Browser, and many others. Internet Download Manager supports all versions of all popular browsers, and it can be integrated into any Internet application to take over downloads using unique “Advanced Browser Integration” feature.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Download_Manager   you can use this to download videos off Youtube. Ive used this since 2017.

Internet Explorer Browser is made by Microsoft its how you view webpages , I now only use it when I can get a website to work on on Chrome browser eg a video wont download of a chrome webpage but can sometimes still download off  an IE webpage  ( IE ) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer  get it from https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/hub/4230784/internet-explorer-help  this is not Microsofts latest browser for that see Microsoft Edge in this list of software I use. IE used to cause computer uses so much stress due to all the holes in it every scum bag with computer hacking skills used to exploit to put pop up adverts on your pc or viruses. I stopped using it for a long time and now in 2019 I rarely use it. I got version 11 in October 2017,

Ipredator is a VPN provider https://ipredator.se/ ive used it since at least 2012 and use its OpenVPN setup. The tutorials on this website are a series of screenshots ( pictures) with instructions to follow. I found the instructions to be in need of a serious rewrite. There are many rival VPN providers but you must understand not all VPN providers are good at keeping your data private. Read this https://torrentfreak.com/which-vpn-services-keep-you-anonymous-in-2019/   You need to know if they keep logs, what jurisdiction does the company operate under, ?  what support do they provide, ?  ( ipredator do email support and IRC chat ) what does the company do if a court orders them to identify a user ? , how do you pay them ? ( ipredator take Paypal and Bitcoin and OK Pay and Swift Bank wire Transfer) https://ipredator.se/page/pricing  do they provide kill switches? Is BitTorrent traffic allowed ?   What countries are your servers in ? what is their up time ? ( I would say if you had your computer on 24 hours a day 365 days a year you would find that roughly 7 to 10 days a year you wont be able to connect to Ipredator, that downtime can be due to server errors/ problems, electricity problems at their datacenters, DDOS attacks on them etc .

IPV6 you need to turn off if you use a VPN due to a flaw in PPTP

IsoBuster pro I tried in 2012 not sure I got it to do what I wanted

Itunes  https://www.apple.com/itunes/     I used to use when I has an Apple Phone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITunes  iTunes (/ˈaɪtjuːnz/)[1] is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It was announced on January 9, 2001. It is used to play, download, and organize digital multimedia files, including music and video, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems. Content must be purchased through the iTunes Store, whereas iTunes is the software letting users manage their purchases. I no longer use it

Java which is used by some browsers is now downloaded and updated for you by Windows 10 , keep it up top date to fix flaws in it . https://www.java.com/en/ ive used this since at least 2008 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Java_(programming_language)  in november 2018 I got version java 8 update 191 .

Linux Live disk to retrieve files off a broken hard drive etc , I chose ubuntu linux, in 2012 I tried this ive not used this in years. You put it on a usb stick eg a 32gb one.

Logitec cordless mouse https://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice  set point software version 6.61.15 ive used this since 2014

Lookback https://help.lookback.io/en/articles/1840139-how-does-lookback-s-chrome-extension-work  is a chrome addon I need when I do paid market research for usertribe.com it can record your computer screen and audio ( I use a headset )

Malwarebytes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malwarebytes_(software)   get it from https://www.malwarebytes.com/  is a great AntiMalware software programme I use. It runs on Windows 10 and it turns off Win10 defender otherwise I think they would clash as they do the same thing. When I use this its not just Antivirus it often blocks dodgy dangerous websites from opening up unwanted browser windows eg if viewing sports streaming sites or music websites. I highly recommend you install this to avoid dodgy links on websites/ unwanted things happening to your PC etc  It costs £30 for 12 months or £52.48 for 24months so you save 25% on the 2nd year. Ive used this since 2014.

McAfee Siteadvisor was an addon for Firefox browser that I used to , it was handly as it used a traffic light system to warn you the second a website loaded whether it was risky or not and if it was red you could look up what had been reported about it to warranty the risky rating eg virus was detected on the site. use but now I use Malwarebytes to block bad websites. I used this from 2011 onwards.

Megasync from https://mega.nz/help   is used to download files people have saved to that website you can get it from https://download.cnet.com/MEGASync/3000-18500_4-77547730.html  its free, Mega used to be run by Kim Dotcom a German man who was famously wanted by the USA for copyright infringement see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Dotcom   ive used this service to get stuff like scripts film scripts. In December 2014 I used mega.co.nz to get the desktop app so I could get some files. In November 2018 they give you 50gb of free storage.

Memtest https://www.memtest.org/   Based on the well-known original memtest86 written by Chris Brady, memtest86+ is a port by some members of the x86-secret team, now working at www.canardpc.com. Our goal is to provide an up-to-date and completly reliable version of this software tool aimed at memory failures detection. Memtest86+ was, is and will always be a free, open-source software. The original Memtest86 is now handled by PassMark® Software Pty Ltd. Ive used this since 2014 I used it to test the memory on my cyberpowwer pc ,

Microsoft Edge Browser is used to view webpages. When I first got it I recall having to stop using it within just 10 minutes of using it as it was impossible to use to set up a VPN, the idiots at Microsoft had built it without the ability to recognise some types of files a VPN needs. Now in 2019 I rarely use it . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Edge  it was released in July 2015. It was released for Windows 10. This is supposed to take over from the much hated Internet Explorer browser by Microsoft. Get it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/microsoft-edge 

Microsoft Office 2019  this has Microsoft Word which is probably the most used Word processor in the world. You can use this to keep lists of things you own or write letters etc. get it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/office-professional-2019/cfq7ttc0k7c5?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab   it costs $439.99 The essentials to get it all done. Office Professional 2019 is for growing small businesses who want the classic Office apps plus Outlook, OneDrive, Publisher and Access1. A one-time purchase installed on 1 PC for use at work. It has Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and Access. Ive used Microsoft office since at least 2015 .

Microsoft Windows 10 is the operating system my Computer uses https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10 you can update to it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows as of August 2019 im using version 1903 which was a feature update  ive had since 23 May 2019. I have used Windows 95 released 24aug95 , Windows ME since 2001 on the first Computer I bought from a British PC builder called TIME which went bust , Windows ME was released in September 2000 ( Windows 98 basically which was released 25jun98  ME had the first version of System restore and boy did I need to try using that a lot. Windows ME was a useless pile of shit that causes so much stress to its users, it used to Blue screen so often. , Windows XP https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP  was released on 24aug2001 I didn’t start using it until maybe 2003ish when a pc support person suggested I install it instead of carry on using Windows ME after I had a major pc problem, It was a huge improvement in reliability of Windows ME. , Windows Vista https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista  operating system Was released on 8 November 2006 it came installed on a expensive  Dell desktop PC I bought around 2006 /2007 and again improved on all previous Operating systems Microsoft had released , as in it was more stable and did more things.  , Windows 7 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7  was released 22 July 2009 I got this sometime after this date  when reinstalling Vista from my genuine Disk ( due to some major PC problem ) Microsoft stupidly decided for some reason that it couldn’t install Vista ! you just cant make up the stupidity you face when dealing with Microsoft sometimes. To me Win7 was basically Vista ,  I never used Windows 8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8 released 1 august 2012 , or windows 8.1 released 27 August 2013 , Windows 10 Pro I use now I have version 1903 OS Build 18362.239 as of August 2019 . Windows 10 was released 15 July 2015 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10  Microsoft pretty much forced windows 7 users to update to it whether they wanted to or not, I had so many annoying nag screens from Microsoft, they should be banned from doing this.

MKVTOOLNIX   https://www.videohelp.com/software/MKVToolNix  I used in 2013,  MKVToolNix is a set of tools to create, alter, split, join and inspect Matroska files(mkv). With these tools one can get information about (mkvinfo) Matroska files, extract tracks/data from (mkvextract) Matroska files and create (mkvmerge) Matroska files from other media files. Matroska is a multimedia file format aiming to become THE new container format for the future. Use MKVCleaver orgMKVExtractGUI to extract/demultiplex mkv video and audio files. 

Movavi Screen Capture Studio https://www.movavi.com/screen-capture/  I tried in 2017  Movavi Screen Recorder is a screenshot program as well as a video and audio grabber. The screen capture tool lets you take screenshots and grab any screen video with a single click. Easy, handy, quick – Movavi screen capture is perfect for everyday use.


MPV https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpv_(media_player)  is free from https://mpv.io/   ive not used it for ages. I was told this can play livestream  videos captured by Streamlink I got this in July 2017

Multicam capture is part of Roxio see Roxio in this list.

NoScript https://noscript.net/   The NoScript Firefox extension provides extra protection for Firefox, Seamonkey and other mozilla-based browsers: this free, open source add-on allows JavaScriptJavaFlash and otherplugins to be executed only by trusted web sites of your choice (e.g. your online bank).NoScript also provides the most powerful anti-XSS and anti-Clickjacking protection ever available in a browser. Ive been using this since 2007 . I had not used it for a while buy have just got it again in August 2019 , you will find almost every website you visit you will need to click the Noscript icon to allow 1 or 2 scripts to see what you want to see on a website but you will also be able to block a load of other scripts trying to load Adverts and trackers onto your PC.

Nvidia I needed for 3d to work on my Asus Computer monitor. To get stereoscopic 3d to work. https://www.nvidia.com/sv-se/account/country-selector/   I had an Nvidia Graphics Card in my oc until it failed.

OBS Studio screen recorder https://obsproject.com/ I got in June 2017 , you can live stream with this to twitch also, had to watch videos on Youtube to try work out how to use this, I no longer use it.

OpenOffice 4.1.5 I have it’s a free Word processor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org   I used to use this a lot but im sure it used to cause windows crashes so now I stick to using Microsoft Word and office. I need it to open some old files I still have. This is Apache OpenOffice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_OpenOffice   it does work and I recall first getting it as the only way I could find to help my father open some files he had created on a Windows 95 PC because Microsoft had stopped supporting the file type ( maybe some really old word files ? ) anyway we found this software to let us open the old files so that’s how we began using it. Ive used Openoffice since at least 2008.

OpenVPN GUI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenVPN  I have as its open source software that impliments a VPN Virtual Private Network I use for security https://openvpn.net/  its free and I got it as the VPN provider I use ( Ipredator )  told us to use this in their instructions on setting up a VPN to use their service, I still then need to pay monthly to use the VPN provider I use.

Opera Browser is yet another browser that’s free https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_(web_browser)  get it from https://www.opera.com/  it uses a VPN from 2016 , I got it in November 2017. I rarely use it.

Panasonic HD Writer LE is software they make so you can edit videos recorded on Panasonic camcorders. I got this with a v550 camcorder in Jan 2015 . https://av.jpn.support.panasonic.com/support/global/cs/soft/download/f_ae54.html 

Participate by lookback is a chrome extention to record your pc screen for usertribe market research , I need to use a microphone headset plugged into my pc so they can record my voice. Ive used this since May 2019

Pinnacle Studio 16 ultimate is software to edit videos eg off camcorders, this is the software that made me give up trying to edit videos ! what a hassle this was to use.

Prey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prey_(software)  get from  https://preyproject.com/   install it on all computers laptops phones etc you have because if your hardware is stolen you can trace the location ( geolocate ) the thief has your equipment ! Its free so get it.

Privacy badger https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/privacy-badger/pkehgijcmpdhfbdbbnkijodmdjhbjlgp  is a Chrome addon made by eff.org  ive not used for long as of  July 2019 I think I heard about it in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Privacy Badger automatically learns to block invisible trackers. Instead of keeping lists of what to block, Privacy Badger learns by watching which domains appear to be tracking you as you browse the Web.Privacy Badger sends the Do Not Track signal (https://www.eff.org/issues/do-not-track) with your browsing. If trackers ignore your wishes, your Badger will learn to block them. Privacy Badger starts blocking once it sees the same tracker on three different websites. Besides automatic tracker blocking, Privacy Badger removes outgoing link click tracking on Facebook, Google and Twitter, with more privacy protections on the way.You will need to install it on all your browsers one at a time eg chrome. Firefox, opera,

Process Lasso  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_Lasso   made by a company called Bitsum is a very useful bit of software Process Lasso is a process priority optimizer for Windows developed by Jeremy Collake of Bitsum LLC. It features a graphical user interface that allows for automating various process related tasks (e.g. automatically restart process if X, or start High Performance power scheme when running, or restrain if out of control). Its ProBalance algorithm works by dynamically adjusting the processes priorities, in order to keep the system responsive when process(es) are consuming too many CPU cycles.Basically you can see all the processes running on your computer and how much CPU they are using, this can help you identify processes that are using a lot of CPU causing your PC to run slower and hotter, EG I used this to identify that Realplayer was a major CPU hog, every day I would terminate ( shut down ) Realplayer from the list od active processes but it just keeps coming back so in the end I unistalled Realplayer. The free version of Process lasso is fine for me, you can pay for another version for £21.49  https://bitsum.com/get-lasso-pro/  ive used this since at least January 2015.

Program data is a hidden system folder on Windows computers , find it by typing %programdata% in run ( win + R )

Ram Booster version 1.02 created by zoomfire311 software is free from https://sourceforge.net/projects/ram-booster/  Features

  • Boost your RAM in seconds.
  • Check the percentage of your CPU and RAM usuage.

You can also get it from the developers website here https://bartyrocks0.wixsite.com/bartyrocks3dev/gallery  , every day when I put my PC on I have to click on the desk icon to start this program it doesn’t automatically start. Its very useful as you can visually see how much CPu is in use and how much Ram is in use, heavy use of either can be a clue somethings not right.

Realplayer  from https://www.real.com/  I got as it can download some videos off websites like Youtube, I unistalled it in 2019 as it’s a huge CPU hog. Years ago I also used this to burn music to cd’s but its by far the worst cd burning software I have ever used I wasted so many blank cds on this dog shit software, so many times it would fail to complete the burn leaving me with ruined disks.

RealTemp version 3.70 I use to see what the temperatures are of my Computers CPU Central processing Unit, this is free software that you need to remember to start up when you put your Computer on. This is a very handy way to see when somethings going wrong with your computer eg it needs cleaning inside the case as dust is blocking fans and radiators up etc or A browser tab is mining cryptocurrency without your permission.  https://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/   Real Temp is a temperature monitoring program designed for all Intel single Core, Dual Core, Quad Core and Core i7 processors.
Each core on these processors has a digital thermal sensor (DTS) that reports temperature data relative to TJMax which is the safe maximum operating core temperature for the CPU. As your CPU heats up, your Distance to TJMax will decrease. If it reaches zero, your processor will start to thermal throttle or slow down so maximizing your distance away from TJMax will help your computer run at full speed and more reliably too.Ive used this since at least 2014.

RKill    I got in jan 2014 I guess when I was trying to fix a problem, ive not used it for ages.   https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/rkill/  RKill is a program that was developed at BleepingComputer.com that attempts to terminate known malware processes so that your normal security software can then run and clean your computer of infections. When RKill runs it will kill malware processes and then removes incorrect executable associations and fixes policies that stop us from using certain tools. When finished it will display a log file that shows the processes that were terminated while the program was running.As RKill only terminates a program’s running process, and does not delete any files, after running it you should not reboot your computer as any malware processes that are configured to start automatically will just be started again. Instead, after running RKill you should immediately scan your computer using some sort of anti-malware or anti-virus program so that the infections can be properly removed.

Roboform  I used to use for years  to fill in forms but now Chrome browser remembers passwords and usernames I no longer use it

Roxio Creator NXT Pro is what I use to burn music to CD’s and to make DVD’s etc https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roxio_Creator   theyre now up to version 7 https://www.roxio.com/en/products/creator/  its very good, you can drag your MP3 music files into it and it then burns them onto CD’s you can play in your car or sterio etc. Ive used this for years . it costs £69.99, I have used many other programmes to burn cd’s or dvd’s over the years but for now im happy with Roxio products.  Ive used Roxio since at least 2010 , Roxio Creator supports a wide variety of file formats, including:

  • Video: AVI, DV, HDV, DV-AVI, MPEG-1/2/4, MPEG2-HD, DVD-Video, IFO/VOB, XviD, DVR-MS, TiVo, ASF, MOV, WMV, QuickTime, 3GP, MPEG2 Transport Stream, AVC (H.264), AVCHD
  • Audio: Audio CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, Dolby Digital AC-3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, M4A, MP4, Playlists (WPL, ASX, M3U, PLS, XSPF)
  • Photo: JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIF

Roxio Secure burn is part of Roxio Creator NXT Pro

Samsung Galaxy is the mobile phone I use now. It runs on Android operating system. It’s a good idea to keep a list of Apps ( software) you install to your phone in case any cause problems or you loose your phone and want to remember what stuff to put back onto a new phone eg AVG, Freedar,

SD Card Formatter is free and very useful for when you need to reformat sdcards eg   sdxc cards as sometimes when you delete all the files off a card some folder wont allow you to delete it, im not sure if it’s a Windows error but anyway if that happens I use this software to completely wipe everything off sdcards , get it from https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter/ 

Skype ( now owned by Microsoft ) lets you make free phone calls from your Computer plus it’s an Instant Messenger . Skype is updated by Windows Update when there are new versions to download.  Get it from https://www.skype.com/en/    if you have a Webcam you can have video chats with people. You set up a username and password to use it. Ive used Skype since at least 2015. In fact I recall trying to use this on a dial up internet connecting years ago and its not possible to open a single webpage while using Skype ( back then ) as it uses all the CPU of your Computer. Now with faster quadcore Computers etc you can use Skype plus do other things at the same time.

Slysoft AnyDVD & AnyDVD HD  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AnyDVD  is used to remove copy protection from dvd’s.i tried this in 2015,  get it from https://www.redfox.bz/  this is a similar/ rival  product to DVDFab , use it to back up your most precious dvds.

Sodapdf I tried in 2014 to open cbr and cbz files https://www.sodapdf.com/  its changed since I used it : Soda PDF is built to help you power through any PDF task. You name it, it can handle it. 
Create PDFs from 300+ file formats. Convert to an array of file types. Edit the content of your documents. Create custom formsAnnotate your files. 
Send and track contracts for electronic signature.

Spacemonger  https://download.cnet.com/SpaceMonger/3000-2248_4-10050288.html   SpaceMonger creates a visual Treemap graphic making it simple to see the folders and files that are consuming the most storage space and simplifies the task of finding files to remove to freeing up space I used this in 2008 , a free version for older windows versions is here http://www.aplusfreeware.com/categories/LFWV/SpaceMonger.html  I no longer use it now I use Space sniffer which is very similar.

Space Sniffer is free https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceSniffer  get it from http://www.uderzo.it/   It uses a treemap to visualise disk usage. This is a great way to see whats using up hard drive space. It works on win10. Ive used it since at least June 2017.

Spybot Search & Destroy used to one of the best Antispyware solutions around. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spybot_%E2%80%93_Search_%26_Destroy   get it from https://www.safer-networking.org/  they have a support forum https://forums.spybot.info/ , I used this software from at least 2011 onwards for some time. Wikipedia says the last stable release was version 2.7 in may 2018, I stopped using it before then as it didn’t seem to update anymore, I think the developers kind of gave up on the product when Microsoft started giving away Windows Defender..thats my theory anyway.

Stop programmes from starting when you turn your pc on, go to start or the search box in botton left of win10  and type msconfig, that now tells you to use the startup tab on windows task manager to disable programmes you don’t want to start.

Streamlink from github.io was a way I found to record Youtube live streams . I no longer use it. I used it from July 2017.

Sumatra PDF I got in 2013 from https://blog.kowalczyk.info/   it opens pdf, xps, djvu, cbr, cbz, epub .mobi etc, its freekindle opens .mobi files also , ive not used this in years.

Sview is a free 3d video player I got in 2013, http://www.sview.ru/    this works I managed to view 3d films on my asus 3d monitor using this.

SWF File Player is free from http://www.swffileplayer.com/   im not sure if ive used it or why I got it . ..well its to open SWF files. I got this in 2018 ive not used it since.

System restore ( Windows feature) my god did I need it back in 2001 to fix  Windows ME !  , but so often it didn’t work saying no restore points have been created or failed to restore.. Basically your supposed to be able to wind back your Computers settings to an earlier time to get you out of a bad mess if installing some software goes badly wrong etc.

Temperature of your PC ( if you use software or have an NZXT panel on your pc like I do it’s a good idea to record the temperatures it after you have cleaned it inside of all dust and on a cool day, write down the room temperature when you record the PC temps and do this for a variety of outside temps eg 20c 25c 30c 35c to see how it affects the internal temps of your PC and itll help you spot problems when you see the temps are getting high.

Test Disk version 7.1 I got in September 2018 https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software: certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy. I got this to try and fox a 4tb hard drive of mine that my PC cant recognise after a serious error. I don’t know how to use this ! so it didn’t help me.

Tor Browser is used to surf the internet anonymously https://www.torproject.org/download/    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)#Tor_Browser   I first tried this in 2012 as a way to try view a website that wasn’t working in normal browsers. Be warned Flaws in this are found so I would never trust this 100%

Total Movie Converter  https://filehippo.com/download_total_movie_converter/  I got in 2012 to try convert an .asf file to avi as vlc player and Windows media player wont tplay the .asf file. This works . its made by https://www.coolutils.com/

Unlocker   from emptyloop.com is to stop a process Windows says is in use. Its free I got it in 2013 , his blog is http://www.emptyloop.com/wordpress/?cat=4  on 15 August 2019 a quick look on http://emptyloop.com/#software  and I don’t see this listed but its listed on other sites eg https://www.techspot.com/downloads/1029-unlocker.html 

Utorrent from https://www.utorrent.com/  I used from 2011 for some time. Its free. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utorrent  is used to get Torrent files from Torrent websites,  The program has been in active development since its first release in 2005. Although originally developed by Ludvig Strigeus, since December 7, 2006, the code is owned and maintained by BitTorrent, Inc.[9] The code has also been employed by BitTorrent, Inc. as the basis for version 6.0 and above of the BitTorrent client, a re-branded version of µTorrent. All versions are written in C++, I stopped using it in late 2012 as I switched to using Bittorrent which looks and works the same. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_BitTorrent_clients

vGET extension is a chrome extension is used to download videos that use the JWPlayer on tube sites,  https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/vget-extension-video-down/hniladkejehjfchadikcbjmgjaogciic?hl=fr I got this in September 2017 , vGet detects videos embedded in websites and allows to download them or play them via DLNA directly on a Smart TV.

The extension is designed to be minimal-invasive. It is only loaded only on demand, when the vGet button is clicked., cant recall if I had much luck with this. Now I use Internet Download Manager to get videos off tube sites.

Video Downloader Professional https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/video-downloader-professi/elicpjhcidhpjomhibiffojpinpmmpil  is a Chrome browser addon , - download and save videos playing on a website to hard disk

– select between different resolutions if the site spuports it ( e.g. at Vimeo)

– play found MP4 videos via Google Chromecast on your TV or play it on your Google Home., I have only used it a couple of times so far but it can sometimes pull videos off tube sites when other software I use to get videos wont work as in the websites made it so you cant easily save a video . its made by https://www.videodownloaderultimate.com/en/  the icon it places on chrome is black an white and kind of circular .

Virgin Media is my ISP https://www.virginmedia.com/   I switched to them from BT when I realised that every night at roughly 2am I lost my internet connection.  https://www.virginmedia.com/shop/broadband/broadband-only  You never get the full speed they say your paying for but it is fast , I highly recommend you test your internet speed using https://www.speedtest.net/    Virgin Media is simply NTL rebranded as such customer support often sucks.

Virtual Clone Drive is freeware https://www.elby.ch/en/products/vcd.html  I got it in December 2016 , you can mount .iso files using this then I could get Cyberlink Power DVD to play a video file that was an iso file.

VLC Media Player is free from https://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html   most people switch to using this as they got fed up with Microsoft’s Windows Media Player from constantly being unable to play lots of different video file formats. VLC plays just about every type of file you will ever find on the internet. Eg it can play MPEG-1/2, DivX® (1/2/3/4/5/6), MPEG-4 ASP, XviD, 3ivX D4, H.261, H.263 / H.263i, H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC, Cinepak, Theora, Dirac / VC-2, MJPEG (A/B), WMV 1/2, WMV 3 / WMV-9 / VC-1, Sorenson 1/3, DV, On2 VP3/VP5/VP6, Indeo Video v3 (IV32), Real Video (1/2/3/4). More info on it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VLC_media_player   I have used vlc since at least 2007 .

VPNCheck Pro is software that controls and monitors your VPN connection ( if you have one set up on your PC ) get it from  http://www.guavi.com/vpncheck_pro.php  there’s a free trial of 30days I think then it costs about £20, if it detects your ip address changes as in the VPN connection has failed it can automatically close other programs your using eg BitTorrent . By August 2019 I find this no longer runs BitTorrent client automatically for me so I have to start this up after ive got a stable VPN connection. There are quite a few settings to learn. Ive used this since at least 2010 .

Wavepad Audio file Splitter https://www.nch.com.au/splitter/index.html  is free and can cut mp3 files eg if you record an internet radio show but forget to stop the recording so want to cut off the extra mucic/show . I used Youtube videos to figure out how to use this. I used it in 2016.

Webrtc Network Limiter https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/webrtc-network-limiter/npeicpdbkakmehahjeeohfdhnlpdklia  I got in August 2015 to fix a flaw in Chrome and Firefox browsers  that VPN users are at risk of as the flaw is capable of revealing their real ip address . its made by https://webrtc.org/  for help with it use https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/discuss-webrtc  see articles on the flaw here  https://torrentfreak.com/huge-security-flaw-leaks-vpn-users-real-ip-addresses-150130/  this article from 29 July 2015 is what I think I read that promted me to install this extension  https://torrentfreak.com/google-publishes-chrome-fix-for-serious-vpn-security-hole-150729/

https://wetransfer.com/   isn’t software it’s a great way to send files up to 2gb in size to people for free, you can pay for a plus account to send files up to 20gb in size https://wetransfer.com/  that costs 12 euros a month. You give them your email and the friends email you want to send something eg a video & basically you would be uploading the file from your computer to the wetranser servers and then your friend would download the file off the wetransfer servers after getting a link in an email from them.

Windows 7  I was using in December 2013 ,

Windows 10 Pro   October 2017 I had to reinstall Windows as I had fitted a new SSD in my Computer , it was at this time I worked out my Graphics card had failed causing all kinds of Windows errors. Windows 10 has Cortana assistant now, by November I had Version 1709, in May 2018 I had got the feature update taking it to  version 1803 this has speech recognition etc. By April 2019 it had updated to version 1809, at this point I began getting BSOD Blue screen of death ! WHEA_uncorrectable_error   and BSOD driver irql not less or equal, what failed igdkmd64.sys

Windows Defender Antivirus is part of Windows 10 , as I use MalwareBytes Antimalware my Windows Defender is switched off. Back in 2017 it found  a backdoor in Freemake Video downloader so that’s when I ditched that bit of software.

Windows Media Player comes with Microsoft Windows Operating System to play videos and music etc . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Media_Player  download it from https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/18612/windows-media-player i rarely use this I prefer VLC player.

Windows Movie Maker is free I got it in 2013 as gopro forums say you can use this to add music over gopro videos. I got it from windows.microsoft.com  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Movie_Maker Windows Movie Maker (known as Windows Live Movie Maker[4] for the 2009 and 2011 releases) is a discontinued video editing software by Microsoft. It was a part of Windows Essentials software suite and offered the ability to create and edit videos as well as to publish them on OneDriveFacebookVimeoYouTube, and Flickr. Movie Maker was officially discontinued on January 10, 2017 and it is replaced by Microsoft Story Remix which is built in with Microsoft Photos in Windows 10.

Windows Updates I highly recommend you keep a written list of on paper. Note the time and date you install them and what they are in case they cause a problem. Eg 11 july 2019 I got win10 v1903 kb4507453 which is the July 2019 cumulative update. It used to be the 2nd Tuesday of each month that the main updates would be sent to patch the flaws in Microsoft Windows.

WinRAR https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WinRAR   I use to extract rar files and zip files  that I get sometimes. Get it from https://rarlab.com/  it costs 30 Euros. By April 2019 its up to version 5.71 .

WinZip is similar to Winrar its used for unpacking files  eg rar files or zip files . Get it from https://www.winzip.com/win/en/ it costs from £32.44, I prefer WinRar.

Wise Cleaner I tried in 2016 to free up memory https://www.wisecleaner.com/    https://www.wisecleaner.com/  its free

Xmarks I sued to sync bookmarks in IE to Firefox etc it causes a lot of problems like duplication issues I no longer use it .

Your Phone is for Windows 10 users to link their Android phone to their PC  https://www.windowscentral.com/how-set-your-phone-windows-10  I got it in Feb 2019 you get Your Phone Companion android app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.appmanager&hl=en_US   you need a Microsoft account. You can send sms messages from your android on your pc. Can sync phone pics to your pc automatically etc.

Youtube Video downloader I tried in 2015 https://www.ytddownloader.com/download.html   there is a free version , I don’t use this now I use IDM Internet Download Manager .

ZAR X from https://www.z-a-recovery.com/download.aspx  General-purpose data recovery for

  • formatted drives, both external and internal
  • “RAW filesystem”
  • deleted files
  • the case of MBR damage
  • broken RAID array
  • lost digital photos

it costs from $69.95 us dollars, This is brilliant I used it after a computer problem by Microsoft made one of my external hard drives seem empty yet I had 4tb of data on it. I used this to recover all my data ! A good photographer I met at an Airshow  told me about this.

I will try to keep this article up to date and add more details to help people to know what software is worth using.

There are many websites that list software you can get but if I don’t list it I don’t use it , here are a few websites to find other software programmes on ..

https://download.cnet.com/windows/   I used to use a lot but don’t anymore as it still lists old versions of software you should no longer use.

https://filehippo.com/

https://www.softpedia.com/

https://www.technorms.com/505/top-15-of-the-best-free-software-download-websites

https://www.techspot.com/downloads/

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