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Thread: Essential PC Programs

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    Stuck in the Past Shining Hero The Jackal's Avatar
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    Default Essential PC Programs

    I thought this might be an okay idea for a thread; users post what programs they use, give links to that program and say why they like said program/s. Could be a good way to find out about programs you'd otherwise not know about.

    I'll start:

    Avidemux http://fixounet.free.fr/avidemux/ (Windows & Linux)
    Awesome light weight video editor. Allows you to easily merge movie files in seconds with no hassle. Also freeware.

    XBMC http://xbmc.org/ (Windows & Linux)
    Been using this ever since I got my first modded Xbox, now I'm running it on my desktop PC. The ultimate media centre app with tons of add-ons and features. Also freeware.

    VLC http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html (Windows and Linux)
    The best media player out there (excluding XBMC of course...). Plays nearly all files and can also be used to playback footage from your capture card. Also freeware.

    VirtualBox https://www.virtualbox.org/ (Windows and Linux)
    Allows you to install a full OS in a virtual shell. Is free and also supports Windows 8. What's not to like about that?

    GIMP http://www.gimp.org/ (Windows & Linux)
    I don't do much image editing, but when I do, I use GIMP. Free and easy to use, can't grumble with that.

    AnyDVD HD
    http://www.slysoft.com/en/anydvdhd.html (Windows only)
    If you import DVDs or Blu-Ray discs, you'll understand the annoyance of regional lockout. I tried to get around it myself with a firmware update for my drive, but no dice - it didn't work. This little baby though, fixed that. It scans the disc and bypasses the regional crap, allowing you to watch your movie. Program's not free, but still, it's essential for any movie fan.

    VirtualCloneDrive http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html (Windows only)
    Allows you to mount an iso/image file to a virtual drive. You could use other programs that do the same job, but this one is free and is just as good.

    CrystalDiskInfo http://crystalmark.info/software/Cry...o/index-e.html (Windows only)
    Want absolute control of your HDD? Well this should do that. Also absolutely free.

    Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ (Windows and Linux)
    THE audio editor. Also freeware.

    DVD Shrink http://www.dvdshrink.org/ (Windows only)
    Allows you to rip your DVDs. Freeware.

    Handbrake http://handbrake.fr/ (Windows and Linux)
    Allows you to encode movie files to another format. Useful for ripping DVD movies into files, for say, watching in XBMC? Freeware.

    XPadder http://www.xpadder.com/ (Windows only)
    Allows you to map keyboard keys and mouse buttons to any controller button; useful for games with no or crap joypad support. You have to pay for it, but it's worth it.
    Last edited by The Jackal; 11-19-2012 at 09:49 PM.

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    The Coop's Avatar
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    Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/ (Windows, Linux, Mac)
    Microsoft Word costs money. This doesn't, and it opens pretty much anything made with Microsoft Word. It can also save what you're working on a Word file so you can open it in that program. From text documents and spread sheets, to html files and power point presentations, this program does a lot. It also automatically creates a back up of what you're working on every fifteen minutes, so that if the program crashes/freezes, or the power goes out, you can usually recover it.


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    I remain nonsequitur Shining Hero sheath's Avatar
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    Windows Defragmenter sucks no matter what OS, get Defraggler and schedule it to run at boot time and at least three times a week while the computer will definitely be on. It will keep that hard drive at 0% fragmentation where it belongs.

    I have also have had a lot of luck with the K-Lite Mega Pack. I used to install this to avoid installing Quicktime and Real Player, but I'm not sure that is what it is for anymore. Still, it comes with so many solid codecs that you should have more options than before and I doubt you will run into a file that Windows Media Player Classic (or XBMC) won't play after FFDSHOW is installed.
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    HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG Raging in the Streets Moirai's Avatar
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    ImgBurn!

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    Road Rasher Sean697's Avatar
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    I use about half of your stuff on that list. VLC portable is especially useful on them drives for watching Amy file on any computer whether it has the codec installed or not. I use it at work. Use AnyDvd HD and handbrake to rip 1080p movies for my IPad retina display. I didn't think DVD shrink was supported anymore. Stopped using it because it didn't work on windows 7. When I had a laptop XBMC was my go to network streamer. Tried Gimp but I prefer Photoshop. I know it costs money but I didn't exactly pay for mine....... Xpad looks useful

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    WCPO Agent Tripredacus's Avatar
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    MSFN keeps a free software list that has a huge list of things sorted by type of program.
    http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/1299...software-list/
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    Rogue Master of Shinobi Pulstar's Avatar
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    I respectfully disagree regarding VLC. If you want optimal video quality you have to do a bit of reading.. Personally I use LAV filters + Media Player Classic Home Cinema + madVR renderer. Given a powerful enough CPU/GPU you can output rather striking videos indeed.

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    So's your old man! Raging in the Streets zetastrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlecRob View Post
    ImgBurn!
    I second this. I wouldn't have played a lot of Sega CD and PCE games without it. Very easy to use
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    Master of Shinobi MaxWar's Avatar
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    Fixed

    Quote Originally Posted by The Coop View Post
    Open Office Libre Office http://www.libreoffice.org/ (Windows, Linux, Mac)
    Microsoft Word costs money. This doesn't, and it opens pretty much anything made with Microsoft Word. It can also save what you're working on a Word file so you can open it in that program. From text documents and spread sheets, to html files and power point presentations, this program does a lot. It also automatically creates a back up of what you're working on every fifteen minutes, so that if the program crashes/freezes, or the power goes out, you can usually recover it.

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    ESWAT Veteran DarkDragon's Avatar
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    My mom wanted me to get her Microsoft Word but I didnt want to pay 100 bucks for it so I got her Open Office and she seemed happy with it.

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    King of the Ring WCPO Agent ThugsRook's Avatar
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    ISOBuster http://www.isobuster.com/ (Windows)
    THE program to rip (and help repair) SEGA CD Bin+Cue files properly for EMU use.


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    The medium-sized mang. Raging in the Streets Lastcallhall's Avatar
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    Roadkill's Unstoppable Copier: Great copy utility.

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    Stuck in the Past Shining Hero The Jackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulstar View Post
    I respectfully disagree regarding VLC. If you want optimal video quality you have to do a bit of reading.. Personally I use LAV filters + Media Player Classic Home Cinema + madVR renderer. Given a powerful enough CPU/GPU you can output rather striking videos indeed.
    Not even heard of Media Player Classic, thanks for the tip.

    BTW, does anyone know of a good program for splitting large media files? Avidemux is good and all for merging them, but not so good on splitting. Cheers.

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    Raging in the Streets SEGA.GENESIS1989's Avatar
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    Great topic! If you are looking for a free pdf reader that offers a few more features than the traditional Adobe readers, I would recommend Foxit Reader. This free reader offers "PDF viewing, text-only view, rulers, Safe Mode, and several annotation tools for things like highlighting and commenting as well as includes XFA form filling, support for Microsoft RMS-protected files, and previews in Outlook."

    More information about the pdf reader can be found at the official web site located here:
    http://www.foxitsoftware.com/
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    Proud 16-bit War Veteran ESWAT Veteran David J.'s Avatar
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