[Updated for 2008!]
With Windows, the stock OS software is far from having everything I need.
So you may ask me, "LanceJ, what is the best PC software you like to install?" Here's my list.
The following software products are not offered by me; I'm just telling you that I use these products often. I find some of these products very useful. I've published this list mostly for my own personal benefit, so I don't have to go scrounging the web each time I need to install these for someone.
Critical Software Packages for Windows
I like these installed on all Windows computers I have to deal with:
- Avast! Anti-Virus (Home Edition). Free anti-virus software.
- Spybot Search and Destroy. Detects and removes spyware.
- CCleaner. Cleans junk off your PC.
- FireFox, an awesome web browser for Windows.
- Thunderbird, an awesome email client.
- Mozy Home Backup. An Internet backup utility/service. Works with the Mozy Home service, which is free for the first 2 GB of storage.
I find it helpful to install the following products too. People get upset if they aren't installed:
- Macromedia Flash Player.
- iTunes with Quicktime.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Real Player (Basic). Yuk, this is barely on my list.
These are excellent programs that not everyone needs, but which are great if you need them:
- Google Picasa2 - a great digital photo manager for Windows
- Open Office, if you don't want to pay big $$$ for a Microsoft Office key code license, OpenOffice is a great alternative.
- Trillian chat client, for AIM, Yahoo, and other IM services.
Installing these four simple product puts Windows 2000 back on top:
- 7-Zip, an open source zip file manager
- TclockEX - a great, simple toolbar clock.
- Tardis 2000 - a network clock synchronizer. Shareware.
- IntelliAdmin DST Patch - fixes the Windows 2000 clock for DST/Summer Time.
I use these quite a bit, and install them on most PCs, but most people won't miss them
- DynDNS Updater. Dynamic DNS client software that works with the DynDNS.org service.
- TightVNC. Remote desktop software.
- Bonjour, for simple network printer configuration.
- SSH Secure Shell
- AlternaTiff, a TIFF file reader (honestly, I very rarely install this one)
If you think other software should be included in this list, please let me know!