If there is one thing that I hate, it’s bloated, buggy software. Sadly, most of the software on the market today seems to fit that category. It seems that as soon as a company scores a hit with a well-conceived title, the suits get hold of it and start inserting every feature imaginable in an attempt to usurp market share from every other publisher out there. “Yes, I know we have an mp3 player… but can we build a browser into it? How about RSS feeds, can we read those? Can we get it to show ads? Hey, lets add a word processor in there too, just for good measure. ? Can it make toast?

Feature creep kills even the best software out there.

What follows is a list of software that I find indispensible. I consider most of these titles to be part of my “standard desktop environment” – meaning that when I set up a new PC, for myself or for another person, I usually install most of the programs listed below. Much of this software is open source, and most of it is freely available.

All of the software is spyware/adware/malware free. If it’s ever brought to my attention that any of these titles contains spyware/adware/malware, it’s off the list, plain and simple.

I hope to update this list with links to the software download pages, and a short description and review of each title.

Internet

  • Google Chrome
  • FileZilla – Ftp Client
  • Feedreader
  • PuTTY
  • Gaim
  • UltraVNC
  • mIRC
  • GuildFTP Daemon
  • DynDNS

File Sharing

  • uTorrent
  • Peer Guardian

Windows Add-ons

  • Rainlendar
  • Teatimer

System

  • Daemon Tools
  • AdAware
  • Spybot Search & Destroy

Utilities

  • NoteTab Lite
  • WinRAR
  • Rename
  • Foxit Reader
  • Poke

Audio/Video

  • WinAmp 3
  • AVI Check
  • DivFix
  • VirtualDub
  • K-Lite Codec Pack
  • Media Player Classic
  • Real Alternative
  • QuickTime Alternative
  • Lame

Other

  • NVU
  • VMware Player
  • The Gimp