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Looks like a **** good list now, though I have a few suggestions about recommended stuff:

Recommended Firewall: Should be Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall, which is completely stable form what I know, ZA though the best, can have installation problems, and Outpost Free was never tested fro XP and can have major problems; http://outpostfirewall.com/forum/showthrea...2855#post112855

Recommended Alternatives: Use K-Lite Mega Codec, its the best for everything, or maybe you just want to add it and give a description?

And add a desciption for EVERYTHING!

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Looks like a **** good list now

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think it does as well :)

Recommended Firewall:

Recommended Alternatives:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I leave Tarun to suggest the recommended software.

Use K-Lite Mega Codec, its the best for everything, or maybe you just want to add it and give a description?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It has been added since day one, and Tarun provided a description soon after.

And add a desciption for EVERYTHING!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Feel free to help with descriptions THEN! :)

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I think it does as well
We can certanily agree on that.

I leave Tarun to suggest the recommended software.

Thats kinda sad, I know its his forum, but that just isn't a very safe bit of software.

It has been added since day one, and Tarun provided a description soon after.
Sorry, I'll have another look for it.

Feel free to help with descriptions THEN!

I will, I'll start soon.

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Thats kinda sad, I know its his forum, but that just isn't a very safe bit of software.

Considering I test a lot of the software out there, I have Outpost Free on my other machine. It's been tested for months with no issues at all. Fast, flexible and very stable. Far superior to ZoneAlarm too.

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Some desctiptions so far:

AntiVir - The AntiVir Personal Edition offers the effective protection against computer viruses for the individual and private use on a single PC-workstation. In order to make possible an easy operation, the AntiVir Personal Edition is developed to the essential points.

ZoneAlarm - Easy-to-use firewall blocks hackers and other unknown threats; it systematically identifies hackers and blocks access attempts and automatically makes your computer invisible to anyone on the Internet.

Real Alternative - You do need a player that is capable of playing RealMedia. The included Media Player Classic supports it and works very well. Supported: RealAudio (.ra .rpm), RealMedia (.rm .ram .rmvb .rpx .smi .smil), RealText (.rt), ReadPix (.rp), RealMedia embedded in webpages. .smi and .smil files.

Quicktime Alternative - QuickTime Alternative will allow you to play QuickTime files (.mov, .qt and other extensions) without having to install the official QuickTime Player. It also supports QuickTime content that is embedded in webpages.

Winamp Alternative - Winamp Alternative is a codec like QuickTime Alternative and Real Alternative. It allows you to listen SHOUTcast without having to install Winamp. Also you can play NSV Streams in your browser.

Foobar2000 - Foobar2000 is an advanced audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include ReplayGain support, low memory footprint and native support for several popular audio formats.

burnatonce - burnatonce can master data and audio discs, read/write image files and copy on the fly. It's drag and drop interface has multi-language support and is fully compatible with XP themes.

DeepBurner Free - DeepBurner comes loaded with an extensive list of practical and amazingly valuable features that will totally satisfy your burning needs. These start from compiling your CDs and DVDs in different formats and ending with the creation of fascinating photo albums and rock solid, reliable backups.

Cobian Backup - Cobian Backup is a multi-threaded program that can be used to schedule and backup your files and directories from their original location to other directories/drives in the same computer or other computer in your network. FTP backup is also supported in both directions (download and upload).

IsoBuster - IsoBuster is a highly specialized yet easy to use CD and DVD data recovery tool. It supports all CD and DVD formats and all common CD and DVD file-systems.

Firefox - Firefox 1.5 has an intuitive interface and blocks viruses, spyware, and popup ads. It delivers Web pages faster than ever. And it’s easy to install and import your favorites. Packed with useful features like tabbed browsing, Live Bookmarks, and an integrated Search bar, Firefox will change the way you experience the Web, for the better.

Firetune - According to your specific computer speed and internet connection speed, FireTune will optimize several internal settings of Firefox for better performance. FireTune does NOT modify the Firefox executable, or any other Firefox binary file. Everything can be undone easily provided you saved your original profile configuration file with FireTune's profile backup feature before.

Avant Browser - Avant Browser, the top rated multi-window browser in Internet, which adds a batch of features and functionalities to Internet Explorer. Avant Browser is the fastest web browser on Earth. Its user-friendly interface brings a new level of clarity and efficiency to your browsing experience, and frequent upgrades have steadily improved its reliability.

Maxthon - Maxthon Internet Browser software is a powerful tabbed browser with a highly customizable interface. It is based on the Internet Explorer browser engine (your most likely current web browser) which means that what works in the IE browser will work the same in Maxthon tabbed browser but with many additional efficient features.

And the description for K-Lite Mega Codec Pack is from me.

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Here's some more:

Browser & Browser Companions

Opera - The most full-featured Internet power tool on the market, Opera includes pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing, integrated searches, and advanced functions like Opera's groundbreaking E-mail program, RSS Newsfeeds and IRC chat. And because we know that our users have different needs, you can customize the look and content of your Opera browser with a few clicks of the mouse.

Time-Up - Internet online timer, and is available in 7 languages. Includes a Time Synchronizer, and Can be used in any country.

Chat/IM & Patches

AIM - AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) is the best way to talk to friends over the Internet, you don't have to be an AOL member - AIM is a free service. Join 100 million AIM users worldwide enjoying real-time chats, pictures and more.

MSN Messenger- With MSN Messenger you can chat online via text, voice, mobile phone or even video conversation -- in real time -- with your friends, family, or colleagues. Express yourself with winks and dynamic display pictures or share photos, files, searches, and more instantly. You can also chat with your contacts to and from a mobile device.

IRC - IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a virtual meeting place where people from all over the world can meet and talk; you'll find the whole diversity of human interests, ideas, and issues here, and you'll be able to participate in group discussions on one of the many thousands of IRC channels, on hundreds of IRC networks, or just talk in private to family or friends, wherever they are in the world.

HydraIRC - HydraIRC is an open-source IRC client with an attractive and easy to use interface. It supports DCC Chat and File transfers, connecting to multiple servers, Dockable Floating Tabbed Windows, Autohiding Windows, DLL Plugins, Channel Monitoring, Message Logs, Event Viewer, Themes, Color schemes, Buddy groups, Audible and Visual Notifications , Reg-Exp Highlighting, Favorites and much more.

AIMLite is AOL Instant Messenger, but with these features included; no ads or spyware, smaller, sleeker GUI (cleaned up menus, buddylist, instant message windows and more!), 100% buddylist viewing and created with the minimalistic in mind!

GAIM - Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging (IM) client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, GroupWise Messenger, and Zephyr networks. Gaim users can log in to multiple accounts on multiple IM networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on AOL Instant Messenger, talking to a friend on Yahoo Messenger, and sitting in an IRC channel all at the same time.

Miranda IM - Miranda IM is a multi protocol instant messenger client. Miranda IM is designed to be resource efficient and easy to use. It uses very little memory and requires no installation. Just unzip and run! This also makes it ideal for users that want to run their messenger client from a removable storage such as an USB memory stick. It can even be stored on a floppy disc if not too many plugins are used.

Mess.be Patch for MSN Messenger - The resource for MSN Messenger addons, skins, tricks & secrets (inc. Windows Live Messenger)

Desktop Publishing (DTP)

Page Plus - PagePlus SE is the easiest way to get professional desktop publishing results on your desktop printer. With your PC, printer, and PagePlus, you can save time and money. No experience required!

Desktop Tools

Desktop Sidebar - WRONG LINK?

GT Ripple - GT Ripple ripples your desktop wallpaper making water pictures come alive.

Rainlendar - Rainlendar is a customizable calendar that displays the current month. It is a very lightweight application that doesn't use much system resources or take much space on your desktop.

RK Launcher - WRONG LINK?

StartBtn Renamer - StartBtn Renamer is a simple utility for renaming the [start] button under Windows XP. With this freeware tool, you can change default Label of the [start] button with your own text. This is great when you want to tease your friends or when you intend to have a greater variety in Windows... what do you think about these labels: Virus, Hello, Begin, Enter, etc.

Yahoo! Widget Engine - (Konfabulator) - Bring life to your desktop with fun, stylish, and useful Yahoo! Widgets. To get Widgets on your desktop, you first need to download the Yahoo! Widget Engine.

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Developer:

Dev-C++ - Dev-C++, developed by Bloodshed Software, is a fully featured graphical IDE (Integrated Development Environment), which is able to create Windows or console-based C/C++ programs using the MinGW compiler system. MinGW (Minimalist GNU* for Windows) uses GCC (the GNU g++ compiler collection), which is essentially the same compiler system that is in Cygwin (the unix environment program for Windows) and most versions of Linux.

Inno Setup - Inno Setup is a free installer for Windows programs. First introduced in 1997, Inno Setup today rivals and even surpasses many commercial installers in feature set and stability. Installations are created by means of scripts, which are

ASCII text files with a format somewhat similar to .INI files. (No, it's not as complicated as you might be thinking!). Inno Setup is a tool that helps you to create windows installers.

Maxima - Maxima is a system for the manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions, including differentiation, integration, Taylor series, Laplace transforms, ordinary differential equations, systems of linear equations, and vectors, matrices, and tensors. Maxima produces high precision results by using exact fractions and arbitrarily long floating point representations, and can plot functions and data in two and three dimensions.

Microsoft Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 - The Microsoft Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 includes the core tools developers need to compile and link C++-based applications for Windows and the .NET Common Language Runtime.

NSIS - NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System) is a professional open-source tool for the development of Windows installers. It is designed to be as small and flexible as possible and is therefore highly suitable for internet distribution.

I'll add more when I get the time.

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Some more:

Disk managment

AIDA 32 - AIDA32 is a professional system information, diagnostics and benchmarking program running on Win32 platforms. It extracts details of all components of the PC. It can display information on the screen, print it, or save it to file in various formats like HTML, CSV or XML. For corporate users, AIDA32 offers command-line switches, network audit and audit statistics, remote system information and network management.

Belarc Advisor - The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

CCleaner - CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less that a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!

Contig & Power Defragmenter - There are a number of NT disk defraggers on the market, including Winternals Defrag Manager. These tools are useful for performing a general defragmentation of disks, but while most files are defragmented on drives processed by these utilities, some files may not be. In addition, it is difficult to ensure that particular files that are frequently used are defragmented - they may remain fragmented for reasons that are specific to the defragmentation algorithms used by the defragging product that has been applied. Finally, even if all files have been defragmented, subsequent changes to critical files could cause them to become fragmented. Only by running an entire defrag operation can one hope that they might be defragmented again.

Contig is a single-file defragmenter that attempts to make files contiguous on disk. Its perfect for quickly optimizing files that are continuously becoming fragmented, or that you want to ensure are in as few fragments as possible.

CPU-Z - CPU-Z is a freeware that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system.

Driver Cleaner Pro - Driver Cleaner Professional Editon is a program which helps you to remove parts of drivers that are left after uninstalling the old drivers. The program is for ATI, nVidia, Creative, Realtek, SIS, 3Dfx, S3 and more drivers. First you need to uninstall the drivers from the control panel, then reboot. After rebooting, run the program. If you really want a good description of what steps you should take, then you really need to read the readme file included in the zip file and installation as it contains a detailed step by step description. The program also fully supports windows themes and other kind of themes.

EasyCleaner - EasyCleaner is a small program which searches the Windows registry for entries that are pointing nowhere. EasyCleaner also lets you delete all kinds of unnecessary files such as temps and backups. You can search for duplicate files and you can view some interesting info about your disk space usage! You are also able to manage startup programs, invalid shortcuts and add/remove software list. ToniArts may not be held accountable in any way if EasyCleaner affects your computer in a negative way.

Eraser - Eraser is an advanced security tool (for Windows), which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. Works with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP and DOS. Eraser is Free software and its source code is released under GNU General Public License.

Magical Jelly Bean - Software spawned from sheer boredom.

NTREGOPT - NTREGOPT will minimize the size of the registry files and optimize registry access. The program works by recreating each registry hive "from scratch", thus removing any slack space that may be left from previously modified or deleted keys. The program does not change the contents of the registry in any way, nor does it defrag the registry files "on-disk" (as the PageDefrag program from SysInternals does).

RegCompact.NET - RegCompact.NET will tweak Window's performance by optimizing the arrangement of data stored in your system's registry hives.

PageDefrag - PageDefrag uses advanced techniques to provide you what commercial defragmenters cannot: the ability for you to see how fragmented your paging files and Registry hives are, and to defragment them. In addition, it defragments event log files and Windows 2000/XP hibernation files (where system memory is saved when you hibernate a lap.

Safe XP - Safe XP allows users to quickly tweak various security and privacy related settings in XP. The options include Media Player settings, Services settings (error reporting, time synch, remote registry etc.), as well as and option to remove items from the Start menu, network security settings and more. Safe XP improves your system performance and makes Windows to run faster, more secure and reliable! It is suitable for beginners and experts!

System Tracker - System Tracker is a small yet powerful utility that gives complete control over all active processes on your computer. Detailed information about processes you may find is available from our online database and is conveniently accessed with a right click on any process. Basically it describes the files you may have found and explains what they do, therefore enabling the user to make an informed decision when determining if the process is desirable. Not only does it audit your machine and present all active processes, System Tracker shows all registry activity in real-time, shows what programs are set to automatically start by location, and also enables users to set programs to not start. You will find the tabs resourceful and intuitively simple to use. Whether using it to track down system resource traps that create performance anomalies, or just to learn more about what is happening behind the scenes on your computer, we think you will enjoy System Tracker. All free.

X-Setup Pro - X-Setup Pro is the ultimate in system configuration or tweaking as some people would say. It covers all types of options and has many useful features - for more information please read the rest of this section or browse to http://www.x-setup.net/

ZSoft Uninstaller - ZSoft Uninstaller 2.3 is capable of finding programs that most likely already is uninstalled, but still emains in you registry and allows you to remove the reference. This results in a cleaner registry. ZSoft Uninstaller 2.3 is superior than the build-in function in Microsoft Windows, among other things.

E-mail

IncrediMail XE - IncrediMail Xe is an advanced e-mail client that offers you an interactive experience. You can personalize your e-mail according to your mood and personality. Choose from an assortment of e-mail backgrounds, animations, sounds, 3D effects, and e-cards. Build 2206 improves junk mail detection, allows 'Blocked Senders' list to be sorted alphabetically, and uses e-mail address as the default account name.

Mozilla Thunderbird - Thunderbird delivers. Enjoy safe, fast, and easy email, with intelligent spam filters, quick message search, and customizable views. Brought to you by Mozilla, Thunderbird makes email better.

Pop Tray - PopTray started as a little POP3 mail checker I wrote, because I couldn't find a freeware program that had all the features I wanted. Since then, new features have been added by request. After years of refinement PopTray 3.0 has now become a full-featured, customizable, e-mail notifier, but keeping it's ease of use.

YPOPs! - YPOPs! is an application which emulates a POP3/SMTP mail server and provides free POP3 and SMTP access to Yahoo! Mail. It does not depend on Yahoo's POP3/SMTP mail server. You can use a mail client of your choice!

Heres another lot - the ones with No Information leading up to the lot above:

Audio & Video

CDex - CDex is an application that records audio tracks from CDs and saves them to a disk as regular WAV files or as encoded sound files. This program features an MP3 decoder (MPEG 1/2/3-based) and a new LAME encoder, and has built-in support to generate OGG Vorbis files. CDex is available in English, German, Italian, and Spanish. This latest release includes better support of USB drives when using Native NT SCSI library option and various bug fixes.

Exact Audio Copy - There are a few things to consider when you plan to convert your audio CD collection to a digital format. There's error correction for one thing, especially if your CDs have been around for long and have marks and scratches on the surface. If you shopped around and tried a few CD rippers, you know by now that they all come up with different results: some have lousy jitter control, others blatantly refuse to rip a damaged track, others yet copy all the mistakes to the MP3 file, making it useless. Try Exact Audio Copy and see the difference.

RareWares - Rarewares is the place to find all the latest Mp3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, Mpeg-4 and general media utilities compiles.

Speek's Frontends - Frontends for audio software, such as; LAME, MPC, OGG, Tag, WaveGain, WavPack, etc.

Video MP3 extractor (CHANGE LINK to http://www.geovid.com/Video_mp3_Extractor/) - Video mp3 Extractor is an easy to use tool to extract audio from Video AVI, ASF, WMV files. Output audio file is mp3, and you can listen extracted audio with your mp3 player without any additional conversion or modification. Video mp3 Extractor provide simple and fast method to rip audio from video and save as MP3.

Browser & Browser Companions

Mozilla Suite (CHANGE LINK to http://www.mozilla.org/products/mozilla1.x/) - Web-browser, advanced e-mail and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and HTML editing made simple -- all your Internet needs in one application.

I put up in places where to change links, you should see them.

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Unattended Programs

nLite - is a tool for permanent Windows component removal and pre-installation Windows setup. After removal there is an option to make bootable image ready for burning on cd or testing in virtual machines. With nLite you will be able to have Windows installation which on install doesn't include, or even contain on cd, unwanted components. (Dino Nuhagic, nuhi)

In addition to Office Applications

Codepad

Desktop Tools

Samurize - Samurize is an advanced system monitoring and desktop enhancement engine for Windows 2000/XP/2003. IT professionals, overclockers, gamers and desktop modders alike use Samurize for system information, weather reports, news headlines and much much more. And best of all, Samurize is 100% free!(samurize.com)

File Sharing Software Add-ons

LimeWire

Morpheus

FTP/ Internet Tools

FlashFXP - an FTP Client that has a 30 day trial, althought you can just uninstall, and reinstall every 30 days. Hehe. Theres no cache like other program trials.

Remote Computer Access

RealVNC - Carries both the server-side and client/user-side of remote computer access. One of the fastest, most smooth remote access programs on the web, and its for free!

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FlashFXP - an FTP Client that has a 30 day trial, althought you can just uninstall, and reinstall every 30 days. Hehe. Theres no cache like other program trials.
- Illegal. Plus its not freeware then.

File Sharing Software Add-ons

LimeWire

Morpheus

Both are rubbish programs. Morpheus has loads of spyware, and LimeWire can screw around with your system.

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Morpheus has gotten goo ratings now that thenew version has come out. The old one wasreally s***ty. Its gotten alot cleaner.

For Flashfxp?

you never break a few rules here and there?they are ment to be broken

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Thanks Ma TriX for those. :cry:

Unattended Programs

nLite - is a tool for permanent Windows component removal and pre-installation Windows setup. After removal there is an option to make bootable image ready for burning on cd or testing in virtual machines. With nLite you will be able to have Windows installation which on install doesn't include, or even contain on cd, unwanted components. (Dino Nuhagic, nuhi)

Remote Computer Access

RealVNC - Carries both the server-side and client/user-side of remote computer access. One of the fastest, most smooth remote access programs on the web, and its for free!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Could do with suggestions as to what section these belong in.

File Sharing Software Add-ons

LimeWire

Morpheus

FTP/ Internet Tools

FlashFXP - an FTP Client that has a 30 day trial, althought you can just uninstall, and reinstall every 30 days. Hehe. Theres no cache like other program trials.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Left these out until someone gives me further advice as to whether they should be included.

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http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/p2p/

"Morpheus (Older versions only. All third party bundles have been removed from Morpheus as of version 4.9.2. Current versions have an embedded banner ad but install no third party software.)"

"Limewire (The most current version of Limewire is reported to include spyware. LimeWire 4.9.28 is clean. Older and newer version may not be.) "

That should help.

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http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/p2p/

"Morpheus (Older versions only. All third party bundles have been removed from Morpheus as of version 4.9.2. Current versions have an embedded banner ad but install no third party software.)"

"Limewire (The most current version of Limewire is reported to include spyware. LimeWire 4.9.28 is clean. Older and newer version may not be.) "

That should help.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, Limewire Free blows big time.

Shareaza is waaaaay better: it is totally FREE (there are no trial/commercial versions), it is fairly easy to learn, and the downloads are very fast.

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