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Essential Programs (2022-11-09)

brook > getlinks > apps

Here's some apps that have enriched my computing experience, and might do yours as well. These are mostly for Windows XP or later, with anything that has versions for other OSes noted.

General Programs

AstroGrep (.NET 4.0)
Full-text file search. Tell it what you're looking for and where, and it'll pull up every single mention.
One-click access to a list of every damn file in every NTFS and ReFS partition you have mounted. Know what a file's called, but not where it is? Type it in for instant results.
Kiwix Windows Vista?, macOS 10.??, Linux
Offline viewer with a plethora of downloadable content packs from Wikimedia, TED, Stack Exchange, Khan Academy, Project Gutenberg, and more.
Notepad 2e
Simple but brilliant text editor with syntax highlighting, tag auto-closing, tag wrapping (ALT+X), and lots of other great website writin' features.
PeaZip Alternative to (Win)RAR and 7-Zip for Windows, Linux, BSD
Opens .arj .cab .cpio .jar .img .iso .lzh .pak .rar .vhd .xpi .z .zipx
Edits .7z .arc .bcm .br .bz2 .gz .lpaq8 .paq8o .pea .tar .wim .xz .zip .zpaq .zst
Convenient and easy GUI archiving program which can (un)pack from/to most currently and previously popular compression formats.
Resource Hacker
Edits .dll .exe .mui .rc .res .scr
Rips open program data files to let you extract/replace icons and images.


Locates redundant files so you can move or delete them.
Whether you have a large file or 1000 minis, this'll zap 'em over with a quickness the built-in file copier can't hope to match.
Glary Utilities Alternative to CCleaner and Defraggler
Suite of useful programs for regular system main-ten-ants and updating.
HWiNFO Windows 95-11
Comprehensive system analysis tool with CPU features, RAM timings, GPU power, HDD/SSD statistics, and sensor data.
ImDisk Toolkit (.NET 4.0)
Program for mounting disc images, virtual drives, and RAMdisks.
Macrium Reflect Free
Tool for easy partition-level backups.
Process Explorer
Task Manager not doing it for you? Give this a try.
QtTabBar Alternative to Clover
Adds much-needed tabbed browsing features to Windows Explorer.
VeraCrypt Windows XP, macOS 10.7, Linux, BSD
Full-drive or virtual disk encryption.
WizTree Alternative to WinDirStat
Generates an interactive chart of what's using up all your drive space.


View/Edit Images

See a color you like? Open this up and hover over it to get the exact hex and RGB values.
Homestuck (Electron) Windows, macOS, Linux
The internet's Ulysses, preserved in its original format.
Honeyview Alternative to IrfanView, FastStone, XnView
Opens .bmp .bpg .crw .cr2 .dds .dng .cb7 .cbr .cbt .cbz .gif .j2k .jpg .jp2 .jxr .nef .nrw .orf .pcx .pef .pgm .png .pnm .ppm .psd .raf .rw2 .sr2 .tiff .tga .webp
Speedy image viewer with interpolation toggle (press U/I).
Strips useless metadata from images to save space.
(Note: Chokes on filenames with Unicode characters.)
Mr. Teal
Offline viewer for webcomic packs.
PabloDraw (.NET 4.0) Windows XP, macOS 10.6, Linux
Delightfully easy to use ANSI art editor.
(Bug: Fails to read files containing the 0x0A character.)
Edits .bmp .gif .jpg .png .tiff
Compact image editing suite that I've been using since 2011.
SumatraPDF Alternative to Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader for Windows Vista
Opens .cb7 .cbr .cbt .cbz .chm .djvu .epub .mobi .pdf .xps
Lightweight document and ebook viewer.
Zint Barcode Studio
Converts some text to a scannable 1D or 2D code.


Audacity Windows 10, macOS 10.7, Linux
The audio editor used by absolutely everyone. Grab 2.0.0 for Windows 98, 2.0.6 for XP SP2, or 2.3.3 for Windows 7.
BeCy Icon Grabber
Opens .cpl .cur .dll .exe .icl .ico .ocx .src
Turns classic ICOns into PNGs you can slap on your webzone.
Blender Windows 8, macOS 10.13, Linux
The open-source 3D modeling software. 2.76b for XP, 2.92 for 7.
FFMPEG-Win Windows 7
The powerful transcoder that HandBrake is a frontend for. Learn those command-line switches and you'll feel like a vizard (video wizard).
(Last known Windows XP compatible build was 20150525/8ce564e)
GIF2APNG Windows, macOS, Linux
Got GIFs? Most of the time they'd be smaller as animated PNGs.
OBS Studio Windows 8, macOS 10.13, Linux
All-in-one screen and game recording/livestreaming solution.
PNG Gauntlet (.NET 4.0) Windows, macOS
Image optimizer that squeezes down your static GIFs and PNGs.
(Caution: Removes all frames from animated PNGs.)
Trout's GIF Optimizer
Shrinks your jrafics, with optional color palette limiting.
Simple program to turn a stack of frames into an animated GIF.

Audio/Video Players

DeliPlayer 2 Windows 98
Opens .669 .ahx .aif .au .ay .cust .dw .flac .hip .iff .it .med .mod .mp3 .mtm .nsf .ogg .okt .s3m .sap .sid .sndh .spc .tfmx .wav .xm .ym
A classic all-in-one audio solution for older PCs.
FreeTube (Electron) Windows, macOS, Linux
YouTube frontend that's more efficient and private than using the main site, ad-free and now with SponsorBlock. Or, why not try using the RSS feeds alongside yt-dlp?
PotPlayer Alternative to MPC,, VLC
Superb hardware-accelerated video player with built-in color correction, frame-by-frame, and speed control. Supports 3D and 360° videos.
XMplay Alternative to Windows Media Player, Winamp, foobar2000, KbMedia Player
Opens .aif .it .mod .mp1 .mp2 .mp3 .m4a .mtm .ogg .s3m .umx .wav .wma .xm ...
Tiny yet accurate audio player that can be expanded to play extra formats via original and Winamp plugins. My audio player of choice since 2008. In addition to the FLAC, MIDI, and Opus plugins, I also suggest:


Miss those good times on MSN Messenger? They're memories no more.
HTTrack Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD
Tired of your favorite blogs and websites disappearing? Grab a copy!
Lagrange Windows 7x64, macOS 10.13, AppImage
Opens .gmi and .gpub
Excellent Gopher and Gemini browser, with inline image and audio viewing, and support for ANSI color codes.
PuTTY Windows, Unix
SSH/SCP/SFTP clients with keypair generation.
Qodem Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD
Inspired Telnet client for doing some hardcore BBSing on.
Tixati Alternative to µTorrent, Transmission, qBittorrent for Windows, Linux
Lean and efficient torrent client.
Whalebird (Electron) Windows, macOS, Linux
My preferred way to keep up with the Fediverse.


Image gallery and thumbnail generator to quickly get your pics online.
Archived versions of the offline dynamic website development tool.
Link Examiner
Useful for scanning a locally-hosted copy of your site to find any typoed links and missing pages.
Basic little webserver I use to test my sites before uploading.
The simple but powerful generator of every page on this site. Great templating features with a syntax already familiar to anyone who knows HTML.
Swivel Windows XP, macOS 10.5
Flash to video conversion utility so people on cringe no-NPAPI browsers can still watch those animated masterpieces.

Security and Debloating

Comodo PFW
When properly set up, absolutely foils malware and ransomware.
Disables some common attack vectors.
Privacy Dashboard Windows 7
Simple GUI program to disable Microsoft's telemetry and tracking.
Malwarebytes Windows 7
The best on-demand scanning and cleanup in the business.
Blocks loads of tracking and malware sites at the system DNS level.
(Note: Changes get reverted by Windows Defender, if active.)
Windows NT6 Debloating Guide
Helpful guide to reducing system resource usage on Vista/7/8.
Debloat Script Windows 10
One-click access to privacy restorations and annoyancy removals.

For dedicated real-time antiviruses, your best options (according to the PC Security Channel) would be Sophos Home ($4.67/yr/PC), Bitdefender AV+ ($10/yr/PC), Kaspersky ($16/yr/PC), or MalwareBytes ($16/yr/PC).

Windows XP users in need of a free AV are recommended Panda Dome.

Additional Resources Adobe Sucks Scrotum A list of design programs and video editors that don't gargle nuts. Animate Archive Download your favorite Macromedia/Adobe Flash and make some animations! forfiles Windows NT utility to manipulate files based on names/dates. Gibson Research More programs for data recovery and computer security. Last versions of Windows applications that do not require SSE2 Software for all the homies still rocking a Pentium III. Linux Distro Chooser Quick quiz about computing habits to help you pick your FOSS flavor. Portable Apps More great stuff that you don't even have to permanently install. Really Rare Wares Collection of old, obscure, hard to find audio editing programs. Switching Software Sites and services to use that don't belong to megacorporations. Zero-Bullshit Web Browsing My guide on how to cut the BS for some premium WWW surfing. Ways to Play My recommended games and methods of playing them.

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