- I highly recommend this anti-spyware, anti-virus
program. You can manually download the
is good, but you have to email them to get a one year free code on
computers not connected to the internet or you have to do it within the
program itself. You can get the code here
for computers not on the internet. You can manually download the
virus killer, pretty good but there's a version that they want money
for. If you want to get the free version, be careful where you click.
You can download the update files separately for a
computer that isn't on the internet by clicking here.
- This is a good program to search for rootkits on your
computer. You don't know what a rootkit is? You can read about them here.
this is not a program, I thought I should include it here. You can
upload a program that you suspect and VirusTotal will analyse it with
multiple virus checkers. You can also give it a link too
- This does single file encryption. It can be useful
for the occasional file on a memory stick, for instance (but install
the portable version of Axcrypt on to it also)
is a public key encription program similar to PGP. I would advise you
to carefully read the manual as the program has many features.
you keep backup files on external hard drives? This impressive program
encrypt them for you. You could make a huge file that is as big as the
drive, mount it and you have an encrypted drive. It works in the
background so you don't have to do much once things have been set up.
It does so many other things too.
It really is an impressive piece of software. It also makes use of
different technologies of you computer (if available) to speed up
encryption and decryption. Make sure you read the
document in order to understand how to use it. It is not difficult to
Other programs I know of are CrossCrypt
which is a significantly
more advanced disk encryption program from the same author as
CD and DVD
can make a backup of any DVD film. It can copy just the main feature.
You can save it complete to a hard-drive and play it with the VLC media
player from your hard-drive as if it were a DVD.
- Not only can this make ISO files (not of protected
DVDs) but it can backup Playstation 2 disks.
hard-drives, here are some checkers for certain types:
- Reboot after you have installed the program. This is
a very good program for checking S.M.A.R.T. enabled hard-drives.
- This has a quick test tool and a more advanced one
which could take over 100 minutes to analyse.
- They have a selection, including disk fitness testers
and SM'ART analysis tool.
- HUTIL diagnosis and analysis tools.
- Numerous tools
- From there, select your drive and then click 'Data
HTML page editing
is an updated version to the excellent Kompozer. I have included a link
here. Although the program is free, the plugins are not (not even the
CSS editor is free but you can just use a text editor instead). The
handles the new HTML5 tags.
excellent web page editor that has been discontinued unfortunately. In
fact, it's what I use to edit these pages. You can flick to your source
code and do some editing there and
view HTML tags. It also has a preview screen and support for CSS. This
is the best web-page editor I have ever used. An updated version of
this program is being worked on called BlueGriffon. There is quite an
annoying bug though which may manifest itself if you have a number of
tabs open at once. Sometimes you try to copy from another tab and it
will not work or you paste something and it does not work. In this
instance, it is pasting to a different tab so look at the first one and
see if it has been changed. You can undo the action, close the program
down and open it again. I've yet to try opening up the pages in
different windows instead.
- This is pretty good but is not WYSIWYG. Installing it
is a little tricky. Click
here for the link to the installation page.
- Acento - Type foreign letters easily
- This is my own text editor for typing in accents above letters. I
wrote this because I can't be bothered with the ALT key codes. You need
Java on your system to run it.
- Sound editor
excellent sound editor program. It can record sounds off anything, CD,
microphone etc. and manipulate them. It can load and save as MP3 but
you need a plugin for that. If you load an MP3 in to the program and
you want to edit it, you must first save it as a project file.
- Gigapixel photos
- This takes numerous photos and puts them together for
one huge photo.
- Calibre - E-Book reader and converter
- This is a brilliant E-book reader. It also converts one type of book to another
- Pretty good registry cleaner. Note you don't need the
code at the start, you can click "skip".
- It's like normal explorer but I use this to
automatically look at the sizes of
folders without needing to click "properties".
- An excellent web
is my favourite web browser. It seems to handle some
pages that Internet Explorer can't. Internet Explorer has been
difficult to make web pages for because it didn't support certain
standards for some reason. Firefox has lots of extensions to use with
photo resize (by Visualizer group)
- Good (and basic) photo resize for resizing lots of
photos at once for the web or a DVD player etc.
is a pretty good hex editor. Unfortunately if you want to look through
the entire file, you have to load the whole file in to RAM although
there is an option to load a part of the file but that means you need
to already know the location of the part that you want to examine.
Overall, it is a pretty good hex editor. It has numerous options within
- Art package
- This is an art package. It has lots of features and
is very powerful.
- video file
- This may be a complicated program but it does allow
you to edit high definition video and tweak all sorts of settings.
- records what you see
- This captures what you see on the screen as an .avi
file. You can use it to show someone how to use a program in a
demonstration, for example or your favourite Mugen characters in a
game. You can record your voice along with it if you wish but you may
have to modify the sound and audio settings in the Control Panel of
Windows. I suggest you try Hypercam2 because it is free and it works
very well. If you want to go straight to the downloads page, click
Once you have set it recording, stop it with F2 (you can't click on the
window). I notice that VLC couldn't render the colours correctly for
some reason but Windows Media Player could. I'm sure VLC will correct
this issue in time but Hypercam does record correctly. There is a
WikiPedia page comparing screen casting software. If you have a problem
with the video and audio being out of sync, it is probably because it
recorded fewer frames so just lower the frame rate. I had to set it to
5 frames per second for one video I did.
- file compressor /
can decompress/compress many different types of files but it can be
slow because it seems to decompress things more than once sometimes.
wasn't aware it was possible to rotate them and re-save them without
loosing quality before I heard about this program. It's good for
right-clicking on a photo and rotating
it from the menu (or many of them by selecting lots at a time). It is a
bit slow at rotating sometimes.
- LightWorksBeta - video editing software
- This is quite an extensive piece of software. You
have to register to download it. I have not used it yet.
program, CAS software (I am using wxMaxima)
is a really good computer algebra software. It can do calculus, set
theory, simplify expressions etc. The manual is around 1000 pages! If
you have not got Mathematica or Mathcad, it is an excellent substitute
but you have to enter the equations differently. You
have to write it in a text format as opposed to 'drawing' them with
other software. Maybe you find that easier if you are a programmer.
Here's a quick example. I load it up and immediately
type 2*x+sin(x), hold shift and tap enter to tell the program that I've
finished typing and it displays the equation sin(x)+2x which also tells
me I've entered it in correctly. I select
calculus from the menu and click integrate (leaving % in the box
because % means 'use the last result') which gives me x2-cos(x)
(it leaves out the constant of integration). If there is an equation
higher up the page, I can use that instead of typing it in again for
example, I click differentiate from the calculus menu and enter %i2 in
the box to tell the program that I want to differentiate the equation
that I typed in at %i2.
- This is fantastic for testing your memory to see if
it has any errors.
- Mugen - fighting
is a customizable fighting game. Don't ask me how to use it because I
can only do the basics myself. I can't remember how I changed the
screenmode but I recommend that you do. This is a game engine where
people program characters for it and you add them by decompressing the
folder and putting it in the chars directory. Go in to the data and put
the name of the folder in the select.def file. People have been copying
sprites off all sorts of games or drawing their own to add to
this. Look at the wikipedia page
at the bottom
for links to various sites. Have a
look on Youtube too. I have found that some characters do not work just
because the .def file hasn't the same name as the directory. Usually a
rename sorts this problem out. Add stages by putting the .def files and
.sff files in to the stages folder and take the sound file (if there is
one) and put it in to the sound folder. Edit the select.def file at the
bottom with your stage.
- a FANTASTIC programming
Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
is a very powerful Java IDE to program and compile your Java programs.
It lets you design in a visual way by dragging buttons, text boxes etc.
to where you want them. You can download different versions. The
Standard Edition enables you to make Java applications but you want the
EE version for web applets. There is also a C++ compiler too. I
downloaded the file that lets me have everything. It also supports PHP,
and Ajax, Groovy and Grails. It's very good. I'm surprised that it is
free. Note that you need the Java SE Development Kit which can
be downloaded here. Also, you can download all the online Java tutorials from Oracle (along with ebooks) by clicking here. You can also download all the class descriptions again, from Oracle by clicking here.
A couple of tips: reduce typing by typing the start of a word and
pressing ctrl+k will fill in the rest or if it's wrong, press it again
to get the next guess and ctrl+shift+i resolves imports. This is useful
when you insert new code without importing. When it complains,
press ctrl+shift+i and it should fill in the imports and remove unused ones.
is like Notepad but with lots more features. If you program in C++ or
languages like it, you may also find this useful as it is a text editor
programs for this website, amongst other things. One particularly
useful feature is the find and replace function for all opened
documents. I can open multiple pages and change one part on my web
- A good alternative to Microsoft Word and can
open/save in word format (which can be set as a default in the
preferences). You can save in PDF format too.
- This is a photo editing program that handles batch
operations and even raw formats. It does all sorts of things.
is the best program I've ever seen for renaming lots of files at once.
It also lets you preview your changes before you rename the files.
It is an excellent program, but it may be tricky at first to use, until
you have become familiar with the layout.
Phoenix deleted file recovery
know what this does. Note that if a deleted file is overwritten by a
new file, it can't be recovered (unless you have an electron microscope
and a lot of patience).
- raw picture converter
you use an DSLR (may be bridge cameras too) then Ufraw is a useful
program for basic editing / converting of RAW formats. I suggest that
you save in the Ping format and not Tiff as I had a lot of problems
with 48 bit colour images when I just wanted it to save in 24 bit
you try to delete a file or you want to remove a memory stick but
something has opened it, this will tell you what is keeping it open and
you can force it to 'unlock' the file if you wish
media player - video
/ audio player
- This is my favourite media player. It plays many
types of video and audio files,
including Flash video from such places as YouTube. It can even convert
files to other formats too but it isn't easy.
lets you examine the little background programs that are running. An
excellent feature is to look at the programs that are loaded at
start-up. You can just uncheck the box next to it and it stops it
loading when you boot the computer up. If you change your mind, click
the box back again. You don't need to edit the registry for doing this