Software Picks


Essential software downloads and sources...

Get Adobe Reader Adobe's Acrobat Reader allows you to read PDF format files commonly used for software documentation and cross platform distribution. Unfortunately they do keep trying to make you use their Download Manager software to get access but I've found this less than reliable... you can download the full 7.0 version here...
More info: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html
BigFix checks your computer for a range of bugs, security holes, and problems caused by outdated software. With a constantly updated collection of 'fixlets', BigFix is a key tool for maintaining your computer's health and it's free! Once installed you'll be subscribed to the BigFix & Fixlet Central pools. You can then add the pool for your operating system and you might also want to add on Evesham's fixlet site as it appears to offer general tips as well as those specifically targeted at it's customers.
More info: http://www.bigfix.com
DynDNS.org - Got DNS? With the advent of broadband it's easy to keep your machine online all the time and (with a suitable firewall installed) you can even arrange to run web pages or remote access from it. However if you have a dial-up account your computer is likely to be given a different IP address every time it logs on. You can use the free (at least for now...) DynDNS services to get a proper DNS name for computer which is updated every time you log on.
More info: http://www.dyndns.org
Windows Shareware CNET's Download has replaced Winfiles, previously my favourite haunt for Windows freeware & shareware.
More info: http://download.cnet.com

InkSwitch
If you're like me, you'll find that Internet Explorer's online/offline status doesn't always match your needs. InkSwitch is a freeware program which puts you back in control.
More info: http://www.inkland.org
MPEG-1
QuickTime
Apple's QuickTime viewer allows you to view MPEG1 and Apple's own QuickTime movies.
More info:
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download
RealVNC Logo Virtual Network Computing or VNC allows you to remotely control almost any computer from any other. VNC started as an open source project out of AT&T's Cambridge Labs. Their 'official' version can now be found at RealVNC or check out http://www.darkage.co.uk for links to more VNC flavours and additional tools. VNC is not quite as powerful as pcanywhere but you can't argue with the free price tag.
More info: http://www.realvnc.com

RegSnap
A handy tool for finding just the right bit of the registry to tweak. Run RegSnap, make some changes, take another snapshot & compare the differences.
More info: http://lastbit.com
The RealOne Player has replaced Real's separate Player, Jukebox and other streaming media tools. The free version is quite adequate for making & organising MP3 backups of your favourite CD's and turns your PC into a Jukebox.
More info: http://www.real.com
Tiny Software's Personal Firewall is an alternative to ZoneAlarm with detailed monitoring but a less intuitive interface. The free personal version (2.0.15) is still available from various shareware sites - e.g. at Tucows - but Tiny have moved on to trialware.
More info: http://www.tinysoftware.com
Tucows.com Visit Tucows for all manner of shareware, upgrades, hints and tips etc.
More info: http://www.tucows.com
Get TweakUI and take control!
Tweak UI
Tweak UI is an additional control panel which allows you to control various aspects of Windows without resorting to hacking the registry.
More info:
http://www.microsoft.com/...
VPOP3 is a low-cost e-mail server that can be used to provide both local and Internet mail services for small businesses. VPOP3 is an excellent package which I use myself and have supplied & configured for a number of clients.
More info: http://www.pscs.co.uk/vpop3
VSOCKS Light is a free proxy server that allows Windows 9.x users who can't use Internet Connection Sharing to share an internet connection with other machines on a local area network.
More info: http://www.pscs.co.uk/vsocskslight
Forget themes, Webshots has the coolest collection of desktop backgrounds and also provides a slideshow screensaver.
More info: http://www.webshots.com
It really whips the llama's ass Although the RealOne Player is great for Internet Radio and recording your favourite CD tracks, WinAmp has its charms with more skins & mods than you can shake a stick at!
More info: http://www.winamp.com
Download Windows Media Player Microsoft's Media Player comes of age with series 9 and is my current player of choice.
More info: http://windowsmedia.com/download
Get WinZip Now WinZip is the essential file compression tool - 'nuff said.
More info: http://www.winzip.com
If you're concerned about computer security (and you should be!) check out the ZoneAlarm firewall. You should still be able to get hold of a free version if it's for personal use. ZoneAlarm gives you complete control over which programs are allowed to access the Internet and local networks. It may even help you spot a novel virus or Trojan before it can cause damage to your system.
More info: http://www.zonelabs.com