Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Something for the stumblers...

Something a little different for the geekier side.

Not listed but still worth mentioning is the Stumbleupon toolbar. You'll want to snag Firefox first, my favorite browser (and I have tested all of them to some extent.) Be sure to give the blog/this post a thumbs up if you like the list.

23 things no IT guy or girl should ever live without.

  1. Azureus/Vuze - Ah, the wellspring from which my torrents flow. I used to use uTorrent but find the interface and performance of Vuze just kick tail.
  2. Open Office - Mo' bettah than MS Office unless you're using some proprietary CRM or PM software that requires Outlook for mail or letter merging from Word. I love that it's a full featured software suite that's tiny compared to its bloated MSFT counterpart.
  3. AVG - It's free anti-virus software. What's not to like about that. It's also fairly unobtrusive and acts as a vigilant sentinel without spamming you with notifications or eating all your RAM while you're trying to work. Not as good at killing as I would prefer but it serves as an excellent vaccine against viruses and rootkits
  4. Malwarebytes - My single favorite Anti-Malware program EVER. Only about 3 megabytes but packs the punch of a tactical nuke in close quarter combat.
  5. Ad-Aware - The spyware equivalent of AVG. Also free and better as a deterrent than a cleanup tool.
  6. CCleaner - This program is tight. Scrapes all the junk out of your system and cleans up the registry with little or no fuss. Really useful if you're cleaning up your box or shredding a lot of programs that leave crap behind.
  7. Smart Defrag - Faster than windows BS defragging capability and can be scheduled or run continuously in the background.
  8. SIW - Useful for spying on people...err, I mean for digging out information about a system's mobo, pci devices, memory capacity and type and passwords.
  9. Asterisk Password - A limited range of functions but really good for dumb asses that forget their password to certain programs. Also neat for spying though I would never do that myself...really.
  10. Logmein - This program is a staple of my existence. It's really handy for keeping track of all the systems that I have to look after or maintain (ie those of friends, family and friends of friends who don't seem to understand the concept of work boundaries)
  11. Real VNC - Another tiny ass kicker, this is best for remote access within a LAN. I install it on every PC I work on so all I need is a power cord and some Cat6 cable to access stuff in the office.
  12. Crossloop - Handy for situations where you can't pre-install Logmein or VNC. Relatively easy to walk people through in a pinch.
  13. 7-Zip - My favorite compression tool. Try it, use it, love it! Or don't, this is fucking America and you can do whatever.
  14. VLC Media Player - All I can say is you need to try this for movies, HD or otherwise because it fucking rocks the house.
  15. Robocopy - Windows Resource Kit Tools - NTbackup is a rusty spoon that ladles out your data to a backup drive. Robocopy is a tungsten-bladed nuclear powered steam shovel that muscles your stuff at relativistic speed. Super handy when combined with either Dropbox or Hamachi for an easy, reliable remote backup solution.
  16. Hamachi - Need a VPN in about 2 minutes and don't have/want/need the hardware. All you need is Hamachi and an internet connection. Useful for intranet over the web, COD4 games, remote backups with robocopy, and much much more.
  17. Ventrilo - Good for gaming but also good for remote meetings/conference calls in a pinch.
  18. Filezilla - The best FTP client available. The server is pretty good but the client is just unmatched.
  19. Google Chrome - I'm going to elaborate on this more so than the other programs because every dude on earth can benefit. I like Firefox much better but Chrome has a neat feature where you can activate an 'incognito' mode that doesn't keep track of history, saved forms or passwords. Best used for porn but other, shadier, pursuits could be sought along this avenue as well. Worth playing with but still not ready to replace Mozilla's warhorse in the browser arena.
  20. GIMP - Free, small (notice a trend) and capable of doing a hell of a lot more photo editing than I will ever need. Much easier than fucking around with MS Paint and cheaper than Photoshop
  21. Virtual PC - Another of my favorites for various reasons. And before anyone starts crying about VMware that's on my linux list. VPC is free, easy to use and handy for software evaluation, discrete data storage without the need for encryption and the saved state feature makes time-limited trial software no obstacle. My primary use of this is evaluating programs from shady parts of the web to see if they're really spyware/trojans. Call it ghetto sandboxing if you will, if everyone used a little more prudence this would be no problem.
  22. Pidgin - Cross platform messenging program. Very useful for keeping tabs on friends that use different IM programs than you are used to.
  23. Dropbox - Free online storage that is accessible from anywhere with excellent download speeds? Hellz yeah! I used to keep a bunch of stuff on our company FTP site in case I needed say, any of the programs on this list all in a handy spot. Now I use dropbox for speed, ease of use and easy customization. I definitely recommend everyone give this a shot for easy access, backing up documents and small files/programs. Also if you sign up via my referral link you get an extra 250 megs for free. Then you can coerce your friends into signing up for additional space up to 5 gigs.
Just click here and install it, takes about 2-3 minutes. Easy money. Also if you really like any of these programs a number are free but its nice for people to donate to the creators or to purchase at least one copy. Free software is wicked awesome and minor contributions can go a long way towards keeping a healthy FOSS ecosystem.

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