Software for my new laptop 2

Time for a new laptop, and to replace software. Here’s my new list.

A lot has changed in the last 5 years. Mainly, I use the browser, cygwin and Portable Apps a lot more. (The last is to escape jailers, not registry bloat.)

Media

  • Chrome [new]: For browsing and development. Fast, light, and stays out of the way.
  • Firefox: I keep it just for printing. Chrome sucks at printing.
  • Media Player Classic: Nothing against it, but I decided to stick to just one app, which is…
  • VLC: Continues to be the best media player, IMHO.
  • WinAmp: I just manage my playlists as M3U files, using Python programs.
  • Audacity: Still the easiest way to record audio.
  • Camstudio: The simplest free portable screen capture software I know.
  • PicPick [new]: Lightweight, powerful screenshot grabber
  • VirtualDub: Not the simplest, but still good for what I need: cropping and joining video.
  • MediaCoder [new]: Good for video/audio conversions. Maybe I’ll install this later.
  • Foxit Reader: The simples free portable PDF reader I know, better than…
  • NitroPDF Reader [new]: … which is good for Printing PDFs – better than…
  • Primo PDF: … which has trouble on rare occasions.
  • Microsoft Reader: I have a lot of ebooks in .LIT.
  • Kindle for PC [new]: I don’t own a Kindle, but I’ve bought a few ebooks.
  • Paint.NET: Good enough for cropping and adjusting colours on images.
  • Windows Live Writer [new]: The best way to write this blog WYSIWYG
  • Inkscape [new]: I occasionally edit vector graphics.
  • Google Earth. Google Maps is good enough.
  • ImgBurn: I no longer use CDs/DVDs. Just flash drives and external hard disks.
  • Picasa: I’ve stopped browsing pictures. No time.

Sharing

  • Dropbox [new]: Simplest way of sharing files.
  • Skype: I use it more than my phone.
  • Google Talk: For those friends who have chat enabled on Gmail.
  • TeamViewer [new]: Pretty efficient screen sharing. Works better than Skype, I think.
  • Google Calendar Sync: To keep Outlook in sync with Google Calendar.

Utilities

  • 7-Zip [new]: Covers all compressed formats, and has the best compression ratio.
  • WinRAR: 7-Zip has it covered.
  • AutoHotKey [new]: Shockingly powerful macro functionality. Shockingly underused.
  • Clip [new]: Command line clipboard. dir | clip copies the directory to the clipboard.
  • ClipX [new]: Stores multiple clipboard entries and history. Invaluable.
  • DiskTT [new]: I’m paranoid about disk speed. I keep measuring it.
  • WinDirStat [new]: Best way to find what’s taking up space on disk.
  • ProcessExplorer [new]: Just in case Task Manager doesn’t show you everything.
  • Google Desktop: Well, it’s dead.
  • mDesktop [new]: A Virtual Desktop Manager (multiple screens) for Windows 7.
  • PowerToys: doesn’t work on Windows 7, but I got X-Mouse working.
  • Teracopy: I don’t worry too much about copying files any more. Maybe later.
  • Junction Link Magic [new]: To map folders. But I now use Cygwin, and symlinks rock.
  • uTorrent [new]: For bittorrent.
  • ntlmaps [new]: proxies requiring a password to a proxy not requiring a password
  • Putty [new]: SSH for Windows, but can also act as an SSH tunnel
  • TrueCrypt [new]: To securely back up my bank details on the cloud.

Development

Data Visualisation

  • R [new]. The God of all statistical packages. Install reshape and ggplot2.
  • Gephi [new]: Does network visualisations quite well. 
  • GraphViz [new]: Does network visualisations not quite as well.
  • Google Refine [new]: Helps clean up messy data.
  • qhull [new]: For voronoi treemaps. Don’t ask.
  • wkhtml2pdf [new]: To print web pages as PDF.

What am I missing that you really like?

  1. Naveen says:

    Finally :-)

  2. One more thing, I wanted to know from you is – How do you organize your work, specifically code and how do you handle repository and workspaces (if you use an IDE) ?

    In case you don’t use an IDE, what kind of coding environment?

    I got a new laptop a few months back and have been trying to figure out how to start organizing my work, repositories of things I work or experiment on and the IDE. Currently, I am trying to put in Java, Python and Scala into eclipse by using it’s plugins, hoping eclipse would help me to organize the code and repos.

  3. TD says:

    Wordweb and Evernote

  4. TD says:

    Also, iTunes…. Not that I like it but for Ipod.

  5. S Anand says:

    @Ravi: I don’t use an IDE. Just Sublime Text + bash/Command Prompt + git/hg. Since I don’t use Java, I can stay away from Eclipse (which I think is way too heavy for my liking).

  6. 408wij says:

    Evernote
    Zipeg (available on both Mac and Win, better UI than 7zip)
    Keepass
    Switcher (Expose-like feature on Win. A bit flaky and not supported.)
    Erunt (registry backup)

    I’m trialing Xplorer2.

  7. Mohit says:

    At least some of this could be automated :)
    check out “ninite dot com”

  8. Shankar V says:

    Excellent list. Thanks for sharing :)

    I agree about Eclipse – too heavy. But if you code in Java, I dont see a better alternative. Anyone remember NetBeans?

    Google Desktop – I find this amazingly useful and I am sad Google is retiring this. Wish there is a good alternative. I hate windows search.

  9. Venu says:

    Thanks for excellent compilation.
    Can you point to any free utility to optimize the performance of our computers

  10. Arun says:

    I tried to do something similar and then got lazy and simply installed VirtualBox ;)

  11. Rajasekar says:

    Good One.

  12. shiva says:

    Wat abt notepad ++

  13. bhavesh says:

    What about CClener and Unlocker?

  14. [...] for a laptop January 14th, 2012 How I do things S Anand I’ve returned my laptop, and it’s time to buy a new one. For the first time in my life, I’m buying a laptop for [...]

  15. Karen says:

    Very nice list! I would add JV 16 Power Tools to the Utilities list. They have a free 30 day fully functional trial to try them out. It’s not limited like most trial software.

  16. Vinu says:

    If you spend any time in Excel, ASAP Utilities is an absolute joy!… get it and I’m pretty sure, you’ll swear by it in no time..

    the Sparklines add-in by Fabrice Rimlinger is also excellent.. a bit raw, but powerful nevertheless.

  17. Vinayak says:

    Nice list. You should really try out:

    Xplorer2 (get the professional version if you can – it is $30 and worth every penny and more) from http://zabkat.com
    Wikidpad – for organizing information in an offline desktop wiki – from http://wikidpad.sourceforge.net/
    Sublime Text – the best text editor – http://www.sublimetext.com/
    Everything – the perfect replacement for Google Desktop – actually it is better since it does not hog memory – from http://www.voidtools.com/
    Slickrun – the perfect program launcher – http://www.bayden.com/slickrun/
    MindManager – for Mindmapping – from http://www.mindjet.com/
    Irfanview – basic image viewer and editor – http://irfanview.com/
    SumatraPDF – Single portable program for reading ebooks (ePub & Mobi), comics (CBR and CBZ) and PDFs – from http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/free-pdf-reader.html