I get asked “what software do you use for…” alot, so here is a list of software I recommended.

Web/App Based Cross Platform (Windows, Mac, iPhone, etc..)

Windows

Internet Programs

Office Programs

  • LibreOffice – office suite (replaces Microsoft Office, fork of OpenOffice that is more opensource)
  • MS Office – office suite
  • PDF Creator – create a PDF via printing
  • Notepad++ – plain text editor (replaces notepad)
  • Todolist – a free to-do-list application

Computer System Tools

  • CCleaner – Windows system optimization and privacy tool
  • 7Zip – file compression and decompression
  • Synctoy2 – backup files
  • Syncback – backup files (non-free, has very advanced features and very robust)
  • CDBurnerXP – CD/DVD burner

Audio/Video Programs

  • VLC – media player (plays DVD also)
  • iTunes – purchase songs and media organizer (sync with iPhone and iPods)
  • Hadbrake – Video transcoder, DVD ripper
  • WinFF – video converter

Image/Photo/Media Programs

  • Gimp – Photoshop alternative
  • Paint.NET – Photoshop alternative (simpler and easier to use then Gimp)

Network Tools

  • NetStumbler – wifi scanner (war driving)
  • Wireshark – network protocol analyzer
  • Nmap – port scanner (Windows and Linux)
  • Ninite – web based utility to select different apps and have only one install

Windows Tweak/Configuration

  • UltraMon – dual monitor system (not free)
  • allSnap – snap windows (like KDE)

Most of these are free and open-source.

Here are some other good lists of software :

Lifehacker – 61 Free Desktop Applications, Webapps, and Tools We’re Most Thankful For

Mac OS X

Internet Programs

  • Safari – web browsing
  • Firefox – web browsing (replaces Windows Internet Explorer)
  • Chrome – web browsing
  • Airmail – e-mail client

Office Programs

  • LibreOffice – office suite (replaces Microsoft Office, fork of OpenOffice that is more opensource)
  • MS Office – office suite

Computer System Tools

Audio/Video Programs

  • VLC – media player (plays DVD also)
  • Itunes – purchase songs and media organizer (sync with iPhone and iPods), comes with iMac

Image/Photo/Media Programs

  • iPhoto – comes with the iMac, very basic, really really need a better one
  • Hadbrake – Video transcoder, DVD ripper
  • Pixelmator – image editor

Network Tools