The Big Freeware CD

April 7: Current list is at http://mike.sofaer.net/misc/links.html

I am putting together a CD of all the freeware I like to have on my machines, or don’t yet know I like to have on my machines. I’m always helping out family members, etc. and it’d be nice to have one disc that I could install what I needed from. Yes, I know some of this would be better on Linux, but this is a Windows CD

I’m looking for suggestions/recommendations/updates on the current art.

Also, I have some stuff from my previous incarnation of this CD that I have no idea what it is. If you know more than what Google tells you about something, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

The rules:

Everything needs to fit on one CD.
Programs should be of reasonably general utility.
Programs should preferably be legal to resdistribute, and minimum shareware.

Codecs:

I would recommend all of the following codecs

DivX (already included)
ac3filter (needed for many files)
OggDS
Vobsub
MKV

With those 5, you could watch about anything anybody would ever release.

(if you need links for some of them, just ask)

Multimedia:

Swap out Realplayer for Real Alternative, and add AlternativeQuicktime (or whatever it is called)
QCD for audio. It can rip and play and is just great.

Networking:

SmartFTP. Great, easy to use program.
Firefox 1.0 with a premade Ad-block filter set (I have a very thourough one if you want)

Programming:

I would like to have Cygwin availible, but that’ll take about 300 megs. Probably not the best bet for this disk.

Your C compiler is probably going to wind up being DJGPP. Also, there are now free versions of all of Microsoft’s Visual Studio products that you might like to check out.

Ok, Fuck Realplayer. Install Real Alternative instead. While you’re at it, pick up Quicktime Alternative and The K-Lite Codec Pack as well.

How could you forget IrfanView?

Definitely go for some Firefox (and Thunderbird, if you’re into that kind of thing). Gimp is a fine and free alternative to Photoshop, and OpenOffice is far, far superior to Microsoft Office in my opinion.

That’s all I can think of for now, but I’m sure I’ll come up with more.

Edit: Oh, and I always throw a copy of WinRar on these cds, but it’s not freeware.

Dammit, I can’t believe I forgot QCD. It’s so awesome, seriously.

Also, Spybot and AVG are mandatory.

Extar has some good ones there, but I disagree with two of his picks:

AVG - Not a total disagreement… just… not excited about it. It caused some slowdown in games on my computer. But, well, ya gotta have some antivirus.

K-Lite Codec Pack. I did not get along with that pack very well. Hell, I will personally put together the codec pack for you (and order them!) if you don’t use it. The pack is far too invasive for my tastes.

Past that, I give his list 2 thumbs up.

Meh… never had problems with either. I love the k-lite pack specifically because it just makes everything work (contrast: nimo), and AVG has never slowed me down… at least as far as I know.

Also, I didn’t list it because it comes with Quicktime and Real Alternatives, but of special note is Media Player Classic. It’s so much better than Windows Media Player that it should be illegal to not use it.

I personally prefer DefilerPak, as it has ffdshow, which takes place of the most common stand-alone codecs, over the other codec packs. But each to his or her own.

Gspot, as long as you’re including codecs and whatnot.

Exact Audio Copy (or a different CD ripper)

If you don’t have this version, I’d suggest the EAC Bundle, which includes Lame 3.90.03, which is said to be the best version to use.

Also surprised no one’s suggested Audacity for sound manipulation.

HijackThis for troubleshooting browser hijackings. I like it more than Spybot, because it actually shows me what could be taking over my browser. But it doesn’t replace Spybot.

Bonus link: Clipomatic for a more robust clipboard.

I didn’t suggest it specifically because it never did anything but crash for me. How is it once it actually runs?

I’d say it rivalled CoolEdit.

Though I’ve never been in need of anything more than a prettied-up Sound Recorder, so I’m not exactly the person to judge such things.

memtest86 and some of those other smallish diagnostic tools wouldn’t hurt. Also: consider WinRar seconded. I think it opens up pretty much every archive format that ever mattered.

More stuff to keep around:

Ad-Aware
Acrobat Reader
BitTorrent client
device drivers (video card, network adapter)
EggTimer
HijackThis
Irfanview
lspfix (WinSock repair utility)
media file conversion utilities (e.g. mus2midi, acm2wav, etc.)
RadTools (Bink/Smacker player)
Starforce removal utility
Uncook (mp3 repair utility)
WinAmp 2.91
WinAmp plug-ins (mostly codecs)
WinRar

  • Alan

ASFTools and Peck’s Power Join are two things that you might want. They’re both for making one file out of a video that’s been split into parts, and ASFTools also has some other nifty features.

Virtual Dub too, maybe?

My must have freeware CD has these (plus a few random programs that always seem to get downloaded, but never installed.)

Multimedia: VLC and VirtualDub although I really don’t use VirtualDub anymore. VLC handles enough codecs natively that I rarely encounter something it won’t play, and, if I read their changelog right, it ignores the DVD region code. Anyone got a non-Region 1 DVD I can test it on?

Web Browser: Obviously, Firefox

FTP: Filezilla has a client and server, but I’ve only ever tried the client. A few ui particulars, but overall pretty decent.

Archiving: WinRAR is good, but 7-Zip meets your “freeware” preference.

IM Client: Miranda or the basic version of Trillian.

Productivity: OpenOffice even though I’ve always had access to MS Office. It might bust your “fit on one CD” requirement though. I’d second the TextPad recommendation for anyone who needs a text editor.

Audio Editor: Audacity - Not sure when you last used it, but I used it as my editor in a low-end ad shop since about .95. I don’t remember a single crash since it went 1.0,

Audio Ripping: CDex

Web Site Ripping: WinHTTrack for downloading your porn sites.

Web server: Simple Server is nothing too powerful, but if power is what you’re looking for, you’d already have Apache. Look around AnalogX’s site for other useful little networking apps.

Graphics: GIMP for raster graphics obviously, but also Inkscape for vector images (based on Sodipodi, but seems to actually be interested in releasing functional software) and Blender for 3d stuff.

Leechget 2004
IZArc
Pixie
ConTEXT
Spybot S&D
Ad-Aware SE
Foobar2000
VirtualDub
XnView
FRAPS
ZoneAlarm
AVG Anti-Virus
Crap Cleaner
DBPowerAmp Music Converter
X-Chat
PC Inspector File Recovery
Picasa
Trillian
Firefox + AdBlock Extension + These Filters

Great, great thread. Not much to add; as a back-end/server/networking geek, I always like to have ethereal handy, and Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a spiffy website link-checker (and, in a pinch, a quick-n-dirty “beat the hell out of the web server” load generator). If you hate people, you’ll give them gvim as a text editor (I like it, though).

Can’t think of anything else off the top of my head, though.

No list would be complete without Daemon Tools. Not a day goes by when I don’t use DT.

Gmail Notifier is essential in my book.

In addition to putting all this stuff on a CD, are you going to organize it so people who don’t know what software does what can find them?

OK, I tried to consilidate the list a little bit, I would look up the stuff in the last section before I post, but I’m late for work. I’ll check up on it later, just wanted to gather the threads a bit.

Programming:

DJGPP
POLY/ML
Python
Perl
Bloodshed Dev-C++ (with Mingw and GDB)

Codecs:

a jpeg of the code for DeCSS, in a pretty font.
Divx;
ac3filter (needed for many files)
OggDS
Vobsub
MKV
Gspot
DefilerPak
K-Lite codec pack?

Gaming related:

Daemon Tools
FRAPS
Starforce removal utility (where do you get this?)

Small Utilities:

TweakUI
lspfix (WinSock repair utility)
HexEdit
memtest86
Clipomatic
Crap Cleaner (registry cleanup)
PC Inspector File Recovery (data recovery)
RivaTuner (Video Card tuner)

General Internet:

VNC
puTTY
pscp
ZoneAlarm
Azureus BitTorrent client

Anti-Virus:

AVG

Multimedia:

Picasa (photo album)

Audio Players:

EphPod
WinAmp 2.91
WinAmp plug-ins (mostly codecs)
Foobar2000 (music player)

Video Players:

Real Alternative
Quicktime Alternative
(Windown Media Classic)
VLC

Video Editors:

ASFTools
Peck’s Power Join
VirtualDub

FTP:

SmartFTP
Filezilla

Archiving:

WinRAR (shareware)
7-Zip (freeware)
IZArc (Freeware Archiver)

IM Client:

AIM
Xfire
Miranda
Trillian
X-Chat
mIRC

Productivity:

OpenOffice (if I have room)
Acrobat Reader
TextPad
ConTEXT
gVim

Audio Editor:

Uncook (mp3 repair utility)
Audacity

Audio Ripping:

EAC Bundle (with LAME)
CDex
QCD
DBPowerAmp Music Converter

Web server:

Simple Server
Apache

Graphics:
GIMP
Inkscape
Blender
ImageJ
XnView
Irfanview
Pixie (color selector)

Web surfing:

Leechget 2004 (download manager)
HijackThis
AdAware SE
Spybot S&D
WinHTTrack
Firefox + Adblock + FlashGot (Or DownloadWith)
BooTX’s filters http://bootx.homestead.com/files/adblockfilter.txt

Stuff that’s probably too big:
Cygwin
OpenOffice.org
Visual Studio free versions.

Stuff I don’t know anything about:
NetIntellect Lite
NetLab 95
Windows Media Tools
EggTimer
media file conversion utilities (e.g. mus2midi, acm2wav, etc.)
RadTools (Bink/Smacker player)

along with ethereal, i found a gui version of nmap (nmapwin) or somethign to be handy… there are a surprising number of times when i want to find a physical machine (like an apple Airport) but don’t have its IP address documented anywhere.

this project is 2 years out of date from the “real” nmap, but at least it has a gui… ymmv.

Yes. I may also write an HTML page that has all that info and links to the download locations.