Open Source/Free Utils and Applications

I thought I would list a bunch of Open Source / Free utils and applications that I use almost every day. I’m excluding the obvious ones like Linux (in my case Ubuntu).

The list below is what I use in my day to day job, normally on my laptop running Windows Vista, the order really doesn’t matter its just as I thought about them. Everything listed below is available for Windows and most are also available for Linux and other OS’s. I’m a programmer, web developer and computer geek so I’m sure the list of software below reflects that, but no matter what you do there is probably at least one application that might be handy.

If you have a favourite please add a comment and share it with us.

Open Source and available for Linux, Windows and some other OS’s.

Inkscape – Vector Editor
Inkscape has become my drawing application of choice and I use it alot. The trace bitmap option is really useful if you need to “vectorize” an existing logo or something.

Firefox – Web Browser
My browser of choice, it stays open all the time on my machine. I have tried other browsers, used Google Chrome for a short period of time and Apple Safari for Windows but keep coming back to Firefox.

Firebug – Firefox addon for debugging javascript, css and other things for sites.
Pencil Sketching – Firefox addon that can be used for diagram and prototyping interfaces for websites and desktop applications.

Netbeans – IDE
My IDE of choice when doing Java work, PHP and HTML. Because its a java application it sucks up tons of resources and it has a few rough edges, but its still a pretty cool IDE.

Dia – Diagram Tool
I use this alot for knocking together flow diagrams, network diagrams and other “diagraming”.

Blender – 3D Graphics suite/tool.
Awesome 3D package, used to spend alot of time playing with this. I just don’t have the time anymore or the graphical talent to do 3D work but I keep around for when I’m feeling creative.

Gimp – “Photoshop Replacement”
I keep this around because I can’t afford Photoshop, use it alot as a converter between some of the weirder file formats although I do alot of my editing (on my windows machiens) in Paint.Net.

EasyTag – ID3 tag editor for Mp3’s
Very useful if you’re trying to clean up and rename a bunch of Mp3 files or just correcting there tags.

Audacity – Audio editor
Perhaps this would be best described as “the Gimp for sound”? You never know when you need to edit an audio clip, keep it around just in case.

7zip – Compression Tool
Faster zip un-compress/compress than the built in stuff in Vista, handles a wide range of other formats too.

FileZilla – Ftp Client
Nice FTP tool, use it to upload/download stuff from sites etc.

Lazarus – Delphi/Pascal Implementation
Based around FPC (Free Pascal Compiler) Lazarus allows you to create apps in the delphi/pascal language for a wide range of OS’s and processors. I currently only really tinker with it, but I’ve written the odd useful exe in it.

VideoLan – Video Player
I keep this around to play formats that I don’t have a codec for windows or for some reason media player doesn’t want to play.

Songbird – Mp3/Audio player and media catalogue
I’ve been playing around with this as a sortof replacement to iTunes or Rythumbox on Linux, haven’t decided yet if I like it but I’ll add it on the list for those that don’t know about it.

XAMPP – Apache, MySQL, Perl, PHP
I use this on my windows machine to get my favourite webserver, PHP etc. It contains most of the libs you’ll need and contains a cool inteface for starting and stopping all the services.

Open source Windows only software.

Putty – SSH Client and Server
I use this for accessing my linux and MacOSX machines, doing weird things with ports and stuff like that.

WinMerge – Merge tool.
Awesome Difference/Merge too for viewing the differences between files, folders etc.

WinSCP – Windows SCP Client
Nice graphical interface to copy files via SCP.

Paint.Net – Bitmap editing software
Awesome software for editing images, written in .NET works wonderfully and use it alot to crop, touch up and change images and photos.

Notepad2 – Text Editor/Notepad replacement.
While not the fanciest editor, it has syntax highlighting, doesn’t use up alot of resources and is really useful for editing all text formats or even just for viewing them.

Non-Open Source Windows only Software.

HxD – Freeware Hex Editor
Usefull when you need to edit some weird format or hacking about in an exe or something.

CCleaner – System Cleaner
Nice little system cleaner, free’s up some space and ends up making my machine run a little faster.

CDBurnerXP – CD/DVD burning software.
I use this as a replacement to the stupid software that came with my machine and its become my “free” replacement to Nero. Works really nicely.

Spybot Search & Destroy – System Cleaner and Malware remover.
Another util that I use to remove malware and keep my machine (and others) in tip top shape.

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware – Malware remover.
Another util that I use to remove malware, has removed many things that even some virus scanners couldn’t get right.

CutePDF – Print to PDF
I use this to create PDF’s of anything, it installs its self as a printer on the system. There are plenty of apps that do this, CutePDF happened to be the first one I tried.

SyncBack – Copy/Sync Util
Usefull tool for copying or sync’ing folders, used it to do backups too.

Virtual CloneDrive – ISO/Image mounting tool.
I use this to read or run ISO’s without burning them to CD/DVD.

Foxit PDF Reader – PDF Reader
Nice alternative to Adobe Acrobat for reading PDF’s, loads alot faster and doesn’t suck up all my machines resources.

PDF Compress
Small util for compressing PDF’s, doesn’t work with all of them but it comes in handy to make PDF’s smaller.

MyPhoneExplorer – Sony Ericcson Phone Tool
Awesome tool to connect to, backup, download and change the info being stored on your phone. If you have a Sony Ericcson this is a must have tool.