windowsnerd.com

notes from an admin for himself. you can read it if you want.

Entries Comments


Custom Search






Best free windows software


These are my favorite free windows utilities. Mozy is the only one you pay for but you need to. The others don’t have spyware and some are open source.

Acrobat replacementFoxit reader

This util loads in like a second instead of a minute for the bloated stupid acrobat client from adobe. I don’t use acrobat reader anywhere anymore.

Backups – Mozy

2GB free! back up your keepass password database (below) and all your important documents, bookmarks etc. It is stored in a massive earthquake proof bunker in Utah. HIPAA compliant and everything. I HIGHLY recommend using the link above and getting mozy NOW. They give you 2GB to get started. Then if you refer your other email accounts and friends you will be up to 3gb or 4gb in no time. Plenty of space for your password file, and critical documents, maybe favorite photos.

Browsing– FireFox and Mcafee site advisor

Firefox seems to be more stable in my experience. Security wise I’d say your are full of BS on a FireFox vs IE battle. They both have vulnerabilities all the time. Since FireFox became mainstream it became a target. Exactly what will happen as Mac gains market share.

Mcafee site advisor– install this and edit the settings to highlight links in red, yellow and green. Even a nerd can appreciate seeing the red links when you are googling info to do your job. And it is fun to google “fluffy kitten screen-savers” and see how many sites your aunt already visited and realize why you have to clean her machine every time you go there.

Email Gmail

Gmail rocks. free calendar sharing, document sharing. You can save a lot of IT and run gmail for your company. Use Outlook 2007 and IMAP for users that don’t like the gmail conversation style. Get digital certificates from thawte for email and you get a pretty red ribbon on your emails in outlook.

File sharing – Azureus

I wouldn’t recommend a file sharing program for *ahem* non-legit reasons so use your imagination and isohunt. But say you need fedora core 8, download the torrent file and azureus will share away.

Instant messengerPidgin

Open source and you can load all your accounts from all providers in one client.

Password managerKeepass

This encrypted database is really safe for keeping all your passwords. Just remember your keepass password and cut and paste the others. It will add to your clipboard and remove it after X seconds. Back this up with Mozy from above and you will NEVER lose your passwords.

Patching – Secunia PSI

This bad boy will keep most of your software patched automagically! Best program ever. Launch it the first time, let it sit for a day. It will patch what it can.

Next day tell it to scan again, patch everything using the links that it couldn’t do. After that it should keep up on most everything for you. Check it once in a while to help it out. This will save you tons of time. It is one of the most important programs you can have on your computer. Most breaches are from Java and flash not being patched.

 

Photos– Google’s Picasa and (no more Hello)

Hello is gone!!!! It was the greatest picture sharing Instant messager thing ever! I will miss you hello. The google web album thing is nowhere near the coolness of Hello.

Picasa is a sweet program for managing your photos. Edit your photos, auto-correct color, crop, all the normal useful tools. I use the automatic link to shutterfly all the time to print photos. I think owning a photo printer is stupid. What a waste of money when you can just upload to shutterfly and have them mailed. If you

Remote Desktop logmein

Log me in free edition gives you a web console to manage all the people you help. It burns through multiple NAT layers. It is awesome. If you pay you can drag files from your desktop to theirs. It always works as long as their machine is powered on and connected to the net. They don’t even have to be logged in.

If you are on the same network as another machine windows remote desktop blows the doors off everything else. At my last job I used it exclusively.

VPN – Hamachi

Really easy setup, good encryption, makes it easy to share files, remote desktop through several NATs. Start it as a service and manage remote laptops anywhere they go.

Zip utility7zip

7zip is the best open source zip and unzip util around. 7zip works BETTER than winzip. It integrates to right click, unzips rar, cab, iso, arj, lzy, chm, msi, wim, z, cpio, rpm, dev and nsis at the moment. It is the master zipper. AND it is free and open source. Check up on new versions once in a while.

Have other favorite free utilities? Let me know.


Comments

Comment from Meh
Time: June 23, 2015, 3:29 pm

I stay away from McAfee and Norton, I have had yearly subs from both products in the past. Both companies were not only spying on me but revoked my legally bought subs from their websites. It gets more interesting, using products built by any of these companies transmits your personal data directly to their data centers. It doesn’t matter if your using cloud or just their normal line up. Their stuff is spyware, using no AV protection is probably better for your data then using this form protection. Also avoid using Firefox as it now includes DRM and probably sends your info to Mozilla labs, their way of insuring Firefox stays on top of Chrome.

Other things that suck:

– Gmail (spam city)
– Backups (local yes online never)
– File Sharing (I prefer baretorrent)
– Remote Desktop (Just a bad idea in theory and in practice.)

I am using the following:

– Pale Moon browser
– Baretorrent
– 7ZIP
– Power ISO
– Virtual Box
– Open Office
– Inkscape
– SMPlayer
– MSE + Malwarebytes + Trend Micro Housecall
– Classic Shell

Comment from Nerd
Time: July 24, 2015, 11:20 am

You have some great points about AV, I agree on most. Cool to see someone using Pale Moon.

I am curious why you don’t like remote desktop, but I make silly assumptions like folks are running certificate services, requiring ipsec and multiple forms of authentication for the traffic as well as the session. Backups online, I have mixed feelings. Most people won’t build their own key. But most people don’t have the discipline to do local backups. I would guess the risk of losing the family photos exceeds the risk of losing a backup. Depends on what data is there.

Thanks for visiting, nice to see someone who knows what they are doing popping by. For the most part this is a failed experiment for me to see if I take the time to share the more difficult fixes I find.

Write a comment