back to article Ten... freeware gems for new PCs

Reg Hardware PC Week If you’ve just purchased a spanking new Windows PC, what to slap on there often leaves pause for thought. The trial bloatware that inevitably came with your machine might keep you busy for a while until the payment nag screens start. Yet those costs and curses aside, there are plenty of free apps out …

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  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Some more suggestions

    A good list. Here are some more:

    Treesize

    Winsplit Revolution

    Unlocker

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Some more suggestions

      +1

      I'd replace the wastebin one with BulkReplacer, but it may be a bit specialised for a general utility list like this.

    2. Paul Westerman
      Meh

      Freeware?

      Treesize looks great, but seems I have to pay $25 for it?

      A quick vote for Defraggler while I'm here, great little defragger from the CCleaner people

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Freeware?

        There is a free version of Treesize - the only limitation is that it won't let you scan network drives, which may or may not be an issue for you on a home machine.

        1. Paul Westerman
          FAIL

          Re: Freeware?

          Ah, found it now - thanks, sorry for Googlefail.

      3. garetht t

        Re: Freeware?

        Windirstat is a great alternative to Treesize - free, and you can scan network drives.

        1. aThingOrTwo

          Re: Freeware?

          Good call. It is based on KDirStat algorithm. There is a Mac version called Disk Inventory X as well.

          All of these are free:

          Windirstat (PC):

          http://windirstat.info/

          Disk Inventory X (Mac)

          http://www.derlien.com/index.html

          KDirStat (Linux)

          http://kdirstat.sourceforge.net/

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Freeware?

        Don't need an external defragger with Win 7, it's wonderful, runs automatically in the background, keeps 0% fragmentation.

      5. Jaques Croissant

        Re: Freeware?

        Hmm, I was shocked at how crappy Defraggler was, as a happy CCleaner user. "MyDefrag" is also free, and far more effective.

    3. xenny

      Re: Some more suggestions

      I actually prefer jdiskreport to treesize. It has the disadvantage of being a java app, but disk directory sizing is I/O bound so that's no so bad, and it has the advantage over treesize's free edition that it will size mounted network drives.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Interesting list

    Intersting list, few I wouldn't of picked but after seeing that playlist in VLC I'd not question them further.

    One ommision I feel you should of had in there was InfraRecorder http://infrarecorder.org/ - nice burning software (InfraRecorder is a free CD/DVD burning solution for Microsoft Windows. It offers a wide range of powerful features; all through an easy to use application interface and Windows Explorer integration.

    InfraRecorder is released under GPL version 3.)

    I'd also say CygWin as well, but I'm sure others will.

    Also I'd say I do prefer applications I can just run of a memory stick, why install anything onto windows with that option.

    I'm sure others will add there gems they didn't see on the list.

    1. DRendar
      Headmaster

      Re: Interesting list

      *twitch* *twitch*

      What an unusual mix of correct apostrophe usage, fairly good spelling, but terrible grammar! Red Biro at the ready...

      "Intersting list, _A_ few I wouldn't _HAVE_ picked"

      "One ommision I feel you should _HAVE_ had in there was InfraRecorder http://infrarecorder.org/"

      "Also I'd say I do prefer applications I can just run _OFF_ a memory stick, why install anything onto windows with that option _?_"

      "I'm sure others will add _THEIR_ gems"

      1. Sir Cosmo Bonsor
        FAIL

        Re: *twitch* *twitch*

        I love how you're perfectly happy with "Intersting" and "ommision".

        If you're going to be a pedantic dickweed, at least do a decent job of it.

        1. Stubar
          Thumb Up

          Re: *twitch* *twitch*

          you owe me a keyboard!

        2. DRendar
          Trollface

          Re: *twitch* *twitch*

          LOL

          So I correct someone on their intentional misuse of grammar, ('Could of' / 'Should of' etc) and omit the obviously simple typo's.

          You pick up on said minor typo's and accuse me of being a pedantic dickweed.

          *I* love how by doing this, you actually prove the opposite, and prove yourself a hypocrite! That's a two-for-one - Well done sir!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: *twitch* *twitch*

            "typo's" ? Whoops - you blew it ...

            1. DRendar

              Re: *twitch* *twitch*

              Nope, perfectly acceptable.

              "Typo's" as in a contraction of "typographical errors"

              The apostrophe in this instance indicates missing letters, not possession.

  3. AndyMM
    Paris Hilton

    Libre or Open Office ?

    I was under the impression from most reviews that Libre was a cleaner and more mature package than Open Office.

    Or is Open Office back to being the main alternative ?

    Any comments welcome

    1. xpert_con
      Meh

      Re: Libre or Open Office ?

      OpenOffice have made a new version that is quite clean. But seen as the Devs jumped ship and created LibreOffice I think that is still my Open Source office of choice.

    2. jrd010

      Re: Libre or Open Office ?

      Since virtually all of the "non-corporate" developers, who were in fact the core contributors to "Open Office" are now contributing to "Libre Office", that's the one I'd pick at the moment. It's also pretty telling that virtually all Linux Distro's now ship "Libre Office", not "Open Office".

      There are supposedly going to be a lot of contributions from IBM (for one) entering "Open Office" in later releases, which may make it interesting, but they aren't there even in the first Apache release.

      It's also worth remembering that the Apache license allows code to be moved to a GPL project, while the GPL license does not allow the reverse. So - it's possible that any improvements to "Open Office" will find their way into "Libre Office" - if it's something they want...

    3. jaduncan

      Re: Libre or Open Office ?

      LibreOffice is better now, and is likely to remain so as the patches are going in to it. OpenOffice have been backporting patches to their new release, the momentum is with LO.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Libre or Open Office ?

        libreoffice is nice but a pain to configure on mass rollouts. Previously you could copy config files but the new version wont let you. OO is still enterprise friendly in that respect.

  4. Forget It
    Holmes

    Cobain Backup 10 isn't going out of beta to paid anytime soon

  5. Edwin

    Avast!

    By far the best antivirus package, and the voice notifications don't bother me overmuch since I usually have the speakers switched off, but the 'add-ons' (the browser plugin, the widget, etc) are an incredible annoyance - switch all those off too!

    1. joeW
      Thumb Down

      Re: Avast!

      Last time I updated Avast!, it installed Chrome without asking and made it my default browser. Needless to say, I've switched back to AVG.

      1. Alan Gauton
        Happy

        Re: Avast!

        You can't have been paying attention - or used an automated installer.

        I've installed Avast many times over the years, and it's always asked if you want to install chrome.

        1. joeW
          Thumb Down

          Re: Avast!

          Nope - I paid full attention, as always. I had a bit of a google-search after I'd recovered from the shock of it all, and there were a lot of other users with the same complaint. Maybe all of us weren't paying attention?

          1. The Indomitable Gall

            Re: Avast!

            Same here. It installed Chrome and made it my default browser. That's malware behaviour, that is.

          2. MDevonB

            Re: Avast!

            I'm inclined to think all of you weren't paying enough attention. Even looking for it, it takes a while to catch my focus. Nowadays it's on the first screen of installation below "Express Install" and "Custom Install" where I usually click one of the two without thinking anything. I remember it being on a separate page a year or so ago, but still placed in a way I never really caught it until I was just about to click. I wouldn't say it's at malware level, but it's still a tad bit disingenuous.

            1. David Simpson 1
              FAIL

              Re: Avast!

              Installing the world's most secure browser is the act of malware ? Who knew ? Avast has still never managed to do this to me so pay more attention next time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Avast!

      I'd recommend Avira AntiVir over Avast!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forget Avast, it will nag you after a year. Microsoft security essentials is free for home users and small businesses with up to ten PCs.

    OpenOffice or Star Office or whatever it's called is great if you want a reverse-engineered copy of Office 97. But if you work for a large company, it is very likely they'll have Microsoft's Home Use Program as part of their licensing agreement, in which case you can download a proper legit copy of Office 2010 for less than a tenner.

  7. Suhana
    Linux

    And for those of you wise souls running a non-windows setup...

    Is the world really that firmly entrenched in the "Windows is Best" rut?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      I sort of thought

      that the phrase "windows PC" in the title sort of gave the game away!

      When we have a "Non windows based PC" freeware list, i'll look forward to reading your input.

      Hopefully, it will be more constructive than this little off topic gem....

      Bloody linux fanbois.....

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: I sort of thought

        To be honest it doesnt mention Windows in the title. It does say new PC. Which just does to show how entrenched things are - a new PC is expected to be windows. And not another

        The firs sentence does mention windows but since you've made all the effort to click to get here from the front page... And the poster doesnt mention linux so your ability to recognise a penguin may suggest some progress is being made.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Re: I sort of thought

          I can recognise the ebola pathogen, doesn't mean i want anything to do with it!!!!

      2. Michael Nelson
        Facepalm

        Re: I sort of thought

        "I sort of thought ... that the phrase "windows PC" in the title sort of gave the game away!"

        Erm... It isn't in the title!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not now mate!

      I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Linux/OSX fan but this is a WIndows only article and I read it as I sometimes get asked to offer advice on software for my Windows owning friends and family.

      I don't judge my friends for their O/S "choices", I simply try my best to help them cope with their unfortunate circumstances until they arrive at the age of reason! Ha ha!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Right, then you renew Avast every year. It's a much more modern AV solution than MSE, which last time we compared AV produces was particularly weak on the heuristic/sandboxing front. Even the paid-for MS AV product was outperformed by Avast, Avira, and AVG's FREE products.

      BTW OOo started life as StarOffice, made by a German firm - I have a German colleage who used the DOS version (StarWriter) in the 90's - and OOo still opens his old document files.

      1. RAMChYLD
        Boffin

        re: Avast

        I agree with AC on this one. All you need to do is renew Avast every year. No big deal, just renew it on the day of expiry.

        Also, I should note that you do in fact get the sandbox protection in the free version of Avast, just that it's not as flexible as the paid for version.

    4. handle

      "OpenOffice or Star Office or whatever it's called"

      Sorry - I'd read your posting but I'm too busy compiling my Linux kernel in order to get the command line to work.

      You're comical.

    5. King Jack Silver badge
      Holmes

      Avast, it will nag you after a year?

      No it won't. You just re-register it. It takes 5 seconds and you don't even need a real email address.

      I would like to suggest Imgburn for burning DVDs and CDs. It's free, flexible and fast.

    6. Avatar of They Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Hmmm MSE

      MSE comes up with false positives too many times to be considered safe for my liking. Half the games in Steam seem to be riddled with trojans if you believe MSE but AVG and Avast both find no problems.

      And MSE is an MS product which means the company that wrote the bad OS software is also the one I trust to fix it? I would rather not have all eggs in one basket.

      Avast has an annoying voice over but works and isn't bloated like AVG.

      Back to the list, piriform who do CCleaner do 4 pieces of useful software. One for cleaning up rubbish, one for defragging hard drives, one for specking your machine and one for recovery of files. All well worth it.

      1. Shakje

        Re: Hmmm MSE

        I have a couple of hundred games on my Steam account, and MSE hasn't flagged a single one.

        When it comes to dealing with the deepest recesses of Windows, I'd far rather that MS was the one writing the code with internal documents to help, than someone else dealing with undocumented functions. That doesn't mean MSE is the best solution, just that your argument that it should be shunned because a different coding department of the same firm wrote something that you think is bad yet you still bought is a pretty rubbish reason not to use something.

      2. Cave Dweller

        Re: Hmmm MSE

        The only 'games' I've had flagged byt MSE is an build of my hobbyist project, which isn't using the Direct3D10 API quite right when switching to fullscreen mode (anyone got an answer? It's always going 1680x1050 instead of 1920x1080...).

        I moved from Avast! to MSE a few years ago and never looked back. I've never had any malware issues with either AV, but I prefer MSE because of how straightforward it feels. Little green castle in my notification area = 'salright.

      3. ACcc

        Re: Hmmm MSE

        Have to say I had to remove MSE from a low spec laptop and go to avast - MSE was taking up 100 meg memory, and on an XP machine with only 360, that was killing it.

        And while I'd have used Lubuntu for my own machine (and have had it running nicely enough on an even lower spec laptop with 160 meg & 600MHz Processor) the machine wasn't for me, so had to be XP.

        1. David Simpson 1
          FAIL

          Re: Hmmm MSE

          If you still have an XP machine with 360MB of RAM do the decent thing and put it in a skip.

    7. Bill Neal
      Linux

      And for those of you...

      There should have been a few 'nix distros on the list, if only to use as file recovery when the free av fails to catch anything REALLY bad/annoying. The only program on the list that I have used is VLC. Probably the only one on that list I will ever use. (well, I used OOo until the fork) At home I just keep the Windows boxes off the internet at all times. My cat could probably update Facebook with linux. Its not that difficult.

    8. illiad

      yes, avast will nag you, but will STILL cost NOTHING...

      all you have to do is enter your email address, that is ALL .. WTH is the problem, lazy????

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