Microsoft Windows Specific Free Software List

The following programs are the free and the ones that I would start to install on a basic windows box and many of them I use on linux as well. And why use windows - well - for instance the support my thinkpad R50 is better regarding battery performance. Even after recompiling latest kernels with forced HPET, downgrading the ATI module for Radeon 9000 GL (otherwise I would be stock at a certain speedstep) and optimizing by stopping all necessary daemons it would still use approx 1 watt more in linux compared to a non-optimized winxp... sad. :-( That said other issues arise - for example CAD support, engineering specific software made only for windows which is impossible to work around unless one wants start searching for other employment... ;-)

Winamp - http://www.winamp.com

Winamp has been around forever. It can a lot more than I actually require it to do. However there is one thing I do like about it, and that's the fact that it can be controlled via shortcuts no matter what program is in the front (I use a laptop with no fancy multi-media keys! :-).

Vim (gvim)- http://www.vim.org

Vim, vi, or gvim particularly is any system admins basic tool on *nix-servers. Many people despise that you need to learn so many shortcuts, but I don't like using the mouse and once (after a somewhat steep learning curve) I really enjoyed programming using this software and wouldn't want to be without it on windows either. Did anyone say emacs??? Bugger off...

Pidgin - http://pidgin.im/

Instant messaging. Not much to say other than this tool works just fine for messaging over a long range of different protocols such as ICQ, messenger etc.

Xchat - http://www.xchat.org/

IRC - actually, Pidgin can also do IRC but xchat is the "real" thing.

Gimp - http://www.gimp.org/

Editing and creating images with layers and a pleotora of other things. Cheap compared to Photoshop. :-)

Mozilla firefox - http://www.mozilla.org"

Browsing the web in a pleasurable customisable, tabbable, synchronizable, etc. fashion. Get the Google browser Sync feature. Ofcourse that requires a gmail account.

Mozilla thunderbird - http://www.mozilla.org">

Reading and writing e-mail.

Xfig -

Creating complex images and export options for formats such as eps, png, jpeg etc. Install using cygwin. I've only had trouble with the versions made directly for windows.

LaTeX - http://miktex.org/

I use LaTeX to create presentations, articles and reports and some letters. There is no unified approach to have the same version for both windows and linux. So on windows I use MikTex and on Linux I use Tetex.

MikTex is an excellent software packages. It has a package manager. It allows to upgrade, install or remove additional packages.

Openoffice - http://www.openoffice.org/

Personally I don't like either openoffice or MS office. When writing large documents they both tend to require huge ressources and make horrible failures at the worst possible times. I don't trust them for anything than small documents such as letters. These office programs are actually acceptably stable when used for simple documents where you don't have extensive use of advanced features. However - you cannot sit back and say you don't want to use those programs when you seriously want to exchange documents, presentations or other material made in office applications.

Openoffice is a good software with all the most-frequently used applications that you need to make documents and presentations and it's somewhat compatible with MS office.

putty - Get it

ssh client for windows. Works like a charm and is easy to use to make ssh-tunnels or X11 forwarding.

Gnuplot - http://www.gnuplot.info/

Makes really excellent graphs for a wide variety of plot types and for export to ps/eps etc. It doesn't do 3D bar graphs well (only with great difficulty and much work), but those graphs should generally be avoided if possible. The latest version 4.2.x has some minor programmability available as well.

Acrobat reader - http://www.adobe.com/

Ever heard of the portable document format - pdf? A must have.

WinSCP - http://winscp.net/

A tool for copying files over ssh/sftp.

TortoiseCVS - http://www.tortoisecvs.org/

CVS client for windows.

TortoiseSVN - http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/"

Subversion client for windows.

Azureus - http://azureus.sourceforge.net/

Excellent bittorrent client. Good for fetching stuff like fedora.

Ghostview - http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/

Viewing postscript files.

Ghostscript - http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/

Creating pdf-files and manipulating postscript files.

TightVNC - http://www.tightvnc.com/

I don't use VNC very often but I need it sometimes.

Cygwin - http://www.cygwin.com/

Satisfies a lot the lacking stuff of windows i.e. *nix on windows

DVD Decrypter - http://www.dvddecrypter.org.uk/

Program for making backup-copies of your DVD-movies. Works like a charm.

Citrix client - http://www.citrix.com/

Run programs directly on remote server in the windows environment. Useful for remote stuff out-of-office.
Compatability: Windows/Linux

Thinlinc - http://www.cendio.com/downloads

Remote desktop stuff over ssh. Pretty powerfull and quite efficient when connecting to *nix servers. Lower bandwith usage than pure ssh+X-windows setup.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional