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Name Your Favorite Bloat-Free Software 1296

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the need-a-steady-diet-of-#-/*-and-// dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I prefer software that takes as little hard drive space and RAM as possible. I can't stand bloated software like iTunes, as compared to Foobar or classic Winamp; or Windows Media Player, as compared to VLC or Media Player Classic. What are some of your favorite applications which are a little less bloated?"
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Name Your Favorite Bloat-Free Software

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  • Oh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by c0l0 (826165) * on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:36AM (#20508367) Homepage
    Now that one's easy! `ed`. It's the standard editor [gnu.org] for a reason, after all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I like copy con, myself.
    • Re:Oh! (Score:5, Funny)

      by eln (21727) * on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:51AM (#20508765) Homepage
      ed is a bloated mess! It's 47K for god's sake! I use cat for all of my text editing needs. At a lean 19k, it's far more efficient than ed. Hell, if you're comfortable with that much bloat, you might as well just use emacs. At least then you get an operating system included.

      As for general favorite bloat-free software, I'd have to go with /usr/bin/yes. Often I find myself needing something to tell me I'm correct about a tough decision, or to provide me motivation to do something, or just for some general personal validation. For that and more, I trust yes. Sure, some people would use more unsure methods such as researching problems, talking to themselves in a mirror, or taking action to better themselves. I'm not much of a gambler though, and I don't like to sweat. So, I use yes. Yes always gives me the answer I need, as many times as I need to hear it. Yes is the perfect solution to life's problems. Take for example the following conversation with yes:

      Should I buy that new sports car I've had my eye on? y
      Am I really a good person, even after all those felonies? y
      Should I have another beer? y
      Am I sober enough to drive? y
      Do you love me? y
      Oh yes, you little scamp, I love you too! y
      y
      y
      y
      y
      y
      y
      y
      y
      ^C
    • Re:Oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by baryon351 (626717) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:57AM (#20508875)
      I prefer software that takes as little hard drive space and RAM as possible

      I'll have to go out on a limb and say I dropped expectations of absolutely minimal HD and RAM space for EVERY app I use, after continually coming up against programs that would go all out in being light in resource use, but couldn't do their job because of it.

      Some are just what the original poster ordered - vim is certainly one of the good cases, it's powerful and manages a light footprint, and there are plenty of other tools that do phenomenal work whether it's running on eight xeons, or a single low-end 386.

      One of the opposite cases is some forms of image work when comparing apps like Gimp and Photoshop. In some areas, Gimp is WAY lighter on resource use. I'd perform work on 250MB image, and gimp would use little more RAM than that, no matter how it was configured for RAM use. This would normally be seen as a really good thing for Gimp.

      What of Photoshop? It wanted 2GB of RAM to work at maximum speed. That might sound like serious bloat on photoshop's part, but when working on large images it meant two orders of magnitude difference in speed. Yes, where Gimp will use a mere 280MB on a 4GB system, and take 15-16 minutes to perform one filter over an image, Photoshop would chew through 2GB and take about 20 seconds doing the exact same thing.

      (That doesn't mean PS was incapable when stuck with ONLY 256MB RAM. Then it'd bog down just like Gimp)

      What I want are apps that use the resources I provide them *wisely*. There's more to that than just being totally frugal. Seen too many people running big-RAM systems and being proud of having their OS use just a hundred or two MB out of gigs. Why? Resources are free once they're installed, may as well use them when they genuinely can help you work.
      • GIMP tile cache size (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:34PM (#20509657)
        Using GIMP, did you ever look at the setting called "Tile cache size" in Preferences / Environment? This sets the maximum amount of RAM that GIMP can use before it starts to swap some parts of images (tiles) to disk.

        You can set this value to 4 GB and GIMP will happily use as much memory as you have. And it will be much, much faster when working with large images. As a rule of thumb, you should set this value to around 80% of your available memory.
        • by fossa (212602) <pat7@Nospam.gmx.net> on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:54PM (#20510059) Journal

          Is there a compelling reason that the default behavior is not 80% of your available memory?

          • by Raphael (18701) <quinet@@@gamers...org> on Friday September 07, 2007 @01:29PM (#20510753) Homepage Journal

            Is there a compelling reason that the default behavior is not 80% of your available memory?

            There are several reasons, some of which are historical:

            • GIMP was designed 10 years ago for UNIX systems. Many of these systems were shared by multiple users from remote displays. On a multi-user system, you do not want any application to consume 80% of the memory shared by all users.
            • It is very difficult to have a portable way to know (or even guess) the amount of memory available on a machine. You need different bits of code for each operating system, and sometimes you even have to run external commands and parse their output because a non-privileged application is not allowed to get this information from the system.
            • What is "available memory" anyway? It this your total amount of RAM, the amount of RAM still unused after you boot your OS, or what is left after you start your browser and some other applications? In many cases, only the user knows in which context GIMP will be used.
            • Nobody bothered implementing good heuristics for setting the tile cache size automatically. I am sure that a patch improving the default behavior would be gladly accepted.
            • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2007 @01:49PM (#20511177)

              GIMP was designed 10 years ago for UNIX systems. Many of these systems were shared by multiple users from remote displays. On a multi-user system, you do not want any application to consume 80% of the memory shared by all users.
              It is no longer 10 years ago. There are valid reasons to preserve 10-year-old design decisions, but not to preserve 10-year-old default settings! The number of people wanting to install GIMP on single-user desktops is vastly greater than the number installing it on multi-user servers; it is silly to expect the majority to reconfigure a setting chosen for the benefit of a minority.

              It is very difficult to have a portable way to know (or even guess) the amount of memory available on a machine. You need different bits of code for each operating system, and sometimes you even have to run external commands and parse their output because a non-privileged application is not allowed to get this information from the system.
              There are lots of things it's difficult to do on some platforms. That's no excuse for not doing it in cases where it's easy. Even just implementing this for Linux and Windows would solve the problem for the vast majority of GIMP users, and put a framework in place for users of more obscure operating systems to contribute solutions for their platform.

              What is "available memory" anyway? It this your total amount of RAM, the amount of RAM still unused after you boot your OS, or what is left after you start your browser and some other applications? In many cases, only the user knows in which context GIMP will be used.
              Now you're getting silly. Anyone with an ounce of common sense will assume that "available memory" is the amount of memory that is available, not your total amount of RAM. In other words, the amount of memory that is not being used by any other programs at the time that you start GIMP.

              Nobody bothered implementing good heuristics for setting the tile cache size automatically.
              Laziness is no excuse for making a program that appears, to new users, to perform much worse than it really does. Plus, I thought the whole point of this thread was that a good optimum setting (80% of available memory) is known, and the program merely stupidly defaults to a much smaller setting?

              I am sure that a patch improving the default behavior would be gladly accepted.
              I envy your optimism. Given the GIMP team's less than admirable record at accepting any attempt to improve their program (i.e. they think it's perfect already, and anyone who dares suggest an improvement is flamed to death), I sadly am unable to share it.

              No, they would merely reject any patches on one of the spurious grounds you have noted above: that the submitter had not fixed the problem on Irix (so they would refuse to fix it for 99% of users), or the patch would make things worse on multi-user systems (so they would refuse to fix it for 80% of users), or the submitter had not proven beyond a shadow of doubt that he had found a completely optimal strategy (so they would refuse to make it considerably better). Let's be honest - the GIMP developers do not care about end users, they only care about massaging their own egos and pretending that GIMP is a serious competitor to Photoshop.
      • Re:Oh! (Score:5, Informative)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:40PM (#20509787) Journal
        When I'm using Windows, here's my selection:

        Utilities:
        7-Zip (Compression/Decompression)
        Editpad (Tabbed Notepad replacement)
        SequoiaView (Creates square treemaps of file system)

        Multimedia:
        VLC (Plays Anything)
        Exact Audio Copy (Perfect CD Ripping)
        LAME (High Quality MP3 Compression)
        Audacity (Record off Line Inputs or Loopback)

        Internet:
        uTorrent (Bittorrent)
        Firefox with FireFTP (Browswer, FTP)
        Thunderbird with WebMail (Email Client)
        TortiseSVN (Windows Shell Integration for Subversion)
        Putty (Telnet/SSH)

        Games:
        OpenArena (Open source extension of Quake 3 codebase)
        Battle of Wesnoth (Open source strategic fantasy game)
        • Re:Oh! (Score:5, Informative)

          by An ominous Cow art (320322) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:56PM (#20510099) Journal
          Other nice un-bloated Windows utilities I'll add:

          V, the file viewer [fileviewer.com]
          Foxit Reader [foxitsoftware.com] for viewing PDFs
          Crimson Editor [crimsoneditor.com] for text files, though I more often use emacs.
          • Re:Oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday September 07, 2007 @02:12PM (#20511535) Homepage Journal
            Instead of utilities, I'll list some media production apps:

            Steinberg Wavelab (audio editor)
            Reaper (DAW)
            DVDFab Platinum

            I'm not a programmer, so I can't testify to the efficiency of the code or anything, but I use every single one of the features of the above programs. By that measure, it makes them the opposite of bloatware.

            Here's one that I just downloaded today, after being prompted by an earlier Slashdot article:

            Opera 9.5 (I've been using it for less than an hour and it's already my favorite browser). Maybe there's some bloat somewhere in Opera. Maybe there are some of you fiber-eaters who believe that being able to render javascript automatically makes it bloatware. But this bitch is FAST and it seemed to install in the time it took me to click the FINISH button.

            And finally, my favorite, slick tool for breaching the walls of the Corrupt Castle of the Copyright Cabal...uTorrent! It's more than just a torrent download manager, it's a weapon for fighting fascism!
        • Re:Oh! (Score:5, Informative)

          by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@ ... .ca minus distro> on Friday September 07, 2007 @02:49PM (#20512165)
          Not bloatware?? Huh? News to me...

          Firefox, Thunderbird, TortiseSVN are anything but Bloat-Free.

          In the past six months to a year FireFox, Thunderbird regularly take up 130 MB by themselves. I once had Thunderbird manage RSS feeds.... That was a mistake! And don't even ask me about how SLOW Firefox has gotten with larger HTML pages.

          TortiseSVN has this annoying habit that it has to cache everything and if you have any SVN projects of any size it takes ages to do anything.

          What annoys me about these applications is that they take the attitude, "oh lets just load it into RAM after all everybody has enough." I get annoyed because I run Virtual Machines and these apps keep slowing everything down.
      • Re:Oh! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tshak (173364) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:47PM (#20509911) Homepage
        Yes, where Gimp will use a mere 280MB on a 4GB system, and take 15-16 minutes to perform one filter over an image, Photoshop would chew through 2GB and take about 20 seconds doing the exact same thing.


        The simple point you're making: Hardware is for us to USE, not "NOT USE". Sure, we don't want our applications to be completely wasteful. But if software developers can focus more on useful features and code with less bugs, I'd rather they do that than save a few megs of RAM.
  • Lynx? (Score:5, Informative)

    by saibot834 (1061528) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:37AM (#20508379) Homepage
    Lynx [wikipedia.org], anyone? :)
    • Re:Lynx? (Score:5, Funny)

      by nacturation (646836) <nacturation@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:42AM (#20508517) Journal
      Who needs the bloat of Lynx when you can telnet to port 80?
       
      • Re:Lynx? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fm6 (162816) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:47AM (#20508655) Homepage Journal
        What's really fun is reading your email by telnetting to port 110.

        I actually used to do this a lot when I was working for a certain ISP that had very flaky homebrew mail software. Mailboxes were getting corrupted all the time. The only way to fix them was to telnet in and fiddle. Or just copy /dev/null over the mailbox file, though customers tended to frown on that for some reason.
      • Re:Lynx? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:55AM (#20508827) Homepage
        Ever tried it with Slashdot? The *light* version of the front page is 600k!

        The only alternative is the mobile interface, which is horribly crippled (top five comments only? the only good thing about slashdot is the comments!).

        The content on Slashdot *should* be ideal for reading on the way to work on my mobile - content that can be laid out easily in a linear fashion, lots of content on a single page so I can keep on reading through blackspots, no pictures - but the way it's laid out makes it way too annoying (and this is with an unlimited 3G data plan).
    • Perl (Score:3, Interesting)

      by goombah99 (560566)
      Perl is my favorite unbloated language. I know you laugh but hear me out. Pick up the O-reily quick reference for almost any major language. with the exception of fortran (:-) the perl one is not just a little bit thinner, it's more than half as thick as most and that includes c++.

      Basically I find it really annoying that to get even a fraction of the functionality of stock perl one has to import some library. Why do I have to import Regular expression or Strings in python? or for that matter, just to ge
      • Re:Perl (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Wavicle (181176) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:40PM (#20509779)
        I know you laugh but hear me out. Pick up the O-reily quick reference for almost any major language.

        Is that a *really* good metric for a language? O'reilly is pretty good as companies go, but they are still after the bottom line. And the bottom line is: bigger "quick references" will sell better and for more money.

        And then why does it take a zillion pages in the quickref to explain it when it has less fearutes than stock perl.

        See, just like I told you.

        Once you learn perl you don't need a big set of reference books to explain every obscure library.

        Is there a language that, once learned, you need a big set of reference books? I use both Perl and Python (and 4 or 5 others). I have no books on Python. I have the camel book for Perl. I still find Java's javadoc to be the best language reference around. I no longer program in Java so that's just an interesting side note at this point.
      • Re:Perl (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jerry Coffin (824726) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:40PM (#20509783)
        PERL lacking bloat? You've got to be kidding!

        If you want minimal, try out UnLambda [madore.org] or Pax [geocities.com]. Unlambda is so minimal the functions (except a few built-ins) don't even get names. As a purely functional language, it also lacks variables. Despite this, it's Turing complete, so it can do anything you can do in such bloated messes as C++, PERL or Python. Pax is also Turing complete, and the page referenced above includes complete source code to its implementation, in a total of 175 lines of code (including white space, nice indenting, etc.)

        What's truly sad is that even though it was apparently invented with the specific intent of being obfuscated, Pax programs are generally much more readable than most PERL. Oh, and just to address a couple of your other points: Pax doesn't need a library to do pattern matching -- in fact, the language is basically built entirely around pattern equations. The tutorial and reference manual together work out to just over 200 lines of text. Most of that is the USTL reference manual mentioned above.

        Much as I hate to, I have to admit that even compared to PERL, programs in UnLambda are somewhat obfuscated -- though once you get used to its syntax, they're not quite as bad as they initially appear (rather the opposite of PERL in that respect).
  • by pieaholicx (1148705) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:38AM (#20508407) Homepage
    PuTTy is my clear cut winner. A little over a meg for a full installer with all the bells and whistles, what's not to love?
  • minimalist (Score:5, Informative)

    by foodnugget (663749) <eric-slashdot@nosPam.ericfeldman.com> on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:38AM (#20508417)
    irfanview. Despite plugin capabilities, among many many other features, it is small, free, and faassssst compared to all the other image viewers I've tried (not all that many)

    I'd like to see this list include things that are conveniently free of spyware/trojans, too!
  • Bonzi Buddy (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:38AM (#20508419)
    Bonzi Buddy
  • Vi (Score:3, Insightful)

    by teknopurge (199509) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:39AM (#20508437) Homepage
    QED.
    • Re:Vi (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:52AM (#20508767) Homepage

      vi ...QED.

      As long as we're only talking about old-skool vi, I totally agree with you.

      Some of these wonky new vi's with their fancy colouring and extra modes which coincide with legacy vi commands are evil. I've been using vi for almost 20 years -- and when I find myself in a new vi in a mode I don't know where I am, something has gone horribly wrong. If you're going to add modes and stuff, make sure that there is no bloody legacy vi command you've screwed up.

      There's nothing more sad than watching a guy who got coddled with emacs all through school suddenly finding himself on a customer site on a machine which only has an old-fashioned vi. They can't do anything, then they're asking the Solaris admin to install some software so he can do something simple.

      Everyone should be at least a little familiar with vi. When the fit hits the shan, sometimes it's all you've got to get out of the doo doo.

      Cheers
  • AbiWord FTW (Score:4, Informative)

    by Synesthesiatic (679680) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:39AM (#20508439) Homepage
    Back in the day I used to be a huge fan of AbiWord [abisource.com]. It's very lightweight and really does all the most people need from a simple word processor. Reminds me of Word for Windows 2.0, actually. Three years ago I had a friend using it on a Pentium 133 with 16 MB of RAM! I'd take it over OOo Writer any day.

    Of course, now I'm on OS X, and the Mac port is fugly, so I haven't touched it in a while.

  • I've got a summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realdodgeman (1113225) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:39AM (#20508443) Homepage
    I would guess that whatever your favorite non-bloat software is, it is most likely in Damn Small Linux...
  • Apple II (Score:5, Funny)

    by nacturation (646836) <nacturation@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:39AM (#20508445) Journal
    ] call -151
    * 300: ad 30 c0 20 ed fd 4c 00 03
    * 300g


    Hours of random entertainment!
     
    • by Wolfier (94144) on Friday September 07, 2007 @01:05PM (#20510295)
      AD 30 C0: LDA $C030 - loads the content of the address $C030 to the Accumulator. $C030 connects to the beeper line, this line produces a "click" through the speaker.

      20 FD ED: JSR $FDED - prints the content of the Accumulator to the screen - since what you read from the speaker line is technically random, it prints a random character to the screen - potentially including arrow keys and bell characters...

      4C 00 03: JMP $0300 enough said.

  • Putty! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope@gmS ... com minus distro> on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:39AM (#20508455) Homepage Journal
    Putty [greenend.org.uk] is 412 KB for an SSH client that supports window resizing and has no installer! Doesn't hurt that it's open source either.

  • Foobar (Score:3, Informative)

    by edelholz (1098395) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:40AM (#20508465)
    Foobar2k! Best audio player for Windows ever. http://foobar2000.org/ [foobar2000.org] Quite minimalistic, but highly configurable. Very low memory footprint and plays basically everything.
  • TinyApps.org (Score:5, Informative)

    by WillAdams (45638) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:40AM (#20508469) Homepage
    http://www.tinyapps.org/ [tinyapps.org]

    If you're running Windows, I also like Sumatra PDF

    http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/ [kowalczyk.info]

    (not sure if that's listed at the former or no, which is why I specifically mention it --- the balance of my preferred small programs are)

    William

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kebes (861706)
      Another good listing of smallish software is Portable Apps [portableapps.com]. These are normal (open source) applications that have been fine-tuned to be "portable" so that you can run them off of a USB key for instance (e.g. they store settings locally).

      Many of the apps were chosen because they are small and light. Others have been stripped to the minimum, so that they can fit comfortably on removable media (e.g. OpenOffice Portable is 69 MB instead of the usual 100 MB).

      The PortableApps Suite is only 89MB and covers a
  • MS Paint (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IndieKid (1061106) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:40AM (#20508479) Journal
    I know it's a bit crap, but I must confess to quite liking MS Paint for it's simplicity. When all you need is to crop a screendump and save it as a JPG, nothing beats it!

    Other than that, I'd second the VLC and Winamp combo. Ever since there has been iPod support in Winamp (via a plugin or 'out of the box') I haven't used anything else.
    • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Informative)

      by jo7hs2 (884069) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:46AM (#20508625) Homepage
      I too like MS Paint for simplicity, but I disagree that it is a "bit crap." How many programs for Windows have existed almost unchanged for as long as Windows has existed. The actual workings and features have changed slightly over the years, but the interface is basically the same, and anybody who can turn on the computer can use it. And that's from a Microsoft product! I would suggest that it may be one of the top ten most useful programs ever made, largely because of the simplicity of it.
  • Weird criteria (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 2nd Post! (213333) <(gundbear) (at) (pacbell.net)> on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:40AM (#20508483) Homepage
    Especially in an era of 500gb HDs and 2GB of RAM.

    My criteria are usability, utility, and functionality. For that reason iTunes is second on my list, with WinAMP all the way down at the bottom of 50. iPhoto recently shot up to #1 due to it's Web Gallery feature: Select an event, publish, and then edit the gallery at your leisure. The gallery is updated on the website "behind the scenes", so you never need to synchronize or revisit it, it's all done automatically.

    iTunes is high on that list for a similar reason. Set up a few "Smart Playlists", and music is automatically added or removed from my queue as necessary depending on playcount, on ranking, on genre, or new additions. I never need to do anything except insert a CD, vote up or down my like of any particular song at the moment, or plug in my iPod.

    Gives me more time to do other things... like rollerblading, taking pictures, or talking to people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      iTunes is great if your music collection is well-tagged and well-organized. However, the average user has a bunch of crap downloaded from Kazaa that they've just thrown into folders for makeshift playlists. If they want to correct the metadata, they rename the file. Meaning the actual tags are less accurate than the filename. For these people iTunes is a huge, confusing hassle and most people I've setup with iPods would be happier with the option to drag-and-drop through Explorer. Few people take the time t
    • Re:Weird criteria (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kryptkpr (180196) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:50AM (#20508733) Homepage
      I must respectfully disagree.

      I absolutely abhor the iTunes interface. It is 2nd last on my list of good music management programs, one small notch above Music Match Jukebox. Seemingly simple tasks like copying music from your hard drive to your mp3 player have to be done in roundabout ways which for some reason involve playlists. I gave up after half an hour and just installed RockBox [rockbox.org] on my Nano so I could be free from it's horrors.

      I would imagine that iTunes is great for the casual user that doesn't need nor want much MANUAL control over their music library, but for more advanced users the non-standard UI (on Windows) and strange "simplified" ways of doing simple things make it near useless.
      • Re:Weird criteria (Score:5, Informative)

        by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:57AM (#20508879)
        Seemingly simple tasks like copying music from your hard drive to your mp3 player have to be done in roundabout ways which for some reason involve playlists.

        Hmmm. I don't have any playlists in iTunes (I prefer dealing with albums), and I have zero problems with simply dragging an album (or other batch of songs) onto my iPod in the pane on the left. I guess that's too difficult and "roundabout" for some people, though...
    • Re:Weird criteria (Score:5, Insightful)

      by truesaer (135079) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:04PM (#20509031) Homepage
      Even with 2GB of memory my system still feels sluggish, because everyone in the world thinks their software needs to run as a service or have some persistent background process eating up memory. 5-10MB of memory times a zillion apps and suddenly your computer is slow.


      Why does iTunes have to have like 3 services running on my computer at all times? Its absurd. iTunes is not user friendly either, it just seems that way because other media players are even worse.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mindaktiviti (630001)
      Meta-tags are a huge time-consumer. Applications like iTunes (and the iPod itself), and anything where you have to associate keywords or ranking with your media files can be endless hours in front of your computer, getting it "just right" for your own tastes.

      I recall when I first bought an iPod I spent countless hours tweaking the id3 tags, instead of you know...talking to people. ;)

      Winamp, VLC, IrfanView, Scite, 7Zip ...are my picks. Simple programs that do their function and do it well.

      Oh, and programs
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      Bloat is usually defined as resources used without adding useful features, rather than the original poster's minimum RAM and disk usage. I prefer Vim to Vi because a lot of the extra size of Vim provides features I actually use (syntax highlighting, folding, etc). I use LaTeX over plain TeX, because I find the semantic markup helpful. I use iTunes over VLC for music because I like the way it manages playlists.

      Some code is just bloated, but most of the author's examples are not in that category.

  • uTorrent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Telvin_3d (855514) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:41AM (#20508513)
    uTorrent is one of the cleanest, smallest, most efficient pieces of software I have ever had the pleasure to use. Since switching to OSX a few months ago (I bought a Macbook Pro planning to run XP, and the switch just seemed to happen), my one real regret is that uTorrent is Windows only. I've been reduced to using Azureus, which gets the job done, but is horribly bloated.

    So, my nomination is for uTorrent, and if anyone knows of a similar package for OSX I would love to hear it.
    • Re:uTorrent (Score:4, Informative)

      by Guspaz (556486) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:28PM (#20509517)
      There's an OSX port in the works (it's been reviewed online). If you can't wait unitil then, you can run uTorrent under WINE. Sure, you get some extra memory bloat, but the CPU and disk footprint should be the same (assuming you already have WINE installed).
  • tee (Score:4, Funny)

    by gus goose (306978) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:42AM (#20508515) Journal
    tee. Only two command-line options.

    The way it should be. It's name is it's documentation too.

    gus
  • My list (Score:5, Funny)

    by starrsoft (745524) * on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:42AM (#20508525) Homepage
    Here's my list: OpenOffice [openoffice.org], e-Sword [e-sword.net], Firefox [mozilla.com], Google Desktop [google.com], TightVNC [tightvnc.com], Thunderbird [mozilla.com], Picasa [google.com], AVG Anti-Virus [grisoft.com], GIMP [sourceforge.net], IrfanView [irfanview.com], VLC Media Player [videolan.org], FileZilla [sourceforge.net], 7zip [7-zip.org]

    Stupid lame filter nuked my <ul>
  • Foxit (Score:5, Informative)

    by j.sanchez1 (1030764) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:43AM (#20508541)
    Foxit Reader [foxitsoftware.com]
    • Re:Foxit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GoatEnigma (586728) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:46AM (#20508633) Homepage
      Absolutely the best de-bloating move I ever made. I was so sick of Adobe's Reader phoning home, downloading slower and slower updates with more crap, crashing my web browsers, and generally taking 30+ seconds to start up. If you've never heard of Foxit reader, I strongly recommend it!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Oswald (235719)
      Seconded! (Thirded, actually). Here is my what's in my Foxit directory:

      • FoxitReader.exe.........3696 KB
      • Foxit_JS_ExObjects.dll..1981 KB
      • fxdecod1.dll..............436 KB
      • js.dll......................504 KB
      • Uninstall.exe.............80 KB

      That's it. I'd like to be able to compare it to Adobe Craprobat, but I've deleted all vestiges of it from my machines. Foxit is quick, small, and stable--all the things Adobe can't manage.

  • Pine, of course (Score:5, Informative)

    by zifn4b (1040588) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:43AM (#20508543)
    Still the best mail client around. :)
  • by Otter (3800) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:43AM (#20508547) Journal
    It's not quite an "application" but: WindowMaker. Unbloated in every sense.

    Also, as the rest of modern desktop Linux has bloated to the point where Konsole and Gnome Terminal aren't bottlenecks any more I've moved away from it in favor of tabs, but I used to only use rxvt instead of heavier alternatives. Gnome Terminal in particular used to have visible lag, and I'm a lot more tolerant of that stuff in a multimedia app than in a freaking shell.

  • Zim (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:43AM (#20508549)
    It has to be one of the most useful personal documentation, note taking tools in existence. It's basically a wiki for the desktop. All the information is stored in wiki style text files so even if you want to switch to something else, it's easy.

    http://pardus-larus.student.utwente.nl/~pardus/pro jects/zim/index.shtml [utwente.nl]

     
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by omeomi (675045)
      It's basically a wiki for the desktop.

      ZuluPad is similar, but more advanced in some respects. 'Course, I wrote it, so I'm a bit biased.
  • suckless.org (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xzzy (111297) <sether@@@tru7h...org> on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:45AM (#20508605) Homepage
    I like dwm, it's a rather tiny and simple window manager. Watching their mailing list is entertaining at times, the amount of effort invested in deleting lines of code is pretty impressive.

    http://www.suckless.org/wiki/dwm [suckless.org]

    The tarball for it is only 19k, and doing a wc -l on all the *.c files gives 1781 lines. RSS on my system right now is only 1336K, which is smaller than a single bash shell. Probably not something someone infatuated with glittery stuff would like to run but it's definitely a small program.
  • memtest86 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by trailerparkcassanova (469342) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:45AM (#20508613)
    Doesn't get much more bloat free than that.

  • Konqueror (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Solra Bizna (716281) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:46AM (#20508627) Homepage Journal

    Konqueror.

    No, seriously.

    Before my Clamshell iBook (running Gentoo Linux) died, my alternatives for web browsing were Konqueror and Firefox. I found that, despite the heaviness of qt versus gtk+, Konqueror was much nicer than Firefox in terms of both memory and CPU usage. (Opera was on par with Konqueror but... it gave me the creeps to use, I don't know why.)

    -:sigma.SB

  • My favs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by crt (44106) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:47AM (#20508639)
    • Ultra-Edit [ultraedit.com] for text editing. Tons of features but still starts & runs fast. 10MB download, ~10MB ram.
    • ACDSee [acdsee.com] for image viewing. I run an ancient version, so I don't know if the new ones are more bloated.
    • Jungle Disk [jungledisk.com] for storage and backup, 1.5MB Win download (4.5MB mac), ~12MB ram. Mozy uses about 30MB.
  • My Favoritse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TychoCelchuuu (835690) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:47AM (#20508651) Journal
    I like Opera [opera.com], modo [luxology.com], foobar2000 [foobar2000.org], VLC Media Player [videolan.org], 7zip [7-zip.org], Pidgin [pidgin.im], Process Explorer [microsoft.com], uTorrent [utorrent.com], TCPView [microsoft.com], Foxit Reader [foxitsoftware.com], and WinDirStat [windirstat.info].
  • Rockbox. (Score:3, Informative)

    by maeka (518272) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:49AM (#20508699) Journal
    Rockbox is my favorite piece of unbloated software.
    Great care is taken to keep the core as small as possible, while maintaining focus on the fundamental goal of being the best DAP firmware possible.
  • Xvid vs. DivX (Score:5, Informative)

    by gc8005 (733938) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:55AM (#20508825)
    Xvid download: 628K, simple install DivX download: 22.5MB, loads of crapware, nagging reminders to upgrade, etc.
  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:57AM (#20508869) Journal
    There was someone above who mentioned Trillian, but by far my favorite pick is Pidgin IM [pidgin.im] (formerly Gaim)

    You avoid all of the bloat of AIM and MSN Messenger (which is now beyond ridiculous) plus you rid yourself of the need to install several messaging clients which further saves space and startup time plus it keeps your system tray (in windows) much cleaner. And the best part, it's available as open source for Windows and Linux!
  • uTorrent (Score:5, Informative)

    by JohnnyBigodes (609498) <[morphine] [at] [digitalmente.net]> on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:00PM (#20508947)
    uTorrent (http://www.utorrent.com), hands down.

    219kb for an incredibly fast, RAM-efficient, full-blown, full-featured GUI Torrent client, with Web administration, scheduling, and all the stuff.

    Now if the whole world could only code as well as uTorrent's author...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hansamurai (907719)
      I used Azureus for a long time, being a Java developer myself I saw it as the app to show off the capability and portability of Java. I stuck with it, the memory footprint and CPU usage was never that bad for me, so I never thought about replacing it. Then I updated my JDK so that I could take advantage of version 6, and boom, Azureus stopped working. I warily downloaded Vuze, but that didn't work either thankfully. So I downloaded uTorrent, and will never look back. It really is a great piece of softw
    • Re:uTorrent (Score:4, Insightful)

      by burris (122191) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:33PM (#20509625)
      Just because it is small and efficient doesn't mean it is written well. Small and efficient are just two possible goals when writing software. A lot of very ugly hacks were used to make uTorrent so micro. That means it misses the mark on other possible goals like maintainability and portability.
  • Some examples (Score:4, Informative)

    by dermoth666 (1019892) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:03PM (#20509005)
    Editors: PFE (http://www.lancs.ac.uk/staff/steveb/cpaap/pfe/def ault.htm) is a featureful and very slim editor for Windows

    Encryption: TrueCrypt (http://www.truecrypt.org/) takes less than 2 megs to hold the main executable along with both 32 and 63bit XP/Vista drivers. The Wizzard is a separate program that can optionally be included.

    Browsers: Excluding text-only and phone browsers, Opera is a clear winner for the memory footprint. It's much slower on JS though, so I'm waiting to see which improvements they made with 9.5 on that.

    Operating systems: The same Linux OS that runs my highly-powered workstations also runs on my 200Mhz 8MB ram/4MB flash router. It's just a matter of what you compile in. For me this seems like a winner too. Just look for tinny distros (Slackware with custom install is my reference as full-featured yet tiny distro, but there are also much smaller ones too) of just do it yourself with LFS.
  • Opera (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fëanáro (130986) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:17PM (#20509281)
    Opera stays useable even with 512 mb of ram and a few hundreds of tabs, althought that is pushing its limits
    (you know you are addicted to tabs when...)

    Logitech mouse drivers on the other hands are memory monsters

    Still looking for a low-memory antivirus that requieres absolutely no user interaction. Grisoft AVG uses little memory, but keeps requiring occasional user interaction for updates, so I hesitate to install it on someone elses machine. Clamwin is worse in that department however.
  • Phoenix (Score:3, Funny)

    by renelicious (450403) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:18PM (#20509307)
    I used to use a great browser call Phoenix, that was light and fast. Then it changed its name and changed its name again. I still use it because its still the best browser and by far my favorite, however I have trouble calling it light and fast these days.

  • Farbrausch (Score:4, Informative)

    by orbitalia (470425) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:22PM (#20509389) Homepage
    I think Farbrausch are the gods of fitting the most into the smallest space.

    check out some of their 4k and 64k demos and prepare to be amazed. fr-30 candytron is particularly good. or fr-025 the popular demo.

    You can download their stuff here [farbrausch.de]
  • by sootman (158191) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:25PM (#20509461) Homepage Journal
    The last computer I had it on took X seconds to get to a POST beep and Y more seconds to get to a BeOS desktop, and X was greater than Y.

    Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot to do with it but marvel at its boot time and launch a bunch of QuickTime movies. ArtPaint gave me a glimpse of how fast Photoshop could be, but of course a port never came. (Plus ArtPaint crashed a lot.) The 3D music editing demo app was great but it, too, crashed a lot. I'm glad Apple went with NeXT for the basis of OS X because it's more of a "real" UNIX as compared to the single-user BeOS, but I'd probably just as happy in most ways and happier in some [google.com] if JLG hadn't been so greedy. [google.com] Of course, no NeXT means no Steve, and no iMac, iLife, iPod, or iPhone--just freakishly fast beige boxes and probably no market share.

    OK, got a little off topic here, but the point remains--if you don't want bloat, check out BeOS. (And get a time machine.) Or QNX--they used to have a demo version that fit a GUI, browser, and web server onto a 1.44 MB floppy.
  • by ichigo 2.0 (900288) on Friday September 07, 2007 @02:01PM (#20511363)
    MPlayer [mplayerhq.hu] plays anything I throw at it, and is open source. I used to have VLC, but got disappointed in its buggy subtitle support. Best of all, Mplayer doesn't have a GUI, so the visual bloat is minimal.
  • by Comboman (895500) on Friday September 07, 2007 @04:22PM (#20513527)
    Portable Freeware [portablefreeware.com] is my favorite site for programs that will run on a USB flash drive (or floppy if they're small enough) without the need to install on the host machine and create registry entries and the like. The focus of the site is portability, but generally speaking that also means bloat-free.

What ever you want is going to cost a little more than it is worth. -- The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

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