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Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without? 531

An anonymous reader writes "Whenever I install a fresh operating system on my computer, I immediately grab a handful of programs that I simply must have. After that, I generally wait and install other pieces of software as I need them. My list of known, useful programs has dwindled over the past few years as projects died, ownership transferred, and functionality changed. At the same time, I've begun to have use for certain types of software that I've never needed before. It can be time-consuming and risky to install and evaluate every single option. So, I'm curious: what pieces of software do you find the most useful and reliable? Don't feel the need to limit yourself by operating system, platform, or hardware. If you're so inclined, a brief description about what makes the software great would be helpful, too."
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Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

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  • by DrJimbo ( 594231 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:46AM (#46380895)

    The first thing I install is a system monitor.

    I like to keep a close eye on CPU usage, memory usage, disk usage, and network usage. Without that information it feels like I'm flying blind. It is often important on a new system when I don't know what is running and consuming resources.

  • by qubezz ( 520511 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:11PM (#46382387)
    Solitaire was initially included with Windows to train people how to use a mouse, now it's not included to train people how to use the Microsoft store and get them to enter their trackable credentials.
  • Re:Search Software (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:11PM (#46382391)

    (And yes, I know about Cygwin; MKS is vastly superior to Cygwin, since everything just works in a standard DOS shell, it doesn't require it's own special environment).

    I don't know what tool you are using, but nothing I run in Cygwin requires a "special environment". All the standard utilities (grep, awk, sed, perl, ssh, git, etc.) work just as you'd expect. The X server also "just works". The tools also interface nicely with 4NT/Take Command, so I can sort the Windows clipboard with:

    sort < clip: > clip:

    Now, I'm sure if I tried to use things like cron or the SysV init scripts, then I'd have to do some tinkering, but the whole point of those is to run a complete Unix environment.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb