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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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  • First! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:25AM (#46380775)

    Pacemaker firmware.

    • A computer is unusable without a pr0n collection installed, so VLC a lot of good movies a good picture viewer and pictures, and lastly a good joystick :)

  • Search Software (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    For Windows, I always install Agent Ransack. My job requires I work with a file type that doesn't lend itself to the standard file search. Agent Ransack really excels at finding needles in haystacks. I also use Beyond Compare on every work PC. After that, it USED to be the gchat app from google, but with them moving to Google talk / hangouts, I've changed over to Pidgen.

    • apparently pidgen s so full of security holes the Tor people looked at it and dismissed it as the basis for their messaging system. they're basing theirs on Instantbird []

      • by alantus ( 882150 )
        If you are talking about pidgin, instantbird is based on pidgin's libpurple. So unless you mean the user interface part is full of security holes, I can't see the logic.
    • I have not used Agent Ransack.... the free version does not look to search inside Office files. ...

      I am curious have you compared Agent Ransack to either DocFetcher or Regain?
      DocFetcher -- Open Source desktop search application: It allows you search the contents of documents on your computer (free, open source, Linux/Mac/Windows) http://docfetcher.sourceforge.... []

      Regain -- Search engine similar to web search engines like Google, with the difference that you don'

    • I use Everything quite often - it can only search file names, but does so literally as fast as you can type, winnowing down a list of every file on your computer to only those that include the word-fragments you've typed (reg-ex is also supported). If you get into the habit of appending key meta-tags to your file names it becomes even more powerful. The down side? It only works on NTFS and requires administrator access to scan the filesystem elements it exploits for its insane performance.

    • Re:Search Software (Score:4, Informative)

      by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @11:31AM (#46381475)

      If I'm stuck using a Windows box, first thing I install is MKS Toolkit []. That gives me a decent shell, vi, and grep - which will find anything in any file. No need for special search tools.

      (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).

      • 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.

  • /. cookies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by L'Ange Oliver ( 1521251 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:27AM (#46380781) Homepage
    Always the first thing I install. It even works on all major OS. Keeps beta version at bay ;)
  • GCC etc. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:29AM (#46380789)

    sudo apt-get -y install build-essential

    And also:
    sudo apt-get -y install vim
    sudo apt-get -y install git-core
    sudo apt-get -y install tcsh
    sudo apt-get -y install python
    sudo apt-get -y install python-setuptools
    sudo apt-get -y install libboost-all-dev
    sudo apt-get -y install gdb
    sudo apt-get -y install valgrind

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:31AM (#46380797)


  • Total Commander (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:31AM (#46380801)

    Unable to use an computer without it, runs fine under wine ..

  • by Kr1ll1n ( 579971 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:33AM (#46380811)

    Notepad++ on Windows
    TextMate on OSX

  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:33AM (#46380813) Homepage Journal

    On a new Android phone, the first thing that I do is root it and install Titanium Backup.

    Then there are a few other apps that I must have, though the specifics aren't as important as the functionality:

    VNC client: I like Jump (which was a Amazon Free App of the Day a while back) because it has ssh integrated. It's a pain using middle and right mouse buttons, though, and it doesn't use public key authorization for ssh (though I think the iPhone version does).

    Terminal: I like KBox ( so that I can write and use some scripts.

    SSH Client: I think I use SSH Droid.

    Hacker Keyboard: Having a keyboard with both numbers and symbols active at the same time as letters is really nice, even if it does use up half the screen.

    • As long as we're talking Android, Tasker is invaluable for getting your phone to configure itself based on location, or time of day, or whatever.

      JuiceDefender helps increase battery life.

      Nova Launcher is just better than the stock launcher and has a ton of features I can't live without.

  • apt-get install task-desktop task-file-server task-laptop

  • Ninite (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:36AM (#46380829)

    Pick your programs, install them all silently, with good defaults, and check(and install) updates for all with very effort.

  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:36AM (#46380831) Homepage Journal

    On my regular Linux desktop and laptop systems, I just want the basic apps, and then have it get out of the way so that I can work:

    emacs, xterm, OpenSSH, and twm (with a few patches I've added).

    The only big apps that I use are Thunderbird and Chromium.

    I make sure to not install Gnome or KDE.

  • Good web browsers. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:37AM (#46380841) Homepage

    Firefox and Opera are on my list of good ones so far.

    • Firefox and Opera are on my list of good ones so far.

      You can't live without having both of them ??

  • by DadLeopard ( 1290796 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:38AM (#46380847)
    That would be Thunderbird, followed by Calibre and Skype. I don't care for Evolution, so Thunderbird which is nice and simple to use! Calibre since I have a Sony Reader which uses epub format, since Calibre can convert just about any eBook format to just about any other one, as long as they are not DRMed, it also keeps my eBook library nicely organized. Skype is because one son lives 800 miles away and another 6,157 miles away right now, and Skype works with MS, Apple and Linux OSes so we can keep in touch and see each others faces once in a while!
  • CRAN, and PYPI. I pretty much have everything I need with the 3 repositories.
  • Since I switched to Macs, its basically Excel, Eclipse and Firefox. And gcc, which I get by installing the Xcode command line tools.
  • Sure, GCC, Linux, sendmail, SCCS, any many more are essential to the open software stack I would die for. But the importance of a modern, full-featured, open browser simply can't be overstated. Without Firefox, the web would be a much less trustworthy world, and I'd be much less willing to take part in it.

  • 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.

  • It's not like I'd die without it, but I wouldn't' get into any of my accounts. I also use a lot: Firefox, TextWrangler, Xcode, clang, quicksilver, Mac OS X, ...
  • Firefox Chrome
    MS Security Essentials

    After that it depends on what I'm purposing the system for.

    If it's for my use, I'll install VirtualBox along with a copy of my XP VM for some legacy software that doesn't play on any later versions of Windows
  • My List (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hrrrg ( 565259 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @09:55AM (#46380963)

    Adobe Lightroom - does 95% of what I would do with photoshop, works on raw images and simplifies my workflow tremendously. I almost never use photoshop anymore.

    Ubuntu, Windows 8.1, Libreoffice, Adobe Reader, - self explanatory.

    Firefox with Adblock plus and Better Privacy and HTPS Everywhere installed.

    KeepassX - Password manager. Multiplatform, much less buggy than Keepass2 (note to develepers: please take it out of alpha status!)

    F.Lux - warms up the color of your monitor in the evenings so that it doesn't interfere with your circadian rhythm, hopefully improves sleep. (hey - it's free!)

    Videolan (VLC) - excellent video player (despite the crappy name)

    Sandboxie (paid $$) - Sandbox your browser and various other programs

    FastOne Image Viewer - excellent, free sildeshow software

    Secunia PSI - makes sure your programs are kept up-to-date

  • The very first thing I install on a home machine is an antivirus/antimalware app, since it's Windows after all. Followed by Chrome to download and install drivers/apps for my peripherals (printer, videocard, dsl camera, scanner, etc..). Once that's done comes Thunderbird, Mozbackup (to transfer my old emails/addons) and VirtualBox (With Ubuntu, Edubuntu). Followed by Photoshop and Premiere. Then Steam, Origin and World of Warcraft. The rest I do like you, install them as required.

  • by bigal123 ( 709270 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @10:04AM (#46381023)

    This list is part of a much longer list that I maintain and sometimes publish.

    * 7-ZIP -- Create/Extra ZIP and many other other file compression formats, very powerful. Note can open some installer EXE and MSI files (see Microsoft Orca for more MSI options) (free, open source, Windows, there may be Linux/Mac variants). []

    * CCleaner -- System optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. (free, closed source, Windows) [] **Alternate Tool** BleachBit -- Free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn't know was there. (free, open source Linux/Windows) http://bleachbit.sourceforge.n... []

    * Greenshot -- Good Screen Shot tool with simple annotation options. (free, open source, Windows) http://greenshot.sourceforge.n... []

    * IrfanView -- Image Program View, convert, crop, optimize, sideshow, batch Processing etc (free noncommercial, closed source, Windows) []

    Instantbird -- Multi Protocol Instant Messaging (IM) Client - AOL, MSM, Yahoo, etc (free, open source, Linux/Mac/Windows) **Alternate Tool** Pidgin - Multi Protocol Instant Messaging (IM) Client - AOL, MSM, Yahoo, etc (free, open source, Linux/Mac/Windows) []

    * KeePass Password Safe -- Good Quality secure password manager, stores passwords encrypted. (free, open source, Windows Linux/Mac with Mono) []

    * LibreOffice -- Power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production. Excellent replacement for other Office Suites, can open many different and sometimes odd file types -- (free, open source, Linux/Mac/Windows) []

    * FireFox -- Web browser for more security then Internet Explore (free, open source, Linux/Mac/Windows) [] []

    * SpeedCrunch -- fast, high-precision and powerful cross-platform desktop calculator (free, open source, Linux/Mac/Windows) [] & []

    * UltraEdit -- Probably the absolute best most powerful text editors around, edit huge files, FTP, column mode, and more (shareware, closed source, Win/Mac/Linux) [] **Alternate Tool** Noteppad++ -- Good Text / Source Code Editor replacement for Microsoft Windows Notepad/Wordpad (free, open source) http://notepad-plus.sourceforg... []

    * VLC Media Player -- One of the best media players out there. Highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network. (free, oen source, Linux/Mac/Windows) []

    • by SpaceGhost ( 23971 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @12:29PM (#46381749)

      Most of the above (thanks for the tip on Greenshot, since Printkey2000 doesnt work on Win7.)
      Ultraedit is great but I'm hoping to do the same kind of scripting in Notepad++.
      Firefox with noscript, adblock, request policy, ghostery, https everywhere, mobile barcoder, pluggin toggler and self-destructing cookies and a few others.
      I have Keepass on my cpu and android phone.
      Whatever anti-virus Im currently using (Webroot for the moment)

      FileMenu Tools - various file utilities accessible via right-click in explorer, includes shredding and an excellent file renaming utility
      CutePDF - lightweight PDF printer
      CDRTFE - excellent open source optical media burner
      RichCopy - Microsofts GUI replacement for robocopy, highly configurable and multithreaded
      BareGrep - very light GREP search tool, doesnt require indexes, searches filename and content, quite fast.
      MenuApp - make my own pop-up menus in the taskbar
      Hotswap - enhanced control of storage devices
      Jacksum - great hasher accessible via "send-to", Hashtab also works
      Rainmeter because i hate not knowing what my computer is doing, Samurize when I need to monitor more than one CPU
      PrismHUD for the same reason

      and Audacity (and Lame), GIMP, Inkscape, Foobar2000, Foxit reader, RawTherapee.

  • screen and vlock. Most everything else I need is installed by default.
  • Windows

  • Multi-platform:
    Firefox, Chrome

    Terminal, Outlook, Word and Excel, Dropbox, Evernote, Geektool, todo.txt, Rido

    Feedly, Maps, Beat the Traffic, Evernote, bar code scanner, my grocery store's app, Rido, Sonos

    Windows 7:
    Putty, WinSCP, Notepad++, Rdio, Sonos Linux: vim, terminal, ssh, keystore, apt-get, yum, the list goes on.
  • Firefox

    Lots of other things, but those seem to be a primary "core" for me (Linux, of course).

  • Depending on the distro, some things I really need might already be there. So installing or checking if it is installed are the same to me. I often have no idea if it is default or my selection.

    The first I will always install or at least check is mc []
    Espercially for a new install, I think it is easier then using cd, ls and what not as I will be going around a lot and copy files from other places.
    vim will be already installed and so will be others, like bash, apt or yast or other software to install.

    On the GUI

  • by Blaskowicz ( 634489 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @10:21AM (#46381113)

    There is some nice stuff to have, sometimes trivial and sometimes quite useful.

    GNU screen (some people will like tmux)
    irssi (preferably it runs on an always-on box with screen and ssh server)

    dtrx : perfect to extract archives from the command line. It solves the problem of tar -xzvf random_shit.tar.gz : the archive's content may or may not be in a directory, such as random_shit/. So if you extract the archive right away, you run the risk of polluting your current directory with loads of crap (like 10 directories + 105 files at the root of the archive). If you do mkdir random_shit, cd random_shit and tar -xzvf ../random_shit.tar.gz, you run the risk of having wasted your time : if files were at the archive's root, all is fine. If they were in a random_shit directory, now your data has been extracted to a random_shit/random_shit directory and you have to do mv random_shit/* . then rmdir random_shit.
    I used to do the mkdir random_shit method, or to open the archive in a graphical archive manager before deciding what to do. But dtrx automates this! and works equally for .zip, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2 and all others.

    When I used Windows I liked some command line stuff too : set the DIRCMD environment variable to /O, have the console default to 80x43 and right-click to paste (I think, not sure that worked), and have Windows versions of wget and less.

  • MediaWiki. Before I created my note-taking wiki, my ideas went off in all directions.

    I'm also pretty heavy into R/C/C++/zsh/ZFS/git right now.

  • I use OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, so exceptions/substitutions are made when an app isn't available for a given platform.

    DropBox - Because that's where all the stuff I'm working on at any given time is.

    Firefox - Because I'm a same-browser-on-everything kinda guy, and I'm too stuck in my ways for that to be Chrome.

    LibreOffice - Because I'm a same-wp-on-everything kinda guy, but not so stuck in my ways that it has be OpenOffice.

    Manga Studio - Because I create comics as a hobby, and even on the mac

  • At work: chrome, cygwin, visual slickedit, git extensions. (msdev, msoffice and firefox preinstalled by IT)

    At home: firefox, chrome, quicken, picassa

  • * Launchy: I switch from my sitting desk to a standing desk throughout the day. Instead of using a glitchy duplicate Start button, I use Launchy to run things. Now I don't use the Start button very often anymore, even when it's on the screen.

    * Dual Monitor, for duplicate task bars. It's glitchy, though. Crashes a couple times a day, but at least it's not a destructive crash. I should write an AutoHotKey script to restart it when it crashes...

    * AutoHotKey: There are a few things I use this for, and it really

  • If you are using Windows then start with ninite. It not only handles installation of a bunch of useful things, it also does the job of the package manager that Windows still doesn't have.
  • by srussell ( 39342 )
    I think I literally couldn't manage without ssh. I always install tmux and vim on any machine I use, if they aren't already there. One of the varieties of KeePass is also mandatory for me.

    --- SER
  • This is what I use every day:

    Google Calendar

  • (Beyond rthe base install which includes GIMP, Firefox and LibreOffice)
    - A desktop environment that actuially is usable
    - Inkscape
    - Scribus
    - Apache, PHP, MySQL, Aptana, PHPMyAdmin
    - Picasa
    - K3b
    - Xine and whatever I need to play DVDs
    - Ghex
    - Adobe Reader
    - Printer Drivers
    - Synaptic Package Manager
    - Gparted

  • by gitano_dbs ( 1490853 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @11:08AM (#46381337) Homepage

    KeePass [] is the first thing i put on a new device.

    • by Soulskill ( 1459 ) Works for Slashdot

      KeePass is probably at the top of my list, too. There isn't much software I use on a daily basis that I'd really be annoyed at swapping out for an alternative, but this one would make things difficult.

  • (I have not had to install a fresh OS of 10.x in years - knock on wood)

    Firefox - lots of control thru add-ons
    GraphicConverter - I shoot lots of digital pix and this piece of shareware does most of what I need to manipulate the bulk of them
    BBEdit - just the best test editor
    JAlbum - easy way to make web albums of hundreds of pix at a time
    Transmit - most refined ftp client I've ever run into
    LIttle Snitch - nice to know what's coming and going on your box

  • The rundown (Score:4, Informative)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @11:16AM (#46381365)
    Qt 4 Designer

    I'm running Bohdi Linux (E17), a few favorite built apps and functionality:

    Enlightenment File Manager
    Configure secondary monitor workspaces as tiling (awesome - could not live without - and one of the primary reasons I run Enlightenment) primary tiling workspace dedicated to Chrome, Terminology, and Gedit
    Of course it's Enlightenment so I spend the next two-days configuring all of the fine details.
  • by david.emery ( 127135 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @11:21AM (#46381393)

    If I'm configuring a laptop that I'll use for both work and vacation:

    Default Folder (an add-on/replacement for the Open File dialog)
    Graphic Converter (photo manipulation application)
    Aquamacs (very well done MacOS version of EMACS)
    HDRtist Pro (HDR processing application)
    OmniGraffle (Mac equivalent to Visio, drawing package)
    Aperture (Photo organizing)
    1Password (Password safe)
    DiskWarrior (File system maintenance)
    Syncovery (front end to rsync)

    This doesn't include the stuff I find essential that's built into Mac OS X (and its Unix foundations, such as ssh and bash.)

    And for what it's worth, I've been using Graphic Converter and Default Folder for at least 20 years, back to Mac OS 7 days. It says something about the quality/utility of these two applications that they've "stood the test of time."

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @11:21AM (#46381397) Journal

    KeePass 2 is the one software I cannot live without.

    I can't remember exactly why.

  • by MarcoAtWork ( 28889 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @11:46AM (#46381543)

    - microsoft security essentials
    - windows firewall control (commercial)
    - cygwin
    - notepad++
    - sysutils (procmon etc.)
    - ultramon (commercial)
    - launchy
    - sharpkeys
    - autohotkey
    - visual c++ express
    - 7-zip

    - little snitch (commercial)
    - macports
    - better touch tool
    - keyremap4macbook
    - iterm2
    - alfred
    - geektool
    - menumeters
    - caffeine
    - xcode

    - whatever distro-specific set of packages gets me all the dev stuff
    - (if needed) whatever distro-specific repository gets me extra packages (say, epel)
    - kde
    - xfce
    - various personal customizations done over the years (xmodmap, ...)

    - firefox (noscript, requestpolicy, adblock, flashblock)
    - emacs
    - python / virtualenvwrapper / git ...
    - bash customizations (powerline, bash completions, personal scripts)
    - libreoffice and latex
    - truecrypt
    - virtualbox
    - dropbox
    - gimp

    these are the baseline, beyond that it depends from what I am using the actual computer for

  • My list as close to the order they are installed. I would indeed suffer without them

    Power Pro - tell me you know what that is and you'll be the first, I've used it since Win95

    HOSTS file I drag around is set in place, not a program but a requirement of mine

    COMODO firewall version 5.3.1767, as the newer versions almost require you to call for support.

    Opera 12. - Browser - for as long as I can

    UltraEdit - text editor

    ACDSee - Graphic viewer

    Agent version 1.93 Emailer/Usenet

    Stunnel to allow an older Agent 1.93 to connect to a secure SSL connection

    WhereIsIt - CD/DVD/BlueRay Data base creator and file finder

    TreeSize Pro - better than a guess how large a directory or disk is

    Agent Ransack - search program.

    Bulk Rename Utility - an amazingly full featured program to rename files, Located in the directory below. My Cameras have stopped storing the date on the picture itself, this program adds the date taken to the file name for me.

    I have one directory D:\MISGPRGS that I store stand alone's, programs that don't need to be installed or once installed fine on their own, that are too many to mention I don't require a lot of them or have even forgotten some that still there (210 directories now) but it's available to drag shortcuts to the desktop of my newest OS, As well as a few directories within, that are added to my path, Irfanview is there, Process Explorer, as is my Debugger (windbg.exe) and it's requirements.

      BTW PowerPro is a jack of all trades type program. A bar of 8 boxes (at the moment), that takes care of the repetitive actions of using Windows. The same as AutoHotKey, and AutoIt. I believe all share the same history in the beginning, one splitting from the other. PowerPro started as Stiletto; a three button mouse program.

    As a side note: I sent $25 to the author of PowerPro just before he released it as freeware, that was the third and finial time; for me to send money for software, they quit (no Zmodem), or go freeware.

    I'm all setup to lose a system and be up in a few hours, until Win7 always had 3 or more OS's to fall back on. But still good to be up and running in a short time. Linux Mint is installed now for a dual system but (ducks) not a requirement for me.

    Do notice no malware prevention other than the HOSTS file, and firewall, no AVG, NOD32 - Just a bit of common sense has kept me as in control as is possible any more.

    One thing I miss very much is a very small program who's name I've forgotten (XP broke it) but it grabbed the strings from any program - I know Linux has this. but Windows is lacking in this department, I use Ultra Edit but it's not as easy nor as informative - no String command comes close.

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @12:12PM (#46381649) Homepage

    For all, most platforms: Libreoffice, Speedcrunch (Calculator), 7Zip, Firefox with Scrapbook, and Thunderbird

    Windows Utility: FreeFileSync, Nvidia Inspector, PSpad, and Speedfan.
    Windows Multimedia: SMplayer, Virtualdub, Avidemux, CDex, Audacity, Winff (Ffmepeg front end),
    Windows Games: Thief 2, Guildwars 2,
    Graphics and Design: Rhino3D, Photoshop, Inkscape (Going downhill. Pixels is the only unit that makes not sense for vector, WTF), Irfanview (But and looking elsewhere)

    Geekie: Arduino, Processing,
    Very Geekie Gucs (Circuit Simulator)
    Very Very Geekie, Salome (Science Pre/post-processing), Paraview/Volvire (Visualization), Code Aster (FEM)

    Linux: Most covered elsewhere.

    Android: Colornote (Postits), Papyrus (Vectror Notes), Osman (Maps), Quickpic, Androoffice, Realcalc, FBreader.
    Android Music: DaTuner, Simple Metronome, GuitarTabviewer
    Need for Android, but not made: Librioffice, Taskcoach

  • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:00PM (#46381947)

    For all purposes:
    Firefox, Chrome and Opera - I use separate browsers to keep home/work/porn separated. Install AdBlock on both Firefox and Chrome.
    MPC-HC - I'm fine with WMP for music, but for video I need MediaPlayer Classic
    LibreOffice - Because you can't do everything with plain text files
    Notepad++ - Because there's a lot you *can* do with plain text files
    7zip - Handles every compressed file format I've ever seen, except for one really old Mac-specific one I had to use once
    Steam - Because at this point I have too many games to abandon Steam, and it really is good at managing such a big library

    For work only:
    Thunderbird - I used to be able to use GMail's web app, but now that I have two work email addresses I need a full-fledged email client
    Paint.NET, GIMP, and Inkscape - for image editing. Paint.NET is useful for making quick edits, like rotating an image. I'm usually done before GIMP would have started up
    PuTTY - Best way to connect to my fleet of Linux servers
    Komodo - Best IDE for when files are stored on a remote server, as is common with web apps
    MySQL Workbench + SQL Server Management Studio - Best way to test database stuff

    If using Windows 8, also add Classic Shell Start Menu. It makes it *better* than the W7 start menu once you tweak it right.
    And for a first install, Ninite will let you automatically install about 90% of these. Very useful program.

  • by Prof.Phreak ( 584152 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:17PM (#46382035) Homepage

    My list (that's the command I run on all boxes I have). I think it has just about everything an average poweruser/developer would want.

    apt-get install vim-gnome ssl-cert apache2 php5 postgresql php5-pgsql default-jdk libclass-dbi-perl libdbd-pg-perl libapache2-mod-perl2 libdate-manip-perl octave nmap irssi uptimed rsync subversion cvs build-essential mysql-server mysql-client php5-mysql virtualbox wine texlive-full openssh-server screen openssh-client ntp jhead imagemagick k3b libk3b6-extracodecs mplayer dict dictd dict-foldoc dict-gcide dict-devil dict-jargon dict-wn htop audacious audacious-plugins cmatrix r-base rKward ecryptfs-utils libimage-exiftool-perl finger ant git eclipse javahelper transcode libav-tools ucspi-tcp-ipv6 chromium-browser maven2 mercurial meld lame gnome-disk-utility ffmpeg sshfs dos2unix opencl-headers handbrake-gtk libapache2-mod-gnutls ia32-libs

  • Desktop utilities (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:33PM (#46382119)

    -Virtuawin - mature, stable virtual desktops for Windows. There's prettier alternatives, but this is the I've tried that has never caused any crashing or other issues.
    -WinCompose - Gives Windows users a Compose key for entering unicode characters (plus-or-minus, subscripts, extended math symbols, etc) using the same mnemonics as are standard on *nixes, rather than having to remember their code point or use a character map.
    -Everything - File search by name, winnows down a list of every file on your hard drive just as fast as you can type the word-fragments that should be in the file name (NTFS only)
    -WinDirstat - Directory size information - interactive tree-view is available instantly and updated as the breadth-first scan proceeds, pillow-view is added once the scan is complete.
    -BabelMap - far more powerful alternative to Character Map, including the ability to search by character name or browse by code page
    -SpeedCrunch - good calculator that keeps a long calculation history
    -GraphCalc - excellent 2D/3D programmable graphing calculator. Open source, but apparently pretty much abandoned.

    I won't bother much with heavyweight apps, since others have listed them many times. Except for
    Code::Blocks - cross-platform IDE. Not the best I've used, but it's available on all the major OSes.
    EasyMercurial - super-simplified, "grandma suitable" GUI interface for the handful of most commonly used version control functions, including graphical visualization of the branch/merge graph. Whether you don't use version control as not worth the hassle, or want to introduce budding developers to the wonders of source control without getting them bogged down in the details, you need this. And if/when you outgrow it your archives are all standard Mercurial, so you can seamlessly upgrade to the command line or a more powerful GUI.

  • My List (Score:4, Interesting)

    by inglorion_on_the_net ( 1965514 ) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:08PM (#46382367) Homepage

    First things first:

    aptitude so dependencies automatically get installed and uninstalled. Edit the configuration to not install recommended packages by default. Keep it lean!


    openntpd (or some other ntpd) so the computer will know what time it is.

    sudo so that I can log in as a regular user and still do system maintenance.

    openssh-server (or some other SSH server) so I can log in remotely. I usually change the port number. Make sure root logins are disabled.

    tmux so that I can have multiple shells in a single ssh session. screen works for this, too, but I recently switched to tmux.

    rsync so that I can copy files around efficiently.

    After that, it depends on what I want to do with the system. Usually, there will be at least some software development, so build-essential (libc-dev, gcc, make), irb, git. Usually ssh and some network debugging tools like ping and traceroute6.

    I like zsh, so if I'm going to be using the system extensively, I'll install that. If this is my primary system, irssi and mutt. If the system has enough memory to run it, emacs24-nox.

    If I want a GUI, xserver-xorg, xterm, whatever window manager I happen to like at the moment (wmii), some web browser (iceweasel).

    It's been a while since I've last done this, so I may have missed some things, but this seems to be about it. The package names are for Debian-like systems and will likely be a bit different for other systems, but I don't generally maintain those.

Friction is a drag.