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Archive for April 2009

Free replacements for proprietory software.

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Off late I have been part of quite a lot of PC reformatting, partitioning and OS installations. Invariably, one needs software to do stuff like backing up, burning CDs as well as more mundane tasks like playing videos and music etc. This post is simply a record of the free software that I know of which serves as perfectly good replacements for proprietory software and for which one does not have to jump through as many hoops as a circus dog.

So here’s the list…

1. Infra Recorder :A CD/DVD authoring tool which also does things like creating ISO images, ripping music CDs etc. Not too much experience with it but so far it has worked a charm. Only for windows. Note that a plugin for encoding MP3s is not included by default thanks to some legalese, so an extra download may be necessary.

2. FileZilla client/server:Invaluable tools to back up large quantities of data over a network. The server version is only for windows unfortunately, so this cannot be a cross platform solution. However, vsftpd is quite a good FTP server for linux, but thats a subject for another post.

3. AVG antivirus:Though these guys appear to be nudging their users rather aggressively towards the paid version, I think they still have a free version for personal use. Updates are available and I have detected a few not-so-nice-programs with it, so I guess it works. From the looks of the site, only a windows version is available I think.

4. GParted partition editor: The standard GNOME partition editor that very closely resembles partition editor and makes those difficult HDD chores a breeze. It also comes as a live CD, so the question of platforms is irrelevant.

5. VLC media player:Totally kick-ass media player which tears the default windows media player(and quite a few of the linux media players too) to shreds. Plays literally everything and also has some cool features like audio/video streaming which I find quite useful. Available for both windows and linux.

6. Sisoft Sandra: Extremely useful software for getting some in depth knowledge of the target system. The lite version for windows is free, but has enough features for most cases. Windows only.

Thats the list for now, the idea being to add to it till I have a “Doctor’s kit” of software that can be used to get a computer back to speed after a reformat in the shortest time. In case anyone knows of any other tools that could be useful, do let me know.

Written by clueso

April 20, 2009 at 11:19 pm

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