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Favorite software

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”
Pablo Picasso

When maintaining this list I favor software that is free, open-source, extensible, supported by an active community, and cross-platform (Mac, Linux and Windows).

Web Browsing

Firefox is probably the best browser available today. Internet Explorer may still be prevailing and Opera may be faster and more standards compliant, but nothing can compete with the community provided plugin system that Firefox offers. My favorite plugins are:

  • Firebug | Amazing plugin which is a must for all web development. Javascript debugger / profiler, HTTP tracing, real-time HTML/CSS/Javascript editing.
  • Foxmarks | Synchronizes bookmarks across multiple computers.
  • DownThemAll | Download accelerator.
  • Download Statusbar | A nice alternative to Firefox’s builtin download manager.
  • Web Developer | A must for all web developers. (Though Firebug handles most of its functionality)
  • FireGestures | Mouse gestures
  • IEView | Open pages in IE.
  • Google Toolbar | The best feature is the highlighting of search terms on result pages.

Other interesting extensions: Aardvark, GreaseMonkey, Link Checker, ColorZilla ....

Customization tips: Disabling PDFs

For Internet Explorer, the following plugins should be mentioned:

Web Applications

Software Development


  • Open Office. reveal hidden content
  • Paint.Net | How MSPaint should have looked.
  • ArtRage | Excellent freeware painting program. Simulates real brush strokes better than anything I’ve seen.

What I miss:

Paint.Net is nice but not on par with Adobe Photoshop. Especially its text and font capabilities are poor. However, it is a project in development.

System Tools

  • 7-Zip | A free, but by no means lesser, archiver than WinRAR or WinZip.
  • UltraVNC | Remote Control of computers. I prefer this to RealVNC.
  • Notepad++ | Nice lightweight editor.
  • Picasa 2 | Picture Viewer. Nice UI.
  • Google Desktop | Hard Drive Indexing. (Notice: It takes a lot of resources)
  • MS Adware | Adware scan.
  • AutoRun | Controls which programs to run.
  • FileZilla | Excellent FTP client and server.
  • Truecrypt | Virtual Drive Encryption.
  • Media Player Classic | Excellent DVD (and all other media formats) player. Non-bloated and effective.
  • Unlocker | Allows you to delete locked files.
  • CDBurnerXP | CD/DVD Burning.
  • System Information for Windows | Tool for displaying system information, file locks, open HTTP session (and the responsible process), ... (See also CPU-Z)
  • DVD-Shrink | For backing up DVD’s.
  • HandBrake | DVD to MP4 converter (useful for creating iPod content)
  • CloneDrive | Mount ISO images as virtual DVD drives.
  • Sandboxie | Run applications in a sandbox.
  • HxD | Freeware Hex and Disk editor.


Minor Enhancements

recommendations.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/24 13:17 by mikael