A Reader Wants To Know – What’s On My PC?

With due apologies to my good friend Rick Robinette – whose blog is aptly called – What’s On My PC.

imageI get a wide variety of questions here, from the very simple to the complex – all of which are equally as interesting. The following question was recently posed by a reader.

“Could you give your readers a list of the programs you run on your computer. I often wondered what the computer experts really use on their personal computers, so we newbies can make better decisions on which to keep or which to delete.”

Seems as if that’s an easy question to answer – just take a screen shot of my Desktop (as the reader suggested) and send it on. But, the question is deeper than that – a little more complex I think.

You’ll note, in the following screen capture, that many of the applications I run on my personal machine, are “old.” For example – WinPatrol, was the second application I installed on my first Internet connected machine (after the free version of ZoneAlarm Firewall). I continue to rely on WinPatrol today, as much as I ever have. CCleaner, Glary Utilities, ImgBurn, are other applications that fit into the “old” category.

Sure, in the interim, a ton of freeware applications have been released that duplicate and perhaps, in some cases, even exceed the capabilities of the applications I have come to depend on. But, I’m not into the “latest and greatest” – which, often enough –  are frequently lacking in the “greatest” department.

No, I’ll stick with the applications I’ve come to know that perform as advertised; that do the job I need done, with as little fuss as possible. Remember of course, that it is the latest edition of these “old” applications which run on this system.

The following screen shot illustrates the applications currently installed on my home system. Those that are annotated with an arrow icon, have been reviewed here previously.

image

A selected few previously reviewed applications.

Zemana Antilogger – I’ve long considered Zemana AntiLogger a must have security application for my Internet connected machines. In fact, I would never connect my web cam without first ensuring that Zemana AntiLogger was up and running. To drive home that point (and others), I’ve reviewed this application several times.

AVG – I’ve been running with AVG AntiVirus Free 2013 on a primary home system (a Windows 8 machine), since September 5, of last year. The verdict? I’m impressed – very impressed.

CCleaner – What can you say about CCleaner (the granddaddy of all system cleaners – it’s been around since 2004), that hasn’t already been said of this freeware system optimization, privacy, and cleaning tool.

EULAlyzer – This free application quickly scans a EULA, and points out words, statements, and phrases, that you need to consider carefully. Results are rated by “Interest Level” and organized by category, so it’s easy to zero-in on the issue that concern you the most.

Glary Utilities – Glary Utilities Free, is a reasonably complete set of system tools with which even a relative newcomer to the computing game can tweak, repair, optimize and improve system performance. Since discovering Glary Utilities years ago, it has remained my go-to application for system maintenance and cleanup.

History Viewer – Here’s a little freeware application – History Viewer – which doesn’t approach the robustness of  SForensics Beta – but nevertheless, will let you take a peek at various Window’s histories.

ImgBurn – I’ll jump ahead here – directly to my conclusion. ImgBurn is a superior CD/DVD burning application. No hesitation – this application ROCKS.

IrfanView – IrfanView which is one of my favorite photo applications (not just mine; there have been over 34 Million downloads), is not just an image viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. Best of all, you’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use. If you’re curious, this application is named after its developer Irfan Skiljan.

MakeMKV – MakeMKV is the best one-click free solution to convert owned video that I’ve found, to date. This is a very impressive application – straightforward, and easy to run –  even for a relatively new computer user.

MalWareBytes – I run Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware every day, as a secondary malware scanner, since I have absolutely no faith that a single security application offers adequate protection. The free version of this speed demon (it’s faster at scanning than any anti-malware program I’ve tested in the last 2 years), is used by millions of people worldwide to protect their computers.

MozBackup – In addition to backing up a Firefox profile, MozBackup will create profile backups for the following applications – Mozilla Thunderbird, Sunbird, Flock, SeaMonkey, Mozilla Suite, Spicebird, Songbird and Netscape.

MWSnap – MWSnap is a highly rated small, yet powerful, Windows program for snapping (capturing) images from selected parts of the screen. I use it daily to create high-quality screen captures for presentations, documents, and most particularly – application screen captures for my Blog.

NirSoft Wireless Network Watcher – This free utility scans your wireless network and displays the list of all computers and devices that are currently connected to your network.

There are additional applications, including specialty applications, which I run occasionally from either a USB flash drive, or a CD/DVD – but, these applications are generally outside the scope of an average user’s needs.

For example – an application which you will not see here is CurrPorts – a portable application which allows a user to view a list of ports that are currently in use, and the application that is using it.

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16 Comments

Filed under Computer Tools, Point of View

16 responses to “A Reader Wants To Know – What’s On My PC?

  1. Sorry – couldn’t resist:
    1: What’s on the telly?
    2: Looks like a penguin.
    2: It’s been a long time there, now, has it?
    1: What’s it doin’ there?
    2: Standin’!
    1: I can see that!

  2. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    Funny, having hung around here for a few years now, a lot of what you use is what I use too. One other defence I’ve come to rely on is Hitman Pro, which I find superior in finding hard to get malware. It aint free, if an infection is found, one gets a thirty day free license and then you have to buy it. But, so far, I’ve never had to activate that fee license (touch wood).
    On my antilogger issue, I believe there is a beta version of Spyshelter currently being tested. Can’t wait for that, I will feel much more secure.
    Cheers

    • Hey Mal,

      You’ve mentioned Hitman Pro a few times – will have to take a look at that.

      Good news on the antilogger front – hopefully, it will be released soon.

      Best,

      Bill

  3. Bill,

    Thank you for the attention at the beginning of this article… I just got in and noticed in my email subscription to your site, your latest posting and the “What’s On My PC” part really grabbed my attention. By the way, nearly everything you have listed, I also have on my PC…

    Thank you,

    Rick

  4. Gary Klingaman

    Bill: Excellent article! Many thanks, Gary

  5. delenn13

    Hey Bill,

    My Start Menu is pretty much the same as yours…but I have mine all in folders. The only one that I use and I didn’t see on your list is SuperAntiSpyware. However, I have a lifetime license and they don’t off that any more since they got bought out.

  6. Georg Lechner

    Hi Bill,

    interesting reading, especially about the stuff that is NOT on Your machine. I wouldn’t do without SuperAntiSpyware 5.6.1014, as hardly a day goes by without some bad kritters that have sneaked through the defenses of any browser, be they set as tightly as possible, but SuperAntiSpyware gets them.

    All the best!

    Georg

  7. goran9888

    Hi Bill,
    First sorry for my bad English.

    Second, i follow your blog about a year and more, and you are great. Every time, when i go there read something interesting. This blog is in my first speed dial button in Opera.

    Third, this is my first comment there. I hardly decides to write something on away forums and blogs (otherways, i am from Serbia) because English is a little problem (slow speed of writing). With this comment i wont you to present a small useful usb antimalware free utility from Serbia, that is pritty great. Its name MCShield. Please test this app, i can guarantee you like it, and maybe that app be in your section second time when you write about ‘what’s on my pc’. :)

    MCShield homepage: http://amf.mycity.rs/mcshield/

    • Hi Goran9888,

      Your English is terrific! Much better than my Serbian. :)

      Thank you for the tip on MCShield. I’ll take a close look at this app and get a review up in the next week, or so.

      Best,

      Bill

  8. Hey Bill,
    Looks like a solid list of programs. Trustworthiness counts way more than the latest and greatest, I guess that rule crosses over into life too, but that’s another whole conversation.

    I never did get back to you on how using AVG went. I did install it on one of my other computers, but I haven’t had time to mess around with it but my daughter has had no issues with it.

    I haven’t had time because I have been trying to make the jump from Windows to Linux. I had to make sure I could have certain programs I needed. I have found good alternatives to all of the programs I use except for two. Windows Live Writer and PhraseExpress. Both save me so much time posting to the site that I would be lost without them and there does not seem to be a comparable alternative to either, not even in windows.

    So, I cloned Windows over to a backup drive so that I can run linux on my SSD but still boot into Windows when I need to work on the site. Kind of a pain, but it works for now.

    Got any good linux tips? or good programs that I should know about?

    Thanks for the article Bill

    TeX

    • Hey TeX,

      Agreed – “Trustworthiness counts way more than the latest and greatest.”

      It’s a very good sign that your daughter has had no issues with AVG. That’s the whole idea – non-obtrusive.

      I have the same issue re: LiveWriter and Linux, and as you noted even in Windows there’s nothing quite like it.

      I run 2 versions of Linux – Ubuntu on the boot drive (for multi-boot) and Puppy Linux on a boot CD (for financial transactions). Even so, I’ve never taken the time to “learn” under-the-hood Linux – by design really. I’m quite happy being an average user. Well, maybe a little better than that – but, you know what I mean. :)

      It’s one of the reasons I get so annoyed when I read all the horror stories about how hard Linux is, when it’s just the opposite. I know – I’m an average user.

      Best,

      Bill