Tag Archives: home system

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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Filed under Computer Tools, Point of View