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Useful Software and Extensions

A good list to have when you buy a new PC.

Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn, a.k.a. Random Terrain.

RT Eyes Tip Jar

 
 

Windows Software

7-Zip

Zip and unzip. I love right clicking on a .ZIP file and selecting "Extract Here."

 

Affinity Photo

No subscription (subscription-free) photo editing software that is supposedly as good as Adobe Photoshop. At the time of typing this (May 12, 2019), the program was only $49.99. I can't afford it right now, but I'll try to get it later in the year if I can. They also sell Affinity Designer for the same price, but I don't think I need vector graphic design software. Photo editing software is pretty much all I need at the moment.

 

 

Bandicam

Easily record video and sound from an emulator or an area of your PC screen. Bandicam is the best screen/emulator recording software for making YouTube videos that I have ever tried (I don't have a Mac and I don't use Linux). It really does seem to have less lag (as they claim on their main page). When I start recording video games in Stella with other programs, there is a noticeable, jarring slow down, but not with Bandicam. (When using Stella, remember to press Alt + P to enable the phosphor effect before recording.)

 

The program makes it very clear what you are going to record. There is no irritating flashing rectangle around the area you're recording and you can easily disable the FPS overlay (under the FPS Tab), so you can record a game you're playing without any irritating distractions.

 

Unlike some other programs, you won't have to spend time just trying to find the record button. There are no mysteries or weird, complicated problems. It just works.

 

Easy GIF Animator

Edit or create your own animated GIFs. There's a free trial version, but the pay version is affordable. I bought it back when they were selling Easy GIF Animator 4. I need to buy the latest one since they improved it over the years. I was thinking about becoming an affiliate since I like the program so much, but you don't get paid until you reach $100 and I doubt I'd ever sell enough to reach that amount.

 

FileZilla

Yahoo moved from FTP to FTPS, so I use FileZilla to upload my files since Dreamweaver CS6 can only do FTP.

 

FreeFileSync

Free open source data backup software which helps you compare and synchronize files and folders so you don't have to copy the same unchanged files every time you backup your files.

 

Google Chrome

This now seems to be the best free internet browser.

 

IrfanView

The best free image viewer.

 

LibreOffice

The most powerful free & open source office suite on the market.

 

LICEcap

Create animated GIFs directly from an emulator such as Stella. Using 33 FPS instead of 30 FPS seems to give a smoother result without increasing the file size by a huge amount. Program recommended by walaber. When using Stella, remember to press Alt + P to enable the phosphor effect before recording. You can also use a free online tool to resize your GIFs.

 

Moffsoft FreeCalc

Adjustable calculator size and simulated paper tape history.

 

Notepad++

Much better than Notepad.

 

Paint.NET

This is one of the best free image/photo editing programs for Windows computers. It's much easier to use than GIMP (that weird, unintuitive program so many people seem to be in love with).

 

One of the things I love about Paint.NET is that it lets me draw straight lines that can be quickly turned into curved lines. Just grab one of those dots (control nubs) along the line and drag it until you have the curve you're looking for.

 

You can also select anything in an image, click on the Move Selected Pixels icon, move the mouse pointer just outside of the selection until a double headed curved arrow appears, then left click and drag the cursor to rotate the selection. I also use that technique to rotate text in an image. So far every tool I've needed to use has been easy to find and easy to figure out. Paint.NET is virtually frustration free. Just remember that you need to hold down the Ctrl key if you want to zoom in and out with the scroll wheel on your mouse.

 

Stella

The best Atari 2600 VCS emulator.

 

VideoPad Video Editor

Intuitive video editor for creating professional quality videos in minutes. I have the paid version.

 

VLC Media Player

The best free audio and video player.

 

Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security with Antivirus

You have to pay for it, but it's affordable and it doesn't slow everything down. I got mine from Best Buy.

 

WinMerge

Compares two files and shows the differences. Get the xdocdiff WinMerge Plugin if you want to compare PDF files. Be sure to enable plugins (under Plugins/List) and select Automatic Unpacking.

 

WordWeb

English thesaurus and dictionary. I have the paid version.

 

Xenu's Link Sleuth

Checks your web site for broken links.

 

 

 

 

Google Chrome Extensions

NoScript

Allows active content to run only from sites you trust.

 

Adblock Plus

Blocks annoying video ads on YouTube, Facebook ads, banners and much more.

 

miniGestures

Click on the miniGestures icon, select Options, put L next to "History Back" and R next to "History Forward," click the Save Configuration button, then close the tab. Those are the only mouse gestures that I use.

 

SearchBar

This is similar to Googlebar Lite on Firefox. I mostly use it for finding search terms on a web page.

 

New Tabs to the Front

Brings newly created tabs to the foreground.

 

Alternate Tab Order

Opens new tabs at the end (the right side).

 

Webroot Filtering Extension

This came with Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security with Antivirus, so it's not free. If you have Webroot, be sure to use it. Doesn't seem to slow down the browser one bit.

 

 

 

 

The Good and the Bad

Negative ions are good for us. You might want to avoid positive ion generators and ozone generators. Whenever I need a new air cleaner (with negative ion generator), I buy it from surroundair.com. A plain old air cleaner is better than nothing, but one that produces negative ions makes the air in a room fresher and easier to breathe. It also helps to brighten my mood.

Never litter. If you can't find a trash can, take it home and throw it away there.

Hydrofracking is bad for you, your family, your friends, and the environment.

Some people appear to have a mental illness because they have a vitamin B deficiency. I take B-Right.

Unfermented soy is bad! “When she stopped eating soy, the mental problems went away.”

 

Software I Quit Using

Opinion section by Duane Alan Hahn (2019y_05m_04d)

Avast Free Antivirus

An update to Avast in May of 2018 mangled my Windows 8 system profile. I finally uninstalled Avast in April of 2019, but of course, Avast acted like a virus and blocked the Windows anti-virus from working after Avast was uninstalled. If you want to avoid the problems I had, you might want to stay away from Avast.

 

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Dreamweaver CS6

Opinion section by Duane Alan Hahn (created on 2019y_05m_05d, updated on 2019y_05m_12d)

Dreamweaver CS6

If you want undo/redo buttons, click on the View menu, hover over Toolbars, then click on Standard. Now you'll have undo/redo icons or buttons or whatever you want to call them.

 

To bring back the Properties Panel that shows link content and other things, click on the Window menu, then click on Properties (or use Ctrl + F3).

 

To quickly find something, highlight some text or code, then press Shift + F3. To find the next occurrence, just press F3.

 

To check the spelling of your text, click on the Commands menu and select Check Spelling.

 

If you have WordWeb Pro, hold down the Ctrl key and right click on a word that you want to check. WordWeb Pro will pop up with the definition and synonyms.

 

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Disclaimer

View this page and any external web sites at your own risk. I am not responsible for any possible spiritual, emotional, physical, financial or any other damage to you, your friends, family, ancestors, or descendants in the past, present, or future, living or dead, in this dimension or any other.

 

Use these programs and extensions at your own risk. Always scan for viruses. Never download a program unless you know for sure it's from the real web site. Beware of look-alike web sites that Google puts at the top of the search results.

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

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