Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn, a.k.a. Random Terrain.
Zip and unzip. I love right clicking on a .ZIP file and selecting "Extract Here."
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.
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.
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.
Yahoo moved from FTP to FTPS, so I use FileZilla to upload my files since Dreamweaver CS6 can only do FTP.
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.
This now seems to be the best free internet browser.
The best free image viewer.
The most powerful free & open source office suite on the market.
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.
Adjustable calculator size and simulated paper tape history.
Much better than Notepad.
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.
The best Atari 2600 VCS emulator.
Intuitive video editor for creating professional quality videos in minutes. I have the paid version.
The best free audio and video player.
You have to pay for it, but it's affordable and it doesn't slow everything down. I got mine from Best Buy.
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.
English thesaurus and dictionary. I have the paid version.
Checks your web site for broken links.
Allows active content to run only from sites you trust.
Blocks annoying video ads on YouTube, Facebook ads, banners and much more.
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.
This is similar to Googlebar Lite on Firefox. I mostly use it for finding search terms on a web page.
Brings newly created tabs to the foreground.
Opens new tabs at the end (the right side).
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.
Unfermented soy is bad! “When she stopped eating soy, the mental problems went away.”
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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.
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