We all have those certain programs or widgets that are used on a daily basis. Some of them even change the way that we use technology or enable us to multitask or be more productive. There are even those programs out there that provide such simplicity of use than anyone can pick them up in a matter of minutes. As an avid computer user these are the programs and widgets that I use on a daily basis and that I could simply not live without.
Launchy is by far my most used program every day I am in front of a computer. It is simply a search bar that is enabled on your computer by pressing alt+tab and allows you to search and then launch files and software. This program eliminates searching for the icon on your cluttered desktop or finding it in the long drawn out start menu. If you have not heard about or tried this brilliant little tool, I urge you to check it out.
2. Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials is a free Anti Virus for Windows. It is used to guard against viruses, spyware, and other malicious things you may come across while browsing the web. In the beginning I was a huge fan of AVG and recommended it to all my friends and family. Then once while out on vacation I got my first ever virus. I came home from vacation with an infected computer than took me many hours to fix. It was then that I switched to Microsoft Security Essentials
and noticed a massive difference. First, the program was much lighter than AVG
was. It did not take up as much computer resources and ran quietly in the background. Second, the scans work great and it never bothers you or interrupts you to update it. Finally, it has a great little castle icon.
AIDA64 is one of those programs that seems very insignificant till you have to go some time without it. AIDA64
is a PC benchmarking tool, a stability test tool, and also displays system diagnostics. The main thing I use this program for is system diagnostics. It has a great interface that is easy to follow. The only issue I have with this program is that it does so much, it is sometimes cumbersome to find the option you are looking for. In the system tray, I have AIDA64 showing the temperatures in real time of my CPU, motherboard, and both graphics cards. The visual is nice as well as the information that it provides.
4. Mozilla Thunderbird
With going to school, then transferring to a new school, as well as previous emails I have had throughout the years, Mozilla Thunderbird is the perfect email client to keep them all in one spot. Mozilla Thunderbird
can display all your emails in one spot and allow you to retrieve mail from them all with a single button click! Very useful tool to simplify something in your life.
7-Zip is an open source windows utility for unpacking and packaging files. This is basically WinRar with a better interface and it never harasses you to give them money. I have used 7-Zip
more times than I can think of.
CCleaner is a freeware program for PC optimization and cleaning. This program does exactly what it advertises to do. If your computer is running a bit sluggish, using CCleaner
is an excellent way to speed it up. It checks your registry on your computer for broken links and fixes them. CCleaner is also used to clear away temp files that are no longer being used or are not wanted. Have a bunch of search results that you no longer want to see? Run CCleaner and you will not see them again!
FileZilla is an open source FTP Client for Windows, OSX, and Linux. I do not have much experience using an FTP client but the reason that I added this to the list is because I have, on more than one occasion, had to use the FileZilla
client to set up a server so that my friends at college could download stuff from my computer. This was because they were stuck behind their college internet, with their awful rules about peer to peer downloading. I guess they didn’t consider FTP?
If there is one program that I have recently discovered that needs to be installed, it is Spotify.Spotify
was originally explained to me as “Itunes if you had bought every song:”. I was skeptical at first but when I first decided to download and sign up, I was not disappointed. Spotify’s downside is that it requires you to sign up with a Facebook but if you take the 10 min to register a fake Facebook, you can easily avoid using a real one or if you do not have one. This great program works much like Itunes, steams all the music from the internet and occasionally promotes ads. You can sit through the ads because after all, the music is all free right?