Over the years I’ve found quite a few good free programs. I’ve not bought much software since my new installation of XP, and have found most of what I need as either freeware or open source, or both. Here’s my list:
AVG 7, Free edition
- Archive / ZIP
- CD/DVD burning
Burn at Once - good for quickly burning an ISO
- Spyware removal
Spybot Search & Destroy
- Multiple entry clipboard utility
AnalogX PClcalc - Almost ideal, but not quite; does not parse divides correctly.
- Text editor
- C/C++ Development IDE
Python - Powerful and object oriented, yet still simple and easy to program.
- Newsgroup binary reader
- PC remote control
- Web server
- Image Viewer
FastStone Image Viewer - Finally, a lightweight, simple image viewer, once you switch from the awful default skin.
XnView - Good, but slower than the above for fullscreen viewing.
- Video player
Media Player Classic
- Audio Player
Winamp 5, Free Edition
- Audio Encoding / Transcoding
dBpowerAMP Music Converter - Handles MP3, OGG, WMA and more. Simple right-click file explorer interface.
- Celestia - Allows you to explore the universe in 3D. Comes as standard with plenty of objects, but additional can be added, including extremely high resolution textures for solar system objects.
- NASA WorldWind - Like Celestia, above, but concentrates only on the Earth, fetching data from the web as required to give the highest resolution images available freely. Fantastic. Similar to Google Earth, but open source.