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Looking for software suggestions
Looking for software suggestions
#1
Question 
Picked up a new-to-me laptop late last week, and now it's time to configure it. The last time I did this, the machine was running Win7, 32-bit. The new laptop runs Win10 Pro, 64-bit.

What software do I want? The budget is tight, so legally-freeware is preferred.

I've already installed Panda Free Antivirus (I'm used to it), FireFox with uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger, Notepad++, GIMP, and LibreOffice. Daz Studio is an all-weekend install job, so that's for later.

What do I want for email? Is the Mail program that comes with Win10 Pro good enough, do I want to replace it with Thunderbird, or should I be looking somewhere else?

The laptop's old enough to have a DVD-RW drive - do I want VLC Media Player or something else for media playback? And what do I want for DVD mastering (to turn legally-downloaded movies or movies I make myself with Daz Studio into playable DVDs)?

Is PuTTY still the most useful SSH/Telnet client out there?

What do I want for zip-file maintenance: 7zip, IZArc, or something else?

Should I install IrfanView, or is there a better lightweight image file viewer/converter out there? (It seems silly to me to fire up GIMP just to convert one file from BMP to JPG... which I've had to do a few times last week for All The Tropes.)

Acrobat Reader or something else for working with PDFs? Is the Win10 print-to-PDF function decent, or is there a better print-to-PDF driver available?

And have I missed anything obvious?
--
Rob Kelk

Since it's an election year in the USA: How to Immigrate to Canada, direct from the Government of Canada's website. "How you can immigrate to Canada, how to protect yourself from fraud and what to expect after you arrive in Canada."
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#2
I use:

WinRar for zip files
Thunderbird for Mail
Media Player Classic for videos
Irfanview for pictures
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#3
(raises a finger and opens mouth, tongue in the L position)
(remembers that nobody likes an OS evangelist unless they're already using that OS)
(Looks sown at sig line and closes mouth)

... yeah, you've already got everything I can recommend for you there, except I guess Calibre if you keep significant amounts of digital reading material archived. I only use 'doze for a couple of games and the same cross-platform productivity tools as everywhere else.
--
‎noli esse culus
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#4
(07-13-2020, 06:07 PM)classicdrogn Wrote: (raises a finger and opens mouth, tongue in the L position)
(remembers that nobody likes an OS evangelist unless they're already using that OS)
(Looks sown at sig line and closes mouth)

... yeah, you've already got everything I can recommend for you there, except I guess Calibre if you keep significant amounts of digital reading material archived. I only use 'doze for a couple of games and the same cross-platform productivity tools as everywhere else.

I know it has a lower system-resource overhead as an OS, but as far as I know there's no Linux version of Daz Studio... so that particular migration isn't an option.

Thanks for the suggestions, folks - please keep them coming! (For now, at least. I'll let you know when I pick and install something.)
--
Rob Kelk

Since it's an election year in the USA: How to Immigrate to Canada, direct from the Government of Canada's website. "How you can immigrate to Canada, how to protect yourself from fraud and what to expect after you arrive in Canada."
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#5
(07-13-2020, 06:43 PM)robkelk Wrote: I know it has a lower system-resource overhead as an OS, but as far as I know there's no Linux version of Daz Studio... so that particular migration isn't an option.

At this point, part of that's going to be that nVidia's support of Linux is... incredibly poor, which would probably lock out using iRay in DAZ Studio even if it was available for Linux.
"You know how parents tell you everything's going to fine, but you know they're lying to make you feel better? Everything's going to be fine." - The Doctor
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#6
My favorites are:
Peazip for zip files and a lot of other compression formats
IrfanView for images
VLC for video
Deluge for Bit Torrent

The email client on windows 10 is serviceable, though I use a Thunderbird portable too.
****************************************************************
“When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. When you desire a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory
——————————————————-
What zombie movies got wrong about the actual apocalypse, part 1,487: they omitted scenes of people on the street demanding the right to be eaten by zombies.
—Kelly Davio, Twitter, 4/19/2020
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#7
Wow, things got busy here - I haven't had a chance to install nearly as much software as I had hoped to. (No wi-fi on my router, so I have to disconnect something to connect the new laptop to download software - which means weekends only for software installation until the accounts are moved over from the current laptop.)

Status report on the new laptop, with a few blanks in the third list that I'd still appreciate opinions on:

Installed:
  • Anti-virus: Panda Dome
  • Web browser: FireFox with uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger
  • Text editor: Notepad++
  • Graphics editor: GIMP
  • Office suite: LibreOffice

To download and install:
  • 3D Image creator: Daz Studio
  • Email client: Thunderbird
  • Graphics converter: IrfanView
  • Media Player: VLC Media Player
  • SSH client: PuTTY

To decide on (or find), then download and install:
  • DVD authoring software:
  • E-Reader: Calibre?
  • FTP client:
  • PDF reader: Adobe? (must be able to complete PDF forms)
  • Zip editor/converter: 7zip? IZarc? WinRar? Pearzip? (must be able to open gz and tar formats)

(Yeah, my ISP still uses FTP. Still has a bank of dial-up modems, too.)
--
Rob Kelk

Since it's an election year in the USA: How to Immigrate to Canada, direct from the Government of Canada's website. "How you can immigrate to Canada, how to protect yourself from fraud and what to expect after you arrive in Canada."
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#8
Calibre is a great ebook management and conversion system, but it is meant to support ereaders, not BE one. The included ebook viewer is mediocre at best. There is an add-on for Firefox called EPUBReader that works much better, and with Calibre you can convert any othe formats to epub

Winrar is not free last I heard. Both 7zip and Izarc handle tar and gz. I prefer Izarc's interface, but it's all about personal taste
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#9
I've written my own EPUB reader, which is not very good, but it does work on the web.  If you unzip an EPUB, there's just HTML inside, you know?

Which leads me to the next point -- the software above use p7zip, because it can decompress anything.  (The 7z format is slow, but offers superior compression, which is useful in some situations. On the other end, web browsers use gzip/DEFLATE which is not very effective, but lightning fast.)  Of course, this is another hacker solution, and not something with a nice graphical interface.  (And honestly, if you need to compress images, use jpegtran and zopflipng or pngcrush to keep them smaller without an extra format.)

I've mainly stayed out of this thread since most of my solutions seem to start with getting tools from Homebrew or Apt.  Uh, not sure what you need an FTP client for (I'm somewhat terrified) but in the past I used the one available on the same page as Putty.
"Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#10
What's wrong with FTP archives? They were very straightforward and convenient compared to poking through endless web pages with fifteen (or ten or as few as five items per page when they're really pushing the ad views) as long as you already knew what you were after, the same as working with files on a local disk. To be honest I miss them.
--
‎noli esse culus
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#11
(07-23-2020, 12:50 AM)classicdrogn Wrote: What's wrong with FTP archives? They were very straightforward and convenient compared to poking through endless web pages with fifteen (or ten or as few as five items per page when they're really pushing the ad views) as long as you already knew what you were after, the same as working with files on a local disk. To be honest I miss them.

Most of the current issues with FTP as a protocol are related to internet security, more specifically that as one of the oldest protocols (it actually predates TCP/IP), FTP was actually not built to be secure (no encryption at all anywhere, including the username and password, so Man In The Middle is a major concern). That said, good FTP software supports more secure protocols like SFTP (which drives FTP over SSH) anyway.
"You know how parents tell you everything's going to fine, but you know they're lying to make you feel better? Everything's going to be fine." - The Doctor
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#12
(07-22-2020, 11:49 PM)Labster Wrote: ...  Uh, not sure what you need an FTP client for (I'm somewhat terrified) but in the past I used the one available on the same page as Putty.

Uploading files to my static webpage hoisted by my ISP.
--
Rob Kelk

Since it's an election year in the USA: How to Immigrate to Canada, direct from the Government of Canada's website. "How you can immigrate to Canada, how to protect yourself from fraud and what to expect after you arrive in Canada."
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#13
Well, SCP (which is the file manager equivalent of Putty) is considered the standard open-source client for FTP, SFTP, etc.
You should give it a try.
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#14
If nothing else you can have a few Class-D personnel assigned for testing purposes.
--
‎noli esse culus
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#15
For torrenting, may I recommend Tixati?

It's easy on system resources - one of the lowest impact BT clients out there - but runs nice right out of the box. It also has plenty of features if you're a serious power-user, as well as other capabilities besides BT.

Also, completely free and open source, no spyware or adware, not even anonymous usage reporting to "improve the product".

(And for those of you who are interested, but don't have Windows, there is a native Linux version as well!)

https://www.tixati.com/
Yasuri Nanami is my number one waifu, if only because she would horribly murder all the others if they didn't shut up and toe the line.

"They did not care about all the other attempts wizards had made on the Lone Power through history; as far as a computer is concerned, there is no program that cannot be debugged, or at worst, rewritten."
-Diane Duane, High Wizardry

"If our friendship depends on things like space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"
-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#16
Wow, Tixati has kind of an ugly interface. I like it already!
"Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#17
(07-23-2020, 08:28 PM)classicdrogn Wrote: If nothing else you can have a few Class-D personnel assigned for testing purposes.

Beat me to it.
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....

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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#18
Thanks again for the suggestions, everyone.

My software list still has question marks beside "Ebook reader" and "DVD authoring software" because I haven't had time to go find any yet and nobody's suggested any (except "unzip an EPUB and read it in the browser").

My software list still has a question mars beside "Zip editor/converter" because there are so many suggestions in the thread [ 7zip | IZArc | Peazip | p7zip | something non-free ]... but I don't mind needing to do a feature comparison.
--
Rob Kelk

Since it's an election year in the USA: How to Immigrate to Canada, direct from the Government of Canada's website. "How you can immigrate to Canada, how to protect yourself from fraud and what to expect after you arrive in Canada."
Reply
RE: Looking for software suggestions
#19
Yeah, Tixati is like an old tractor that way - it ain't pretty, but damn, does it ever work.

I can't say much about eBook readers because I don't have much use for them.

As for DVD Authoring.... *Winces* In my experience, the truly free options leave something to be desired, and everything else is either adware or not free.

File compression, though.... I've had a lot of good experiences with 7zip. It's highly versatile, easy to use, and even has integration with Windows that provides you with right-click commands, so you don't even have to open the app to get an archive started or to extract an archive. It also supports encryption and password protection of archives.
Yasuri Nanami is my number one waifu, if only because she would horribly murder all the others if they didn't shut up and toe the line.

"They did not care about all the other attempts wizards had made on the Lone Power through history; as far as a computer is concerned, there is no program that cannot be debugged, or at worst, rewritten."
-Diane Duane, High Wizardry

"If our friendship depends on things like space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"
-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#20
I've been using 7zip here pretty consistently since I found it... it also has the benefit (beyond BA's list) that, when you uncompress something, you don't have to go in and unblock files if you need to use them in a program that having Windows block files "because they came from another computer" causes problems.
"You know how parents tell you everything's going to fine, but you know they're lying to make you feel better? Everything's going to be fine." - The Doctor
Reply
RE: Looking for software suggestions
#21
Current status:

Installed:
  • Anti-virus: Panda Dome
  • Web browser: FireFox with uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger
  • Text editor: Notepad++
  • Graphics editor: GIMP
  • Office suite: LibreOffice
  • Media Player: VLC Media Player
  • Email client: Thunderbird
  • Graphics converter: IrfanView
  • E-Reader/Converter: Calibre
  • PDF reader: Adobe Reader DC

To download and install:
  • 3D Image creator: Daz Studio
  • SSH client: PuTTY
  • FTP client: WinSCP

To decide on (or find), then download and install:
  • DVD authoring software:
  • Zip editor/converter: 7zip? IZarc? WinRar? Pearzip? (must be able to open gz and tar formats)
  • SVN client

I might end up breaking down and paying for DVD authoring software.
--
Rob Kelk

Since it's an election year in the USA: How to Immigrate to Canada, direct from the Government of Canada's website. "How you can immigrate to Canada, how to protect yourself from fraud and what to expect after you arrive in Canada."
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RE: Looking for software suggestions
#22
Re: DVD Authoring Software

From what I understand, that's probably the best way to go since DVD compression and encryption is a proprietary thing (to my knowledge, anyhow), and royalties must be paid out even if you make no money from distributing the software that uses it.

Two major factors to consider when looking for said software:
1) The balance of features to the price of the software
2) Is it going to obnoxiously make turgid demands about upgrading to SUPER PLATINUM PRO EDITION?

A good way of avoiding the second item is to filter out any software that has "in-app purchases" or something to that tune.  It will likely nix a lot of options from the field, but I suspect that's fine by you.
Yasuri Nanami is my number one waifu, if only because she would horribly murder all the others if they didn't shut up and toe the line.

"They did not care about all the other attempts wizards had made on the Lone Power through history; as far as a computer is concerned, there is no program that cannot be debugged, or at worst, rewritten."
-Diane Duane, High Wizardry

"If our friendship depends on things like space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"
-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Reply
RE: Looking for software suggestions
#23
(07-25-2020, 06:16 PM)robkelk Wrote: To decide on (or find), then download and install:
  • Zip editor/converter: 7zip? IZarc? WinRar? Pearzip? (must be able to open gz and tar formats)

PeaZip it is, because it does everything I want it to do (like 7-Zip) and has some archive repair tools (which it appears 7-Zip doesn't). It's now downloaded but not yet installed.
--
Rob Kelk

Since it's an election year in the USA: How to Immigrate to Canada, direct from the Government of Canada's website. "How you can immigrate to Canada, how to protect yourself from fraud and what to expect after you arrive in Canada."
Reply
RE: Looking for software suggestions
#24
Archive repair? I wasn't even aware that was possible!
Yasuri Nanami is my number one waifu, if only because she would horribly murder all the others if they didn't shut up and toe the line.

"They did not care about all the other attempts wizards had made on the Lone Power through history; as far as a computer is concerned, there is no program that cannot be debugged, or at worst, rewritten."
-Diane Duane, High Wizardry

"If our friendship depends on things like space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"
-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Reply
RE: Looking for software suggestions
#25
Nor was I... but Wikipedia has it on its list of features.
--
Rob Kelk

Since it's an election year in the USA: How to Immigrate to Canada, direct from the Government of Canada's website. "How you can immigrate to Canada, how to protect yourself from fraud and what to expect after you arrive in Canada."
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