I don't really use Windows any more, but you do. I've updated this page to reflect the latest in awesome Windows software that you should have. This is the bare minimum that your computer should have in order to be productive and safe.
New tip: There's a website called Ninite that lets you choose all the software you need and download it all at once. No fuss, no hassle.
- Start with Google Pack. This is half the software you need, right here. Use Google Pack to install:
- Firefox: This way web sites won't give you viruses.
- Adobe Reader: Because you'll need it sooner or later.
- Not necessary but nice to have:
- Google Talk
- Google photos screensaver
- Google Earth
- Now sit back & relax as Google does all the work for you. It's nice.
- AVG Antivirus: Your last piece of armor against Windows viruses. The link sends you to Download.com, a great resource for safe, reliable Windows software (both freeware and shareware).
- OpenOffice: This is a free version of Microsoft Office, from Sun Microsystems. Totally compatible with the Microsoft version. And a lot more legal than that copy of MS Office you've been pirating for years.
- Pidgin: Your all-in-one instant messenger. Supports AIM, Yahoo IM, MSN Messenger, Google Chat, even Facebook and MySpace chat.
- iTunes: Best music player for Windows. Comes with Quicktime which is nice for watching movie trailers.
- Gimp: This is the free version of Photoshop. Unless you're a magazine editor, this has all the power you need.
Now stop. Anything else and you're just asking for trouble. I'm also hosting a program called GKrellM. It's available for Linux and Windows (I'm hosting the Windows version, which is a port of the original). You don't need it, but it's a cool thing to have. See my GKrellM page for more info.
Use Linux? I used to have a "software you need for Linux" page but these days, the more popular distributions come with everything you need. I recommend Ubuntu.
You may have noticed that all of this software is free and legal. Since converting to Linux, I've realized that there's no need to pay for overpriced software, and there's no need to break the law by pirating it. The free/open source software community is large and vibrant, and you don't have to even be using Linux to take advantage. It's not that I'm opposed to pirating Microsoft software per se; it's not like they deserve my money anyway. But why pirate when you can do it legally?