We all have our special few programs that we cannot live without and always install after every time we format our PCs. Below are a few of the applications that I hold dear, and all are free to download.
When looking at the market share for October 2009 [as per w3schools.com – statistics vary significantly according to the polled user demographic -Ed.], IE8, IE7,IE6, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera are at 12.8%, 14.1%,10.6%, 47.5%, 8.0%, 3.8%, and 2.3% respectively, Firefox is currently the top Web browser. With the plethora of plug-ins available for the browser, it’s not hard to see why.
Since April 30th 2002, when Open Office(OO) 1.0 was released, the product has taken great strides and is a competent alternative to the Microsoft Office suite of products. OO consists of multiple components, with Base, Calc, Draw, Impress, Math, and Writer being the OO versions of Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Power Point, Microsoft Equation Editor, and Microsoft Word, respectively.
K-lite is perfect for someone (like me) who plays a lot of media on their PC and doesn’t want to worry about which codecs they have installed. It also comes with Media Player Classic, so you can play all your videos in one player instead of requiring multiple players for multiple formats. The K-Lite pack comes in multiple versions (Basic 4.7MB; Standard 10.4MB; Full14.2MB; Mega 23.2MB) with the Mega Pack having support for Real Media files. For a complete run-down of each package’s capabilities, please look here.
As good as Media Player Classic is, I just prefer VLC. Whether it’s because I just know all the shortcuts or because it just works, I’m not sure. VLC also can do a lot more than just play media files; for a full feature list take a gander here.
The default installer has support for 16 different IMs, and more with the use of plug-ins. You can use Pidgin to chat on MXit from your PC and look a lot busier at work than if you were using your phone. A slightly older version of Pidgin with the MXit plug-in can be found here.