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Recommended Software

I am really hard to please when it comes to software. I expect it to do exactly what I want it to do and not really get in my way, thus I am not easily impressed. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be really hard to find good software because there's so much garbage out there You never know when you download a new program if it's going to replace your desktop with an ad for dick pills and redirect every URL you type to

Anyway, all of these programs have been vetted thoroughly by me. I've been using some of these for years and I personally guarantee that each one of these is completely free of adware and spyware. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


CorelDRAW Graphics Suite

I've been using this since the early 90's and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be using it until I'm dead. It has more features and a more intuitive user interface than Photoshop, and it costs less for the Corel Draw/Corel Photo Paint bundle than Photoshop by itself. All of the graphics and artwork on this site were done in Corel Draw.

Corel Media Studio Pro (Commercial, no longer supported)

Excellent video editing suite from the same people who brought you Corel Draw. It comes with pro-grade video capture, audio capture, and tracker-style video editor for way less than what you would pay for Adobe Premier. I do a lot of video editing on the professional level and this is the only software I use.

XNView (Freeware)

This is absolutely the best image viewer ever. It runs on a wide variety of platforms, displays every image format ever, has tons of options so you can set everything to display exactly the way you want it, and my favorite

Pegasus Mail (Freeware)

This is one of the oldest email packages still in current production. It's been going since 1990. I've been using it since the mid-90's. It features more customizable features than any other email program I've used, excellent spam filtering, and it uses very little system resources.

Opera (Freeware)

This is the best browser ever, hands down. Its faster than any of the competition and can render pretty much every website properly. I have never been able to make it crash. Also, it runs on everything - Windows, Mac, UNIX, tablet, Nintendos... It uses the Web Kit engine. I do have to admit that I liked the older versions (up to around version 11 or so) better than the current version, which did away with the menu bar in favor of an all-encompassing menu button. Incidentally, I think people who use Chrome are just the worst, since Google is essentially the new evil empire aspiring to world domination in ways Microsoft never even dreamed of.

Lunascape (Freeware)

This is a really great browser put out by a Japanese company, and you know Japan always makes great software for some reason. You can select between three different rendering engine, Trident from IE, Gecko from Mozilla, or Web Kit from Opera and Safari, which means you'll never run into a website it can't render. The UI is excellent, and the themes are very pretty.

WinRAR (Commercial)

The best archiver. Supports creating self-extracting archives, multi-part archives, handles pretty much all archive formats including zip, gzip, bzip, 7zip, z, tar, and can even extract the data from ISO images.


Lightweight and feature filled word processor. It makes for an excellent free/open source substitute for Word or Word Pad.

Nero (Commercial)

I can't live without Nero. I have the Nero 10 suite installed on every computer I own. There are better media players out there, but every other CD/DVD authoring software falls flat on its face compared to Nero. Newer versions even include an automatic backup and hard disc imaging utility.

ConTEXT (Freeware)

A free text editor for Windows. It features contextual highlighting for a wide variety of programming languages, as well as HTML and CSS. It can even read UNIX format text files. When you install it you have the option of replacing MS notepad with ConTEXT.

BitComet (Freeware)

The best bit torrent client. It's fast, reliable, stable and secure. The user interface is excellent.

GraphCalc (Free/Open Source)

Free full-featured graphing calculator. Makes an excellent replacement for and expensive stand alone graphing calculator


Media player that plays everything. I started using this because it plays the MPEG 4 .ts files output by my satellite receiver. I haven't found a video format that it can't play.

Eclipse (Free/Open Source)

An IDE for Java developers. The other major one is Net Beans, which is also good, but I like Eclipse a little better. The contextual highlighting is better, and I like the way it presents a menu as you type - it saves me a lot of time not type long variable and method names. It even does imports for you automatically. All of my Java programs were done in Eclipse.

PDF Creator (Free/Open Source)

Works like a printer driver under Windows to let you create a PDF from any program

Foxit PDF Reader (Freeware)

PDF reader that is a less resource intensive alternative to Adobe's Acrobat reader.

Trend Micro (Commercial)

Security suite. It's pricey, but this is literally the only security software I trust. Thanks to Trend Micro, none of my computers has ever had a virus.

ICQ (Freeware)

Simple chat program. Although you probably already have this, since pretty much everyone does, I think.

Microsoft Streets and Trips (Commercial)

It didn't cost that much, and it came with a free USB GPS device for your notebook. I have one of those things that holds your notebook while you're in your car. All I have to do is put in my destination and it gives me all the possible routes and even calculates the fuel prices. It gives turn by turn direction in your choice of voices, and you don't have to be online to use it. It's got the most accurate maps of any GPS or map website I've ever used. I use it in place of those small windshield-mount GPS. It's a lot easier to see my notebook screen, so I don't have to take my eyes off the road, and the voice directions are much more audible.


Out of necessity, all of these are pretty lightweight applications that are easy on resources. Most of the machines that I've had to run Unix systems on are ones that are too slow to handle the current version of Windows, and in general I think a lightweight program is more elegant.

FreeBSD (Free/Open Source)

Free, open source operating system. I use this on all of my file servers/web servers/routers, etc... and any desktops or notebooks I have that are too slow to run the current version of Windows. It's rock solid and very easy to use for a Unix. They even have a user friendly version meant for end users. I'm gonna get hatemail for saying this, but it's better than Linux.


Free lightweight window manager for X. Whenever I have an older computer that can't keep up with the current version of Windows, I install FreeBSD and IceWM. This window manager is so lightweight that it runs well on computers as old as a 100 MHz Pentium 1 from 1994. Unlike a lot of other lightweight window managers, it's highly customizable, a large library of third party themes is available online.


Simple an lightweight PDF viewer for X.


Full featured video and music player. This is the only Unix video player that I've found works well with many GPU's hardware video acceleration.


 Simple jukebox program for X, similar to WinAmp.


Fast and friendly text editor. The user interface is similar to notepad in Windows, but with  the addition of some more advanced features useful for programming.


Lightweight and feature filled word processor. It makes for an excellent free/open source substitute for  Word or Word Pad, and runs on Windows as well.

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