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Thread: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

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    Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    My pick of 10 freeware applications to help make Microsoft's flagship operating system, Windows Vista, a whole lot better.
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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    I find it suprising that there was no meantion of a text editor. Notepad is about as basic (and functionally useless) as text editors get. Any power-user worth his/her salt will always need a notepad replacement. Two of my favourites for windows are gvim and notepad++ (or context), with gvim being the more powerful of the two but with a high learning curve to use it proficantly.
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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    VLC whilst quite a capable product, has never seemed user friendly to me, by default not always properly correcting image quality or dealing with interlacing. Because no layman's guide to getting it working nicely seemed to exist (only a barrage of technical options), I found I quickly stopped trying to use it.

    Similarly, I hope no-one is fooling themselves over open office. Whilst I totally admire the hard work, it is in no way a true competitor yet to MS Office. Writer (the word replacement) is adequate (although lacking grammar checking), Impress (the powerpoint clone) does all that you need it to, and there is no direct comparison for the Draw program (short of Visio, which is in a whole other league). Draw alone made the installation (and its continued presence after getting Office 2007) worthwhile, it is a wonderful application. However it has one major failing that says a lot about the majority of the development team. Calc (Excel replacement) is quite frankly only fit for simple spreadsheets, not for producing business-quality charts or more complex scenarios. They completely failed to understand the needs of the professional users of such software, in my opinion.

    On a more positive note, since you were not adverse to suggesting online applications, then Meebo is really an absolute must. Even if you generally prefer to use proper IM clients, it is invaluable when travelling, or when you have guests over who want to chat online.

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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    Just a quick point....

    Mesh is still in the Beta testing stage, might be best to mention that (I haven't got an advance release or anything at work yet either)
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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    aidanjit, notepad++ is very useful - thanks for the suggestion

    Rosaline, I'd agree that OpenOffice isn't a competitor to Microsoft Office. I can't go without Outlook so I use Office 2007, and I'm even quite fond of the "ribbon" interface. That said, I think OpenOffice does have its uses. If a user doesn't use many office features, and his/her tasks generally involve banging together a few quick documents, I'd usually suggest OpenOffice as a first point of call.

    Meebo is a good one! For an alternative desktop IM client, I've found Pidgin to be handy.

    Finlay, the Live Mesh tech preview is now open to all in the US. Later today, it'll be open to all in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, too. So there will be no need to sign up to any waiting lists - you'll be able to sign up directly at Mesh.com.

    Looking forward to hearing some more suggestions, always fun to hear what other people are using.

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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    Ohh sweet @ mesh. i got an invite of a gent on here, but it wouldn't work for some reason, and asked me to get on a waiting list.

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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    Quote Originally Posted by Parm View Post
    Finlay, the Live Mesh tech preview is now open to all in the US. Later today, it'll be open to all in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, too. So there will be no need to sign up to any waiting lists - you'll be able to sign up directly at Mesh.com.
    I did it at work today but had a thing saying it was a beta, talk about bad timing as ill no doubt have to reinstall tomorrow lol
    Ah....just got an email about it, must be signed in through MS Corp lol

    Live mesh is great though, means I can share my music to my work pc easily so dont have to bring a stack of cds with me, not to mention photos etc
    Last edited by finlay666; 30-07-2008 at 11:58 PM.
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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    +1 for Notepad++, but can I also chuck in TweakUAC?

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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    Loving mediamonkey, I always wanted a program to help clean up my music collection.

    Live mesh is really handy, I can see it being really useful when im exchanging files with my friends. The only problem I have is my upload speed as virgin broadband have a dog slow upload rate, but thats a problem with them not the application.

    I agree with Rosaline that VLC isn't that great, so I prefer to download the latest ffdshow codec pack (which i think plays everything) and then just play my files through the beauty that is WMP11.

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    Re: Opinions - Parm's 10 useful freeware applications for Windows Vista

    VLC would be worthy of its lofty reputation if it could play HD files of any description half as well as other players.

    I'll add KMPlayer to the alternative list - it's basically VLC++. Never tried GOM Player.

    Another plus for FastStone Image Viewer - another excellent image viewer that's really quick. It's also got a few nice touches for doing basic editing.

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