Essential Windows Applications

A lot of the Vedan­ta Cen­ter work is accom­plished using com­put­ers. We have found cer­tain free soft­ware appli­ca­tions to be near­ly indis­pens­able for our work. For our own ref­er­ence, as well as for the inter­est of oth­ers, we list the most use­ful appli­ca­tions here, along with links to the sites. All the soft­ware list­ed here is free, most is open source. (A great resource for trust­ed free Win­dows soft­ware is Gizmo’s Free­ware.)

Free Soft­ware

  • Every­thing search engine: a tiny, light­ning-speed util­i­ty that finds any file on your com­put­er instant­ly.
  • Stick­ies: just like the “Post-it” notes, for your com­put­er desk­top.
  • PDF-Xchange view­er: A much small­er, faster, nicer view­er than the stan­dard Adobe read­er.
  • Chrome web brows­er from Google. It real­ly is faster in our expe­ri­ence.
  • AdBlock: blocks inter­net adver­tis­ing in Chrome and Fire­fox.
  • Open Office: very sim­i­lar to Microsoft Office, but free and open source.
  • Fast­stone Image View­er: with basic edit­ing fea­tures, fast and ele­gant.
  • Audac­i­ty: for audio edit­ing. It’s a bit com­plex, but very use­ful.
  • Cclean­er: disk cleanup, reg­istry cleanup.
  • Defrag­gler: a disk defrag­ment­ing appli­ca­tion.
  • Itrans­la­tor: for typ­ing Devana­gari using the reg­u­lar alpha­bet.
  • Microsoft Key­board Lay­out Cre­ator: for mak­ing cus­tom key­boards. A geek tool, very use­ful!
  • 7-zip file com­pres­sor. One of the best.
  • Microsoft Secu­ri­ty Essen­tials: a free anti-virus sys­tem from Microsoft. Reli­able and no nag­ging for mon­ey.
  • Col­or Cop: a very small col­or pick­er use­ful for web­site design.
  • Launchy: a very fast pro­gram launch­er: just hit the Win­dows key and space­bar (or oth­er hotkey as you define) to quick­ly launch appli­ca­tions. This is for peo­ple who like to get away from the mouse.
  • PsPad: A text edi­tor for html, css, oth­er scripts. You can edit files on remote servers via ftp: very use­ful for web­site devel­op­ment.
  • Sync­toy: a Microsoft pro­gram for mak­ing back­ups.
  • Edit­pad Lite: one of many alter­na­tives to Notepad. Cus­tomiz­able.
  • Filezil­la: FTP pro­gram (for web­site admin­is­tra­tion) from Mozil­la
  • Fire­fox: Slow­er than Chrome (sor­ry), but has some very use­ful add-ons for web­site devel­op­ment.
  • Pure­Text: A great lit­tle app which pastes only text, stripped of all for­mat­ting; hooked to win-v or any short­cut you choose.

Pro­pri­etary Soft­ware we find use­ful (not free)

  • Adobe Pho­to­shop
  • Adobe InDe­sign
Online Tools and Ref­er­ences