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Computer Advice Part 1 of 9 - Hardware Terms

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Friday, September 17, 2010


I recently came across this great, free website called Ninite at http://ninite.com/.  The website allows you to silently download and install multiple free and popular programs unattended.  All you have to do is pick what software programs you want to download and install, download and run the installer, and it does the rest for you!  Most of the installers will automatically update any previous versions you already have installed on your computer, too!  If you're not sure what to download and install, I've created a list of recommendations, broken into two categories: "Basics" are for most average Internet users, whereas "Advanced" are for those who want to fully experience the Internet.

Basics (recommended for everyone)

Media (plays audio and video content on the Internet)
  • K-Lite Codecs - Allows playback most audio or video formats within Windows Media Player or Media Player Classic
Documents (view and print documents)
  • Reader - View and print PDF documents on the Internet
Security (anti-spyware protection)
  • Malwarebytes - One of the best free anti-spyware programs on the Internet
  • Spybot - One of the first anti-spyware programs around, and also used within my CmdLnScn utility
Runtimes (plays content on many websites within most web browsers)
  • Flash - Adobe Flash using most web browsers
  • Flash (IE) - Adobe Flash using Internet Explorer
  • Java - By Oracle (Sun Microsystems)
  • .NET - Microsoft .NET framework
  • Silverlight - Microsoft Silverlight
Utilities (keeps your computer running efficiently)
  • CCleaner - Cleans junk and temporary files, and also includes a safe registry cleaner

Advanced (recommended for advanced Internet users)
Web Browsers (better than than Internet Explorer)
  • Chrome - Very fast and simple web browser by Google
  • Firefox - Very customizable and flexible web browser by Mozilla. Firefox Add-Ons at https://addons.mozilla.org/.
  • Opera - Very fast and innovative web browser
Messaging (send/receive e-mail and instant messages)
  • Pidgin -  Multiple IM (Instant Messenger) that supports 17 different IMs!  To see if your IM is supported, please visit http://www.pidgin.im/.
  • Thunderbird - Very customizable and flexible e-mail client by Mozilla. Install the Lightning Add-On at https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/ for built-in calendar/tasks, making it comparable to Microsoft Outlook
Media (plays audio and video content on the Internet)
  • VLC - Plays many audio and video formats
Imaging (photo editors)
  • Picasa - Simple picture editor and organizer by Google. Also uploads photos to online web album.
  • GIMP - Full-featured but complex picture editor comparable to Adobe Photoshop
Documents (create and edit documents)
  • OpenOffice - Create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, including Microsoft Office formats
Security (free anti-virus protection)
NOTE: Be sure to uninstall (remove) ANY/ALL installed anti-virus BEFORE installing either these! (only one antivirus can be actively running on your computer)
  • Avast - Rated better than most free anti-viruses, including AVG, by several third-party anti-virus reviewers OR...
  • Essentials - By Microsoft
Other (miscellaneous software programs)
  • Google Earth - View the earth from an aerial point-of-view
Utilities (keeps your computer running efficiently)
  • Defraggler - Better than the Disk Defragmenter that comes pre-installed in Microsoft Windows
Compression (compress/uncompress files)
  • 7-Zip - Uncompress (unzip) many popular compressed file formats
Developer Tools (used for creating and editing software programs and scripts)
  • Notepad++ - Notepad replacement with many more features for software program developers

There is another free online multiple software programs installer called AllMyApps at http://allmyapps.com/ who offers a wider selection of software programs to install and gives better details as to what each software program is and does, but I noticed that they don't update their software programs nearly as frequently as Ninite does.

Please share this link with anyone you'd think would like it:

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