Sunday, September 04, 2011

Windows Freeware applications list

The word free and Windows don't often go together. It's very common to find free open source applications in the Linux world but in Windows it's a bit harder to find, but they are there. 

Recently I found a few nice listing of free applications that are free or offer free trial versions. Really handy listing and some of the applications are just what you need for something small. 

So my personal list of free or open source applications for Windows is here. 

Filezilla - FTP client and server

Before I found Filezilla I was stuck using either the command line for FTP upload, Dreamweaver, or another paid FTP program. Granted FTP isn't something that requires a great deal of knowledge, but it just made things easier to use a mouse. Filezilla is basically everything you could want in an FTP client, I've been using it for years and never had any issues. 

AVG Free Client - Antivirus 

I have never compared anti-virus vendors but the interface of AVG is very simple and easy to use. AVG offers frequent updates and of course they ask that you upgrade to the paid version, which offers more options and protection. Personally it's a tie between AVG and other vendors that offer a free version but AVG seems cleaner.

Pidgin - IM and IRC client

There's many instant messenger clients and IRC clients out there but the interface of Pidgin is decently easy to use. The only issue is using some of the extra features that are included with the vendor's instant messenger client might not work 100% with Pidgin. For example Yahoo! Messenger conference does not appear to work correctly with Pidgin, but that's a minor issue. 

VLC - Media player

VLC is a handy media player that I often use over Windows Media Player. The best feature is this is a very universal player, can play pretty much any file you throw at it. 

FooBar2000 - Music player

My favorite music players have been Winamp and iTunes, but recently I have been using FooBar as it's lightweight and simple to look for files. There is many plugins available for FooBar and if you're looking for the simple music player interface this is highly recommended. 

CutePDF - Print to PDF

I have a love hate issue with Adobe's PDF format. I like how it's very simple to hold books but creating PDF's was an issue, if you didn't have the software there was little you could do. With CutePDF, you can print to PDF which is very handy and great for "recording" web pages or logging documents. I heavily use this for capturing e-mails or invoices that are in HTML format for archival.

Imgburn - CD DVD burner

Imgburn is very handy for create CD or DVD's plus creating ISO of physical media. The application is lightweight, offers a much simpler method than working with Nero. My only request is disabling the "successful" sound as it's annoying. 

TrueCrypt - Encryption 

TrueCrypt offers drive and directory encryption, plus ability to encrypt the hard drive upon bootup. Where this comes in handy is when you need to secure a directory from others, or when you need to have a laptop secured even if you loose it. It's also great to use for your USB memory sticks, and I highly recommend this be used since it locks down the file very securely. 

Notepad ++ - Text editor

Using Microsoft's Notepad is handy but doesn't offer correct formatting and other tools as does Notepad ++. I really like this application and even after buying a very expensive paid version of another text editor, still use Notepad ++.

Putty - SSH client

I honestly do not know of another SSH client for Windows that is free and highly used as is Putty. I just recently switched to using SecureCRT, a paid SSH client but only after I needed a feature not included with Putty. But I really liked Putty and used it for many years. 

Rich Copy - File copy utility

I've been using Microsoft's Robocopy and the add on TeraCopy but recently I found Rich Copy from Microsoft. I really like the interface of Rich Copy and the adjustments for the job which is handy for faster computers. It's also good for sync a directory or just auditing. 

For now these are my favorites and will add some more shortly. 


Searching for disk space on Linux UNIX

One of the most confusing issues I had moving to Linux was searching for large files. It's somewhat confusing on Windows but there are many graphical applications available to help with the process. On command line, it's a slightly different process but still similar steps taken. Here's an example of searching for the largest files on a host. 

First, run the command "df -h" 

-bash-4.2$ df -h
Filesystem              Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/sda1              3.9G    927M    2.7G    25%    /
/dev/sda2               10G     10G      0G    99%    /home

Now you know the largest files are in the /home directory. Run the command "cd /home" In the example below, there's only one user, "rob" so I will go straight to the path.

-bash-4.2$ cd home/rob
-bash-4.2$ sudo du -sh *
9.9G    logs
 17M    dev
4.0K    documents
 12K    tools

We find that in the path /home/rob/logs there is 9.9G of files. One method is to move the files to another directory or you can move the files, compress them then move them back. Just a note, certain files that are already compressed (mp3, jpg, zip) will not compress that well. Others such as text and log files compress extremely well. 

For the same path /home/rob/logs we find there are many log files taking up the space. 

-bash-4.2$ ls -lh
total 5
-rw-r--r--  1 robertf  users   2.5G Aug 31 23:00 log_083111
-rw-r--r--  1 robertf  users   2.5G Sep  1 23:00 log_090111
-rw-r--r--  1 robertf  users   2.5G Sep  2 23:00 log_090211
-rw-r--r--  1 robertf  users   2.5G Sep  3 23:00 log_090311
-rw-r--r--  1 robertf  users     5M Sep  4 07:46 log_090411

We do not have space on /home so let's copy to /tmp to run the archive command

First create the folder on your /tmp directory by running the command "mkdir /tmp/rob"

-bash-4.2$ mkdir /tmp/rob

Then let's move the files over using the command "mv * /tmp/rob"

-bash-4.2$ mv * /tmp/rob

Just make sure the files have been copied

-bash-4.2$ ls /tmp/rob
log_083111      log_090111      log_090211      log_090311      log_090411

Now, we can start the compress of the files using the command "tar -zcvf log.tar /tmp/rob"

-bash-4.2$ tar -zcvf log.tar /tmp/rob
tar: Removing leading '/' from member names
a tmp/robertf
a tmp/robertf/logs
a tmp/robertf/logs/log_090411
a tmp/robertf/logs/log_090311
a tmp/robertf/logs/log_090211
a tmp/robertf/logs/log_090111
a tmp/robertf/logs/log_083111

Let's check again if the tar file has been created. 

-bash-4.2$ ls

Now, the log.tar was created in the original location /home/rob/logs so we don't need to move that back from the /tmp directory. 

This is just a small example of how to find and clear space on your system. There are many many other examples. 

Nixcraft - How to find large files