Interesting Windows programs

Here are several links to various software and other related websites for Microsoft Windows 10/8/7/Vista (and maybe XP).

With many great Free and Open Source Software for Windows listed and included in our TTCS OSSWIN DVD collection, this article will focus on useful freeware programs.

This article was last updated on September 16 2016.

AntiVirus

For Windows 8 and 10, Windows Defender is preinstalled.

For Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials – free anti-virus software from Microsoft for Vista and Windows 7.

For Windows XP, BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition – lightweight, free anti-virus software.

Windows Utilities

  • CCleaner –  quick and easy way to remove temporary files generated by Windows and 3rd party applications, freeing up hard drive space
  • Defraggler– hard disk defragmentation utility to re-arrange files on your hard drive to speed up access.
  • Speccy – system information tool for your PC
  • John’s Background Switcher – periodically changes the wallpaper on your Windows desktop – you can specify to update your wallpaper from a variety of online sources (Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, etc) as well as images from your computer or network share
  • ProduKey – displays the product keys of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows – useful when you want to re-install the software and you don’t have it available.
  • CutePDF Writer – Create PDF documents from any Windows application that can print
  • Neutron – small and simple time synchronizing program that retrieves the accurate time from one of several time servers on the Internet and updates the Windows’ clock.
  • Attribute Changer – Windows Explorer addon to easily change file and folder attributes and date/time stamps, including photo (EXIF) information.
  • CDBurnerXP – burn CD and DVDs including Blu-rays
  • Classic Shell – brings back the Classic Start Menu for Windows 8

Windows Internet Applications

  • Google Chrome – web browser by Google noted for its speed and minimalist interface.
  • MailStore Home – archive and backup/restore email from a variety of email clients and Internet mail (POP3 / IMAP / Gmail / Yahoo!)

Windows Applications

  • LibreOffice free office productivity suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations) compatible with all major office suites
  • 7-Zip file archiver with high compression ratio. Supports ZIP files
  • Stickies – place sticky notes on your desktop and/or send to other users’ desktops over a LAN ; can be set to disappear and reappear on your screen to acts as reminders
  • Convert – easy to use unit conversion program that will convert units such as distance, mass and MANY others
  • VideoLAN – multimedia player for various audio and video formats
  • IrfanView – excellent image viewer / converter / manipulator
  • FastStone Image Viewer – image browser, converter and editor. Free for home use.
  • XMPlay – minimal, yet powerful audio player. Support skins to change its appearance
  • Paint.NET – image and photo editing software with features such as layers, unlimited undo and special effects.

Other Useful Windows Sites

  • Black Viper’s website – lists each possible service in Windows and offers advice on which services you can safely disable.
  • MDGx MAX Speed WinDOwS Tricks and Secrets – site with detailed tips, tricks and useful information on optimizing and updating Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and even Windows 9x and DOS
  • FileHippo.com – well organised collection of Windows software organised by categories to download
  • TinyApps.Org – a catalog on tiny (< 1.44MB) programs for Windows

Last day of the DOTA 2 The International Championship Tournament

Dota 2 Screenshot (Credit : Dota 2 Steam page : http://store.steampowered.com/app/570/)

Today’s the last day of the The International DOTA 2 2013 Championship Tournament.

DOTA stands for Defense of the Ancients, which was a free mod for Blizzard’s “Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos” and the expansion “Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne”), nearly 10 years ago.

In 2009, Valve (known for the Steam distribution client and the Half-Live series of games) hired “Icefrog”, the maintainer of the DOTA Warcraft III mod to create DOTA 2 built on Valve’s Steam engine. DOTA 2 was in beta for quite some time, with players needing invites to be able to download and play the game. However, DOTA 2 is now out of beta and available on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux as a free to play game.

Here’s some links with lots more DOTA 2 information:

So what is Dota? From the Wikipedia entry on Dota 2:

Dota 2 consists of session-based online multiplayer matches, in which two teams of five players attempt to destroy their opponents’ fortified strongholds. Each player controls a “Hero” character and, over the course of an individual game, focuses on improving their hero’s abilities, acquiring items, and fighting against the other team.

Dota 2 combines the real-time strategy elements of a traditional top-down perspective, while also incorporating the leveling and itemization functions of a role-playing video game. Players are pitted against each other as two factions called the “Radiant” and the “Dire”. The Radiant faction is based at the southwest corner of the map, while the Dire faction is based at the northeast corner. Utilizing one of six selection modes, players choose one of 102 “heroes” – strategically powerful units with special abilities, who, through combat experience, may progress to a maximum level of twenty-five. The heroes’ methods of combat are heavily influenced by their primary property, which can be strength, agility, or intelligence.

The basic setup of Dota 2 places two strongholds containing critical structures called “Ancients” at opposing ends of a geographically balanced map. These bases are connected by three main paths (referred to as lanes), which are guarded by defensive towers and groups of units commonly referred to as “creeps” which traverse their lanes, attacking enemy units and structures upon sight. Players are split into two teams, each consisting of up to five players, to compete as the primary defenders for each Ancient. The overall objective of each match is to battle through the opposing force’s defenses, and destroy the opponents’ Ancient. Because Dota 2 is highly team-oriented, players must coordinate with their teams in order to achieve victory. The towers and stronghold defenses are invulnerable to attacks, so long as the towers nearest to the enemy side still stand, and must be destroyed sequentially – a team cannot destroy the enemy’s Ancient without first destroying all towers leading up to it in any one lane.

The currency of the game is gold, which is granted steadily at a slow rate. Gold can be accumulated at a much higher rate by killing enemy units, destroying enemy towers, or killing heroes. Killing units grants gold solely to the player who killed it; killing heroes grants gold to the killer and any nearby allies; and destroying towers gives gold to all players on the team. Killing enemy creeps, heroes, and towers also provides experience, which allows the player’s hero to level up, granting access to more powerful skills and abilities. “Denying” is a feature of the game which allows players to inhibit the enemy’s ability to accumulate gold and experience by killing an allied unit or destroying an allied structure before an enemy can do so. Denying reduces the amount of experience and gold the enemy faction can receive for the kill. Allied heroes may also be denied if they are on critically low health and have a fatal spell applied to them.

Featured across the map are units referred to as “neutrals”, which are not aligned to a faction, primarily located in the forests. Located on the southeast side of the river is a boss called “Roshan” who typically requires multiple team members to be killed. Following his death, Roshan will drop a powerful item which allows for a hero to instantly respawn if they are killed.

 

 

Microsoft announces the retirement of the TechNet Subscriptions service

Microsoft has announced that its TechNet Subscriptions service which debuted in 1998 will be retired and would discontinue sales on August 31, 2013. For an annual fee, subscribers to TechNet Subscriptions could download and install Microsoft’s latest software offerings ostensibly for evaluation use.

See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/ms772428 for the announcement and a FAQ at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/ms772428

Via : http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-to-shut-down-technet-subscription-service-7000017541/

TTCS OSSWIN DVD 0.8.9, collection of Free & Open Source Software for Windows available for download

ttcs-osswin-dvd-0.8.9

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) is pleased to announce the availability of the TTCS OSSWIN DVD v0.8.9 as a free download on July 1 2013.

The TTCS OSSWIN DVD is a collection of nearly 100 Free and Open Source Software for home and business (i.e. any) users using the Microsoft Windows 8/7/Vista/XP operating systems.

You can use your web browser to read detailed information about each program in this compilation : what the program does, its key features, useful related websites, view a screenshot, find links to the program’s website and to download/install the program from the TTCS OSSWIN DVD. The web-based interface allows you to quickly browse the variety of software organised into various categories.

How to download the TTCS OSSWIN DVD

Download the TTCS OSSWIN DVD 0.8.9 at Ge.tt

MD5, SHA1, SHA-256 checksum of the TTCS OSSWIN DVD 0.8.9

  • Date created : July 1 2013
  • File name : ttcs_osswin_dvd_v0.8.9.iso
  • File size : 1.78 GB (1,917,534,208 bytes)
  • MD5 checksum : fcdd2119 d4321cce b1bf9264 7ab68cde / fcdd2119d4321cceb1bf92647ab68cde
  • SHA-1 : d65e67fe 63acf880 bde497b4 1dd9dbe2 be4c438f / d65e67fe63acf880bde497b41dd9dbe2be4c438f
  • SHA-256 : 602fe02d 6f5adcb5 d6ab8904 3beedae1 0ad94d1f 195c04d4 41a3bc0c 299ac1e2 / 602fe02d6f5adcb5d6ab89043beedae10ad94d1f195c04d441a3bc0c299ac1e2

Changes from v0.8.8 :

  • removed: Pengupop
  • updated: LibreOffice, Notepad++, Sumatra PDF, Tomboy, Stellarium, Enigma, Battle for Wesnoth, Portable Puzzle Collection, Sokoban YASC, GIMP, Blender, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, FileZilla, Halite, HTTrack Website Copier, Miranda IM, XAMPP, VideoLAN, PDFCreator, ClamWin Free AntiVirus, UltraVNC, KeePass, Run With Parameters

Use a program like VisualHash or WinHasher to hash your downloaded file to see if it matches the hashes here. If your downloaded file hash is different, then your downloaded file is different from the file the TTCS has published.

List of software included on the TTCS OSSWIN DVD

 

Windows 8.1 preview available for download as an ISO

Microsoft has posted download links to the ISOs to the Windows 8.1 Preview at
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/preview-iso

The download is 2.5GB and 3.3GB for the 32 bit and 64 bit versions respectively.

Microsoft also has a FAQ detailing system requirements at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/preview-faq

Engadget has a detailed overview of the Windows 8.1 changes from Windows 8.

 

 

 

 

Microsoft: Windows 8.1 will be a free update to Windows 8 users ; public preview of Windows 8.1 on June 26 2013

Via the Microsoft Blog Post : Windows Keeps Getting Better.

Today at the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Boston, Tami Reller shared with the audience that the update previously referred to as “Windows Blue” will be called Windows 8.1  and will be a free update to Windows 8 for consumers through the Windows Store….

……

We will also be making a public preview of Windows 8.1 available starting on June 26, timed with the Build developer conference in San Francisco. The preview will be available for Windows 8 and Windows RT.

 

Announcing TTCS FSWIN CD – Free Software for Windows CD available for download

TTCS FSWIN CDThe Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS ; http://ttcsweb.org/) announces the availability of the TTCS FSWIN CD (http://ttcsweb.org/fswin-cd), a collection of Free Software for Windows, for download.

Free Software is software that meets the Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) definition :
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html ;

The impetus for the TTCS FSWIN CD came from a request from someone from Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) (http://www.fsfe.org/) currently co-organising Software Freedom Day 2010 (SFD ; http://softwarefreedomday.org/) and was looking for a Free Software for windows CD for SFD teams to use and distribute to the public.

While the TTCS has a TTCS OSSWIN CD, a collection of Free and Open Source Software for Windows
(https://www.ttcs.tt/osswin-cd/) ; not all open source software meets the Free Software definition.
A list of software licenses that meets the FSF’s definition of Free Software and those that do not can be found at
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html

Hence the creation of the TTCS FSWIN CD since nearly all of the software on the TTCS OSSWIN CD matched the FSF’s definition of Free Software.

What was done :

  • All of the licenses for all 92 programs on the TTCS OSSWIN CD were examined. A short list of programs that didn’t meet the FSF definition of Free Software was determined.
  • For those programs, Free Software equivalents were located, documented and added to the TTCS FSWIN CD webpages.
  • All of the program descriptions for the TTCS OSSWIN CD was updated to mention Free Software instead of just Open Source and used to provide the web based documentation for the TTCS FSWIN CD.
  • Webpages and program were assembled together to finalise an ISO of the TTCS FSWIN CD.

Short sentences on what was done, but *lots* of hours involved 🙂

The result is the TTCS FSWIN CD – Free Software for Windows is available for download thanks to a mirror provided by the FSF Europe.

Details about the TTCS FSWIN CD, including the download mirror can be found at http://www.ttcsweb.org/fswin-cd/ .

The TTCS will continue to maintain the TTCS OSSWIN CD, in addition to the TTCS FSWIN CD. With our experience of developing multiple versions of CDs, we are looking to develop a TTCS OSSWIN DVD and a TTCS OSSMAC
CD and/or DVD in the near future.

Regards,

Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society at http://ttcsweb.org/ ;
http://fb.me/ttcswebhttp://twitter.com/ttcs
“networking local computer users!”

TTCS OSSWIN CD v1.99c available for download

The TTCS OSSWIN CD v1.99c (a CD of open source software for Windows) is available for download.

TTCS OSSWIN CD v1.99c Changelog :

  • Date created : July 27th, 2009
  • File name : ttcs_osswin_cd_v1.99c.iso
  • File size : 698 MB (732,170,240 bytes)
  • MD5 checksum : c323fc85d82ef26612942664d9b9ed4b / c323fc85 d82ef266 12942664 d9b9ed4b
  • SHA-1 : c3c81687 f2b146da abe64ed7 1718c590 941e04fe
  • SHA-256 : 84f04bf9 fcf2ba08 ee03ca45 bfff454f 22f78541 06bec39f 09795497 b6cc7c53

Changes from v1.99a

  • removed : Neverball, Enigma
  • updated : Notepad2, Sumatra PDF, WinMerge, TuxPaint, Tux Typing 2, Celestia, Childsplay, Portable Puzzle Collection, Sokoban YASC, Blender, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Filezilla, Halite, HTTrack Website Copier, Miranda IM, VideoLAN, ClamWin AntiVirus, UltraVNC, Truecrypt, KeePass
A detailed list of the software and versions on the TTCS OSSWIN CD can be found at https://www.ttcs.tt/osswin-cd/#softwareoncd
Two more games removed to cater for the increased file sizes of Celestia and the TuxPaint stamp collection.  Goodness, and Software Freedom Day 2009 is just around the corner, if a v2.0 is to appear before then.

Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows Server 2008 SP2 released

Microsoft has releases Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 for download.

Download :

The 32 bit versions of Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 are combined in one standalone installer. Likewise for the 64 bit versions of Vista SP2 and Server 2008 SP2.

Read more at Vista Service Pack 2 at Microsoft TechNet . You must have Vista SP1 installed in order to install Vista SP2

Read more about Windows Server 2008 SP2 at Microsoft TechNet.

More details about Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 at the Windows blog .

(Hat Tip : OSnews.com)