Here are some of my favorite programs and some programs have only recently heard about that I am interested in learning more about. I pulled this information from an PCMag.com article.
Some of my Favorite Apps of 2010:
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.36
Even other security companies, such as like Norton, use Malwarebytes' software, probably because it's fast fast fast at scanning a system for problems. Thankfully, it also does a good job of cleaning up what it finds. Pay for the Pro version to get real-time protection.
Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0
Microsoft realized the dirty truth: Windows is susceptible to viruses! And rather than try to make a buck off this fact, it's doing the right thing by putting out its own anti-malware for free to the masses. It's not great protection, but it's better than nothing. It works great with Windows, of course, in 74 countries and 25 languages.
What Microsoft once called a "powertoy" is now a great folder-to-folder synchronization tool. It's great for backing up data from local to network storage once in a while, either manually or scheduled.
Google Desktop 5
Windows Mac Linux
Why can't searches of your local hard drives be as effective as Googling the Web? With Google Desktop, they can be, as the software indexes your data files to find things fast. It then incorporates the results into search results from the Web.
Glary Utilities 2.21
This "all-in-one" utility does pack in a lot, from cleaners for disk, registry, shortcuts, and old programs; to optimizers for memory and the registry; to privacy tools like a file shredder and undeleter. It's even got some system tools, such as a process manager. Run it on any system from a USB flash drive.
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Got a DVD you want to back up to your hard drive (which you'll only do if you own it so it's legal, right)? The open-source and cross-platform Handbrake will do this for you on any OS. What's more, it can convert video from the DVD, or any other digital video on your hard drive, into other formats more useful for playback.
195. VLC media player 1.0.5
Windows Mac Linux Portable
No frills video and audio playback on any OS that works with just about any media format you can imagine (including DVD but not Blu-ray)? That's what VLC media player is all about. It can even stream media, both live from a mic or Webcam, or using pre-recorded files. VideoLAN's Wiki will take you through this programs powerful feature set.
The following is some stuff that looks really interesting and I want to learn more about.
Some of these could be used in the classroom.
MP3 Skype Recorder 1.9.0
You might be shocked to learn that this software records Skype calls to MP3 format. Yeah, that's it, but MP3 Skype Recorder does it incredibly well. It even saves the call as mono or stereo tracks, with an adjustable bit rate. There are no time limits or file size limitations. It even records SkypeOut calls to regular phones or conference calls with multiple people
Windows Mac Linux Web Mobile
Our Editors' Choice for cloud-based automatic file sync, Dropbox is the epitome of a set-it-up and let-it-go service. Install it on any desktop or laptop computer and all the files in your Dropbox folder appear on all systems (or on a friend's if you share a folder). It's free for up to 2GB of data synched, and that's data you can access on your iPhone or via the Web, too.
Advanced SystemCare Free v3
Formerly WindowsCare Personal, with this app you're just one-click away from making your computer work better and faster.
Windows Mac Linux
Version 2.5 of Miro stresses that it's an open-source HD video player and podcast collector; it gathers new episodes of shows instantly. Miro pulls HD versions when available, even from sites like YouTube, and a BitTorrent client and RSS reader is built in. Since it can download the videos it manages and plays, with Miro you can take your shows on the road when you don't have Internet access.
Ever thought what you do on a computer screen was worthy of being made into a movie? CamStudio will make it so, recording all your on-screen actions—even audio to accompany it—and it can turn the whole thing into an AVI or SWF for streaming via Flash.
Eraser 6 does what the delete key and emptying the Recycle bin can't. It ensures every little bit of information on your hard drive is obliterated—without destroying the drive physically—before you give it, or the entire computer, away.
DriveImage XML V2.13
Free for private use, this utility makes full "hot images" of your drives or partitions that are stored as XML files, so you can still access data on them. It works for Windows versions XP to 7, and it has a number of command-line parameters for power users.
Windows Mac Linux
A mind map is like a flowchart/illustration/diagram of all the words, ideas, and pictures you can imagine as you brainstorm new ideas. Mind mapping software, such as FreeMind, helps get those ideas down before they slip away. It's written in Java, so it runs on all OSes, providing an interface similar to an outline on steroids to track whatever you insert as you think think think.
Get ready to decorate the family tree. Geni lets you build out your genealogy and find ways to connect them with others when ancestors overlap (to do some of that connecting requires upgrading to the Pro version). You can log in with your Facebook account to share updates to the family tree with everyone you know.
Windows Live SkyDrive
Let's get serious about free storage space. 2GB is fine for documents, but it's not enough for everything you've got. Maybe you can't get enough free space in the cloud for everything, but Microsoft comes close. Its SkyDrive online storage delivers 25GB—free. The only limit: You must keep to no more than 50MB per file.
If you're lucky enough to have multiple monitors, and you're looking to get more from the experience, try DisplayFusion. It gives each its own unique wallpaper (with integrated search on Flickr ), the ability to display more with the Titlebars at the top of each window, hot keys to move windows from system to system, and more.
Occasionally, we all need a timeline for a presentation. Timetoast lets you build extremely beautiful and interactive timelines, which can then be shared on Web pages.
Getting music on the iPod or iPhone is easy with iTunes, and even a few other programs; getting music off it is another matter. In fact, it can be a nightmare. We used to recommend EphPod but that's no longer in development; the former developer suggests CopyTrans and we agree. It copies not just the files, but also the ratings and artwork, all in the right categories. The also-free CopyTrans Manager
Windows Linux Portable
Want to diagram something, but don't want to pay for Visio? That's where Dia gets its inspiration, providing all the flowcharting goodness you can stand. Grab the portable version at PortableApps.com to keep it on your USB drive.
Recently relaunched, Springpad (like Evernote) is all about saving snippets of the Internet (plus your own documents, pictures, and more) into a personal notebook for future reference. What it does different is bolster that saved info with extras it pulls from the Web. Springpad's iPhone app lets you take it on the road.
Zoho's massive suite of productivity and collaboration apps is unique in how it takes on the leader in online apps (Google) while still being fully in favor of working with Google's tech and even as a partner. Most of the Zoho apps have a free component that you'll get more from by subscribing.