Great Software?

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology' started by fredtgreco, Jun 28, 2008.

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  1. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Just because I am curious, I would like to start a thread where we can post software that has been very helpful to us. Now I don't mean for this to be for the very obvious. Don't say "Firefox is great" or "Microsoft Word is awesome!" I mean something that is at least somewhat non-standard. If you aren't sure, post it anyway, but I may clean the thread up to avoid having to scroll through 10 posts that say how useful Acrobat is. :lol:

    For example, I use a screen capture program called SnagIt. I have never seen anything as flexible or useful in its field.
  2. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    Whne I was messing around with adverts for my short lived County Music internet radio station I loved Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder, for fine control over audio it was superb, powerful and free.
  3. gene_mingo

    gene_mingo Puritan Board Junior

    OpenOffice. Its a free alternative to MSoffice. It has a similar layout to the MS version so the learning curve is not bad if you have used MSoffice in the past and for those of us on limited budgets, the price is great.
  4. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Like Fred, I like Snagit for its flexibility. You can easily capture screens, windows, drop-down menus, etc.

    One thing that's real handy is its ability to do bulk image conversions. You can easily take a folder full of images, change them from color to black-and-white, modify their brightness, change their format, etc., then output them in bulk to a specified folder. What a time saver!
  5. danmpem

    danmpem Puritan Board Junior

    WinPatrol is thing to have! It manages your startup programs, delayed startup programs, IE "helpers", ActiveX, running services, and actively running programs. Most use it just for the startup program management, but it's nothing that you can't do by just clicking Start-->Run-->Type in "msconfig"-->Disable all startup programs. And disabling startup programs is a GOOD thing - frees up RAM and all sorts of good stuff!

    Also, Spybot Search & Destroy and Windows Defender for Spyware Protection.

    Angry IP Scanner (For multiple OS') It finds other computers on your local network in a jiffy.

    Scanner (Yeah, simple name) It scans your computer and gives you a graphic as to where the different quantities of files are located. If you know your computer should have more free space, use Scanner to find where all those extra files are and get rid of them.

    Foxit Reader (For Windows) It's a GREAT .pdf reader. A wonderful alternative to Adobe Reader. Faster, not as bulky, and no annoying Adobe Download Manager.

    Also, Ad-Aware 2008 was just released. I am very interested to see if it's even worth keeping in the computer.
    Ad-Aware 6 --> Good
    Ad-Aware SE --> Awesome!
    Ad-Aware 2007 --> What happened???

    Spyware Doctor is simply the best. It's a $30 subscription, but it's worth it. While no one program can catch every piece of spyware, Spyware Doctor is as close as it gets.

    BitDefender. Like Spyware Doctor, this is as good as it's going to get for a home computer for just $30.

    CamStudio is a great, free screen recorder for Windows.

    Here are some sites for Windows freeware: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

    And some freeware for the Mac: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

    Knoppix Linux Live CD will help you save your files in case of a massive hard drive crash. Since it's a Linux live CD, you get all the features of Linux, but with programs that come with it especially for hard drive management. It has NTFS support and a very short learning curve.

    Also check out DistroWatch for more info on other releases of Linux.

    Other recommended Linux distros for beginners: Fedora Core, Ubuntu, and Debian.
  6. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    I've been impressed with two OpenSource programs, Gimp (a professional photo editing program) and Inkscape (a professional vector graphics program). I just haven't had the time to really explore all their capabilities.
  7. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

    I've only recently become aware of the OpenSource text editor Notepad++. If you do any programming/HTML/text editing, it is wonderful. And free!
  8. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    I also use OpenOffice, the Gimp, and Inkscape. Another open source program I've used is GnuCash. jEdit for programming. I also have paid for Visual Thesaurus.
  9. CovenantalBaptist

    CovenantalBaptist Puritan Board Freshman

    This is a great thread idea. I used to teach a class on software that makes the seminary student/professor/pastor's life easier. Some day (in my non-existent spare time) I wanted to turn this into a blog.

    When I evaluate all the software that I use for preparation and devotion two ones come up time and again for me - one free and one very expensive:

    Instaverse - is perhaps the most useful thing for online Biblical research and for lovers of 2 Tim 3:14-17. It "instantly" pops up when you mouse over any biblical reference John 3:16, Jn. 3:16, etc. It is great. You get the KJV for free with the download but if you invest in any Doxa (reformed software) package (like the Reformed Baptist Theological Collection, or the Kuyper or Berkhof collections) you get the ESV version free.

    Logos - I have spent more time and more effort setting this up and as a former software applications instructor I have been both frustrated and awed at this product's overall capabilities. It does not compare in terms of speed to something like Bibleworks but its customization and extensibility far exceed any of its competitors. Half of my theological library is electronic and 80% of that is in Logos Libronix. These days if it is an ST or a commentary, I prefer to buy it digitally. It helps that I was given a free copy of the Scholars' Library edition at a Logos tech seminar I attended.
  10. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    This is a very nice program. I use it as well.
  11. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I love Logos as well. I use it every week as a pastor.

    There is a nice Bible reference tool for use with Firefox. If you use Firefox, you really should check out the Greasemonkey extension. There are many good scripts (including a good many for Gmail) but there is one called ESV Bible Refalizer. It basically recognizes Bible references in any web page and turns it into a link to the ESV Bible. Bible Tooltips is similar and nice also.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  12. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    RoboForm: Password Manager, Form Filler, Password Management - I have this both on my desktop and on a U3 Smart drive. With all the passwords and forms out there this is probably the most important utility I have.

    GoodSync : File Synchronization, File Backup Software, File Sync Software - Sync my files between computers because I work among several

    WinSCP :: Free SFTP and FTP client for Windows - Great utility for managing my server online. Supports SFTP and SCP and allows other custom commands.

    FTP GlobalSCAPE - Secure FTP Server and FTP Client Software - My preferred FTP client.

    Adobe - Photoshop Lightroom - the best program to ever come out for managing your photos as well as an intuitive and quick workflow for "developing" digital prints
  13. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I use this on almost daily: pdf995 it's a utility that will convert any text or picture file (any thing you would normally print via your printer) to a pdf document. The free version is ad supported, but you can purchase their entire suite of programs for under $20. You can also combine existing pdf files into a single document, you can remove selected pages from a larger pdf document. It also lets you add "stamps" to pdf files like, "Copyright Protected", "Property of...", etc. All in all, a very useful program. I can't remember when I've gotten a better deal for $20.
  14. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    :up: Great program.
  15. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

  16. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    I was just remarking yesterday to my wife that I would be lost without it.
  17. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I just "discovered" a feature I hadn't really used in that program as well with Safe Notes. Customer number, activation codes, etc can be saved. I really like the way the Roboform adds a new entry for each item and makes it really easy to sync password entries between computers.

    True confessions: I was actually thinking of getting a Mac at one point. There are a number of reasons I'm glad I didn't but one of the things that kept me from doing so is that I wouldn't have Roboform.
  18. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    That is really funny. I have been using Safenotes for a while now. I had to hold off on Firefox 3 Betas because they would not work with Roboform!

    And no, I never thought of getting a Mac - although I'll probably get an iPhone.
  19. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    most of the stuff here is for pcs not macs :( At least logos is making the switch over.
  20. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    I am also a big fan of Dreamweaver for website creation. It may not be cheap but older versions still work (I am using MX 2004) and its big advantage is that it is as free form as you want it to be. After you understand a few principles of HTML you can start writing your own websites from scratch or just make a start with the many templates that are available.

    I did use a mid-market alternative but it was really hard to change things as you wanted, in Dreamweaver you can just bash in some HTML at whatever point you want (which is easy to identify), moving from the Design to Coding view and back at the touch of a button.
  21. Nebrexan

    Nebrexan Puritan Board Freshman

  22. skellam

    skellam Puritan Board Freshman

    Interesting topic.
    Since I haven't seen much Mac software suggested, here are a couple I like:

    ExpanDrive - if you do any remote administration (such as church website) or even other computers in your home, this is one of the best remote sftp programs I've seen.

    Aperture 2 - I do a fair amount of amateur photography and I have found this the best digital photo management software by far. It features non-destructive photo editing so your original photos are never touched and easy backup system using Vaults.

    SuperDuper! - you'd be hard pressed to find a better whole drive backup solution. Extremely simple to set up and forget while it does it's job in the background.

    One cross platform, open source entry -- VirtualBox - I've used Parallels and VMWare in the past but this one works just as well and it is free. Works on Linux, Windows and Mac.

    I would also put a plug in for GoogleApps -- We set up our church website using Google Apps and now use it to store all our vital information. You can set up member areas. You can provide free e-mail addresses for everyone in your church using your church domain. Google Apps provides free spreadsheet, word processing, and calendar applications that everyone in the church can collaborate on. They charge for businesses to use the service, but churches and non-profits get free access with full technical support.
  23. danmpem

    danmpem Puritan Board Junior

    I don't know if this was what you were referring to when you said "most", but check out my post above; it has some Mac freeware there.
  24. Broadus

    Broadus Puritan Board Freshman

    Scanning through these posts, I haven't seen Nota Bene mentioned. For research and writing, I don't think anything is comparable. I used it in my PhD work and found it a great asset for writing my dissertation. I use it almost daily in sermon preparation.

  25. ChristianHedonist

    ChristianHedonist Puritan Board Freshman

    Microsoft OneNote is great, although it's not free. It's one Microsoft program that I really like. It's great for organizing, scheduling, journaling, converting from paper to digital, you can print documents to it, and it's especially good for staying organized in school. It's even better if you have a tablet pc because you can do all kinds of pen input stuff with it.
  26. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I'm interested in Note programs, but don't need dissertation level bibliography stuff. Can someone tell me how OneNote compares to NotaBene, to EverNote, to Zotero?

    I have a thread on that here:
  27. jaybird0827

    jaybird0827 PuritanBoard Honor Roll

    I can't say enough good about PrintMusic. This is one of several packages offered by Finale Music.

    I started with their introductory, free Note Pad and went about upgrading from there. I use PrintMusic in conjunction with my work as a congregational precentor and it has just enough of what I need.

    I use PrintMusic to transcribe Psalm tunes into both MIDI files and sound files to help people familiarize with the tunes that are sung in our congregation. The ability to transpose quickly into another key is important for us. For example, we found that the congregation is challenged if they have to sustain E5 (the E that is an octave above the E above middle C) or hit it several times. Just lowering that to an E-flat makes a big difference, and with PrintMusic it's a "breeze".

    The sound files are nice because it's easy to make CD's. At public Psalm sings we use a boom box with a CD player and play each tune before we sing the Psalm. That way guests who may not be familar with the tune get to hear it and if it's a tune we haven't sung in awhile we get to brush up on it as well.

    Also with PrintMusic I am able to create sheet music "on the fly". While it is true that embedding words between musical staves is still a challenge, I prefer to create music sheets that are upper half music and lower half text. The congregation is already accustomed to the format because we use a split-leaf Psalm book.

    We use these sheets mainly at public Psalm sings because it saves people time from having to leaf through their Psalm books to find the next passage and the tune paired with it.

    4-line common meter, short meter, and long meter tunes are easy. While it's somewhat more challenging with a longer tune, PrintMusic also give you the ability to shrink the size of the music, text, or both, so we're still able to get, for example DCM or 66 88 88 types (Psalm 148) all on one page.
  28. jaybird0827

    jaybird0827 PuritanBoard Honor Roll

    QUESTION: Can this software be used to make live recordings of up to five minutes? Suppose I had a group and we wanted to sing a song and make a recording of it - would this software do the trick?
  29. reformedcop

    reformedcop Puritan Board Freshman

    Bayden Systems - SlickRun - This is a great piece of software that gives you instant access to anything on your hardrive as well as websites all by the use of hot keys that you set up. Great program!
  30. Quickened

    Quickened Puritan Board Senior


    I had some issues in the past with my system running slowly and lagging. I ran this and it seemed to fix the issue.
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