Post here any freeware programs you currently use and would recommend.
Feel free to comment on other recommendations and leave your two cents.
Don’t post link to warez or discuss warez here, this aint the place!
I have switched from AVG to MS Security esentials because MS is free, lightweight (easy on the resources), and best of all no advertising. I personally think the best antivirus is common sense.
Comodo personal firewall: http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/
zone alaram free firewall: http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/zonealarm-pc-security-free-firewall.htm
I’ve used both at the same time (on different laptops!) and while both can get the job done i found comodo to be the less invasive and more unobtrusive of the two.
Compression - 7zip: http://www.7-zip.org/
I have replaced a bootleg of winrar with 7 zip a while back. 7 zip intergrates with the windows shell and does a pretty good job with handling compressed files.
Magic Jelly Bean Key Finder: http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/
I’ve used this program for a while, all it does is simply extract your office and windows xp cd keys from your PC (good if you have lost them).
MS Desktops: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881.aspx
MS Desktops is a MS supported way to add virtual desktops to your windows machine. It’s extremely lightweight and gets the job done. Also works natively in windows 7.
Trillian is free, but for some reason started to bog down my system. I used trillian for years and actually paid for the pro version. It is still a nice program, but a bit more bloated now than before IMO.
Digsby is my current chat client. It’s lightweight and easy to use and customize.
I’m throwing uTorrent there because it’s a great free and light (hence the u for micro) torrent client. I used to use azerus back in the day but then they sold out and became bloated.
Open office: www.openoffice.org
Back when I didn’t want to have pirated office on my system i used open office. It got the job done, but then my school gave me a free copy of office 2007 enterprise.
The gimp is a fairly powerful and lightweight version of photoshop.
Thunderbird (email client): http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/thunderbird/
I played around with thunderbird for a while and I was fairly impressed with it. It’s a lot more ‘slick’ looking than outlook 2007. I currently am using office outlook 2010 beta though which replaced thunderbird.
I personally like the new media player with Windows 7 but i also use Media Player HC and VLC Player. Media Player is a lot lighter on the system than either WMP or VLC.
ffdshow is the only ‘codec pack’ i use and does a great job of decoding most file types including divx and h.264.