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View Full Version : Nifty Desktop Tools you can't live without!


ThomasMahler
06-30-2006, 06:38 PM
Aaaalright.

The title says it all, what are the tools you're using the most on your desktop?

I'll start with:

1) Total Commander: At first, I hated it. Really. Now I think it's the best file explorer there is. It's not great for media files, but for managing files within Windows, it's just great. I'm using a vertical arrangement for the two panes, RMB is configured to the standard Windows default, I can search files by just typing the filenames, CTRL+D for Favorites is super-fast... Really neat.

2) XNView: I tried many, many Image Browsers - Pica View, Irfan View... but XNView beats them all. It's kind of like Adobes Bridge in fast, with Tabs and it's really fast for media caching. Other than the Windows Explorer, it'll cache your media files one time and that'll be it - next time you access your library, there's no more waiting for the files to be cached, you can scrub in real time through thumbnail previews, etc. Really neat.

3) It's not a tool, but most people don't know that one: RMB on your recycle bin and uncheck 'Display delete confirmation dialog' in order to delete Files quicker.

4) Media Player Classic: Just the fastest Media Player I've tried. Very nice, very small, no installer, easy to use, great for taking screenshots.

5) Miranda IM - Nice Instant Messenger.

6) Copernic Desktop Search - by for not as good as Spotlight or Beagle, but it's better than the Windows alternative and better than Googles Desktop Search.

7) Sharpkeys: Remap your keyboard hotkeys. Nice.

8) Skype: Nuff said.

OSX:

1) AdiumX: Just the most beautiful Messenger I've ever used. Incredibly handy and well designed.

visualboo
06-30-2006, 06:56 PM
This could actually be a really cool thread.

A few of mine are (in no particular order)

- Media Player Classic http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/Media_Player_Classic_for_Windows_2000XP/1045531002/1
- HoverSnap http://www.hoverdesk.net/freeware.htm
- Font XPlorer Lite and Font Loader http://www.moonsoftware.com/freeware.asp
- gaim http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/Gaim_for_Windows/1032060483/1
- cdex http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/CDex/930285642/1
- PuTTy http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/PuTTY/969119989/1


I have a lot more but I'll stop here for now.

paintbox
06-30-2006, 06:59 PM
Visualboo : Are you still working on your nifty desktop tool ? :D

visualboo
06-30-2006, 07:06 PM
:D

I am. It's a little slow going right now as I have wicked deadlines at work and wicked girlfriends at home ;)

I'll post here when it's finished though.

DonaldKasper
06-30-2006, 07:06 PM
I've been living with only a low end notebook PC with Windows XP Installed on it for the last six+ months.

- GAIM: (Instant Messenger) - Popular IM Client, works with many of the different client protocols and also does IRC.

- PUTTY: (SSH CLIENT) - My life consists of being connected to this server or that ever.

- PSCP: (Secure File Copy) - When you have to pass files from one UNIX box to another

- WGET: (Web Get) - Great little utility to download ISOs, or mirror web directories.

- FIREFOX: (Web Browser) - Nuff Said

- ERASER: (Delete Utility) - Security Habit I picked up when deleting files

- GPG: (Encryption) - Security Habit, Encrypt even stupid documents

----
- PINE: (Email Client) - I spend alot of time SSHed into servers and I read my mail from pine

- VIM: (Editor) - Trying not to use PICO.

SirRon
06-30-2006, 07:14 PM
You realize that we had a similar thread here (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=269503) on free downloads. Unfortunately it's unstickied :sad:

I'll try XNView but FastStone has been working nicely for me.

L.Rawlins
06-30-2006, 07:14 PM
Opera, Trillian Pro, Open Office and the Video Lan Client. I'm also totally wrapped up in the Fusion emulator at the moment. Reliving my childhood and whuppin' butt in 'Streets Of Rage 2'.

Bliss.

paintbox
06-30-2006, 08:56 PM
:D

...I have wicked deadlines at work...



Not an excuse.

and wicked girlfriends at home

Girlfriends? Thou art forgiven my son.


:D

Wintermute
06-30-2006, 09:04 PM
Exposé Nothing makes working across several dozen documents at once as easy.

tuna
06-30-2006, 09:13 PM
1) Media Player Classic (kazaa codec pack or something like defilerpak)/ VLC - These will play back pretty much every video codec.

2) CCleaner - Good for deleting built up temp files and random things just using up disk space.

3) Unlocker - Ever get the "this file is in use, it cannot be moved" message? Unlocker will "unlock" that file when you right click on it and choose "unlock" :)

4) Irfanview - Good image viewer and great for batch conversion or batch renaming files.

5) Foxit Reader - Good .pdf viewer so you don't have to use Adobe's bloated abortion of a program.

6) Keypass Password Safe - I only need to remember one password ever again. Let's just hope I don't lose the password database!

7) Notepad++ - Notepad type program that has tabs and syntax highlighting, and many plugins. Best text editor ever.

8) Synergy - I don't use this so much any more, but it basically allows you to move your mouse off the edge of the screen onto another computer's screen on the network. Works on most OSs.

9) AVG free - Best free anti-virus program I've ever used.

10) Gtalk / Mirc+NNscript / aMSN - google talk is a nice lightweight chat client you can also call people and speak to them / mirc is good because there are some cool people who also hang out on it / aMSN is an open source MSN messenger client that also has tabs and stips out all the annoying shit that other people on MSN tend to use on you.

11) XSI - Seriously, I'd be pretty screwed without a 3d program.

[edit] In case people ask for links. Every one of these programs can be found by googling their names.

scrimski
06-30-2006, 09:45 PM
Every one of these programs can be found by googling their names.

OK, but where to download this 'googling'? :D

My list

Total Commander - I have it on an USB-stick in case I have to work on an PC where it isn't installed
Opera, IrfanView - already mentioned above, nothing to add

Rorke Storage Calculator - tool to calculate the required HDD space when capturing footage
http://www.rorke.com/avcalc/calculator/RDAVStorageCalculator.swf

Win-FreeTime - timecode calculator
http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/freetime.htm

phexitol
06-30-2006, 11:42 PM
WinKey (http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,5506,tfg,tfg,00.asp) to create hotkey shortcuts involving the Windows Key.
Ditto on the others (although there are some I haven't used).

faultline
07-01-2006, 12:00 AM
I can't live without Koshigaya Studio's Thumbnail Support (http://www.koshigaya.de/?content=viewtool&file=KoshigayaThumbnailSupport.txt)

It allows you to view *possibly* every image format available as a thumb in explorer. Tiny and unobtrusive :)

leigh
07-01-2006, 12:21 AM
My PDA and everything on it.

spmonahan
07-01-2006, 02:01 AM
Exposé Nothing makes working across several dozen documents at once as easy.
Amen! Now if I could just get something like it on my XP comp as well.

BigJay
07-01-2006, 03:08 AM
can't imagine how many times I hit F11 or F9 on my PC, so fustrating.

augustus
07-01-2006, 04:27 AM
JDiskReport (http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/index.html)
Piky Basket (http://www.conceptworld.com/piky/piky_features.asp)
Crimson Editor (http://www.crimsoneditor.com/)
Dupdetector (http://www.keronsoft.com/dupdetector.html)
PrimoPDF (http://www.primopdf.com/)
iColorFolder (http://icolorfolder.sourceforge.net/)
7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org/)
K-Lite Codec Pack (http://www.k-litemegacodecpack.com/)
Foxit Reader (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php)
Opera (http://www.opera.com/)
Avast (http://www.avast.com/)

BigJay
07-01-2006, 05:36 AM
Spacemonger, jdisk's big brother is this: http://www.werkema.com/software/spacemonger.html

go into the about 2.1 and he has betas of the next version.

FrankFirsching
07-01-2006, 06:22 AM
For program starting:
MacOS X: Quicksilver (http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/)
Windows: launchy (http://launchy.net/)

Desktop management:
MacOS X: VirtueDesktops (http://virtuedesktops.info/)
Windows: VirtualWin (http://virtuawin.sourceforge.net/)

LoTekK
07-01-2006, 06:37 AM
Amen! Now if I could just get something like it on my XP comp as well.
TopDesk (http://www.otakusoftware.com/topdesk/) does the trick nicely. ;)

Big Jay, thanks for the link to Spacemonger. That's exactly what I've been looking for.

rAT--mAN
07-01-2006, 07:03 AM
AVG Free (http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1) effective, free antivirus that isnt annoying :)


Konfabulator (http://widgets.yahoo.com/) Widets and more widgets

Free RAM XP (http://www.yourwaresolutions.com/software.html) Great RAM utilization monitor and optimizer. awesome for low ram machines

Aqua Dock (http://www.download.com/3000-2341-10277931.html) mac like launcher for XP

Window Blinds (http://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/) finally gives some style to the XP desktop

saiko
07-01-2006, 03:32 PM
Really nice free image maneger/viewer

An image browser, converter and editor Faststone Image viewer, Don't know if posted before,...this is definitely the best free image browser i have used...its really fast and hass a look and feel of commercial sofware, and loads of unique features...and less buggy than Xnview and much better interface than irfanview.

Description::
An image browser, converter and editor that supports all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA. It has a nice array of features such as image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, color adjustments, musical slideshow and much more.

Download from,
http://www.faststone.org/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Rainlendar is a customizable calendar that displays the current month. It is a very lightweight application that doesn't use much system resources or take much space on your desktop.

http://www.ipi.fi/%7Erainy/images/Rainlendar.gif

Features


Small and lightweight
Different type events can have different appearence
Supports Windows transparency
Synchronizes events between several clients
Localized for multiple languages
Shows an alarm when an event is due
Supports iCal files.
Shows Outlook's appointments
Includes a todo-list
Displays the current date in tray icon
Can stick to the desktop (i.e. doesn't hide with Show Desktop)
Hotkeys for quick access
Easy skinning with an UI
Can be controlled from 3rd party applications with !bangs
and more...

<<Link (http://www.ipi.fi/%7Erainy/index.php?pn=projects&project=rainlendar)>>

.....
lots of good freewares are listed in this thread (http://forums.cgsociety.org/editpost.php?do=editpost&p=3611619)>>

StefanA
07-01-2006, 04:05 PM
As a linux user I list these programs as the "common" applications I use.

OS - Fedora Core 4**, WindowMaker 0.92** http://fedora.redhat.com/ http://www.windowmaker.info/
GQView** - Fast image browser, also handles RAW files. http://gqview.sourceforge.net/
BibblePro - Edit RAW files http://www.bibblelabs.com/
NEdit** - Text editor, color context for Python, C, C++, etc. http://www.nedit.org/
Firefox** - everyone knows about it
Gaim** - Msn, IRC client http://www.gaim.org/
Photoshop 7 - emulated under Wine... Adobe!!! make a linux verison!!!
MPlayer** - watching mpeg and quicktime movies in firefox http://www.mplayerhq.hu/
VLC** - watching all other kinds of movies http://www.videolan.org/

** freeware application.

best regards
stefan andersson

JamesMK
07-01-2006, 05:10 PM
Windows: launchy (http://launchy.net/)
Oh man! Pure genious. Why didn't anyone tell me about that thing until now?

ThomasMahler
07-01-2006, 05:19 PM
Oh man! Pure genious. Why didn't anyone tell me about that thing until now?

Yeah, wanted to post the same thing. That's just great, should be part of Windows!

gent_k
07-01-2006, 06:17 PM
Thanks for the VirtualWin link! Been wondering if there's something similar for windows as I've become so used to it on Ubuntu. Works great!!

edit: the Launchy thing is very cool too.. Kind of reminds me of using Rhino3d command line.

kmest
07-01-2006, 10:09 PM
winamp v2.5
media player classic
acdsee v3
photoshop v=any


Windows: launchy (http://launchy.net/) (http://launchy.net/))
yeah..that sounds a great one.....thanks for the link

TheLostVertex
07-01-2006, 11:26 PM
Notepad++ - As said, best text editor ever.
Opera - Best tool for wasting my time.
Nvu - HTML editor
Python - Scripting language
Speedfan - Temperature monitoring software.
Aspell - Spell checking for things like GAIM and Opera (fixed the word "Tempature" and "fixxed" in this post)
Demo/CamStudio - Screen capture software

Most important desktop tool I have is the one on my desk top...my tablet.

-Steven

amfantasy
07-02-2006, 12:25 AM
TopDesk (http://www.otakusoftware.com/topdesk/) does the trick nicely. ;)



is there something like that for Linux, cause I'm installing it now on my xp

kungfuelmosan
07-02-2006, 04:52 AM
Its more useful than the wheel - hope upon hope its not scabbed by microsoft

avinashlobo
07-02-2006, 05:32 AM
- The Maxthon browser - way ahead of Firefox & edges out Opera on page compatibility & interface design.

- Windows Desktop Search - this is Microsoft's really nifty solution for instant file searching. That 'launchy' app does the same thing, though I doubt it does it as elegantly, comprehensively or unobtrusively as this one.

- VLC - It'll play DivX without requiring the DivX codec. It'll play XviD without requiring the XviD codec. It'll play DVDs on Windows without requiring a 3rd party driver, etc..etc..etc... Also, it'll play almost every video or audio format ever created.

- The StumbleUpon toolbar - brilliant tool for stumbling onto sites that interest you.

- Skype (but of course)

- eXtreme Movie Manager - pretty good way to organize your movie collection, with automatic info retrieval from IMDb & it uses a non-proprietary, non-encrypted database, so there's plenty of portability options.

Jozvex
07-02-2006, 05:52 AM
There are so many fantastic little apps out there these days, it's great. I use lots, here's what I can think of:

True Launch Bar - Makes using tons of programs so much better in Windows, can't live without it. Screenshot of mine:

http://www.jozvex.com/temp/truelaunchbar.jpg

Wordweb Pro - Fast little dictionary on the taskbar.

File-Ex - SO good!! I read about it on CGTalk even. It adds extra stuff to your file open/save dialog like folder history, favourite locations, etc etc.

AI RoboForm - Password manager that works in IE and Firefox.

ACDSee - I know it's slower and clunkier than my previous favourite IrfanView but it does have some nice features.

Krut - Open source program along the lines of Camtasia etc.

Media Player Classic - Very good indeed, I also like VLC but I don't have it installed right now.

Azureus - Bittorrent client.

Getright Pro - Pretty much the only download manager I've ever used and I still like it after years and years.

Firefox - Well duh. But I have to mention it because of FireFTP which I use a lot.

Skype - Believe it or not I mostly use it because it's File Transfer seems to make it through most firewalls that Trillian can't.

Trillian Pro - Yes, I need to chat with people across ICQ, MSN, Yahoo all at the same time hehe.

Google Earth - Best.Atlas.Ever.

Spacemonger - Used to use Sequoia View but this is newer.

Textpad - My favourite text editor.

Dasher - Greatest alternative text input software I've ever used.

Go you programmers out there! Make more cool stuff!

:love:

Rezonance
07-02-2006, 09:28 AM
is there something like that for Linux, cause I'm installing it now on my xp
Have you heard of XGL? it has an expose like feature.:thumbsup:

ThomasMahler
07-02-2006, 09:44 AM
File-Ex - SO good!! I read about it on CGTalk even. It adds extra stuff to your file open/save dialog like folder history, favourite locations, etc etc.

Whoa! I've been looking for something like that for AGES! Windows Save As / Open Dialog Boxes have such an incredibly stupid design... this is great!

visualboo
07-07-2006, 12:44 AM
Damn I forgot to add one crucial app I use everyday.

Flexible Renamer:
http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/Flexible_Renamer/1035554898/1

It rules!

amfantasy
07-07-2006, 01:15 AM
Have you heard of XGL? it has an expose like feature.:thumbsup:

thanks :applause: guess I have to install xgl now

mattregnier
07-07-2006, 02:27 AM
I cannot believe no one has posted Stickies yet!

This is a great little freeware app!

http://www.zhornsoftware.co.uk/stickies/download.html

Geta-Ve
07-07-2006, 02:38 AM
what's a good alternative to iTunes, because I find it hardly recognizes my ipods..

ThomasMahler
07-08-2006, 03:06 PM
http://www.contextmagic.com/

They've got some very neat Windows extensions on their site. Anyone ever tried them?

ThomasMahler
07-17-2006, 08:32 AM
Does anybody know an app under XP that'd allow me to launch multiple applications at a time?

Hibernation isn't working on my home machine, I've got no idea why, but XP always tells me that 'there aren't enough resources to complete this API' - which drives me mad. Nevertheless, I'm looking for a tool that'd basically look like a container where all my applications are stored with checkboxes beside them - so I could just check all the apps that I want to launch when I just started Windows, click okay, done. I hate clicking a shortcut, wait for Photoshop to start, click another Shortcut, wait for After Effects to start, click another Shortcut, wait for Maya to start, etc. etc.

It'd actually be awesome if there'd be a tool that'd save all the stuff I've opened when I'm shutting down my PC (all the docs, movs, mp3s, etc.) and would re-open them the next time I launch Windows. Kind of like the Session Manager Firefox extension (that's a great one, btw, saves all the tabs and restores them, even if Firefox crashes) - That's another point where other OSs don't have any troubles at all but Windows is kicking my arse every time... having no hibernation at all sucks. And even with hibernation, I don't know how many times Windows failed to re-initialize the GPU driver when rebooting from hibernation, yuck!

ThomasMahler
07-17-2006, 09:13 AM
http://www.contextmagic.com/

They've got some very neat Windows extensions on their site. Anyone ever tried them?

Yeah, I downloaded their freeware stuff and 99% of their extensions pretty much suck a lot, they're slow, don't cache anything and if you put like 20 shortcuts into your context menu, it'll take Windows like 5 seconds to open up a context menu. Same with the thumbnail stuff, etc.

Those tools are a big no-no.

So don't bother trying them. No no no!

gent_k
12-09-2006, 10:56 AM
I know this thread is dead, but since I now regularly use some of the apps mentioned here (launchy, xnview etc.) I thought I'd share another amazing free app.

I really like amaroK in linux for playing music but I never was satisfied with any app on windows free or otherwise (and i've tried just about all of them), but I think I've found the one.

musikCube - IMO it blows anything commercial or non-commercial out of the water.

It's lightweight and extremely fast, and uses the least resources of any app I've tried (after the first launches it uses only 2 to 6 mb ram), it has a great interface (quite customizable), great library and playlist features. It's great with large music collections.

I love it!

SkullboX
12-09-2006, 11:07 AM
Workrave (http://www.workrave.org/welcome/). Easy to use RSI-break progam which is fully and easily customizeable through a nice interface, it even comes with excersizes during longer rest breaks. Anyone in this industry should have an anti-rsi program installed. I take a 15 second break every 6 minutes and a 3 minute rest break every 45 minutes. In windows and linux flavours.

Along with using a tablet for all my modeling and animation, I hardly ever feel my shoulder/wrist anymore. I might have missed it, but I'm surprised nobody posted one of those already.

I also second media player classic.

Snowstorm
12-09-2006, 12:33 PM
Mac: Expose (just wonderful :P ), Dashboard

PC: VLC, uTorrent, ObjectDock, Firefox 2.

fan4battle
12-09-2006, 01:05 PM
Here are some of my favourites:

SequoiaView - awesome program that gives you a visual representation of your HD space, how much space every file uses and more! Invaluable when you need to free space.
http://www.win.tue.nl/sequoiaview/

Convert - a little program that lets you easily convert values between different measure systems. Invaluable when you got to turn inches or pounds into understandable units.
http://joshmadison.net/software/convert/

1Time - useful to place time constraints or wake you up.
http://www.atma-software.com/1time/index.html

Wakan - great tool for learning Japanese, very convenient dictionary.
http://wakan.manga.cz/

augustus
12-09-2006, 05:04 PM
Taskbar Shuffle (http://www.freewebs.com/nerdcave/): Drag & drop re-ordering of taskbar buttons. :love:

Serraph
12-09-2006, 06:30 PM
ShowSize - pie/bar charts showing file sizes of your directories, plus other tools.
http://www.showsize.com (http://www.showsize.com/)

SecondCopy - I use this to mirror working directories to an external backup drive.
http://www.secondcopy.com (http://www.secondcopy.com/)

L.Rawlins
12-09-2006, 06:46 PM
SecondCopy - I use this to mirror working directories to an external backup drive.
http://www.secondcopy.com

Thanks for that. It looks promising. :thumbsup:

Tarrbot
12-09-2006, 07:50 PM
ThomasMahler states:3) It's not a tool, but most people don't know that one: RMB on your recycle bin and uncheck 'Display delete confirmation dialog' in order to delete Files quicker.
Why not just hold the shift key while deleting? It bypasses the recycle bin and kills the data completely.

pearson
12-09-2006, 10:37 PM
TextPad (http://www.textpad.com/products/textpad/features.html) Useful for find and replace across multiple documents. I like it for html editing.
Beyond Compare (http://www.scootersoftware.com/moreinfo.html) I use this to keep my portable drives synched with my home and office drives.
AF5 Renamer (http://www.fauland.com/af5.htm) Small free file renamer.
The GodFather (http://users.otenet.gr/%7Ejtcliper/tgf/) Organize/rename your music collection. Can be a bit confusing at first, but it is great for fixing tags and then renaming the files based on the tags.
VisualBoo Timer. I don't have a link for this, but I use this all the time to keep track of how much actual time I'm spending on a project.

saiko
12-10-2006, 04:47 PM
http://foldersize.sourceforge.net/

it shows foldersize in windows explorer!

screenshot:
http://sourceforge.net/dbimage.php?id=12059


I find it really useful....
It doesn't work with windows xp 64 bit, havn't tried with Vista, if anyone has pls let me know if it works or not.

Tarrbot
12-11-2006, 12:06 AM
Doesn't Windows Explorer do that anyway? Every version I've used does this.

I find a much more useful tool to be Steffen Gerlach's Scanner... (http://www.steffengerlach.de/freeware/)


http://www.steffengerlach.de/freeware/scnshot.gif

saiko
12-11-2006, 04:49 AM
Doesn't Windows Explorer do that anyway? Every version I've used does this.


Waht?!
I have never seen it!!!

SamSed
12-11-2006, 05:37 AM
Waht?!
I have never seen it!!!
Me neither !

Did someone mention Easy cleaner (ToniArt) (http://personal.inet.fi/business/toniarts/ecleane.htm), a bit outdated but somehow usefull.

MJV
12-11-2006, 06:54 AM
My two most important utilities are FileboxExtende (http://www.hyperionics.com/index.asp?Page=files/changelog.asp)r (http://www.hyperionics.com/index.asp?Page=files/changelog.asp) and Powerstrip (http://www.entechtaiwan.net/util/ps.shtm)

Tarrbot
12-11-2006, 10:42 AM
Waht?!
I have never seen it!!!
I'm wrong. I was thinking of something else. My mistake.

mynewcat
12-11-2006, 02:33 PM
This is a cool thread - but may I also recommend something that I have been loving:

Fasttone image viewer (http://www.faststone.org/)

It's basically a clone of ACDsee but way better and way faster... and it has a twin applicaion for instanly opening media files.

Very good - take a look.

also lets not forget winamp.

SirRon
12-11-2006, 07:02 PM
This is a cool thread - but may I also recommend something that I have been loving:

Fasttone image viewer (http://www.faststone.org/)

It's basically a clone of ACDsee but way better and way faster... and it has a twin applicaion for instanly opening media files.

I recommend it too, but there's one thing I prefer about ACDsee is that you can make the window 'always on top'. I need that feature so I can always have an image viewer showing my reference over my paint program. I've looked to see if Faststone can do it but no luck.

*a couple minutes later*...

Ok, I found this free program called Always On Top Maker (http://www.fadsoft.net/AlwaysOnTopMaker.htm). CTRL+ALT+T toggle active window to always on top. Neat!

Fudge
12-11-2006, 07:54 PM
Hey, anybody have a link to visualboo timer?

ThomasMahler
12-16-2006, 06:12 PM
Okay, I'm still looking for a better Image Browser - I tried quite a few already, here are my reviews:

Picasa: I just used it for 2 days, seems to be really nice, but misses some features. No tabs to quickly switch between multiple images, no 'save session' feature, etc. Really nice photo browser, feels really fast and fluid, but lacks features that are most important to me.

Irfanview: Nice Viewer, very basic, but since it's a 'Viewer' and not a browser, it's hard to keep track of multiple images. XP doesn't really make it easy to switch between different tasks and I often have like 30 references or more open at a time while drawing, sculpting, etc. - seeing tasks squashed in my taskbar so that you can't even read the filename anymore really sucks.

XnView: That's what I'm using right now. Supports a shit load of formats, is really fast at caching complete libraries, supports tabs to quickly switch between different images (but doesn't support multiple rows, WTF?), doesn't save Sessions.

Basically, what I'm looking for is a image browser that:

a) Is super-fast at caching media libraries.
b) Allows me to SAVE SESSIONS! No freaking Image Browser supports that and it drives me nuts. I want to browse through my image library, pick out the photos I need for a certain project and later on, turn off the app, turn off my PC, turn on my PC again and have all the data I worked on back in the browser. Like Saving Sessions in Firefox or Total Commander. That's the most useful thing. EVER. The way the Browser kills your last sessions feels like the cleaning lady screws up your work every day right after you leave the office.
b) Makes it possible to store 'groups', so that I can have 20 images open for that project and 20 open for that project. So that if I work on this set, I have all the images open I need as reference and if I work on the other set, I've another 20 open, should be easy to switch between them.
c) What I'd really need is basically XNView with the Sessions and Groups stuff and a better way to quickly switch between multiple files, kinda like Expose, to always see the stuff I've in place, click it, boom, I see the stuff I want to see right now.

Imagine a browser that'd work like Mayas Hypershade, so that you'd have a big virtual desk that you could pan around, you could put images right on top of that, click once and see the image full-sized, click again, you're back to the desk. Once an image is full sized, we should be able to have a scroller at the bottom so that we could go through the library - and the freaking thing should STORE what I've been looking at once I close the app. I'd just need a simple Image Browser that doesn't drive me nuts every time I've to work on a set or a character or something.

My current workaround is that I store everything in seperate folders and load images all at once and so on - but that really, really sucks, it's slow and painful and keeping track of all the folders after some time is really tedious. Also, having a single line of tabs is just brain damaged - it makes it very hard to see the first image of a session and switch to image 30 real quick. It's just as brain-damaged as Firefox' native implementation of the tab-row. If the row is filled up and nearing the end of the screen, create a new tab row, but don't just add more and more tabs to the right so that we have to scroll through them or click a dozen times before we're at the first tab again. Generally, I think that's a problem that every program/OS is facing nowadays: We're doing so much stuff and it's darn complicated to switch between all of that. Expose is nice, but there's nothing equal in the Windows World (Yep, I tried TopDesk) - Vistas Flip3d seems to be a really crappy solution to an underestimated problem. Drives me nuts.

What are you guys using if you're working on projects where you need to keep track of dozens of references?

Edit: Oh, to add something probably more useful to this thread:

Ultramon (http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/) is really, really useful if you're working with multiple monitors. It lets you display a taskbar on the second monitor and define hotkeys to throw one app over to the other monitor and so on and so forth - really handy.

Joe (http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA031384/software/Joe_en.html) is just great. A replacement of XPs ALT+TAB that's fast and let's you click the tasks with your mouse, as well as just do the same thing that you'd do with the standard Windows Task Switcher. It's quite amazing that this crappy thing hasn't changed since Win95, 'Joe' makes much more sense and is just a better alternative.

raptor|3D
12-16-2006, 08:14 PM
Opera
MS Virtual Desktop Manager
PowerToy Calculator
MS OneNote
Total Commander
Trillian
The Bat! (I have tried it and want to purchase it in not distant future.)

I'm still looking for a better Image Browser

Mee too. And Iīm still looking for some good time manager (except Outlook). I have to try Sunbird.

GennadiyKorol
12-17-2006, 08:41 AM
And Iīm still looking for some good time manager (except Outlook). I have to try Sunbird.

I was once choosing between the Sunbird and UK's Kalendar. Sunbird looks nicer, but you can't hide it to tray and it seemed to have less features. Also I don't think the developers are updating it anymore. So for now I'm using the UK's Kalendar (http://www.8ung.at/ukrebs/) ,it's very simple and gets the job done:)

Tarrbot
12-17-2006, 12:45 PM
Ah. That reminds me of another utility I use for minimizing nearly any window to the system tray. It's called rbtray (http://rbtray.sourceforge.net/).

I'm using 2.7 build and have been for years. Maybe the few apps that won't minimize into the systray will be able to with 3.0.

I use it on any system I use on a regular basis. Very small and compact too.

edit: found better link for rbtray at sourceforge.

Taltos
12-17-2006, 01:48 PM
Mee too. And Iīm still looking for some good time manager (except Outlook). I have to try Sunbird.
have you ever tried Rainlendar? http://rainlendar.net It's a simple calender app which stays on the desktop, just look at the page for more info. i really like it.
it can even syncronize with sony-ericsson phones via MyPhone Explorer http://www.fjsoft.at/en/

saiko
12-17-2006, 04:02 PM
@Thomas:
You might want to try out FastStone Image Browser, (http://www.faststone.org/) it might not have everything you want, and does not have Image Tab feature like XnView, but it's really fast, and look and feelwise too good to be a freeware. After finding this one I have stopped using Irfanview and XnView (which used to be my fevourite image browser).

I feel this neat piece of software is worth giving a try.

Saiko

raptor|3D
12-17-2006, 04:58 PM
Mr.HawK, Taltos: Thanks for suggestions.

Kalender looks good. Iīm testing it right now. I like how it can be minimized to tray.
I have tried Rainlendar. It is also nice but I would like something thatīs not directly on my desktop.
Sunbird looks great. Itīs pity that it canīt be hidden to tray.

ThomasMahler
12-17-2006, 05:14 PM
@Thomas:
You might want to try out FastStone Image Browser, (http://www.faststone.org/) it might not have everything you want, and does not have Image Tab feature like XnView, but it's really fast, and look and feelwise too good to be a freeware. After finding this one I have stopped using Irfanview and XnView (which used to be my fevourite image browser).

I feel this neat piece of software is worth giving a try.

Saiko

Hey Saiko,

Yeah, I tried FastStone and even though I think it's a great image browser, it also suffers from a lot of the things I listed (and it has a pretty ugly interface on top of that, heh ;)) - What I really need is just a browser that really IS a browser, doesn't close all the images I opened and let's me switch between different references very, very quickly. It's quite amazing that there isn't anything like that out there, even though there are dozens of browsers, all of them doing equally the same thing.

Oh, I even looked at CS3's Bridge and it's a pretty nice update, it's quite fast, but I just don't understand why I have to open stuff in Photoshop or whatever when using it. It's nuts, why would I use the Bridge if not for browsing through images and being able to take a good look at them? I don't want to use a browser that connects to another application, just so the browser actually is reduced to a loader and I'm still troubled with having tons of files open in Photoshop. Yuck.

ThomasMahler
12-17-2006, 05:17 PM
Kalender looks good. Iīm testing it right now. I like how it can be minimized to tray.
I have tried Rainlendar. It is also nice but I would like something thatīs not directly on my desktop.
Sunbird looks great. Itīs pity that it canīt be hidden to tray.

Might sound a bit stupid, but is Google your default homepage? If so, why don't you just set up a personalized homepage and put up some widgets there? I'm using that one, I've a calender (that hooks up with Google Calender), a to-do list, quotes, currency calculators, etc. - It's super fast and doesn't hog your memory or anything. Just visit your homepage and boom, you've got all the things you need.

The best thing is that, once you have to switch machines, you'll still have access to all the data you've set up, since it's all web-based.

raptor|3D
12-17-2006, 05:41 PM
Might sound a bit stupid, but is Google your default homepage? If so, why don't you just set up a personalized homepage and put up some widgets there? I'm using that one, I've a calender (that hooks up with Google Calender), a to-do list, quotes, currency calculators, etc. - It's super fast and doesn't hog your memory or anything. Just visit your homepage and boom, you've got all the things you need.

The best thing is that, once you have to switch machines, you'll still have access to all the data you've set up, since it's all web-based.

Thanks for info. Looks interesting although I need something that can launch window with task info and remind it to you at certain time and that doesnīt hog memory a lot. I am afraid that since these widgets are web based I would have to let the browser (Opera) run non stop, which would hog memory and CPU quite a bit.
Outlook looks nice but I donīt want to purchase it just for itīs time manager since for e-mails I want to use The Bat!
Sunbird looks really close to Outlook, Kalender is also nice.
I guess some PDA would be best since you can plan tasks without turning on computer and you can move it. Itīs just kind of a little bit more expensive though.
I guess Iīll give the Sunbird/Kalender try and see for myself.
Nevertheless I will try the Google Calender too.

daedalu$
12-17-2006, 08:35 PM
MediaCoder is a FREE universal audio/video batch transcoder distributed under GPL license, which puts together lots of excellent audio/video codecs and tools from the open source community into an all-in-one solution, capable of transcoding among different audio/video formats.
Might be interesting for some of you, it sure was useful to me. :thumbsup:

ThomasMahler
01-04-2007, 09:50 AM
Time to revive this thread:

I've changed my opinion about Picasa. It's actually currently the app that I'm using for browsing through image-data.

Picasa may not feature tabs and may have some annoying problems (why can't I resize different parts of the interface? If I want the photo tray to be bigger, I should be able to resize it!), but all in all, I think it pretty much rocks.

Picasa indexes all the image data on your hd, it allows you to create albums (that's the real trick here) and has a iTunes-like Search included. Now, it won't store sessions, but if you're using the photo tray in the way you'd use tabs and store the photo tray as an album at the end of the day, you're pretty much set. It's a workaround and I'd hope that all applications in the future will remember the state they've been in when turning off the workstation, but hey, I'm happy now.

The way you can switch between images, browse images, store albums, store searches, etc. makes Picasa a heck load better than any image browser I've tried - it takes a little time getting used to and switching between images isn't really optimal (that little arrow-slider on top of the screen drives me nuts) and I'd REALLY like to be able to 'compare' multiple images at a time, iPhoto like. Why the heck can't the gray area not just be something like a table where you could throw all your image data and pan and zoom? Nevertheless, it's a really, really nifty application, it feels superfluid and fast, the photo tray is great, the album-function is great, I think everyone who's working with graphics should definitely give Picasa a try.

vand
01-06-2007, 08:52 AM
MSN messenger
Skype
Yahoo
Gtalk

DAP
Flashget

Auto Power Shutdown - helps when pc is left alone rendering adn if rendering happens before time otherwise #$%#

Firefox

ACDee

private
01-07-2007, 02:49 AM
Axon Data AxCrypt
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/axcrypt.html

Ad Muncher
http://www.admuncher.com/

Unlocker
http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

LogMeIn
http://www.logmein.com

Fus|on
01-08-2007, 04:46 AM
sorry doublepost

Fus|on
01-08-2007, 04:47 AM
hey Thomas, have you tryed adobe lightroom yet? I know its not a standaline app but its very fast with nice image browsing stuff :shrug:

ftaswin
01-08-2007, 05:12 AM
Hoaaa... always love little tools threads!!!

Lupas Rename - Free file renaming tool. I like this one best.
ImageWrangler - List file sequence as one liner (a.l.a shake, flame, etc). Does anyone know something like this for Mac?


Ft

AlexC
01-08-2007, 07:09 AM
Terminal - So much faster than GUI
Tomboy Notes (http://www.beatniksoftware.com/tomboy/) - I usually forget things, so these help me remember!
Gaim 2 (http://gaim.sourceforge.net/) - Talk on MSN

MJV
01-09-2007, 06:28 PM
The latest Flash version hosed my Netscape 7.1 for some reason, so since some people here praised Opera I decided to give it a shot. Wow what a huge difference it's already made handling email and browser windows. What a breath of fresh air it is. Long live Opera!

Rambo20
01-09-2007, 07:18 PM
UltraMon
Extended task bar accross all your monitors. A button that lets you jump your app to the other monitor.
Absolutely amazing, a must have for anyone with more then opne monitor.

http://realtimesoft.com/ultramon/

Rambo

richcz3
01-09-2007, 07:38 PM
Taskbar Shuffle (http://www.freewebs.com/nerdcave/): Drag & drop re-ordering of taskbar buttons. :love:

Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant!!
This is organizational gem.
2x:love:

requiem2d
01-10-2007, 05:31 AM
"The Bat" e-mail client :)

raptor|3D
01-10-2007, 09:21 PM
"The Bat" e-mail client :)

Yeah, itīs really mighty beast : ). I have just purchased it and I can recommend it. And I also use it as time manager. One disadvantage though - thereīs only Windows version available.

ThomasMahler:

I used to use Picasa once but it ignored some pictures so I unistalled it and now use combo - Total Commander + IrfanView. Not perfect but gets the job done.

private
01-11-2007, 02:04 AM
Firefox add-ons:

Foxmark Bookmarks
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2410/

FoxClocks
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1117/

Firefox Extension Backup Extension
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2109/

Googlebar Lite
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/492/

Morning Coffee (you need this!)
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2677/

No Go Button
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/3472/

No Squint
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2592/

Perma Tabs
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2558/

Restarter
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/3458/

Tabbrowser Preferences
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/158/

icedeyes
01-11-2007, 07:48 AM
I wouldn't recommend Foxmark Bookmarks.... lost my bookmarks at work and at home because of it... It really upset me.. luckuly i had a backup of my bookmarks (a little outdated but it was better than nothing)...

stormfrog
01-11-2007, 11:37 AM
/s/mediaplayer/mplayer !!111

Seriously, I didnt think people used Windows Media player anymore with players like mplayer and vlc media player around that can play all codecs (so you dont have to go through the nightmare of having to install and search the net for codecs manually).


Mplayer is commandline based but has numerous GUI's for download, the current #1 is MPUI. I think it is the quickest and most brilliant video player ever created.

http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dload.html
http://mpui.sourceforge.net/

or

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/


I honestly promise you your life will be better if you replace Windows media player crap with any of the above.


Peace!

saiko
01-11-2007, 05:24 PM
I wouldn't recommend Foxmark Bookmarks.... lost my bookmarks at work and at home because of it... It really upset me.. luckuly i had a backup of my bookmarks (a little outdated but it was better than nothing)...

I never had any problem...in last 2-3 months...it works smoothly !

richcz3
01-12-2007, 03:24 PM
I never had any problem...in last 2-3 months...it works smoothly !
I've been using it for a month and half without issues as well. saves me allot of time between office and home PCs. With that said, all it takes is one mistake during the selection on what your updating (local or server) and you could lose all your stored bookmarks.

For me FireFTP (https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/684/) has been a great option to stand alone FTP programs. :thumbsup:

JPGargoyle
01-13-2007, 03:01 AM
Cool thread!

I won't repeat any of the things already said, so I'll just add one for now:

SciTE (http://www.scintilla.org/SciTE.html): a small source editor with a win and a X version.

[screenshot (http://scintilla.sourceforge.net/SciTEImage.html)]

I mainly use it in windows, 'cause in Linux there are more than enough of that (I mainly use kate)
The good thing is that in win you can have just one .exe that edits (ad recognizes) dozens of source types.



Best regards

private
01-22-2007, 05:30 AM
This link has a lot of suggestions.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best_46_free_utilities.htm#1

KayosIII
01-22-2007, 09:18 AM
Ok heres a few for you *nixers out there

1) KDissert -- (mind mapping software) helps me organise my ideas...
http://freehackers.org/~tnagy/kdissert.html

2) Disk Search -- allows you to index and search cds and dvds you have backed stuff off onto... Can't remember which disk you put that file onto - Disk Search will tell you...
http://disksearch.sourceforge.net/

3) Filelight -- Nice looking graphical display of exactly where all your HardDrive Space is gone... http://www.methylblue.com/filelight/

4) Konqueror -- Tabbed Browsing, each tab can be split into panes, intergated viewer of most common file types. Remembers session when computer is switched off. kde also has a built in stay on top command which is super handy for reference material.
http://www.kde.org

5) Amarok -- Because everybody needs music while they work.
http://amarok.kde.org

6) Digikam -- for organising all your images - supports tagging your images for super easy retrival.. Supports Raw Images...

7) Kuik show - image viewer with minimal interface - I keep it with my reference material above my work... images can be changed with mouse roller... It seems to be discontinued
I really need to find a replacement

AlexC
01-22-2007, 02:31 PM
Not really a tool, but a tip. If you use Gnome as your desktop environment you can press ctrl+alt+left or right arrow to change virtual desktop quickly, not sure if it works with KDE :P

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