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PC Utility Software

Willus.com's Links to Win32/64 Utility Software

...because real programmers use the command line!
Zip 3.1 and Unzip 6.0 (Win32, Win64, and Linux) with large file handling are here!

UPX EXE Packer
UPX v1.25w (local copy)
An excellent, easy-to-use, seamless, executable packer to tame those bloated .EXE files.

Local copy here.

Secure Shell (ssh.org)
Download page w/Win32 client for non-commercial use. Also see the PuTTY utilities.

Wget home page

Unix-style command archive
Here, you'll find numerous Win32 ports of GNU/Unix utilities. I have a local, more dated (Jan 2002) copy of many unix-style Win32 commands here (w/src, includes grep, diff, make, tar, touch, head, tail, compress, gzip, zoo, and which, plus rsxnt.dll, which is needed to run some of the commands. I recommend putting all of these files in a directory in your path.)

I don't usually like to recommend a commercial package, but this is an exception. Easyplot is an excellent, intuitive plotting program geared towards scientific plotting, data analysis, and curve fitting. It is what Gnu-plot should have been, and it is proof that good Win32 programs can still come in small, efficient packages (total disk footprint < 1 MB). Try it and you'll be hooked. I use it at least a dozen times a day. If I could only convince the author to go open source and port it to Linux!

I don't use TextPad for text editing (I'm a vi die-hard), but it's inexpensive and I've heard lots of good things about it from colleagues.

CDex (v1.51)
Outstanding Win32 CD Ripper/encoding program w/GUI. Has it all, and it's free (GPL'd). Highly recommended. Also visit the CDex home page.
Compact Win32 GUI front-end for LAME, a .wav to .mp3 encoder (local copy)
lame.exe (P3 opt)
Win32 command line version of a popular .wav to .mp3 (and .mp3 to .wav) conversion program, compiled with Intel version 5 compiler and optimized for P-III systems. Compile line: icl /G6 /O3 /Qipo.
lame.exe (P4 opt)
Compiled with Intel version 5 compiler and optimized for P4 systems. Compile line: icl /G7 /QaxW /Qipo /O3.
Official L.A.M.E. Home Page
L.A.M.E. provides free source code for MP3 conversions.
Irfan Skiljan's excellent image viewer

Sumatra PDF Reader
See desription in next column under "Other Free Utilities."

FFmpeg (or libav)
FFmpeg is the ultimate tool for video transcoding. It converts between video formats, crops, re-sizes, rotates, changes frame rates and bit rates, time slices, converts to/from still images, extracts audio from a video file, and more. As of 2010, it is the only tool I use for converting video or audio. Note that FFmpeg is a command-line-based tool (which I prefer), and it is also changing rapidly, so you should check for updates frequently.

Unfortunately, as of March 2011, several discontent FFmpeg developers first tried to take over FFmpeg from the head of the development team, Michael Niedermayer. That did not work out, so they forked FFmpeg to the libav project. So there are now two flavors of FFmpeg to try.

FFmpeg libav
 Zeranoe   win32.libav.org 
UPDATE Nov 21, 2012: I recommend the Zeranoe 64-bit static FFmpeg build (32-bit for 32-bit Windows). See my ffmpeg/avconv benchmarks for more explanation.

ImageMagick Suite
Powerful command-line based image manipulation. C-callable API available. Also available for many unix platforms.

VLC; MPlayer
These are terrific Windows Media Player and QuickTime alternatives. I find Windows Media Player surprisingly bad at deciphering modern codecs, and I try to avoid Apple software because it is nagware and spyware all rolled into one. MPlayer (as of May 2009) has matured immensely since I last tried it. It is now a full-featured player which handles all modern video formats, and it works in Linux and Windows. VLC has been my default player since 2006, and it plays the 720p HD videos from my DMC-ZS3 on my 2004 PC more smoothly than MPlayer, but I like some of MPlayer's features better (e.g. pressing '.' to go frame by frame-- strangely, MPlayer plays HD videos much better if I just hold down the '.' key to go frame-by-frame through the video, but my graphics card is from 2002, so I get what I get).

Terrific, free 3D model viewer written by Travis Cobbs using OpenGL API. Views a file type called LDraw (.ldr) designed primarily for viewing LEGO models, but certainly useful for any generic 3D-viewing since it is a very simple ASCII file format. Source code is available. You can also find more about LEGO drawing utilities at www.ldraw.org. Also see my software archive containing my STLView utility which converts STL files to LDraw files and displays them with LDView.

Good video conversion tool with GUI allows you to extract frames to stills and vice-versa, crop, scale, and convert from/to any format you have a codec for. Uses Win32 AVI calls and has command-line functionality. This is the best tool I've found for converting animated GIFs to more conventional video formats like AVI files, but it doesn't know as many formats as FFmpeg. Free.

Other Useful Pages
JPEG Home Page; JPEG Library (IJG.org); PNG Lib; zlib; SDL Lib; Free-Codecs.com; VideoHelp.com; Windows Metafile Help Page
Gibson Research
Steve Gibson is obsessed with computer privacy, and his site has loads of information, links, and free utilities that will test your PC's security and help improve it.
Places where you can submit a suspected virus
Symantec Virus Info Page

Sumatra PDF Reader
Krzysztof Kowalczyk's open source PDF Reader has a trifecta of advantages over Adobe's reader: it is smaller, loads faster, and displays more types of files (PDF, DJVU, CBZ, CBR, and PS/EPS--PS/EPS files require Ghostscript). It can even read a PS file (with Ghostscript) and save it as PDF. Find out why thousands of people are switching to Sumatra every day.

MS Office Clones: Open Office, 602 Software
ODF: ODFAlliance, ODFellowship

FTP server

Popular terminal emulator w/full SSH support. Does its job efficiently and doesn't get in your way.

VI compatible text editor. Jonathan McPherson has written an excellent VIM tutorial.

Net Time
NTP time synchronization client and server

Password Guardian used to be from Crypto-central.com but that site now appears to be defunct. I have a local copy which I last downloaded Sept. 2005.

This page last modified
Wednesday, 21-Nov-2012 12:23:58 PST