COMMAND LINE UTILITIES
...because real programmers use the command line!
Secure Shell (ssh.org)
Wget home page
Unix-style command archive
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.)
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.
|FREE MP3/CD RIPPING UTILITIES
|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.
lame.exe (P3 opt)
|Compact Win32 GUI front-end for LAME, a .wav to .mp3 encoder
lame.exe (P4 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.
Official L.A.M.E. Home Page
|Compiled with Intel version 5
compiler and optimized for P4 systems. Compile line: icl /G7 /QaxW /Qipo
|L.A.M.E. provides free source code for MP3 conversions.
|FREE GRAPHICS/MULTIMEDIA UTILITIES
|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.
WIN32/64 FFMPEG.EXE AUTOBUILDS
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.
|Powerful command-line based image manipulation. C-callable API available. Also available for many unix platforms.
|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.
(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
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
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.
Other Useful Pages
|OTHER FREE UTILITIES
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,
emulator w/full SSH support. Does its job efficiently and doesn't get in your way.
|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.