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Out of the loop: Computer Programs?
Old 08-15-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
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Out of the loop: Computer Programs?

After being on top of the home computer scene for over 30 years, (Think Adam, Sinclair, and then the Apple 2E), and trying each and every "new" program as it debuted, I find myself behind the curve in knowing about new and helpful programs, browsers etc.
Sooo... looking for suggestions or thoughts on newer "tech stuff" having to do with general web browsing or computer management. (not specialized programs for business, photography, language, or networking etc).
Here's my own list (for starters). No links... just names.

Browser Chrome using sync.
MyWay
Google
Fences
Google Docs (Drive)
Everything
Skype
Open Office
Readability
NYT Clean
Dropbox
Foxit Reader
FastStone Capture
Microsoft Essentials
MalwareBytes
SIW
Aida
God Mode
Hosts
Defraggler
Hijack This
VLC
Radio Sure
PhotoBucket
Picasa
IrfanView
Real Alternative
WordWeb

Many more, but these are the ones that sifted through to my desktop.

One more request... I rely on notepad for cut/paste stuff, and am still looking for a very simple EASY replacement with just a few more features. Every new program that I've tried is so loaded with options, that this septuagenarian gets confused and frustrated.

Suggestions? Replacements?
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
I rely on notepad for cut/paste stuff, and am still looking for a very simple EASY replacement with just a few more features.
VIM for plain text processing, much more compact, efficient, advanced and powerful. Just one precaution: it's very addictive once you're used to it.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #3
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for a simple text editor with a bit more than Notepad, you might check out http://www.editpadlite.com/ which is free for personal use
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:17 AM   #4
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Are you using windows 7?
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:34 PM   #5
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Are you using windows 7?
Waiting for Windows 8, and a new computer... Still Vista...

On the notepad etc... I also do use Editpad Lite... What I was hoping for, was a simple program that would keep a mini icon/menu on top of the page I'm working on with a two or three simple copy/paste options.

ratto: thanks... will try VIM
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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Evernote.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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Evernote.
+1
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by imoldernu
Waiting for Windows 8, and a new computer... Still Vista...
Godmode is an inherent function. See this article.
http://www.tothepc.com/archives/open...ndows-7-vista/
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:43 PM   #9
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Here are my comments, on things I use:
Browser Chrome using sync: I prefer this browser for accessing my Gmail account. Doesn't ad block as well as Firefox, which I prefer.
MyWay
Google: this is just a search engine, nothing to install. I use Google.com as home page.
Fences
Google Docs (Drive): this is part of your Gmail account.
Everything
Skype: many use this free client to talk and see someone who also runs Skype.
Open Office: free replacement for ms office.
Readability: add-in for browser that isolates a story from surrounding noise.
NYT Clean
Dropbox: similar features to Google drive. Free storage of files.
Foxit Reader
FastStone Capture
Microsoft Essentials
MalwareBytes: an important program that can clean off a lot of the Malware people stumble upon.
SIW
Aida
God Mode: built-in feature of windows, but hidden until you install a named folder.
Hosts: a windows file that can be hijacked/rewritten.
Defraggler
Hijack This: if you get the nasties, some support people ask you to run this and send the results.
VLC: a video player that can handle every format you throw at it.
Radio Sure
PhotoBucket: a service where you can upload photos, and share with others.
Picasa: I use this to manage my digital photos. It is very powerful and is free from Google.
IrfanView: a photo editor. Free.
Real Alternative
WordWeb
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
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Keepass to keep track of the umpteen passwords you need in modern computer life.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:12 PM   #11
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Lastpass for password management.
+1 on evernote.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:36 PM   #12
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When Sun was taken over by Oracle, the OpenOffice team was pretty much quietly smothered with neglect. I don't know if there's ever going to be another update to that program.

Several of that group broke off to form the LibreOffice project. I haven't used LibreOffice, but one of these days I'm going to take a couple hours to actually shut down my OO program and see if LibreOffice does a better job with Excel graphs.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:24 AM   #13
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ratto: thanks... will try VIM
I don't think you'll like it much. It's a modal editor where you switch between text entry and editing commands which is basically the complete opposite of every other editor in a windowing OS. If you are still determined to try it get a guide book and make sure you use it for at least a dozen hours or so before passing judgement on it. If you survive the beginner stage without clawing your eyes out in frustration you may come to like it after a while.

I didn't see any backup programs in your original list. I use time machine and rsync but you should probably find the equivalent for windows.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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Thanks to all for the info.

I did download VIM, and see the enthusiasm for versatility, but it's overkill for my needs... I'll go back to evernote, and give that a fair try... What I was hoping for was a way to "one click" copy two or three different snips, and then paste them with one click... from an "on top" mini menu. Maybe Evernote does that... will try again.

Since I don't do much composing or spread sheet stuff, I've found that Google Docs is more than sufficient for my needs.

As far as back ups... since I use three networked computers, anything that I need, I send to Google Docs... Probably too trusting. For every program that I install, I keep a copy of the install on a external hard drive. Was amazed to find more than 100K jpg's. Used Picasa "face recognition" for my albums and was absolutely amazed with the results... (many hours of searching).

My favorite and most used program is "Readability", which I like better than the Google version. IMHO, for browsing this is a necessity.

The other is NYT Clean" which I use at the end of my "free articles"...
to access NYT... (don't need this if you're redirecting from another website).

"Everything" is an absolute must for me... as AZ sets in... fastest search for any and all files on the hard drives. Can search by name, partial name, file extension, date etc... Fast, Fast, Fast... Probably the only program I'd pay for, if it wasn't already "free".

Target 2019...RE: Hosts... I'm not sure what you meant by file can be hijacked... The Program "Hosts", is a composite file of thousand of ad sites, that replaces the existing hosts file on an optional/switchable basis. It removes almost all ads, and blocks pop ups. A single click changes from no ads, to ads.... My experience is that it works better than Google Adblocker, and for my slow computer, doesn't slow things down the way Google extension do.

Passwords... yeah... thanks for the reminder... will put the program on a thumb drive. I keep the passwords on Google Docs... but with about 300 existing, it's getting too hard to manage... Dumb!.

Appreciate the replies... If there are other programs that you think are worthwhile, please add to the list.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:59 AM   #15
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When Sun was taken over by Oracle, the OpenOffice team was pretty much quietly smothered with neglect. I don't know if there's ever going to be another update to that program.

graphs.
It's still going. It's been taken over by Apache

Apache OpenOffice - The Free and Open Productivity Suite

Apache OpenOffice (incubating)
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:04 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Waiting for Windows 8, and a new computer... Still Vista...

On the notepad etc... I also do use Editpad Lite... What I was hoping for, was a simple program that would keep a mini icon/menu on top of the page I'm working on with a two or three simple copy/paste options.

ratto: thanks... will try VIM
Unless you're an old unix admin guru, VI and its clone VIM maybe a shock.

I used to use it all the time but most windows people hate it
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:07 AM   #17
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Thanks to all for the info.

I did download VIM, and see the enthusiasm for versatility, but it's overkill for my needs... I'll go back to evernote, and give that a fair try... What I was hoping for was a way to "one click" copy two or three different snips, and then paste them with one click... from an "on top" mini menu. Maybe Evernote does that... will try again.
Have a look at notepad++

Notepad++ Home
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:38 AM   #18
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Thanks to all for the info.


Target 2019...RE: Hosts... I'm not sure what you meant by file can be hijacked... The Program "Hosts", is a composite file of thousand of ad sites, that replaces the existing hosts file on an optional/switchable basis. It removes almost all ads, and blocks pop ups. A single click changes from no ads, to ads.... My experience is that it works better than Google Adblocker, and for my slow computer, doesn't slow things down the way Google extension do.
I think you are both talking about the same thing. The hosts is a local DNS resolver and usually over rides DNS provided by your ISP. You can edit the hosts file and add entries to redirect unwanted sites to nowhere. Viruses use the same concept, they edit your hosts file and redirect something like google.com to a counterfiet site on their server.

Hostman is a program I know that does what you describe. It's a gui interface to doing the manual edit and also has downloadable configured hosts files. I used to manually block things using the hosts file method before browsers had blocking/filtering but it gets really complicated really fast trying to keep up with and remember all the changes.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #19
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Hosts is a windows text file where local lookups can be defined. Not really a program in the classic sense, but you may have downloaded something that installs a custom hosts file. I use hosts in a limited fashion, but your use is certainly justified.

I prefer browser ad block, as it auto-updates new ad blocks on the fly.

I don't necessarily want every ad blocked in every browser. In IE and FF I do block with the use of add-in. In chrome I let all come in. I have reasons to do that, but acknowledge that most users might be better off with a hosts file on steroids. But I have heard that size of hosts file may hurt performance at some large size.

Nice swapping computer stories!
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:21 PM   #20
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Unless you're an old unix admin guru, VI and its clone VIM maybe a shock.

I used to use it all the time but most windows people hate it
Oh, I think I must have written over a million lines of code using vi and later vim. It used to bother the kiddies at work when I would have twenty or thirty files open in a single vi session, flipping between the buffers and blasting out global edit commands.

The program was a text editor run from a command line, and was modal in nature. You could insert text and type at it, or escape to the command mode and do things like enter a command to find patterns of text, and execute batch edits. Little things like "find the 7,000 places this one function is called, swap arguments 2 and 3 at each call, and add a default argument 4 of NULL." All of which would be completed in a fraction of a second. ;-)
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