Five Free Apps for a New PC

Did you get a new PC for Christmas? Blazing fast, with all the bells and whistles, perhaps with a shiny new widescreen monitor? I didn’t. What I do have is a brand spanking new Windows XP partition on my trusty old Macbook (thanks to Bootcamp).

Now I’ll admit: it was a fresh copy of The Sims 3: World Adventures, which runs much better on Windows than OSX, that got me here- but now that I am, I want to be able to do serious work on my Windows partition- with the help of these five apps, all fabulous and all free:

Notepad ++

A good text editor is probably the first thing I install on any new machine. Notepad Plus Plus has everything I need, from tabs to drag ‘n drop to macro recording. I love how lightweight it is, too- nothing fancy, but gets the job done wonderfully.


This was a no-brainer: with the heavy local WordPress testing I do, I use XAMPP on my Mac every day. That this gem of an app, which includes Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl, comes in a Windows version is something I’m truly grateful for.


Many people like Filezilla, a powerful and free FTP program, but I’ve always had a thing for WinSCP- it reminds me of back when I was doing all my work on a Pentium II (and paying a lot of money for 5 gigabytes of hard disk space!) It supports SFTP, has an integrated text editor, and stores your session information.

PHP Designer (Personal)

Among these apps, PHP Designer is my latest “discovery”- and now I have trouble imagining how I ever got along without it. It’s an IDE (or Integrated Development Environment) that makes PHP coding- even for non-programmers like myself- a breeze. It features a clean and simple interface, and wonderfully intuitive menus.

ScreenHunter Free

On OSX I rely on Snapz Pro X for my screen capturing needs, and was ecstatic to find ScreenHunter, a free and truly fabulous screen capture program for Windows. Installs in seconds, and does its job beautifully, allowing you to do everything from choosing what to capture, to where to save it, and more.

What are some of your favorite freeware apps?

  1. By Ivan posted on December 28, 2009 at 11:12 pm
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    LOL, this is practically the first software I’ve been first installing for a few years now. Note, add Photoshop to the list :-)

  2. By Lorraine Nepomuceno posted on December 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm
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    Thanks, Ivan! And Photoshop, of course- except that it’s not free. There’s always Gimp, though.

  3. By alecs_g posted on December 30, 2009 at 2:00 pm
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    Well, app’s that are good and free are sometimes hard to find!
    Filezilla also supports SFTP and is, in my oppinion a lot more user friendly! As for free apps…. i usually have installed:
    7zip – great free archiver (has context menu integration)
    CCleaner – system maintanence, Daemon TOOLS Lite – virtual disk drive
    CDburnerXP or StarBurn – CD/DVD burning
    IrfanView – fast image viewer (with some cool quick-edit tools)
    Flashget – download manager (with FlashGot FF addon)
    Free DWG Viewer by Brava
    Foxit PDF Viewer (with FF integration)
    PDFCreator – One of the best PDF printers, it also supports image printing, absolutelly amazing tool!
    KMplayer – great player with integrated codecs

    I guess it shows I am a Windows dork! lol!

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