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:
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.
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.
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?