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Getting the most from your PC

Ever wanted to do more with your PC. Here's a list of software that I think will help you get more use out of your PC - be it for fun or productivity, but mostly fun :)

NB: Most of this software is free for personal use only (not for commercial or business use unless you pay for the commercial licence accordingly).
Web Browser
  1. Firefox Version 2 - although version 3 is already out, Firefox V2 has a lot of useful add-ons that make its functionality a bit more versatile. I am sure V3 updates are not far off though
    Update: 17/7/2008 - Just tested the add-ons below on Firefox version 3 and it appears that most of them have been updated to work with the new version. The time has come to move (cautiously) to the new version :) . Also available for MAC.
Firefox Themes
  1. Noia Extreme 2.0 (or above)
Firefox Add-Ons
  1. Video Download Helper - ever wanted to download that video from YouTube to show your friends or family? This little add-on makes it a breeze to do just that.


  2. PicLens - A great picture viewer for websites with heaps of new multimedia functionality being built in daily. It displays pictures from websites in a very dynamic and enticing manner. Just check it out and you will see what I mean.
  3. Fast Dial - I have seen this on the Opera Web Browser before, this version is for Firefox V2 and well worth a look. It allows you to place visual bookmarks or web links on your Firefox start page... (make sure you set Firefox to blank start page if you want Fast Dial to be the first screen you see when you start the browser up)
Media Player
  1. VLC Media Player - excessively basic looking player but plays nearly every darn multimedia / video file there is. VLC is also available in MAC edition.
Office Suite (Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations etc.)
  1. OpenOffice.Org - compatible with Microsoft Office suite of products and best of all - it's FREE!!!


Codecs
If you have ever tried to watch a video you have downloaded from the internet and not been able to (or only hear the sound and not see the pictures, or vice versa), there is a good chance you do not have the appropriate CODEC (codec is short for COmpression / DECompression) to watch it with. Download the CCCP codec pack, install, restart your PC and try the file again. 99.9% chance that this will fix it :P

Photo sorting, touch up and uploading

Picasa (from Google) is your best bet for a well structured digital photo album with in-built web upload capability (you need a Google account to upload your pics).

Clean up Duplicate Files with DUPE KILLER
If you have a headache trying to sort files and find duplicates (especially photos), this is one awesome program that will help you find and get rid of the duplicates. NB: care needs to be taken when using this program, run this on a test folder to familiarise yourself with what it does before going all out.

... to be continued

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