Computer technicians use a wide range of software to get the job done. Some programs make installing programs quicker and others help find viruses/malware. Here are some no nonsense applications that work great and will make your life easier.
Ninite (Win & Linux)
This is the latest program in my arsenal. It’s a package manager that automatically installs the latest programs like Firefox, Chrome, iTunes, Quicktime, Java, Flash, CutePDF, and Skype for free. You just go to the Ninite website, choose the programs you’d like to install and download the custom install file. When you run the small file it will query the Ninite server for the latest programs you’ve requested. All the programs are installed silently. Pesky license agreements are “accepted” and toolbars are never installed. Give it a few minutes and done.
The free version works very well. They offer an Updater version that runs in the background keeping the programs up-to-date and a Pro version that enables you to manage multiple computers.
DirStat (Win, Linux, & Mac)
Is you hard drive almost full and don’t know why? Instead of going file by file looking for the culprit try this nifty tool. It will scan your hard drive and compare files, finding the fattest ones. Once the scans done, it will display a grid of blocks. The larger the block the bigger the file. Use caution, some of the larger files may be important system files. Delete those and your computer may no longer boot.
There is a flavor for every operating system:
These applications do not require installation and can run off of USB flash drives, portable hard drives, iPods and network drives. Portable Apps has a collection of popular programs like Firefox, PuTTY, Notepad++, and even a web server (XAMPP). They can all be downloaded from the PortableApps website and saved on your portable device.
These apps come in handy when diagnosing an infected computer. The portable version of Spybot S&D will scan for malware just like the original but it runs right from your portable drive. At times, Internet Explorer is corrupt and you still need to get on the internet. With a portable version of Firefox that won’t stop you.
Portable Apps can be very handy. If your at school or work and your prohibited from installing programs try this out.
Other Noteworthy Programs
- CCleaner – Cleans your computers from cookies, temporary files, straggling install files, and unused registry entries. (Windows Only)
- HouseCall – Free online antivirus from Trend Micro. (Windows Only)
- HijackThis – Another free product from Trend Micro. This will give you a detailed report of operating system and browser settings. This will help you determine if the computer is infected with malware. (Windows Only)