Best of two years

It is not often that such post can be made. It takes time for software to really prove itself. Something comes forward, something gets dumped.

Best of best in two years of this blog. Polished, streamlined and ridiculously useful stuff.

Dropbox – super efficient online sync and backup. It gets messy part out of process while leaving all tasty advantages in. It keeps backups. It syncs stuff between computers. It makes it easy to share files. It can host sites. It powers Appnews. New stuff! Up to 10GB free accounts from referrals, mobile apps, faster sync in LAN.

ccleaner_icon CCleanersystem cleanup that just works and doesn’t break system while at it. Thorough, customizable and portable it hits golden balance of maintenance tool. - - - - - -

Cobian Backupbackup utility that quietly hums as system service and reliably gets any data to anywhere in any form on very strict schedule. New stuff! Major version 10 was released – more features, more stability, more speed.

CureIt – compact, portable, useful and free antivirus scanner. I lost count to number of times it had saved a day and number of computers it brought back from dead. New stuff! Recently improved with desktop lockdown mode, which makes it even more resistant to malware.

everything_icon Everything – redefines file search. Lightning speed and powerful filtering improve file managing as much as inventing file managers itself did in the past. - - - - - -

feeddemon_icon FeedDemonRSS reader that makes skimming hundred or two of feeds easy. New stuff! Lost native online service integration, but gained even more impressive perk of being only official app to sync with Google Reader.

flashfolder_icon FlashFolder – tiny thing that is most major time saving interface extension I know. Turns interaction with standard open/save dialogs into fast and mindless process. - - - - - -

Ketarin icon Ketarin – automates update checks and downloads of setup packages (or any file really). Major time saver and tool that makes it easy to maintain large collections of software. - - - - - -

MyDefrag (formerly JkDefrag) – ultimate defragmentation tool. New stuff! Now with graphical interface and advanced scripting system, including number of profiles for multiple defragmentation schemes out of the box.

NetBeans icon NetBeansIDE packed really full of features, with flexible and polished interface experience. Really grew on me for PHP editing – gets more done, gets it done faster, gets it done more bulletproof. - - - - - -

Opera – just a browser. Stable, wicked fast, packs so much under surface and can be customized so far that it if I had to name my main app that would be it. New stuff! During last year it went through major internals update and got even more fast and smooth both in interface and page loading.

resnooze_icon Resnoozereminders online service that made list of best software. Whatever note you want in email the minute you want to get it. - - - - - -

spacesniffer_icon SpaceSnifferdisk space treemap. This app took old boring idea and got it polished into cutting edge tool for slicing space usage. - - - - - -

WinSCP icon WinSCP – excellent FTP and SFTP client, with many advanced features from live editing of files to own scripting system and control of remote computers over SSH. - - - - - -

What is your favorite tool, picked from this blog? Share it in the comments or dig in this post if you don’t have one yet.

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  • Sputnik #

    I agree with you on many of the "bests". Concerning the RSS readers, I have tried about 40 of them and if FeedDemon is one of the bests, RSSOwl is my best. I must also say that I didn't found yet a RSS reader which satisfy me completely...
  • Rarst #

    @Sputnik RSSOwl is interesting, but (as far as I remember) doesn't yet sync with Google Reader completely. Seamless Google Reader sync is very strong feature of FeedDemon. It both greatly improves speed of fetching feeds and is very useful when hopping between multiple computers.
  • Sputnik #

    @Rarst Well, in fact all depends on what you do exactly with your RSS reader : I personally dont make any use of Google Reader so it doesn't matter for me if RSSOwl doesn't sync with it...
  • Rarst #

    @Sputnik I think RSSOwl does import feeds from Google Reader, but full sync is only planned. API to access reader still isn't officially open.
  • szekelya #

    Can I add Opera mini and the mobile optimized gmail and greader sites? Also the apps on all my PCs: XNView image viewer with its shell extension for thumbnails in context menus, TrueLaunchBar to substitute quicklaunch adding also custom menus to it, and Google Chrome which together with its extensions is extremely fast still nicely customizable.
  • Rarst #

    @szekelya Opera mini is awesome, but not really computer stuff. By the way I very much dislike mobile Google Reader. Mobile version of Newsgator was working much better for me, but now it's dead. :( On image viewer - personally I use IrfanView... Overall there are plenty image viewers, but none I would really call best. They are somewhat generic (or extremely non-generic). True Launch Bar is shareware. Nothing against shareware, but blog focuses mostly on freeware. :) Chrome is decent browser, but as you know I am long time Opera user. So far I find Chrome boring (except for some awesome web development thingies).
  • Laura #

    Good post. I've used CCleaner for ages. The others you posted I have not heard of but will be looking at this afternoon. Freeware is still the best! One you might look at... Just started using PhotoScape because I didn't want to keep using my old MS FrontPage image editor. I tried several when I went looking but PS was the easiest to use for simple stuff I wanted to do, basically to take a drawing and get it usable for posting online. I prefer Chrome to Opera and the others because Chrome has so much more growth. In the past when I have tried other web browsers (including Opera) I have been frustrated that I could not use other things I was accustomed to like StumbleUpon as a toolbar. Chrome is great this way. I don't miss FF at all and I was devoted to FF for many years. I found one plugin/ addon which lets me use Blogger, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, etc all in one. Now Chrome is almost perfect for my uses.
  • Rarst #

    @Laura Thanks and I hope you will pick up some good apps from here then! :) For image editor I use Paint.NET. Like it very much, probably only reason it doesn't make best list is .NET Framework dependency. Chrome development is turn-off for my taste. Multiple versions in parallel, get the dev branch for this, run with command line argument for that... Is it so hard just to make next version and release it, one release at a time? :) I am probably being picky about Chrome, but since I am more then content with Opera I can allow myself to be.
  • Benregn #

    WinDirStat as alternative disk space treemap? Been using Opera as my second/third browser (using Firefox as my first). I absolutely love Search Everything, use it many times a day! And Dropbox makes just about any collaboration so much easier - saved my groupwork at school this semester :P
  • Rarst #

    @Benregn WinDirStat is a classic, but I find it boring and not too convenient. SpaceSniffer really upped the bar for treemap disk space analyzers. Search Everything you mean Everything mentioned in post? Or something else? And yes, between cloud and versioning Dropbox carries serious stuff-saving potential. By the way I think it is your first comment (Twitter doesn't count), happy unlurking! :)
  • Benregn #

    I took a quick look at SpaceSniffer - I quite like it, I think I'll even switch to using it instead of WinDirStat. One thing that's missing for me is the foldertree view. Everything as in the post ;) Also happen to like Netbeans. Used it for Java programming class last two semesters in Uni. Might try it for PHP when I'm able to something worthwhile with it :D And yes, long time lurker on the blog, first and second comments are on this post.
  • Rarst #

    @Benregn I've also used NetBeans for Java a bit on programming courses, but I mostly use it for PHP > WordPress. I have a lot of figuring out (hotkeys and such) to be really productive with it, but even core set of functions is solid. It is made as code editor, not text editor with code-related functions slapped on it.
  • JeeMan #

    Now that's my kind of posts! New softwares to discover! :) I'll have to look more in depth at FlashFolder and SpaceSniffer. And I already bookmarked Ketarin, I guess I just need to... go through my bookmarks. And a couple of softwares I picked up from this blog that I use often: SIW, LogLady, Canabalt, EjectUSB, etc.
  • Rarst #

    @JeeMan Hehe, I do not do lists often (even of good stuff), easy to get bored of them. Hmm... EjectUSB might have made best list, I am so used to it I just don't notice it anymore. Glad to know this blog was the source of those great apps for you. :)
  • Sebastian #

    Hi, I want to mention FastStoneImageViewer as the best tool regarding managing and displaying images on my computer. :)
  • Rarst #

    @Sebastian Yep, very solid viewer, even if slightly less famous then IrfanView and XNview staples. As I said on comments above I still stick with IrfanView. Have no reasons to change so far.