I Want A Freeware Utility To ...

Here's something else I've been meaning to do for a while. Back in July, I discovered a website that gave pointers to 450+ Windows freeware utilities for solving problems.

I've no real interest in the Windows utilities (I'm slowly trying to purge Windows machines from our house), but I did like the list of common problems.

What I want to do now is to try to find freely available Linux or Unix versions of the ones that interest me. Cross-platform solutions score higher. If they are open source as well, then so much the better.

As a first step, I've trimmed their list to just the problems that I think will be useful to me, removing their suggested Windows solutions. Duplicate entries in different categories have also (hopefully) been pruned out. Some like "protect my computer against viruses" are kind of Windows specific, so I don't care about them. Some of them are there automatically on Linux or Unix (ssh, telnet), so they are sort of redundant. I've left some of them in though, as there might be better solutions. For the "bleedin' obvious" ones, I've just removed them.

Where there is a similar mechanism on Linux/Unix, I'll adjust the entries accordingly (Windows Registry will become gconf resources for me).

Even now, some of the ones I've selected I've still tagged with "maybe" as I haven't had to do that task yet.

Over the next few months, I plan to try to find out what the potential solutions are for all of these problems. Some I already know how to do in one way, but there might be other better alternatives. Where there are multiple choices, I'll be soliciting feedback on which of the choices you think is best and why.

I will try keep a webpage of the solutions I've found so far. Over time, hopefully it'll be an extensive resource.

Of course, if anybody knows of such a resource already compiled, then just point me in the right direction.

Here's my task list.

  • A. Anti-Spyware/Anti-Virus/Anti-Rootkit Freeware Utilities :

    None.

  • B. Audio/Music/MP3/Real/Wav Freeware Utilities :
    1. burn a CD :
    2. burn an audio CD :
    3. organize the mp3 collection :
    4. play all mp3 files in a folder :
    5. play an audio CD :
    6. play an audio file :
    7. play real audio (.ra, .rm) files without the real software :
    8. record/save streaming music :
    9. rip music from a CD :
    10. show song lyrics for the song playing :
    11. tag/fix mp3/audio file tags : (maybe)

  • C. Business/Office Freeware Utilities :
    1. capture the screen :
    2. change the date/time on multiple files :
    3. convert a document into a different format :
    4. convert a document into pdf :
    5. create a small database :
    6. create pdf file :
    7. create/edit css lists :
    8. create/edit html color codes : (maybe)
    9. show all the fonts installed :

  • D. Communication Freeware Utilities :
    1. chat on IRC :
    2. chat with different messenger clients :
    3. check multiple email accounts with 1 utility :
    4. phone free using the internet :
    5. talk to skype and google-talk clients :
    6. telnet/ssh to a site :
    7. video conference with others : (maybe)

  • E. Desktop Freeware Utilities :
    1. add useful widgets :
    2. change desktop wallpaper automatically :
    3. display a calendar :
    4. display weather information :
    5. hide/bring back all the icons on the desktop :
    6. launch applications :
    7. launch applications quickly (icons) :
    8. launch applications with shortcut names :
    9. make application windows transparent : (maybe)
    10. multiple desktops and switch between them :
    11. synch computer clock to exact time :
    12. write sticky (post-it) notes on the desktop :

  • F. Editors/Notepad Replacements Freeware Utilities :
    1. edit programming source code :
    2. edit text :

  • G. Files and Folders Freeware Utilities :
    1. access files remotely :
    2. archive (zip) files :
    3. backup/mirror a folder on another drive :
    4. change file-date on multiple files :
    5. compare two text files and find difference or merge them :
    6. create a self-extracting compressed files archive for a list of files :
    7. display size/space of folders on a drive :
    8. encrypt a file :
    9. find/delete duplicate files :
    10. keep various versions of a file :
    11. list all files in a directory/folder in a text/html file :
    12. locate a file on the hard drive :
    13. perform muliple operations on files/folders :
    14. rename multiple files :
    15. search file/text on the computer :
    16. search and replace text in multiple files :
    17. upload/download using FTP :
    18. upload/download using TFTP :
    19. use GMail to store some files :
    20. view all text files in a folder :

  • H. Financial Freeware Utilities :
    1. manage personal finances :

  • I. Graphics/Images/Photographs Freeware Utilities :
    1. convert images into various formats :
    2. create a flash-based animated how-to/tutorial : (maybe)
    3. create a web photo album and slideshow from my photographs. :
    4. create icons :
    5. create thumbnails of images :
    6. draw charts/graphs in 2D/3D from data :
    7. draw diagrams :
    8. edit an image :
    9. find the color of any pixel :
    10. magnify image to pixel level :
    11. manage galleries of photographs :
    12. paint creatively :
    13. paint creatively (for kids) :
    14. pick a color from a pallette :
    15. remove unnecessary information from a jpeg file :
    16. stitch together multiple photographs :
    17. view images in an album folder :

  • J. Information/Fun/Misc Freeware Utilities :
    1. convert units of measures :
    2. find word meanings and synonymns :
    3. see 3d space simulation :
    4. solve a scientific calculation :
    5. solve equations and plot graphs :
    6. zoom onto the Earth from space :

  • K. Internet Freeware Utilities :
    1. backup mozilla (firefox/thunderbird) browser profile :
    2. blog from the desktop :
    3. create a single page html of all firefox bookmarks :
    4. create/edit html files / website :
    5. create/edit xml files :
    6. download a file via a torrent / p2p site :
    7. download an entire website :
    8. download manager for internet downloads :
    9. encrypt email messages :
    10. ftp multiple sites simultaeously :
    11. ftp files securely :
    12. log into an internet-connected computer from another :
    13. manage passwords :
    14. manage/resume file downloads :
    15. monitor bandwidth usage :
    16. read my RSS feeds :
    17. remove all html tags from a file to make a into text file :
    18. remove dead (404) bookmarks :
    19. safely browse the web :
    20. search the web from the browser :
    21. tune-up firefox browser :

  • L. Keyboard Freeware Utilities :
    1. automatically send defined keystrokes :
    2. easily enter unicode characters :
    3. remap the keyboard :

  • M. Performance/Recovery/System Freeware Utilities :
    1. backup/restore the gconf database :
    2. burn/create CD/DVD iso image files :
    3. capture all text written to screen :
    4. completely wipe/delete a file :
    5. completely wipe/delete a hard disk :
    6. defrag the hard drive :
    7. display CPU information :
    8. display TCP/UDP endpoints and applications using them :
    9. display all file activity in real-time :
    10. display all processes running :
    11. display hard drive status information :
    12. display system information :
    13. display/edit gconf entries neatly :
    14. find which program has a particular file or directory open :
    15. monitor bandwidth usage :
    16. optimize TCP/IP settings :
    17. remotely control another computer :
    18. scan IP/ open ports :
    19. tweak security settings :
    20. view/kill running tasks :

  • N. Productivity Freeware Utilities :
    1. connect two/more internet-connected-computers into a virtual network :
    2. keep more than 1 text snippet in the clipboard :
    3. organize calendar, contacts, to-do :
    4. organize schedules and tasks :
    5. read the text file to me :
    6. spell check in an application that doesn't have that feature : (maybe)

  • O. Programming Freeware Utilities :
    1. create installation programs :

  • P. Uninstaller Freeware Utilities :
    1. cleanly uninstall applications :

  • Q. Video/DVDs Freeware Utilities :
    1. backup a DVD :
    2. capture screen activity into a movie :
    3. copy a DVD :
    4. copy/shrink a DVD to the hard drive :

  • R. Windows Explorer Replacements/Shell Extensions Freeware Utilities :

    None.

  • S. Corrections :
    1. edit PDF files :
    2. print 2 pages on 1 side of the paper :

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