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© Copyright Ron Brunton, 2014
Software Recommendations

ESET Security Suite

I am quite pleased with the ESET security suite. This builds on the NOD32 anti-virus program and supplies the firewall and malware protection through one interface. Recommended

EverNote

I am currently using EverNote to record the little titbits of information contained in e-mail, websites and the little notations I need to make from time to time such as the name of a musician or album I want to get or something for a Christmas present. So far Evernote has been an excellent application to do all of this. It also makes it easy to grab a web page or Internet article and save it, along with the page’s URL.

Skitch (from EverNote)

This is a handy piece of software for annotating images. I use it primarily to label images used in the help files that are part of the software I develop.

GetRight Download manager

There are many download managers. One of the earliest is GetRight. It links to my Anti-Virus software to automatically scan down loaded files and it will work with multiple sites so that the download takes place through multiple parallel channels. It's not particularly fancy, but it does the job extremely well. I don't have any need to search further for a download manager. www.getright.com 

MS Visual Studio

For programming I use Microsoft Visual C++. I know many people like BASIC and Visual Basic in particular. I use Visual Basic for Applications to create enhancements for my Excel spreadsheets. However, for the stand-alone programs, I haven't seen anything better than C++ within Visual Studio. C++ isn't a novice language. It is versatile and powerful. I occasionally use Visual Studio, the MS environment for MS Visual C++, for HTML editing (see below). Visual Studio 2008 is the implementation I am using at the moment.

Visual Assist (Whole Tomato Software)

This Visual Studio add-in by Whole Tomato Software is superb. It improves and streamlines the process of writing code dramatically. The Personal License for $99 (US) has limited (six months) support and no option to renew the maintenance service. The Standard Licence is $249 and provides 1 year of software updates and the option to renew the maintenance agreement. My personal license expired a year ago and I’m considering investing in another Personal License the tool is so valuable.

MS Office 2010 and MS Office 2013

I have been using a version of MS Word since I began using Windows which was in 1995 with Windows 95. I think my first Office Suite was Office 2000 and it has been a staple ever since. Word is simply a solid Swiss army knife word processor. There are very few writing and subsequent formatting tasks it cannot perform. Excel is a superb spreadsheet with far more functionality than I’ll ever be able to tap. I no longer have to do presentations, but PowerPoint is the standard against which all other presentation software is compared. Finally, Outlook combines email, calendar and contact information in a way that is sensible and efficient. Each iteration of Office has offered improvements, sometimes with an accompanying learning curve and I now really like MS Office 2013.

Multi-Edit 2008

The "classic" programmer's editor, Multi-Edit is extraordinarily flexible. All commands can be mapped to whatever keys desired. There is also a very robust macro language with the characteristics of current powerful programming languages with a C-like syntax, grammar and vocabulary. I have used Multi-Edit for many years and it remains the editor of choice when a low-overhead, text editor is needed, often for HTML code (since I use MS Visual Studio C++ for all my C++ programming). Although I am now using Xara Web Designer MX for my website design, Multi-Edit remains the code-level editor of choice. Multi-Edit Home Page 

Network Magic

I've found that Network Magic maintains my home network with little hassle and does so much more easily than trying to troubleshoot everything myself. On laptops it usually discovers the connections faster and resolves the assorted connection problems to which they are so very prone. Windows 7 is much better sorting out the various network connections and I find I am less dependent on Network Magic. The same is true for Windows 8.1. I am currently not running Network Magic and I’m not experiencing any problems locating the various computers and Network Attached Storage on the home network.

Diskeeper

There is some contradictory opinion concerning the value of de-fragmenting a hard drive. From my review of the various points of view, I think the argument for de-fragmenting is stronger. The de-fragmentation utility that comes as part of Windows XP may be adequate, but it requires manual intervention. I am extremely satisfied with Diskeeper, available from Condusiv Technologies. With the move to Windows 8.1, and my SSD boot drive, I am not currently using Diskeeper.

Roboform

There are now a number of password managers available, but after trying some others, I continue to prefer Roboform. It now provides cloud storage for passwords, so I have all my passwords, properly protected, available to me regardless of the computer or tablet I may be using. In fact, Roboform compatibility is a browser prerequisite and I won’t use a browser, regardless of any other advantages, that won’t support it.

Working with Pictures

I have used a number of tools to work with my pictures, primarily my underwater one that benefit from various corrections. These other tools include Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, Google’s Picassa 3, Ashampoo Photo Commander, Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 4 and PixBuilder Studio. Adobe Photoshop Elements 10: This is my current primary picture editing software. However, I have not had an opportunity to really try it with underwater picture optimization. Lightroom 4: Although I purchased Lightroom, I have not yet discovered how to use it effectively. Picassa 3: I turn to this software next and it`s often a toss-up between Picassa and Photoshop Elements. The general picture adjustments work very well on most of the underwater pictures. In addition, it is easy to publish pictures to my Google + photo gallery for sharing with others. Ashampoo: This software is interesting and powerful, but the nag-ware, even with paid versions is very annoying. PixBuilder Studio: This is free and is the only one in the set that makes it easy to draw on pictures.

SnapCrab (for Windows)

For screen capture I have been using SnapCrab from Fenir software. All the screen shots in the help files with the software I have developed were obtained using SnapCrab.

Revo Uninstaller Pro

Although the normal uninstall procedures work reasonably well, I like to keep my system as free of unwanted and lingering detritus as possible. Revo Uninstaller Pro provides a thorough garbage collection process removing the Registry entries and spurious files left after a program`s normal uninstall routine has completed.

Mozy Home

I have been using Mozy Home for cloud backup for a few years now and I’m extremely pleased with it. There have been far too many time when I would have lost important file if I had not had them backed up to the Mozy cloud. The program works seamlessly in the background. At this point I may have to increase my storage with Mozy.

Foxit Reader

Although I do use Adobe Photoshop Elements, I am generally less than delighted with most Adobe software. In particular, I do not like Adobe Reader. The Foxit Reader is an excellent replacement that integrates well into browsers as well as a stand-alone PDF reader.

Xara Web Designer 10

I have recently begun using Xara Web Designer 9 to develop the content for my website. The program is powerful and provides most of the flexibility required to build my pages. Although I’ve encountered a few limitations trying to include a Google search element and a “last modified” indication, all other tasks are handled very effectively.

Acronis True Image 2013

I have recently added True Image to my set of regularly used software. It’s additional security to Mozy and I have used it to recover both individual files and whole partitions when I have needed to restore the operating system and working programs.

Ipswitch WS_FTP 12

I use this FTP program for virtually all the direct maintenance on my website. Post new versions of my software is handled very smoothly.

Dropbox

I use Dropbox as one of the two primary cloud storage locations.

OneDrive

From Microsoft and used in conjunction with my live.com account, this cloud storage option provides a lot of space for free.

Programs and Utilities I like, use and recommend:

The following software are programs I use. These programs accomplish their designated task in an effective, efficient and aesthetic manner. Where possible I have included a link to the author's website. I am currently running Windows 8 and like the new OS. I had been using Windows 7 and Vista. With the latter, I experienced none of the woes reported by others even though I was running it on a custom built system - Intel Core 2 Duo 6700, 4 GB DDR2, ATI All-in-Wonder x1900, 1 500 GB SATA HD, 1 1000 GB SATA HD and 1 320 GB SATA HD. My new system, also one I put together is: Intel i7-3930, 20 GB DDR3 Ram, 256 GB SSD, 2 TB HD, ATI Saphire Radeaon 7850. I also use the software I have written, but since those programs are listed in the "BruntonSoft Software" page, I won't repeat them here.
Software Recommendations