/ SOFTWARE

Anthony's Guide to a New PC

If you’ve got a new PC recently, or you just re-installed Windows, it’s important you get back up to speed with your machine and integrate it properly into your workflow.

Ninite

Installing a lot of software is usually very cumbersome. You have to go to umpteen websites to download installers, and you’ll be bound to forget something. That’s where Ninite comes in. Ninite will let you choose from a list of up to date applications and create a custom installer to install all those programs at once.

Here are some of my recommendations from Ninite’s list.

Chrome, Firefox: These are two great browsers that will replace Internet Explorer. Chrome happens to be my personal favorite because of it’s outstanding syncing features.

Pidgin: This is probably the best IM client I have ever used. It connects to just about any IM service you can think of, and is extremely lightweight.

VLC, Foobar2000: These two applications are a must since you’ll inevitably need to play a video file or manage your music. Both Foobar and VLC are extremely customizable, and support just about any file type you can think of.

Java, Flash: You’ll probably need these at some point, but if you use Chrome, Flash can be omitted since it’s bundled with the browser.

LibreOffice: Great free open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. I’ve recently moved to Google Docs, but it’s still a viable alternative if you don’t want a cloud office suite.

Malwarebytes: This has been my go to anti-malware software for years. It’s extremely comprehensive, and is updated frequently with the latest definitions.

Dropbox, Google Drive: Both great online storage solutions. I use both of them.

Steam: If you’re a gamer this one is self explanatory.

WinDirStat is listed on the Ninite website, but I’d skip it in favor of SpaceSniffer.

Notepad++: Great alternative to the built in Notepad, and supports syntax highlighting and tabbed files.

PC Maintenance:

Defraggler is by far the best defragmentation tool I’ve ever used. It’s a great replacement to the built in Windows Disk Defragmenter, and has many more useful features.

CCleaner is a replacement app for Disk Cleanup that’s a bit more comprehensive, and lets you clean up registry files, uninstall programs, and manage your startup applications.

FreeFileSync has been my backup software for about a year now. It’s updated frequently with new features and is much better than most software bundled with backup drives. This is a must for any system, new or old. I cannot stress how important it is to backup your important data.

Stability Testing & Benchmarking

Prime95 will stress your CPU to check if it’s stable. This is important if you’re overclocking your PC, but not necessary if you bought a pre-built system or a laptop.

Furmark is similar to Prime95, except it stresses the GPU. Again, not necessary unless you built your own machine.

3DMark or PCMark benchmarks your GPU or whole system respectively and publishes your results online for sharing.

And when all else fails, call the computer man.