Here’s stuff I use and like, broken into rough categories.

Full disclosure;  I’m a Windows guy at my day job, but run Linux primarily at home.  Windows 10 gave me the push I needed to ditch Windows on any machine I could.   I favor open source languages, software and development tools.


  • SABnzbd – Old standby I’ve been running for years.  Get your usenet on.
  • CouchPotato – Go one better – automate your usenet.
  • SickBeard – Go two better!
  • Deluge – For when usenet occasionally lets you down.
  • Plex – A hesitant recommendation on this.  No media server does everything I want, the way I want it.  So far Plex comes the closest.

Pale Moon

  • Pale Moon – What’s Pale Moon?  It’s like Firefox, only betterer.
  • Lastpass – Cross browser password manager.
  • Web Developer – An add-on chock full of useful goodness for website development and troubleshooting.
  • Ublock Origin – Best ablocker right now.
  • NoScript – This add-on stops all scripting and cross-scripting from running.  It takes some work to configure (you won’t believe how many domains you’re actually served from when you hit a site like eBay or YouTube) but totally worth it.  This, combined with Ad-Block, is the web prophylactic.
  • IE Tab 2 – Add-on that runs IE within Firefox. Great for those annoying sites that just don’t work in Firefox.  Caution – it’s not emulating Internet Exploder, it’s running it.  Take the necessary precautions and use only when absolutely necessary.


  • Zindus – Keep your contacts in sync.  Technically this is meant to sync Gmail to Thunderbird, but if you don’t currently use Gmail it’s worth opening an account just to use it as the repository for your contacts.  Another winner when it comes to rebuild time.


  • Peerblock – Controls who your machine is willing to talk to on the ‘net.  Frequently updated lists of naughty addresses keep you safe from nefarious suckers and prying eyes.
  • Hotspot Shield – Free as in beer IPSec VPN.  Ad revenue driven – combine with Adblock to keep it at bay.
  • Sandboxie – Technically Sandboxie isn’t free – and I was trying to keep this list narrowed to free stuff only – but the nag after 30 days isn’t bad, and if you need Sandboxie, you need Sandboxie.
  • Pi-Hole – Get yourself a Raspberry Pi, an 8 gig card, and install pi-hole on your local area network. Kiss ads goodbye!

Apps That Work Better Than Their More Well Known And/Or Costly Cousins

  • Foxit – Stop using that ridiculously bloated, confusingly resource intensive Acrobat to read PDFs.  Foxit does it better, smaller and quicker.
  • 7Zip – What do you need to unpack?  Never mind, it doesn’t matter – 7Zip will do it.
  • CDBurnerXP – Don’t let the name fool you, it isn’t just for XP.  It’s small, it’s free, it burns CDs/DVDs.
  • Exact Audio Copy – Rip a CD for free.  To get the most out of EAC you’ll also need:
  • LAME – The best MP3 encoder out there.  Link leads to the SourceForge entry listing sites that offer the binaries Windows users need.
  • SlySoft Virtual Clonedrive – Don’t burn that image to actual media if you’re just gonna install it once and trash it – mount it as a virtual drive!
  • Notepad++ – Code editor, text manipulator, notepad replacement.  I write everything from CSS to Perl in Notepad++.
  • Handbrake – Ultra awesome cross OS video transcoder.

iPhone Stuff (mostly applies to Jailbroken)

  • YouMail – YouMail integrates with your phone and becomes your voicemail box.  Listen to voicemail online, listen to it on your phone,  download it to your phone, mail it to yourself or someone else, you name it.  It’s what voicemail ought to be.  As an added bonus, it can creep out the people in your address book because it creates custom greetings including their name.
  • Evernote – I use Evernote to sync information between my machines and my Blackberry.  Honestly, it kind of sucks – as do all its competitors.  The client crashed so often on my 64bit Winders 7 machine that I took it off and only use the web app.  It’s only a matter of time before someone builds a better mousetrap here.
  • Installous – from the Hackulous repository.
  • iSHSHit – Mail yourself your SHSH blob quick!  You’ll probably need the modmyi repo.
  • iBye – Back up your phone apps.  Modmyi repo.


  • My Cycling Log –  I keep track of my rides, including commutes, here.
  • BikeWire – I also keep track of my rides here, just as a backup.
  • Runkeeper – Not the deepest, but combined with the free iPhone app it gets the job done.

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