Here are links to and comments about our favorite apps, please feel free to let us know your favs.
When I'm setting up a new computer and will install a bunch of apps, I always go to https://ninite.com. Here's why:
- It's a secure site (notice the https), and doesn't load unwanted garbage along with the apps
- Everything I tried from there worked really well
- You pick all the ones you want, then get the installer which does the awesome job of downloading all your selected apps and installing them one-by-one. That means, you can do something more interesting while all the downloading and installing is going
TRUECRYPT is my absolutely most appreciated app, which you can get from ninite.com. It is free or was when I got it. I love it so much I've made several donations (I have it on more than one computer). If you have sensitive data on your system and are afraid your laptop or computer might get stolen or lost, this is the thing for you. Super strong encryption of your drive C, data drives/partitions, flash drives, etc. If anyone gets your system, getting access to anything intelligible is impossible. Warning! Don't lose your pass phrase or you are up the creek as they say. I've used it for years on Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008R without any issues at all. Here's a link to their site: http://www.truecrypt.org/
7ZIP is another favorite. There are several of these file compression and encryption apps out there and I'm sure there are many good ones. This is the one I tried and I like it so much, I didn't bother trying any others. It is free even for commercial use at the time of this writing. You can also get it from ninite.com. Here's a link to their site: http://www.7-zip.org/
CUTEPDF is a great PDF writer. I absolutely love this app and it is free. Sorry Adobe but I really like this better than yours. Here's their link: http://www.cutepdf.com/
SCREENCAST-O-MATIC is the app I've been using to create training videos for new hires. There is a free version that would probably do for most. But I'm too verbose so I needed to pay the ridiculously reasonable annual rate of $15/year. What a great deal! Here's their link: http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/
CHROME okay, I know not everyone is a google evangelist and yes, there are a few Microsoft type web sites that it doesn't support; but anyone who ignores the whole google ecosystem is short-changing themselves. Their spam filtering is very possibly the best in world, I used to have hundreds of spam at my office every day. The day we switched to GMail, it went down to near zero!!! Just like that we saved an hour a day, every day. Their calendar is awesome, their free storage on Google Drive that allows you to share documents and photos is terrific, their word processing/spreadsheet/presentation suite that is perfect for collaboration is fantastic, synching everything with all your devices, blah, blah it goes on an on and free, free. Oh, and Google Hangouts in my opinion is far better than skype which to me is intrusive and allows fewer people in a conversation. You can download Chrome as well as FireFox from ninite.com
PCC808.ORG This is a link to the Postal Customer Council of Hawaii, a USPS non-profit organization in Hawaii. The organization hosts events where you can network with other mailers and postal managers as well as learn about postal changes before they happen. The site also offers links to helpful USPS web pages and video "how tos" on things like Every Door Direct Mail" which is a nice way for neighborhood businesses like florists and repair shops to do low cost mailings.