A collection of usefull, interesting, cool or just plain required PC progs, apps, and info.
The GIMP - for Win32!
"The GIMP" is a GNU Image Manipulation Program - that is, essentially freeware, with freely distributable
code. Creativity-wise, it kicks butt (95% of the graphics and titles you see on this site were
created with the GIMP)
The GIMP has sometimes been called a PhotoShop clone, which isn't entirely accurate, but the basic concepts
are the same, and it can definitely do virtually everything PhotoShop can, plus some more. Two of
the main advantages of the GIMP are its very cool text-rendering filters, and the fact that it has a lot of
built-in filters, whereas PhotoShop relies heavily on plug-ins. So compare - PhotoShop for about a
$grand, or The GIMP for zip... not really worth thinking about, is it?
Original the GIMP was a Linux app. But now it's being "ported" to most other OSs, ie. Windows
and MacOS X. I usually use the Win32 port. I do have it on Linux, but unfortunately
I still need to use Windows for a lot of stuff, so it's nice to have a GIMP for every occasion!
If you want to do cool looking graphics, then the GIMP is the program for you - and it's free!
(Plus the download is only around 7MB, and comes with virtually everything you need!)
Tor Lillqvist's Win32 port of the GIMP can be found here
The official GIMP home is here
Here's my script-fu for rotoscoping lightsabre blades. Just pop it in your
"scripts" directory in your GIMP folder, and run it on a selected blade.
Here's my guide to using it - GIMPing a LighSabre!
Download Blade-Roto Script-fu Version1.3 (new corona colour added
Here's my current line-up:
(and a few others lying around somewhere...)
- AMD Athlon XP2400, Albatron KX18D ProII motherboard (nForce2), 512MB Geil Dual-Channel DDRAM (2x256MB), black case, 128MB Albatron FX5200 Video Card running DualView twin 17" monitors, 200GB and 20GB 7.2Krpm ATA100 HardDrives, DVD-burner.
Currently single-boot XP Pro, plan multi-boot with Fedora Core and
- Compaq Presario V4221TU 1.5GHz laptop, 15.4" widescreen, 512MB RAM, 60GB HardDrive, DVD-burner, wireless network.
Dual-boot, XP and DamnSmallLinux
- Compaq Armada 1592DT P233 laptop, 64MB RAM, 4GB HardDrive, PCMCIA network. Docking
station for MIDI output.
Dual-boot, WinME and DamnSmallLinux
- AMD K6-2+ 450, Aopen AX59Pro Super7 motherboard, custom-sprayed ATX case, 384MB PC133 SDRAM,
32MB TNT2 Vanta 3D Video Card, SB AWE64 soundcard, 10/100 ethernet, no harddrive at present. Going to become
dedicated Linux machine.
- Toshiba T4700CS DX50 laptop, 8MB RAM, 200MB HardDrive, built-in soundcard, custom sprayed,
DeskStation IV docking station with SB Vibra16 installed (for MIDI output), battery stuffed
- Compaq Deskpro DX50, 8MB RAM, 200MB HardDrive (potential MIDI contoller / virtual synth)
- D-Link DSL-504G ADSL Modem / Firewall / 100Mb 4port switch
- Netgear FM114P Firewall / 100Mb 4port switch / Wireless Access Point
- SMC SMC2662W USB Wireless Network adapter
- Cannon S400 1440x720dpi inkjet printer
- Lexmark 4039 10R Plus 600dpi Black and White laser printer
- Hewlett Packard HP J2600A 10Mbit 12port hub
My (old) setup; custom-sprayed PCs, MIDI keyboards,
50W stereo amp & 12" woofers,
and velvet chair!
OpenOffice: Forget spending a fortune on M$ Office - Open Office does everything
M$ Office does, plus more, all for FREE. OO is an extremely impressive package, and has so far opened every single M$ Office file that I have thrown at it, including files made with the very latest versions of
ModPlug Tracker: A very good, free, MOD tracker - find some good samples, whack 'em in
the pattern editor, and you're on your way to creating some cool (maybe) songs.
JAZZ Sequencer: One of the top MIDI sequencers, Jazz has now gone under the GNU license,
meaning it is now "basically" freeware.
AudioSim Virtual Synth: Extremely cool virtual synth that will run on virtually any
machine, as long as it has an original Creative Sound Blaster sound-card (ie. clones don't work -
apparently uses the hardware specific to SBs only).
Full realtime MIDI control (NO LAG!!!) means it can make for a very cheap Virtual Analog synthesiser
replacement (only monophony though). Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available anymore - I may
post the demo (works, but doesn't allow saving) here in the near future.
Sim Synth: Cool virtual synthesiser, needs a pretty fast processer though.
WinAmp: THE mp3 player, great quality, tons of skins and plugins available, basically
all you could want in an mp3 player!
Skinz.org - thousands of skinz for WinAmp, plus virtually
every other skinable app!
AudioGrabber: This (now) freeware CD-Ripper will grab the audio off discs digitally
in a fraction of the time it would take to record normally. Also has an mp3 encoding front-end
- I use LAME (below), set to 160kb/s, Joint Stereo, for good quality, small file-size mp3s.
LAME: A high quality free mp3 encoder. Is available as a stand-alone
encoder, or a dll that plugs into Audio Crusher
Shareaza: The best of the current Peer-to-Peer file-share programs, can connect to
multiple popular networks as well as BitTorrents.
ID3 Master: Cool little freeware program for automatically adding ID3 tags to your
ripped mp3s from the file name - eg., you can convert the filename "Cold -02- Suffocate.mp3" to an ID3 tag of
"Artist=Cold Track#=02 Title=Suffocate"
ID3 Master Home
The GIMP: Extremely cool graphics program, similar to PhotoShop but FREE! - see
[The GIMP] above.
Paint Shop Pro: Very good shareware prog when it comes to resizing, cut/paste/edit, basic
image creation, etc. I use this for pre- and post-creation editing from the GIMP, as, for simple
editing of pics, it's just about the best there is (ie. I'll set up an image using PSP, do the creative stuff
on it using the GIMP, then do the resizing / clarifying / cutting up /etc. using PSP again)
Jasc Software Home
Ultimate Paint: Basic freeware graphics program, but with some great plug-in filters that
make it more than worth-while!
Ulimate Paint Home
MS GIF Animator: Shock horror, a FREE Micro$oft product!! ; )
Very simple and effective gif animator - just paste the images in the sequence you want, fiddle the settings,
ACDSee: THE prog to use if you want to browse through graphics directories - fast
thumbnailing views, drag-'n'-drop, slideshow, renaming, everything you need for quick and easy browsing /
organising of your graphics files.
XnView: Freeware thumbnail program similar to ACDSee.
VirtualDub: Freeware video editor. Lets you capture video, convert file types, recompress
using different codecs, apply filtering...
DVD Shrink: Freeware DVD re-compressor, ideal for fitting dual-layer DVDs onto burnable
DVD Shrink Home
DivX: Not a program, but a video compression codec. Extremely good for compressing large videos to smaller ones, while still retaining quality.
MAME and MAME ROMS
MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator): Remember going down to the local take-away shop
to play the arcade machines? Well, MAME lets you play 'em all again! It ain't clones,
these are the real game!!
Net Related Software
WS-FTP LE: Extremely good freeware FTP program, if you need an FTP program to upload your
pages, this is the one!
Download from: www.ipswitch.com
SciTE: My new favourite text/code editor, SciTE (the Scintilla Text Editor) is available on
practically every platform, and can be found as a stand-alone file you can pop on your USB drive and take wherever
you may need to do some coding/editing! With line numbers, colour-coding, multiple file opening,
HTML/HTM opening/saving, search and replace, drag and drop, etc...
NotePad+: Ideal for hand-coding your pages, NotePad+ replaces the standard Windows
Notepad with one that allows multiple file opening, HTML/HTM opening/saving, search and replace, drag and
drop, and heaps more.
NetMeter: Freeware Download/Upload Meter that keeps tabe on how much traffic has been
coming and going through your internet connection. Great for if your ISP has a download limit.
Browser Safe Color Selector: Cool little freeware program that lets you pick web-safe
text colours, displaying them on the fly. Ideal for finding colours that work with your
backgrounds, which can otherwise be a real pain...
WellStyled.com Colour Scheme Generator: This online tool is great for coming up with ideas for site colour schemes.
Colour Scheme Generator
Cool Font Sites
DaFont - awesome site giving a full display
of every character inside the fontsets. And they're all free!
AcidCool Fonts - tons of free fonts!
Fonts For Freaks - the title says it all!
1001 Fonts - what the name says. Well indexed.