Joshua's Cheatsheets - Favorite Programs

Meta: Places to Find Good Software

Software List


  • Productivity
  • Utilities
  • Dev
  • Converters
  • Security
  • Multimedia
  • Design
  • Other
Category Name & URL Free? Platform What it is
Productivity OneNote Yes ALL (+ Web) Ultimate note-taking, organization app
Utilities Nirsoft Yes Win A huge collection of small freeware utility programs, all developed by a single person (Nir Sofer). Most are IT / dev-ops focused.

For an example, check out the most popular download - Wireless Network Watcher.
OS Utilities AquaSnap No Win Advanced window management, snapping, multi-monitor support, etc.
Dev VSCode Yes ALL IDE, focused on web dev
Dev Notepad++ Yes Win In-between notepad and a real IDE. Good for lightweight code editing / scratchpads / quick edits.
Converters DoPDF *Yes Win Print from any app to PDF
Security Eset NOD32 No Win My go-to antivirus/firewall/etc. Very reputable.
Utilities Image Resizer Powertool (Github) Yes Win Instantly resize images with just one or two clicks. Launches from right click menu.
Design Yes Win Somewhere in-between MS Paint and Gimp/Photoshop. Easy to use graphical editor.
Utilities SyncToy Yes Win Keep directories in sync
Multimedia Greenshot Yes Win, Mac Screenshot taker
Converters HandBrake Yes All Video converter
Converters AVS4You Video Converter *Yes Win Video converter
Utilities LockHunter Yes Win Find out what is locking a file or directory
Utilities MiniTool Partition Wizard *Yes Win, *All Partition manager
Utilities Parted Magic *Yes *All Bootable partition manager, with a ton of extra utilities thrown in (HDD erase tools, system utils, etc).

They went commercial, but the last free version can be found here, on MajorGeeks
Utilities PeaZip Yes Win, *All Zip / Archive tool
Other Cyotek Sitemap Creator Yes Win Crawler / Sitemap creator
Multimedia Videopad Video Editor *Yes Win Slim video editor
Multimedia oCam *Yes Win Video capture Software

Warning: Some downloads come bundled with adware
Utilities theRenamer Yes Win Automatic renaming of TV episodes and movies based on API matching
Utilities den4b Renamer *Yes Win Advanced bulk filename renamer
Dev Yenka Circuit Simulator *Yes Win Circuit simulator
Multimedia PotPlayer Yes Win Video player
Dev Laragon Yes Win WAMP stack
Dev Postman Yes ALL API testing, request sender, etc.
Dev RequestBin *Yes All (web) Provides a public endpoint you can use to capture and inspect HTTP requests.
Dev Ngrok *Yes All Instant reverse-proxy to localhost.
Utilities Eraser Yes Win Secure file eraser
Utilities HWiNFO Yes Win System Hardware readout / sensor info / diagnostics
Other MouseJiggler Yes Win Super simply program - while running, keeps "jiggling" your mouse pointer to stop any screensaver / auto shutoffs from triggering
Other Yumi Yes All Multi-boot USB manager
Other Rufus Yes Win Bootable USB creator. Best-in-class, and perfect for creating OS install media.
Dev HeidiSQL Yes Win SQL Database editor, browser, manager, etc. Very full-featured, yet intuitive to use and well-designed.
Dev SQLite Studio Yes All Portable, lightweight SQLite browser / editor. Easy to use.
Design / Dev ColorPix Yes Win Portable freeware tiny app that lets you grab Hex / RGB / etc. values from pixels on your screen. Super handy for design.
Dev WinSCP Yes Win FTP client. My favorite feature is the special "keep remote directory up to date" sub-feature of the "synchronize" feature. This will auto-upload changed files as you edit them locally, with optional config settings on which files to watch. Hard to find in other FTP clients.
Dev Fork Yes Win, Mac Git GUI client. Probably the only one I have ever tried and actually liked and found value in over the CLI. Very powerful and actually intuitive to use!
Multimedia NAPS2 Yes Win, Linux "Not Another PDF Scanner 2"

Excellent lightweight freeware (and OpenSource!) scanner software. Honestly the best all-in-one tool I've found for bulk scanning to image files or PDFs. Has built in controls for cropping, image adjustment, OCR, reordering files from duplex scans, and much more! Also has CLI tool.
Productivity Typora *Yes ALL Markdown editor, focused on being as minimal as possible. Has dev features, but UI is similar to basic text editor like Word, so non-devs should be comfortable with it as well.

* = free while in beta. Those looking for a free alternative to Typora might want to check out Mark Text (see below).
Productivity Mark Text Yes ALL Markdown editor, very similar to Typora in both UI and functionality, but is free and open-source.
Productivity Markdown Monster *Yes Win Markdown editor, very full-featured and with a dev-focus.

* = Free for evaluation, purchase strongly encouraged.

Other stuff

  • Secure erase

    • Lists:

    • Best for windows: Eraser
    • Bootable option:

      • The best option used to be Darik's Boot and Nuke (known by most as DBAN), but it looks like it got bought and is now a commercial product

        • You can still get the old version here
        • Note: Sounds like ISAAC is preferred over Mersenne Twister for PRNG
        • The underlying wipe commands that powered DBAN were forked into nwipe, which is now bundled into other software (see below)
      • nwipe Powered:

        • Shred OS is basically a more up-to-date DBAN, which supports UEFI and is based on nwipe
        • Parted Magic (partition manager) now comes bundled with nwipe

          • However, just like DBAN, they went commercial. The last free version can be found here, on MajorGeeks
      • CMRR HDDErase from UC San Diego

        • Does NOT use DOD wipe or any other wipe method that involves randomly writing data over blocks - only uses the Secure Erase or Enhanced Secure Erase function, which is built into the HDD by the manufacturer
        • This method tends to have more success with SSDs than others
        • Places a lot of trust in manufacturers... and some drives do not properly implement this!!!

Operating Systems

My go-to OS has pretty much always been Windows, but I also enjoy using Linux.

Linux Distros

In general, although it's not always perfect, I'm good with Ubuntu and its derivatives.

I've been particularly impressed with Lubuntu (aka Lightweight Ubuntu) for breathing new life into very old, under-powered machines. Or as a "rescue" OS, to keep on a thumb drive.

For users uncomfortable with change and wanting a "set and forget", Windows-like experience, Linux Mint (especially the Cinnamon desktop variant) is a fairly safe bet.

Master Lists

The Wikipedia page - Comparison of Linux distributions - is probably one of the largest compiled spreadsheets.

Linux Distro Pickers

For picking a new distro to try out, there are a few tools out there that will give you suggestions after you answer a few questions.

Comparing Linux Distros Based on Performance and Resource Usage

Try to remember that it's not always black-and-white when trying to compare distros or desktop environments based on performance. After all, it matters what you are doing with the OS once you have installed it; are you running games? Web browsers? Compiling software?

That being said, here are some helpful points of reference:

In general, my understanding of desktop performance as of right now, is something like (best to worse, in terms of using less resources):

  1. Very close in tying for popular, best low-performance desktop:

    • Xfce

      • Example OSes: Xubuntu, Linux Lite, offered option on many OSes
    • LXQt

      • Example OSes: Lubuntu, offered option on many OSes (such as Manjaro, Debian, etc.)
      • This is the QT port of Lxde, but is also focused on lightweight minimalism
    • LXDE

      • Example OSes: Knoppix, Peppermint
      • Pretty much replaced by LXQt, the QT port which is actively maintained

        • For example, Lubuntu switched from this to LXQt
  2. MATE

    • Example OSes: Ubuntu Mate, option on Linux Mint
    • Fork and continuation of GNOME 2
    • Popular as an option with Linux Mint, as a faster (yet less pretty and more simplified) alternative to Cinnamon.

      • However, with the strides made on Cinnamon, they are pretty close in terms of resource usage now
  3. Cinnamon

    • Example OSes: It is the default desktop on Linux Mint, optional on others
    • Has a MS Windows look, very polished
  4. GNOME Shell (aka Gnome v3+ or GNOME 3)

    • Example OSes: Ubuntu (on 18.04 and above, after dropping Unity), Fedora, Debian, and many others
  5. Unity

    • Example OSes: Ubuntu, but ending with 16.04 LTS (v18.04 LTS switched to GNOME 3)
    • Abandoned by Canonical, not very well received
  6. KDE Plasma (right now at version 5)

    • Example OSes: Kubuntu, Mandriva, Chakra, etc.
Markdown Source Last Updated:
Wed May 20 2020 01:23:44 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Markdown Source Created:
Sun Aug 25 2019 23:32:12 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
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