A selection of links to Information sites and software, with a short description and explanation of why I like these software applications and information sites. The selection is based on what use because I need or like it for my profession or interests.
Some characteristics I think good software should have.
There are many examples where freeware options are better in performance and size-performance relation than commercial equivalents.
Normally, when you ask information about a new computer, software is referred to as an add-on, as something useful to have. To sell the computer, the dealer normally installs copies of necessary software for free. If you'd have to buy all the software you need to be able to use your computer properly, the total price easily gets so high that the hardware becomes an add-on to the software.
Free dictionary for several forms of English. You download software and database to install on your computer. Not perfect in all definitions but very useful for being extremely fast (select word, press ctrl-alt-w and results appear in an instant) and having many search functions like: nearest, synonyms, type of, types, replace.
Because I do a lot of copying and pasting and often have several pieces I need to copy repeatedly, I use Clipboard Recorder It stores up to a hundred text fragments and image's that can be copied and pasted between all windows programmes. You can even set it to store clips to the HD when you close the computer.
For me Opera is the easiest and fastest browser. It has many useful and practical features others don't have or incorporate much after Opera. A few examples. Navigating through sites with "Mouse Gestures" including opening links in a background tab. Downloads are not only fast but they start as soon as you click on the link instead of after you determine where to save the file. Sometimes it takes me a while to decide where to save something in order not to lose it in the bulk of files on my drive. In many of these cases download was already half way or even finished by the time I had decided in which folder to save.
Many of these features have now been adopted by other browsers.
Older versions of Opera used to crash a lot but now it hardly hapens.
For long WordPerfect was the best wordprocessor for me, until version 8. It has good default settings but is also very mouldable. It's easy to change things like layout, fonts, styles. Most of the special things I want to do with my text or to facilitate the use, I can, and it isn't difficult to find out how to do whatever I want.
WordPerfect's trump feature is "reveal codes". A perfectionist in layout inevitably comes to the point where a text starts to have a will of its own. It can for instance start to indent flush, left or right and no way to tame the thing. Press Alt-F3 and a window appears showing all codes like bold, indent, language, font size, graphic line. In this window you can edit these codes. You can for instance delete, select-cut-past and place the cursor between elements where you couldn't in the normal edit window or in other wordprocessors.
Unfortunately Wordperfect8 is now (2013) realy starting to show incompatibility problems. Really needing to change, among the best options are OpenOffice, LiberOffice and a LaTeX editor.
For texts like language teaching material and contracts, which I want to have all in the same format, I use the LaTeX editor MiKTeX. For other documents which need not follow a standard format, I prefer LiberOffice. OpenOffice is quite good too but for me LiberOffice is a bit better.
The best file-browser and -manager I've found is Xplorer2. It is similar to the famous old Norton Commander Has several useful features like tree and two panel view, compare panels, preview. It comes with Editor2.
Editor2 is a simple small fast text-editor. It has practical features but is small and easy enough. I use it for simple text files and to make small changes to HTML files.
SequoiaView gives visual representation of the size of files and directories. It shows in a glance which files or directories take up much disk space, helping to chose which to delete or move if necessary.
Below software and services I use or have used to build and maintain this site. Some of them also helped me to learn how to do it.
Stone Webwriter is an easy to use HTML editor, used to be free for non-commercial use. It helped me a lot with learning HTML and to get me on my way with site building. Unfortunately there is no free english version available any more
HTML kit is a free but less easy to use HTML editor. It has interesting feature: a function for checking and correcting HTML code, according to the standards of www.w3.org.
Now that I have my site built and I use existing pages as models for new ones, I'm using Notepad++, a general editor popular with programmers.
FileZilla is a fast and reliable ftp-client (software). Once you get used to it, it is easy to use. FileZilla is free open software.
StatCounter provides useful statistics about your site such as page views, unique visitors, where visitors came from, how they navigated through your site (visitor path). It's free and doesn't place ads on your site. You can choose whether you want to place their logo or banner on your pages or not.
Most of what I know about building web sites, HTML, php, SQL, I've learnd from these and similar sites.