Listed below are some of the best software around (usually shareware, so even cheapos can get it) that I think everyone should have. If you don't then either follow the link or buy the damn thing. Note: I take no responsibility if your computer hacks up, blows up, your house catches on fire, you dog dies, your car is stolen, or if you get cancer, after installing one of these, sue Microsoft (or whatever) not me.
directly to these sections :
Programs that everyone should(already)have
Wintune 97 : Great benchmarker/diagnostic/system tuner. Especially usefull after tweaking your system to get that extra one drop of performance.
Netscape Communicator 4.x :A little buggy at first but version 4.04+ should fix most of the problems.
Internet Explorer 4 : Very buggy on some older (messier) systems. Try not to install too much stuff before and after installing IE 4. The active desktop thingy is too slow, but the desktop enhancements are well worth it.
Real Audio 5.0 : If you've got a 56K modem (or even lesser) than this is a must. Online streaming video and audio, at full screen, up to CD quality sound is well worth it.
Macromedia Shockwave plugin : Some multimedia sites have great stuff, but you'll need this little piece of software. Well worth it, but a little slow sometimes. I think it came with the full installation of IE 4.0, so check it out.
Quick Time 95 : Don't you just love those navigatable movies, where you can view a 360 degrees scene and zoom into everything. Its like a cross between a photo and a movie.
WS(Win Socket) FTP PRO : There are two evaluation versions of WS FTP. Don't you hate it when you are downloading a 14 MB files and at 98% complete, the connection is lost? The PRO one supports resumed download which means that if you are disconnected from downloading a file from a FTP site, this programs resumes the download from where you left off.
Winamp : Plays MP3 Files. They are compressed CD quality music files, usually around 1 MB for 1 minute. So a song will usually be around 3 MBs. Note: Some site offer illegal MP3 files and should be avoided. Downloading commercial MP3 without paying for it is piracy. Look out for streaming MP3s, get a ISDN connection and stream CD quality MP3s, and I am not exagerating at all. Even at 56 K, you can stream VCR quality music, better quality than listening to a radio station.
XING MPEG Player : Wow, a proper software Video CD player for WIN95 at last. On my 166MMX I can play Video CDs at their full frame, full screen, CD quality (44 KHZ) sound. Version 3.30 now supports MP3s. A must for anyone with a CD-ROM, good computer and a brain.
Yamaha Soft Synth : Do you have a soundcard without wavetable support? Well now you don't need it, at least in Windows 95. Yamaha have made a piece of software that can play midi files (remember those?) at wavetable (or better) quality. All you need is at least a P166 and you are away. It plays better than my SB AWE 32, so what are you waiting for? Unfortunately, only an evaluation version is available, does any one know of a commercial version?
MS Plus : Cosmetic differences are still very important. Would you rather look at an ugly super model? Buy it now.
Paint Shop Pro : Great program for fixing up those JPEGS and BMPS.
Winzip 95: I think most people have this already. Well if you don't, then you're an idiot.
QEMM 97 : You can have 1 GB of SD RAM and still won't be able to run Wing Commander 1 (you know, the EGA version) without conventional memory. Yes, there is such thing as different kinds of memory, WIN95 generation users, and WIN95 needs it as well. If you can't be bothered to run MEMMAKER.exe or to spend hours tweaking that config.sys and autoexec.bat (like in the old days...) then get QEMM. Lets just say your average 560K of conventional memory will magically turn into 630K or even more and you can finally run Wing Commander 1. Buy it at all good computer stores(I sound like a commercial don't I?). Check out their web site too at
www.qdeck.com (or something like that).
Directx 5.0 : If you haven't bought any new games in the last 3 years, chances are you probably don't have this. Even if you think you do, check whether it is version 5.0 and not 3.0. MMX owners should at least have 3.0a as 3.0 is buggy. Find it on the microsoft web site.
Must Have Games:
Command and Conquer : The first proper real time strategy/action game. Lets run over those rocket infantry with my brand new M1 tank. Get the WIN95 version now, do it soldier. Check it out and download a demo at www.westwood.com
Red Alert : Sequel (or prequel if you must) to the superb C&C(see above, blindy). Much more stuff, much more action, much more gore and much more system requirements. Get it now soldier and thats an order. Check it out at www.westwood.com
All starwars games : Check out my games page now.
Duke 3D : Get the full game and all the add ons. The third best 3D game. "Hail to the King, baby".
Quake : Get the full game and all the total conversion packs. The second best 3D game. Check it out at www.idsoftware.com
Quake 2 : Get the full game and all the total conversion packs. The best 3D game. Check it out at www.idsoftware.com