Basic Application Programs For The General PCs

New PC/Notebook comes bloated with unnecessary programs at start-up. This will take up memory space and slow down the computer booting-up. Also with less memory available, computing will become slower with the OS having to swap the idle program to the hard disk to free more memory space to execute current process.

Those programs that run at Windows start-up do not have to be necessarily removed, just unable them to execute during start-up. This can be done easily with freeware programs such as Ccleaner and Tweaknow, just to mention a few, there are many others that can do the job. Only when the need arises, the programs that has been disabled at start-up, can then be executed to perform its functions.

Once the programs has been disabled, it is practically just the OS system running after booting-up Windows Then there’s the question, ”What are the basic application programs that are needed to be installed for general use?” Here’s a list of what I think that are the basic necessities that need to be installed on a new PC or PC that has been reformatted and had Windows cleanly installed on it for general use. They are not in particular order except for the first one below.

AntiVirus and Firewall

It goes without saying that these are a must have application programs. Formerly they are a separate entity, and some still are, but the trend now is to bunch them together plus some other functions and called them Internet Security Suite. It is named Internet Security maybe it is because nowadays viruses and other form of malware mainly come from the Internet and not anymore from the floppy disk which is practically now non-existent. What we have now in place of the floppy disk is the thumb drive which is still a potential source for viruses especially the autorun.inf virus. For home users, Comodo Firewall + AntiVirus provides the solutions in one suite. There are two sets of installer to choose from. One set for the 32-bit and another for the 64-bit Windows.

Office Suite

This is actually made-up of a few application programs bunched together to make a suite. The programs included are word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, database and a few others depending on the type of the suite. It is not necessary to install all of the programs included, just choose what is required. Microsoft Office do offer a suite consisting of only three programs, that is the word processor, spreadsheet and presentation.

KOffice is a freeware office suite but OpenOffice is more popular and that there are other derivatives of OpenOffice as in Go-oo and OxygenOffice.

Compressing and Decompressing Program

To make uploading and downloading of file faster, it has to be shorten and hence compressed, therefore the need for compressing and decompressing program. There are many freeware programs with the letters ‘zip’ attached to it, but my favourite is 7-Zip. Not only that it can compress and decompress into and from many formats including rar (for rar file format, it only decompress), but, it is also a File Manager. Nowadays, using Windows with its GUI, a file manager may not mean very much, but in the days of DOS, it really helps a lot.

PDF Reader and Printer

Books, booklets and manuals that are found on the Internet are most likely in PDF format. So the need to have a PDF reader is a must. As for PDF printer, it will come in handy if one needs to print file in PDF format from any Windows application or when printing from a browser. My choice for PDF reader and printer are FoxitReader and doPDF respectively. Both are freeware.


It may have been included with Windows but you may prefer other browsers as in the freeware Mozilla Firefox or Opera. There are also freeware browsers that are based on the core Internet Explorer engine. They are Maxthon and Avant browsers which expand the features and functions of Internet Explorer. So, what works with IE should works with them also.

Sometimes, instead of printing the web pages to PDF files, I save the web pages in MHTML file format with the extension .mht. It’s an archive for web page by Microsoft. When I did, I’d be running Opera and not Firefox. Running Opera (or IE) enables me to save web pages in the MHTML format. Images are not saved in a separate folder but instead in the same file with the extension .mht. Everything is contained in a single file. It’s neater this way and makes maintenance easier. Just a note of caution, if you are opening this file type that you had received from someone else, do scan it prior to opening it with the browser. This is just to make sure and be safe that the file is not infected.

Paint Program

Paint or to be precise Bitmap Editing Programs are programs that enable the editing of digital photographs or graphics. These are programs that will allow you to retouch, resize or change the format of a file from one form to another. There are many other functions found in any one particular editing program, but to use all of it, really depends on your creativity. Photoshop is a popular choice for this but it is a commercial software. The alternative is to use GIMP, a popular freeware version, or Paint.NET which is much simpler but not as powerful as GIMP.

Media Player

My choice of media player is VLC media player. Not only that it can play almost anything without the need to install additional codec, but also it sounds better to my ears.

Chat Program

Text, Voice and Video, all-in-one chat programs are now the norm. Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, they all have it but I think Skype is the more popular one right now.

Utility Program

All your activities on the PC are being recorded by the Windows. Over time the Windows had made a mess out of it slowing down the PC. To keep the PC shipshape you need a utility program that will clean out the mess created. The registry file had become bloated slowing down the PC boot time. It needs to be compacted to shorten the boot time. Your browsing history has many things to tell, hence it needs to be cleared. Temporary files that are being left behind taking much disk space had to be removed and so on.

There are many freeware programs in this category to choose from. Ccleaner and Tweaknow are among them. I have yet to find a good freeware program that will compact the 64-bit Windows registry safely and efficiently. But if you are using 32-bit Windows, it should be no problem, Tweaknow practically covered them all.

Thats about all that are needed basically. For photo viewer, I think Windows Photo Viewer will suffice, at least for me. Then again its your preference. You may check on this web site for more information on the best freeware there are available. It can be found here:

That’s all. Have a smooth and safe computing.


There’s one more area that I had missed to cover since Windows support for it is very minimal. It is the CD/DVD burner. Once again there are many freeware to choose from, each one of them has different features but for basic functions they are quite the same. You can check out InfraRecorder or StarBurn which are both freeware. My preference is InfraRecorder, Nero had became too bloated for me.

2 Responses to “Basic Application Programs For The General PCs”

  1. George Says:

    You should also have a look at SSuite Office for a free office suite. They have a whole range of office suites that are free for download. 🙂

    Their software also doesn’t need to run on Java or .NET, like MS Office and so many open source office suites, so it makes their software very small, efficient, and easy to use. 😀

    You may try these links for more info:

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