Which Windows programs for more advanced users do you recommend?

There are a dozen programs that I install on every Windows PC. Currently, these include the Firefox web browser, Unchecky, Search Everything, Paint.net, PIXresizer, FreeFileSync, Personal Software Inspector (PSI) and the full K-Lite codec pack, which includes Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC). I mentioned all of those in my previous answer, along with some alternatives. The main aim is to avoid problems such as accidentally installing foistware when downloading programs (Unchecky), trying to find codecs when videos Asus Support Number won’t play (K-Lite), updating applications (PSI), and not backing up essential data (FreeFileSync). Paint.net is a replacement for Windows Paint, while MPC-HC replaces Windows Media Player. Search Everything – unlike Windows 10’s File Explorer – makes it easy to find files, and you can drag and drop files from the search results.PIXresizer provides a quick, efficient way to batch-resize a folder of photos before uploading them to Facebook. There’s no point in uploading 5MB image files. Reducing them to around 0.5MB (512K) makes it easier to upload them over dodgy hotel wifi.

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None of these programs is hard to use, and they are suitable for people who aren’t interested in what their computers are doing. We are interested in that, I think …

Advance to go

So how do programs for beginners differ from ones for more advanced users? First, they are usually designed so that their default settings do what most people want, most of the time. Second, they hide the complexity of what the PC is doing under the hood.You could see this as dumbing down. This process was already evident at the 2001 launch of Windows XP. It accelerated with the arrival of billions of smartphone and tablet users, and Windows 10 apps. By contrast, a lot of serious programs – Microsoft Office, most of Adobe Creative Suite, Dragon voice recognition software, AutoCAD, Mathematica etc – and utilities were written in a previous century.For some concrete examples, consider ripping CDs and converting videos to different formats (eg for a phone or tablet). Ordinary users are usually happy to rip CDs using Apple’s iTunes or Winamp or whatever. These programs try to automate the process. Advanced users will use Exact Audio Copy and tweak the settings to get the best possible results.If someone asked me for a video recoder, I’d recommend something like the free version of WonderFox’s HD Video Decoder Factory, which has a few big buttons and hides all the details under defaults. What I use myself is XMedia Recode. This has no big buttons, provides a zillion controls and, by the way, comes with no instructions.

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