Software Recommendations/Endorsements

All software listed has been thoroughly tested, and used by us.

Software of the week.
02/19/2024 to 02/26/2023

A Powerful Yet Approachable Digital Painting Tool


Natural Media Simulation: Corel Painter excels at emulating traditional art tools. Brushes for oils, watercolors, pastels, and more behave with amazing realism and responsiveness.
Customization: Tweak brushes, create palettes, and tailor the workspace for absolute personalization of your creative process.
Performance Improvements: Corel Painter 2023 boasts speed upgrades, particularly with brush responsiveness, giving it a more natural feel.
Fluid Paint (New): Allows realistic control over the blending, glazing, and build-up of paint-like layers for even more dynamic results.
Learning Resources: Corel provides tutorials and a supportive community for both beginners and advanced users.

Potential Drawbacks

Steep Learning Curve: Mastering all of its features takes time. Those new to digital painting might find it slightly overwhelming at first.

Interface Density: The sheer number of options and panels can be daunting for those preferring a streamlined experience.

Resource-Intensive: For optimal performance, a powerful computer with a decent graphics card is recommended.

Best Suited For

Digital Artists: Experienced digital painters and those transitioning from traditional art will love the realistic brushes and workflow.
Illustrators: The precise tools and layering abilities make it excellent for illustration work with an organic artistic style.
Hobbyists: While slightly intimidating for beginners, the built-in resources and helpful community make it approachable for dedicated enthusiasts.
Overall Impressions

Corel Painter 2023 remains a top-tier digital art software, especially for simulating traditional media. Its performance upgrades and features like Fluid Paint offer new potential for realistic and expressive artwork.  However, a learning curve and potential resource hogging are points to consider.

Additional Notes:

Free Trial: Try it before you buy to see if it matches your style and workflow.
Written by: Gemini Advance

Anti-Virus / Malware

Protects all aspects of your digital life with cutting-edge expertise and advanced machine learning. This we endorse and use on all our computers for years now.


Still our choice for many years. Thunderbird is an open-source project, which means anyone can contribute ideas, designs, code.

Mailwasher is an email filtering software for Windows that can detect and delete spam from a user's email when it is still on the mail server, before being downloaded to your computer.


With Cryptomator, the key to your data is in your hands. Cryptomator encrypts your data quickly and easily. Afterwards you upload them protected to your favorite cloud service.

Encrypt Care is an easy-to-use encryption software which allows users to encrypt or decrypt text and files in batch mode, generate, verify and export checksums.

The GNU Privacy Assistant (GPA) is a graphical user interface for the GnuPG (GNU Privacy Guard).

A certificate manager and GUI for GnuPG. The software stores your OpenPGP certificates and keys. It is available for Windows and Linux. In association with the KMail email client, you can also take advantage of the cryptographical features for your communication via email.

Keeps your notes, cryptocurrency keys (seeds, mnemonics), emails, social networking posts, and any other text safe from snoopers, hackers, and prying eyes. The app provides real security as data is encrypted using strong encryption algorithms: Blowfish 448bit, AES 256bit, RC6 256bit, Serpent 256bit, Twofish 256bit, GOST 256bit +

File Management

Freeware tool for searching and removing file duplicates on your computer, network shares or external storage media.

A libre server and cloud storage browser for Mac and Windows with support for FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift, Backblaze B2, Microsoft Azure & OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox

Directory Monitor for real-time surveillance of certain directories and will notify you of file changes, deletions, modifications, and new files. 

Back up and sync your files with GoodSync. Their secure file backup and synchronization software will ensure that your files are never lost. Protocols: FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, GoodSync Connect (GSTP), Windows Shares Local and Remote networks. Virtually all cloud storages too.

Internet Download Manager (IDM)
A superior download manager. Satisfied user for over 15 years.

O&O Auto Backup
File backup program
Set and forget about it. . .It will get the job done simply, accurately, and silently.

A disk analyzer that gives you a quick overview of how your hard disk is being used. This makes it easy to search for files and folders that are taking up valuable hard drive space and are slowing down the computer. Similar to Windows Explorer, the versatile tool offers an intuitive interface and a variety of options for searching for memory hogs.

O&O SafeErase
Securely delete files. Browser data, temp files, and so much more. A must have in my opinion.

File archiver utility, open, extract RAR TAR ZIP archives

A backup and synchronize program.

A file utility designed to copy files quickly and more reliably, providing the user with many features. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. It can resume broken file transfers and skip bad files during the copying process. Works well over a LAN.

Uninstall Wizard Completely remove unwanted software by removing leftover file system & registry items.

WinMerge is an Open-Source differentiating and merging tool for Windows. WinMerge can compare both folders and files, presenting differences in a visual text format.

WinSCP is a popular SFTP client and FTP client for Microsoft Windows! Copy file between a local computer and remote servers using FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP, WebDAV or S3 file transfer protocols.

A very fast and reliable file finder.

WizTree is a very high-speed disk space analyzer utility for Windows. It scans your hard drive and shows you which files and folders are using the most disk space.

A file manager for Windows. It features tabbed browsing, a powerful file search, a versatile preview, a highly customizable interface, optional dual pane, and a large array of unique ways to efficiently automate frequently recurring tasks. There are a lot of file managers out there, I have found none better.


Use color gradients, text and image templates to create custom icons.

Highly effective features and tools powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning technology make creating something truly original, achievable. Our choice for many years.

Step into the world of endless possibilities with our trusted, professional digital art software. Sketch, paint, illustrate, and produce unparalleled photo-art with hundreds of impeccably realistic artist-created brushes, superior blending, and an array of versatile art tools.

Designed to manage a collection of photos and videos. It has special collection features such as duplicate detection, fast search and presence.

A powerful, lightweight, yet full-featured screen capture tool that allows you to easily capture and annotate anything on the screen including windows, objects, menus, full screen, rectangular/freehand regions and even scrolling windows/web pages. It also allows you to record screen activities and sound into video files.

An image browser, converter and editor that supports all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO, TGA and camera raw files. It has a nice array of features such as image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, color adjustments, musical slideshow and much more.

An image converter and renaming tool that intends to enable users to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode.

An image and photo editing software for PCs that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.

Picture Colorizer is a Windows and Mac application used for B&W photo colorization and old photo restoration. Allows users to adjust various parameters of the photo and apply filHarters.

So many different programs for photo to art. Stop by and check them out.

A fast, powerful and free cross-platform batch image converter allows you to automate editing for your massive photo collections, you can rotate, convert and compress your different images

a fast, powerful and free cross-platform image resizer. Nowadays, the resolution of pictures taken by digital cameras can be very high. It is fine when you want to view them, or print them out

Hard Drive Management

A multi-OS SSD and HDD monitoring and analysis software. Its goal is to find, test, diagnose and repair hard disk drive problems, report and display SSD and HDD health, performance degradations and failures.

A professional hardware information and diagnostic tool supporting latest components, industry technologies, and standards.

A partition management program for hard disk drives developed by MiniTool Solution.

When you defragment, the files that Windows splits up when saving documents across the hard disk or SSD are put back in order again so that files can be quickly recognized and found by the SSD or the read and write heads inside your HDD. Speed increases of up to 100% are not uncommon, and your hardware suffers much less wear and tear!

Let's you carry out a system restore and duplicate, or clone an entire PC or hard drive. You can even restore this backup onto a computer whose hardware is different from the original machine, for instance, where you have changed a motherboard on the target machine

A free open-source software that monitors temperature sensors, fan speeds, voltages, load and clock speeds of a computer.


So much faster than the other VPNs. It wasn't a matter of megabytes in speed difference, but many times faster than the other VPNs

An open-source cross-platform news aggregator for RSS and Atom news feeds.

An offline bookmark manager for Windows desktops. It helps you to store links to all of your favorite websites in one central repository. It works with the browsers installed on your system so you can open your links in any web browser available to you from one central interface.

A freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies. We have all the top browsers, yet this has been our top choice since leaving Firefox. It has it all.

Network Management

Whether you're in the office next door or on the other side of the world, remote access via AnyDesk makes the connection possible. Secure and reliable, for IT professionals as well as private users

The program is designed to automatically ping network hosts and detect their outages and connection quality problems.

A set of network scanning, security, and administrator tools useful in diagnosing networks and monitoring your computer's network connections

A free packet analyzer and visualization tool for Windows that can capture and decode data packets, and also allows working with multiple open PCAP/PCAPNG files, operated as one, from a modern UI. It visualizes packets on a timeline, displays nodes on a world map and it lets you arrange connections in a matrix.

A tool for managing networks and troubleshooting network problems! It includes a variety of tools such as an IP scanner, WiFi analyzer, PuTTY/RemoteDesktop.

Go from your desktop to any NoMachine-enabled computer at the speed of light. Thanks to their NX technology, NoMachine is the fastest and highest quality remote desktop you'll ever try. Get to any computer in the world in just a few clicks!


A free character map application for Windows that allows you to browse through the entire Unicode character repertoire of nearly 144,000 characters, or search for a particular character by name or by code point. Characters can then be copied to the clipboard for use in any Unicode-aware application. 

Is able to generate and export barcode into image (EMF, PNG, JPG, TIFF, GIF).

Desktop App to Read Barcode from Image File (JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, PDF)

An easy and effective way to convert your docs using extra PDF tools. Extract PDF to text, convert it to images abd fubd even more functions!

Clipboard management software for Windows that will revolutionize the way you copy and paste. ClipClip makes it possible to copy multiple texts, images or files to your clipboard. A good replacement for us that once used to ClipMate.

An organizer software and personal information manager to plan your day with Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Passwords, Notebook and a Calendar of Events.

Although it fills the same role, plain text editing, it offers an arsenal of time-saving tools: block indent/unindent, bookmarking, case conversion, encoding conversion, file backups, file history, jump to line/offset, keyboard macros, print preview, search and replace, skinnable interface, spell checking, statistics, text to speech.

MainType is a font manager designed for graphic artists, typographers, and other power users who demand high-end functionality such as network support, advanced categorizing, and complex searching capabilities.

A free and open-source office productivity software suite, a project of The Document Foundation.

Obsidian is a powerful note-taking software designed to revolutionize the way we organize and connect our thoughts and ideas. With its sleek and intuitive interface, Obsidian provides a seamless experience for users to capture, link, and explore their notes in a highly efficient manner.

English Dictionary and Thesaurus A twenty-first century lexical reference system.

Archive web pages to your PC,  Archive web pages to your hard disk. Archive opened pages from your Internet Browser, Archive checked pages from WebSite-Watcher  Powerful search feature.

Science Software

This program enables you to draw sky charts, making use of the data in many catalogs of stars and nebulae. In addition, the position of planets, asteroids and comets are shown.

Explore the Solar System and many other stars from the Milky Way with this 3D astronomy application that also provides useful information about celestial bodies

A real-time, 3D, astronomy visualization software that runs on Windows, Linux and macOS. It is developed in the framework of ESA's Gaia mission to chart about 1 billion stars of our Galaxy

Experience Earth and our solar system, the universe and the spacecraft exploring them, with immersive apps for Mac, PC and mobile devices.

The Periodic Table app contains detailed chemical and physical information of all chemical elements. Spice up your chemistry on Windows.

The software PreviSat allows you to calculate the position of artificial satellites, and thus predict their passages in the sky at a given place.

A free open-source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.


Free autorun manager for Windows allows configuring and managing programs automatically.

Quickly set font-smoothing settings in Windows 10 and know what you are getting, unlike using the broken ClearType tuner that is built-in to the OS. This program includes all font-smoothing settings that I have found to work in modern Windows, and does not expose settings that are non-functional.

Outertech's system tool Cacheman offers the best methods to speed up Windows 10, 8.x, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Cacheman optimizes several caches, manages computer memory

Allows you to customize folders with icons and emblems.

Designed to assist in troubleshooting issues such as hangs, slow performance, memory leaks or memory fragmentation, and crashes in any user-mode process.

Quick access to your favorite folders and programs

A tool designed to allow its user to find, or just to have at hand, all the most important technical information, both hardware and software, of a PC.

A graphics card / GPU information and monitoring utility that quickly describes the essential capabilities of your GPU including GPU type, amount of VRAM, OpenGL, Vulkan, OpenCL and CUDA API support level.

Extract details of all components of your computer

The K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of DirectShow filters, VFW/ACM codecs, and tools. Codecs and DirectShow filters are needed for encoding and decoding audio and video formats. We prefer the "Mega Package."

A free benchmark program that tests your computer's performance

Microsoft PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity.

A Windows process automation and optimization software. From tuning algorithms like ProBalance to user-created rules and persistent settings such as CPU affinities and priority classes.

A sandbox-based isolation software for 32- and 64-bit Windows NT-based operating systems.

A free utility that helps you to take control of your important Windows Services. Easily start, stop, or restart selected services on any computer on your network, all conveniently from the Windows Taskbar.

A replacement of the system menu for professionals. Compatible with Windows 11 Power users know how inconvenient and time-consuming it is to launch programs from the system menu.

A quick app to grab any on screen text using the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) built into Windows 10. Text Grab does not need to run in the background and does not require the internet to work. This app was built to be quick and get out of the way, making you more productive on Windows. 

Enables you to manage your windows practically and efficiently with several features.


Video Surveillance software. This Video Surveillance and Live Webcam software for Windows is extremely easy on system resources, and does not contain unnecessary bloat.

Edit freely across unlimited tracks with complete control, precision, and the power of pro-caliber tools to transform your creative vision into cinema-grade productions. Tried many, Pinnacle is our choice.

Convert videos, audio files and DVDs to over 400 output formats. VideoProc Converter uses full GPU acceleration, which enables it to process even 4K videos quickly, without compromising quality.