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The Real Deal 186: Essential software for a new PC (or Mac) (podcast)

Tom and Rafe discuss the apps they put on first thing when they get a new computer.

Tom and Rafe discuss the apps they put on first thing when they get a new computer.

Now playing: Watch this: Ep. 186: Essential software for a new PC (or Mac)


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Episode 186

Download.com starter kits:

windows security:

And of course, NiNite – http://ninite.com/

Tom’s picks (Won’t read all of them, just a few favorites and then refer to the show notes for complete list):

Open Office
Sea Monkey – or Firefox/Thunderbird/FileZilla/XChat (Colloquy)
AVG Antivirus
Hijack This

Rafe’s picks
Microsoft Security Essentials
Process Explorer
Foxit PDF reader
(plus the usual: Apps like Office/OpenOffice, Evernote, etc)

Witch – Win-like task switcher
Precipitate – puts google doc results in spotlight
Multiclutch – more trackpad gestures


Google Earth (for Linux) -dpeach

uTorrent (Vista) -Hardus

Backup Chunker (Vista) -Hardus


Glary Utilities (Vista) -Hardus

Fences (Windows ) – Sang

Tweetdeck – Andrew

Path Finder http://cocoatech.com/ (Mac) – Obada

Rightzoom http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/30591 (Mac) – Obada

Default Folder X http://www.stclairsoft.com/DefaultFolderX/ (Mac) – Obada

Quicksilver (Mac) – Sang


Tom and Rafe,

I know you are doing an episode on useful software for a new computer. I’m wondering if you know of a good Hard Drive Visualizer for the MAC?

Those programs are super useful for tracking down and deleting files that are just clutter and hard to find. I’ve used a couple, but they are unstable and crash frequently.

Robinson A

Answer: Disk Inventory X! http://www.derlien.com/
for PC: WinDirStat


Tom & Rafe:

I just upgraded to Windows 7 from Windows XP. Under XP, I used Nero for burning CDs and DVDs. The version that I had (v 6.x) does not work under Windows 7, and I don't want to pay $50 for an upgrade of Nero. Can you recommend a good alternative CD/DVD copying/burning tool for Windows 7?

Thanks, love the show!

From Peoria Arizona (and the chatroom)

Answer: Yes. Windows 7! (CDBurnerXP, Magic ISO also good)


Hello Tom,

I just installed Acronis True Image, because I want to try something that might severely mess up my machine. So as a precautionary measure I plan to use Acronis to make sure I have something to fall back on incase what I try blows up in my face. I see Acronis has a ?back up and restore? feature that ?backs up files, folders, app settings, email accounts or the entire hard disk?. The software also has an option under ?disk utilities? that lets me clone the disk. What should I do? I plan to do one of those options to an external drive but not sue which one is best for my situation. Any answer is much appreciated. I listen to Buzz out Loud everyday, as well as The Real Deal every week and I ?love the shows?

Thanks so much and have a great day,
Alex the Graphic Designer from NH

Answer: Both backup solutions have their place. In general, and with a lot of exceptions, Cloned drives are great for recovering a disk if you have a hardware failure, and file backup is great for recovering data if you have a user failure (you erase a file). Personally, I do both, even though you can in some cases do file recovery from a clone.



Hey Tom and Rafe, not sure if you already found/figured this out, but I just tested hibernating my vista laptop without a battery like someone had done with their mac. Lo and behold, it works. It’s not the fastest thing in the world, but it does appear save the harddrive to RAM allowing a complete power disconnect. I don’t know how long it can suspend the harddrive on the RAM, but score one for windows.

Love your show,

P.S. for all the listeners out there, you have to put the computer in “hibernate” not “sleep”. When in ’sleep’, the computer will eventually go into hibernate and I think you can alter the hibernate settings as well. Anyway, that’s my nickel and two cents.


Tom -
On Real Deal Ep 184 you read an email from a guy with a fried XP drive
that wanted to upgrade to 7, but didn’t have his key. this actually
happened to me, but I did have the original XP drive. Someone
suggested I call Microsoft (yeah, right…) and on a whim i did. The
guy on the phone (lovely gentleman from India who was concise,
pleasant and knowledgeable) told me to read the characters printed
around the rim of the hole in the CD. I’d never noticed those numbers
before but I read them off and in about 20 seconds he told me my
product key!

Now the thing that really blew me away was that he asked if he could
stay online with me while I ran the XP install so he could be sure I
was taken care of!

Or maybe I dreamt that, it sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Allison Sheridan
NosillaCast Podcast

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Next time: Warranties