Resource-friendly popular software alternatives?
December 18, 2005 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Any recommendations on software alternatives that are more resources friendly than their mainstream competitors? Examples: Firefox vs. IE, Winamp vs. ITunes, alternate anti-virus programs, etc.
posted by sian to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about the anti-virus suite AVG Free from Grisoft. I've been using it for a few years without a hitch. Previous to this, I'd tried various commercial AV suites, and all had caused system problems at some point or another. Norton etc. seemed too flabby, whereas I normally don't even notice that AVG is there, until there's an update or it sends a virus-laden email or file to the virus vault.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 5:10 PM on December 18, 2005

I use Foobar2000 as my media player...not only is it less of a space-hog, but it supports just about every kind of media file there is.
posted by apple scruff at 5:18 PM on December 18, 2005

for playing video files, Media Player Classic was forcefully recommended to me for just this quality.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:41 PM on December 18, 2005

I find GAIM to be a much better IM client than Trillian or any of the individual messenger programs like AIM or MSN Messenger.
posted by thewittyname at 5:46 PM on December 18, 2005

VLC media player.
posted by fire&wings at 5:50 PM on December 18, 2005

NOD32 is by far the best anti virus software that I've used. Inexpensive and uses very low amounts of resources and the daily updates are quick and use very little bandwidth.
The 30 day trial can be installed/uninstalled monthly for those that don't want to but it, btw.
posted by jeffmik at 6:02 PM on December 18, 2005

If you like GAIM, be sure to check out Miranda IM - it's totally modular with dozens of useful plugins.
posted by jedrek at 6:20 PM on December 18, 2005

Foxit Reader vs. Acrobat Reader and ĀµTorrent vs. Azureus are 2 near-paradigmatic examples I can think of.

I don't find Firefox any more resource-friendly than IE, just more awesome. If you're looking for a low resource browser, try Opera.
posted by boaz at 6:42 PM on December 18, 2005

I like Avast! for my anti-virus needs.
posted by Clay201 at 6:42 PM on December 18, 2005

I use Miranda for IM, Agent for email and usenet (but it's very long in the tooth now, I wouldn't recommend someone switch to it), Opera for web browsing, Nvu for (some) HTML work, notepad++ for (some) text editing, Media Player Classic or VLC for watching video, CDex for ripping CDs, Filezilla for FTP and DVDReMake for editing DVDs.

They're all, IMO, more lightweight and (bar Agent and Media Player Classic) more flexible than their better-known brethren.
posted by Leon at 7:18 PM on December 18, 2005

Firefox vs. IE

Ironically, IE is now lighter-weight than Firefox. Firefox 1.5 will easily gobble 300+ megabytes of RAM.
posted by kindall at 11:17 PM on December 18, 2005

musikCube is a great music player using an iTunes style library. It's plain looking with no skin support, but very lightweight and fast.
posted by Pryde at 3:28 AM on December 19, 2005

If you want most of what photoshop is used for, for 3 megs and for free....Paint dot net:
posted by jaded at 4:36 AM on December 19, 2005

Opera is considerably faster and less a resource-hog than both Firefox and IE, but has some compatibility issues last time I checked. It's always on the forefront of "cool things" like tabbed browsing and gestures, but then you don't get all the cool extensions people have written. It's a trade-off.

I've still never found a better "quick-image" program than version 3.1 of ACDSee. It doesn't support fancy camera files, but it does support PSD, JPG, PNG, GIF etc. which is all I want for a quick view.

Media Player Classic loads faster than VLC, and both are eons faster in loading and overhead than Windows Media Player. Ugh. VLC does a slightly better job with problem files, however, so I keep both options available to me.

UltraEdit is the best text editor for programming evar.

WinAMP 2.95 for my music.

BitComet for torrents--though Analog-X has a new client out now that I'm sure would put them all to shame. And speaking of Analog-X, I'd just like to add that EVERY SINGLE ONE of his programs are AMAZINGLY well-coded, streamlined jewels of gloriousness.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:40 AM on December 19, 2005

Audio: foobar2000 all the way for me, I've been following the development of this since the beginning, even had an internal release candidate named after me (!) - Peter who writes it is an eccentric chap with very rigid ideals, but the quality of the application purely shines.

Video: Media Player Classic.

Web: Firefox 1.5.

AntiVirus: AVG. I'm interested in Nod32, I'll try it out at some point.
posted by rc55 at 5:04 AM on December 19, 2005

A good lightweight browser based on the Gecko engine is K-meleon. I use it when FF's memory usage gets particularly frustrating. I also second foobar2000, musikcube, Miranda IM, and VLC media player. While you're at it, why not switch from the Explorer shell to Blackbox or bbLean?
posted by youarenothere at 6:09 AM on December 19, 2005

Third foobar2000 for music, and third Opera for browsing.
posted by djgh at 8:16 AM on December 19, 2005

GIMP vs photoshop
posted by hypersloth at 2:46 AM on December 21, 2005

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