ReactOS is a built-from-scratch operating system
intended to be fully
compatible with programs written for Windows.
While no where near
ready for everyday use, it may, one day, prove
to be a viable
replacement for Windows. It features a
classic Win9x feel.
Axialis IconWorkshop is an excellent Windows
Icon creation program.
It is not freeware. It runs about
$70, but if you have a
need or at least a strong desire to have
professional icon software,
this is the one to choose.
Comical is a freeware comic book reader for CBR
and CBZ formats.
IrfanView is perhaps the single most versatile
and useful image viewer
ever. Personally, I find it an
indispensable tool for image
Microsoft Image Composer 1.0 originally shipped
FrontPage 97. MIC could perhaps be
described as a less advanced,
90s version of Photoshop. It has some
short comings; like no PNG
support and problems with dithering some colors,
near-black colors. However, there are some
ways in which it is,
in my experience, actually better than
Photoshop. I much prefer
the way it handles rendering text as image
elements (even if it can't
be edited later). And its ability to
arrange image elements
precisely with a few clicks is excellent.
Microsoft Image Composer 1.5 is a later, much
Sadly, it changes the way various tools
work and effectively
removes much of what was so great about version
1.0. However, it
does introduce one very important feature that
was missing in 1.0 -
support for opening and saving PNG files.
MIC always supported
32-bit graphics with alpha channel, but without
the ability to export
to a 32-bit format, its full potential could not
be realized. I
recommend using 1.0 for editing and 1.5 for
exporting. I'm not
sure where you can find 1.0, but 1.5 can be
found via bit torrent.
Oddly enough, Paint -which comes with Windows-,
is a very useful tool
if used properly. Unfortunately, the
version that shipped with
Windows XP was altered so that it would no
longer ask if you want to
resize the image when pasting something larger
than your current image
from the clipboard -it just does it
automatically. Which means
that you can no longer use Paint as the perfect
The link above will allow you to download
the Windows 98 version
of Paint, which runs perfectly on XP. I
recommend placing it in
Program Files\Accessories\ instead of replacing
the XP .exe, that way
you can have both versions. The XP version
has the same GUI, but
also has support for GIFs, JPGs and PNGs.
Of course, starting
with Vista the GUI is radically altered in a way
I despise. I
don't know whether the older EXEs will run on
newer Windows versions,
but in case you want to find out, here is a
copy of Paint
eMule is the premier ed2k client for Windows.
I used it for years
with excellent, if slow, results. One
thing about eMule, it keeps
trying... With most other file sharing
software, if you don't get
it quick, you probably won't get it at all.
I've seen eMule keep
looking for elusive peers and eventually
complete downloads - even if
it took nearly 3 years! Plus, you can find
lots of things like
individual songs, music videos, misc. sound
clips and pictures that you
just can't find anywhere else.
Unfortunately for me, something
about how my internet connection works changed
at some point and has
apparently made it so that I can no longer
connect to ed2k.
Microsoft FrontPage 97 was apparently intended
as some sort of complete
web site management tool. I never got any
use out of the
management part, but the Editor was actually a
pretty good WYSIWYG web
page solution. It was what I used before
Nvu. The software
shows its age by not supporting PNG files, of
course. But, even
after all these years, I still find it useful
for some personal
projects. For one thing, the way it
handles tables (and a few
other things) is easier to deal with than the
way Nvu does.
Sadly, later versions of FrontPage were
NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing
Applications) Mosaic is
effectively the great grand daddy of all web
browsers. It had a
wonderfully simple user interface, and I really
enjoyed reading fanfic
on it. Sadly, development stopped many
years ago and the last
version released was barely able to run on
Windows 98 without crashing.
Although, I don't know if that was the OS
or the way the web was
changing. I don't know if any downloads
are still available but
you might find some by searching the web.
Media Player Classic is a freeware media player
for Windows which
duplicates the 'classic' pre-XP look of Windows
Media Player. MPC
also supports far more file types than WMP.
Development of MPC
stopped in 2006, but there is an active fork;
Media Player Classic - Home Cinema.
Be warned, however, that I have found
MPC-HC to be less than stable on older XP
Winamp is a popular media player for Windows.
While it may
support fewer formats than other media players,
it is better suited to
playing multiple files in succession than most.
7-Zip is a freeware file compression program for
Windows. It features much better
compression ratios than most.
Foxit Reader is a free PDF reader which is both
faster and less annoying than Adobe's Acrobat.
RocketDock is a freeware application launcher
for Windows which
duplicates the look and some of the features of
the Mac OS X dock.
However, unlike the OS X dock, RocketDock
is fully customizable.
In addition to Icons and Skins, there are
also Widgets available.