Some of our favorite Software Programs
I LOVE themes...a Great program for skinning your Windows® system is from Stardock®
Once there, scroll down to Consumer Software...I recommend WindowBlinds© (this will change your start menu and taskbar and other windows® GUI components), Bootskin® (Vista® or XP® versions) for a bootskin (you see this when you first start your system instead of the Starting Windows® screen) and Logon Studio® (Vista® and XP® versions) to create a fantastic Logon Screen or download them from Wincustomize.com (FANTASTIC downloads here!). Update: Logon Studio® and Bootskin® are only for Windows® versions prior to Windows7/8®. Also, the WindowBlinds® software is now for Windows7/8® only (you might be able to contact them for a prior version--Vista®).
UPDATE>>>>>>>>>For those of you who are now using Windows 8®, Stardock® has some programs to make the interface more user friendly and customizable....check it out! (follow the link above)
(use on Windows XP® or earlier!)
Desktop Theme Manager for Windows® = Desktop Architect, created by Ken Foster (I paid for this when it came out & LOVED it)...this is what I used before paying for WindowBlinds® by Stardock.
It has been released and is now offered as a Free License...there are still many theme designers who use this to create themes...I have used it on XP® and Vista® systems with success. (you will still find a website dedicated to themes this program can manage. You need to be careful when downloading them as some are "wrapped" with 3rd party adware/spyware...I have downloaded from this site for many years...I have learned how to get my file & kill the spyware...if you want my secret, join the membership site & I will tell you how I safely download from this site (Hint: site begins with "E"...I'm not saying it isn't safe to download from...just be careful & know that the site may not screen all of the files it hosts)
The version of DA is 2.11....if you are still using a legacy version of Windows® and are interested in this
program, e-mail us and we will place the file on the site and place a link for anyone who wants to download it. (NOTE:
this will not work successfully on newer Windows® versions--you will want to use the standard that comes with the OS or
consider paying for a good third party software such as Windowblinds®)
Office Suites: June, 2012--Hold the presses, we have a THIRD PLAYER....READ ON!
A search on wikipedia.org for Office
Suites lists various flavors with two front runners: Microsoft Office® (Windows/Mac versions) and OpenOffice.org
(supports many Operating Systems). So, most office suites are either Closed Source (ie Microsoft Office®) or Open
Source (ie OpenOffice.org, OxygenOffice Pro AND NOW, LibreOffice!)
We have used Microsoft Office® versions 97/2000 & used a "trial" version of 2007 that came with our new laptops in 2009. We have also been using OpenOffice.org suite for several years. Because of the cost/license restrictions involved, our favorite is OpenOffice.org. Because it is Operating System Independent, I can use it on my Windows® or Linux machines. And because it is open source, I can install it on all 8 of my home systems. This freeware suite includes programs similar to Microsoft Office® and can even save in and read from the Microsoft Office® files. This means you can open a Word® document from Writer (OpenOffice.org word processor) and you can save your file in either format (.doc® or.odt). If you use Word® at work, you can work on the file at home with OpenOffice.org Writer and then save the file in the format Word® uses, copy it to a USB key to bring the file to work and open it in Word® again (just be sure to save in the .doc® format).
OpenOffice.org also has equivalents for Excel®, Powerpoint® and Access® as well as additional components. While searching for templates, I discovered OxygenOffice Professional on SourceForge.net. It is built on the original OpenOffice.org code and adds further functionality through extensions. These extensions are available for your original OpenOffice.org through the software and the website. You can manually add the "goodies" after downloading OpenOffice.org or get them pre-included in OxygenOffice Pro or download them by downloading the OxygenOffice build from SourceForge.net.
I have both the original OpenOffice.org on two of my systems and I downloaded the OxygenOffice Pro on another laptop. I love the addons (templates, clipart, fonts, graphics, sample documents). I will use both and see if there are noticeable differences.
While I am loving the newest Microsoft® version, it is not likely that I will keep it after the trial because the price ranges from $149-499.95 on Microsoft's® website. This price is for EACH license! Because I have 8 systems and because I want to comply, I would need to purchase 8 licenses ($800-3500) or purchase 1 license ($149) so we can have one version to share in my home for 4 people. I can bypass all the licensing rules simply by installing OpenOffice.org or OxygenOffice Pro on ALL 8 of my systems and still be legally compliant! This is one reason open source is gaining in popularity.
Try it for yourself, if you don't like it, then fork over the cash to purchase Microsoft Office® (JUST BE SURE TO PURCHASE 1 COPY FOR EACH SYSTEM YOU INSTALL IT ON...PURCHASING ONE COPY AND INSTALLING IT ON MORE THAN ONE MACHINE IS PIRACY--please don't be a pirate!)
In the spirit of MyPCMyWay™, we are including links to both Microsoft Office® 2007 and LibreOffice 3.0 here, the choice is yours:
MyPCMyWay™ is not affiliated with Microsoft® and we only include links to products for customer convenience.
To download OxygenOffice Pro from CNET, click the picture.
ANOTHER OFFICE SUITE???? It's true...check the
link to learn how OpenOffice.org became Apache OpenOffice
Ok...while I was happily using my OpenOffice.org
Office suite, something happened...it changed to LibreOffice in January 2011. But Wait, it DIDN'T change??
There were 2 separate suites at the time...OpenOffice.org AND LibreOffice...boy, do I feel dumb!!!! I had used OpenOffice.org
almost from it's early versions and I LOVED it. Suddenly, I was reading about it being given to the Document Foundation
and with that, a name change to LibreOffice. Didn't really matter to me, it was the same, reliable suite I had come
to love so much. It still had Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base and Math. Was it actually OpenOffice.org given
to the Document Foundation because Oracle didn't want to continue it's progression or something different???
fast forward to June, 2011 and Oracle donates OpenOffice.org trademark to Apache and re-licenses their code. While this is going on, I'm still using what I thought was OpenOffice.org on all my computers.
Or am I? Around this time, I upgraded my openSUSE server to version 12.0 and 12.1. I did notice my OpenOffice.org
was suddenly LibreOffice. I just figured it was a name change because I remembered reading about it. Was it what
I had been using or another developed version?? WOW! Forward to May, 2012 and Apache releases Apache OpenOffice
3.4. How do I find out? I'm checking links on my website when suddenly the link for OpenOffice.org says download
Apache OpenOffice 3.4...Ok, so, I have a laptop and a desktop server both have OpenOffice on them; NOT...I just checked and
I am using OpenOffice.org 3 on my laptop and my server desktop has LibreOffice 3.4.5 on it. How amazing, I'm using
two versions with the SAME components--Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base and Math. Do I feel dumb that I didn't
even notice? A little. The amazing thing, I have used files BETWEEN the two suites and didn't skip a beat
in what I needed them to do with the documents or the spreadsheets! That is FANTASTIC! I LOVE Open Source!
Now that I know I have 2 versions, I will try to see which version I prefer...choices, I LOVE them!
For some Development History, go here:
If you would like to try it, download by clicking the logo below: (I will be upgrading my laptop version to this and giving it a spin!)
OR, if you would like to try the version that seems to be improving at a much faster rate and the One I use on my Linux system, why not try LibreOffice below
To download LibreOffice click the pic:
2) Anti-virus: AVG
3) Spyware/adware: Malwarebytes
* the newest version NO LONGER SUPPORTS Windows 2000® (the download link at download.cnet.com says it does....I assure you, it Doesn't...I just rebuilt a 2000 Pro system this past weekend & it will NOT install....I downloaded the Ashampoo for this system & so far it is doing good!)
All of the above are easily downloaded from Cnet.com (click download tab & type program in)...easy, breezy & I have not had spyware issues with downloads from here (A++++ for downloads in my book!)....I have placed the links here for you to save time...click the names & download & install (WOW, that was easy!)...........UPDATE: Cnet.com download section is now using a download manager and there have been reports of other software being bundled (spyware????). I still use their site for various downloads, I just watch to see if there is a .exe version to download (the actual file) or if it tries to download the "Manager." If the download manager is involved, I go directly to the software developer site and try to download from them. I'm not saying downloading from Cnet.com will result in this, I'm just stating that there are online posts alluding to this.
Open source Alternatives:
A Fantastic Graphics program is GIMP...it works on BOTH Windows® and Linux...I am still learning
how to use it, but it is a fantastic program. (Because I have never used Photoshop®, I can't speak to
the similarities, but those who have say GIMP is a close alternative and the price is right! Why not download
it today and see for yourself...just follow the link (look for your operating system's version)
MyPCMyWay™ is in no way affiliated with Windows XP® Vista®, Windows7®, Windows8®, Roxio® or Nero® or ANY of the software mentioned on any of our sites. Their products are registered trademarks or copyrighted to their prospective companies and their products are mentioned here only as customer choices for software products or as products the owners use on their own computers.
**Being mentioned on our website doesn't mean we endorse their software, unless we state so, or make ANY guarantees to their usefulness in performing a specific need for computer users. Some of the products mentioned are no longer used by the website owners and have been replaced by "free" or "open source" versions.