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Don't Use Windows Without Them

There are 3 freeware and opensource Windows applications I can't live without on my XP box (actually, XP Vmware virtual machine is more precise, but that's a topic for a different time). They are

  • The Crimson Editor http://www.crimsoneditor.com
  • The ConTEXT Editor http://www.context.cx
  • PDFCreator http://www.pdfforge.org/products/pdfcreator
  • The first 2 are text editors, but what makes them so special is a host of cool features designed to make editing files a lot easier. I'm not going to list out all the features here, but my favorites are

    1. Crimson - Built in FTP which can edit files on an FTP site directly. Handy for servers without Samba or editing web sites.
    2. ConTEXT - Fast when connected over slow connection.
    3. Both allow side-by-side windows
    4. If you've ever tried to edit a Unix or Linux text file with Windows Notepad, you'll understand you using a good editor is so important. For those that don't know, the way Windows and Unix/Linux handle the so called "end of line" characters is different, so trying to edit a Unix/Linux file with a Windows editor can actually corrupt the file unless the editor understands what to do. Crimson and ConTEXT both handle this like champs. I actually prefer ConTEXT over Crimson, but only slightly and only when editing over a slow connection.

      The third application, PDFCreator, installs a pdf printer on your machine that you can use to create pdf files from any Windows application that prints. Nice....

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