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Name Your Favorite Bloat-Free Software

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the need-a-steady-diet-of-#-/*-and-// dept.

Software 1296

An anonymous reader writes "I prefer software that takes as little hard drive space and RAM as possible. I can't stand bloated software like iTunes, as compared to Foobar or classic Winamp; or Windows Media Player, as compared to VLC or Media Player Classic. What are some of your favorite applications which are a little less bloated?"

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1296 comments

Lynx? (4, Informative)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508379)

Lynx [wikipedia.org], anyone? :)

Re:Lynx? (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508517)

Who needs the bloat of Lynx when you can telnet to port 80?
 

Re:Lynx? (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508655)

What's really fun is reading your email by telnetting to port 110.

I actually used to do this a lot when I was working for a certain ISP that had very flaky homebrew mail software. Mailboxes were getting corrupted all the time. The only way to fix them was to telnet in and fiddle. Or just copy /dev/null over the mailbox file, though customers tended to frown on that for some reason.

Perl (3, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508667)

Perl is my favorite unbloated language. I know you laugh but hear me out. Pick up the O-reily quick reference for almost any major language. with the exception of fortran (:-) the perl one is not just a little bit thinner, it's more than half as thick as most and that includes c++.

Basically I find it really annoying that to get even a fraction of the functionality of stock perl one has to import some library. Why do I have to import Regular expression or Strings in python? or for that matter, just to get the command line args I have to import a freakin library? And then why does it take a zillion pages in the quickref to explain it when it has less fearutes than stock perl.

I don't want to rag on python here and this is not a flame to say perl is better than python. (python is in very many ways superior to perl for organized project programming. It also used to be easier to read since there was only one way to do something but that zen is gone now.)

Once you learn perl you don't need a big set of reference books to explain every obscure library. Just the manpages or a quick reference will do. I hate language bloat.

Re:Lynx? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508721)

links / links2 / elinks are better in some ways, particularly frame support. 100 different programs to do the same thing slightly differently, it's the *nix way!

claws-mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508397)

For the same functionality, claws-mail is the smallest.
evolution > thunderbird > claws-mail

Re:claws-mail (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508537)

Same functionality? Ha!

PKCS#11 support? No (no smartcard, etc)

It doesn't even have built in S/MIME support and you have to use some crappy GPG proxy garbage. S/MIME is the standard not that PGP/GPG shit.

Smart junk filtering? No

Nice GUI? No. Many configuration items in claws don't have a GUI equivalent.

mplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508403)

mplayer = no bloat

At a little over a meg... (5, Insightful)

pieaholicx (1148705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508407)

PuTTy is my clear cut winner. A little over a meg for a full installer with all the bells and whistles, what's not to love?

I like MOVEit Freely for the same reason... (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508657)

I like MOVEit Freely for the same reason...(it's a command-line FTP/SSL client for Windows)

Opera (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508411)

Small & Quick.. all though lately it has been eating massive amounts of memory at times the developers are quick to respond and work with the community to isolate & fix them!

7zip is my second one. Fast and nag free!

Trillian would be my 3rd but i'm anxiously awaiting release of the new product as the current publicly released IM client has been stagnant.

Re:Opera (5, Informative)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508583)

If you use Windows I cannot sufficiently recommend Miranda IM [miranda-im.org]. It's very lightweight (3MB download, 8MB RAM active) multi-IM client. You might call it the Foobar of Windows IM clients. It's got a fantastic community writing plugins and providing support on the official forums. The plugins are really numerous and cool too - Skype APIs, LCD display functionality, log analyzers, IM platform add-ons, out-of-office automators, a Windows uptime util, and hundreds more. It's also got great multinational localizations.

I switched to Miranda from GAIM (which I switched to from Trillian) and I haven't regretted it for one moment. It's very snappy and responsive, it automatically resizes vertically depending on how many contacts are online, it appears and disappears with a single click of the tray icon, it auto-updates the base program as well as the plugins... I could go on and on.

Give it a try. It's free! http://www.miranda-im.org/ [miranda-im.org]

minimalist (5, Informative)

foodnugget (663749) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508417)

irfanview. Despite plugin capabilities, among many many other features, it is small, free, and faassssst compared to all the other image viewers I've tried (not all that many)

I'd like to see this list include things that are conveniently free of spyware/trojans, too!

Re:minimalist (1)

SingTrav (1153303) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508661)

I agree. I've used IrfanView for years as my default image app. Why open a PSD in Photoshop when it opens in IrfanView in a second or two? IrfanView does everything you need for basic image editing, including batch resizing and renaming.

Bonzi Buddy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508419)

Bonzi Buddy

Vi (3, Insightful)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508437)

QED.

Re:Vi (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508697)

I prefer Vim, sure it has what some puritans might consider bloat but compared to a lot of other text editors it's lightweight, fast and userfriendly (really, I've had to use nano/pico a few times and it just confused me to no end).

/Mikael

AbiWord FTW (3, Informative)

Synesthesiatic (679680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508439)

Back in the day I used to be a huge fan of AbiWord [abisource.com]. It's very lightweight and really does all the most people need from a simple word processor. Reminds me of Word for Windows 2.0, actually. Three years ago I had a friend using it on a Pentium 133 with 16 MB of RAM! I'd take it over OOo Writer any day.

Of course, now I'm on OS X, and the Mac port is fugly, so I haven't touched it in a while.

I've got a summary (4, Insightful)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508443)

I would guess that whatever your favorite non-bloat software is, it is most likely in Damn Small Linux...

Emacs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508447)

"Surely you jest?", you say.

No - emacs was probably truly bloated back when people made jokes about its bloat: Eight Megs And Constantly Swapping. Ha ha.
But I'm far more productive in emacs, now a (relatively) blazingly fast, slim, and powerful Editor/IDE, then in some monstrosity like Eclipse or VS.

Emacs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508449)

Let the flamefest begin.

Me ducks for cover under my desk.

Putty! (5, Informative)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508455)

Putty [greenend.org.uk] is 412 KB for an SSH client that supports window resizing and has no installer! Doesn't hurt that it's open source either.

Re:Putty! (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508561)

Definitely. PuTTY is some of my favorite small applications for Windows. Serial/Telnet/RLogin/SSH all in a single executable (and I use all 4 of those). SSH Tunneling and lots of other goodies make it an amazing application.

So (1)

UPZ (947916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508457)

What are some of your favorite applications which are a little less bloated?"
You, too, had nothing better to do on a Friday huh?

Foobar (3, Informative)

edelholz (1098395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508465)

Foobar2k! Best audio player for Windows ever. http://foobar2000.org/ [foobar2000.org] Quite minimalistic, but highly configurable. Very low memory footprint and plays basically everything.

Re:Foobar (1)

dosboot (973832) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508563)

It has a weird concept of playlists though. Or maybe _no_ concept, I'm not sure. If you open a foobar playlist file it actually takes all those songs and places them in whatever playlist was open the last time you ran foobar.

Blackbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508473)

Blackbox fits the bill. If you are unfortunate enough to be using windows, the bblean port is nice replacement of the windows shell and consumes far fewer resources than explorer.exe.

Putty (0, Redundant)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508475)

I love putty. It's great. There's also a companion program called putty knife that you can put in your quick launch. When you hit it, a list of all your saved connections pops up. Very sweet combo. Combine this with shared keys and such and I'm two clicks away from a terminal on any server I have access to.

MS Paint (5, Interesting)

IndieKid (1061106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508479)

I know it's a bit crap, but I must confess to quite liking MS Paint for it's simplicity. When all you need is to crop a screendump and save it as a JPG, nothing beats it!

Other than that, I'd second the VLC and Winamp combo. Ever since there has been iPod support in Winamp (via a plugin or 'out of the box') I haven't used anything else.

Re:MS Paint (4, Informative)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508625)

I too like MS Paint for simplicity, but I disagree that it is a "bit crap." How many programs for Windows have existed almost unchanged for as long as Windows has existed. The actual workings and features have changed slightly over the years, but the interface is basically the same, and anybody who can turn on the computer can use it. And that's from a Microsoft product! I would suggest that it may be one of the top ten most useful programs ever made, largely because of the simplicity of it.

In the Windows world... (1)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508481)

In the Windows world, how about stuff made for U3 [u3.com] memory sticks?

I'd say that PuTTY is also pretty utilitarian - does what it needs without any fancy installs or bloating - BRILLIANT!

Weird criteria (3, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508483)

Especially in an era of 500gb HDs and 2GB of RAM.

My criteria are usability, utility, and functionality. For that reason iTunes is second on my list, with WinAMP all the way down at the bottom of 50. iPhoto recently shot up to #1 due to it's Web Gallery feature: Select an event, publish, and then edit the gallery at your leisure. The gallery is updated on the website "behind the scenes", so you never need to synchronize or revisit it, it's all done automatically.

iTunes is high on that list for a similar reason. Set up a few "Smart Playlists", and music is automatically added or removed from my queue as necessary depending on playcount, on ranking, on genre, or new additions. I never need to do anything except insert a CD, vote up or down my like of any particular song at the moment, or plug in my iPod.

Gives me more time to do other things... like rollerblading, taking pictures, or talking to people.

Re:Weird criteria (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508533)

iTunes is high on that list for a similar reason. Set up a few "Smart Playlists", and music is automatically added or removed from my queue as necessary depending on playcount, on ranking, on genre, or new additions. I never need to do anything except insert a CD, vote up or down my like of any particular song at the moment, or plug in my iPod.

iTunes would be near the top of my list if it supported nesting.

Re:Weird criteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508659)

iTunes would be near the top of my list if it supported nesting.

Except that it does.

When creating a Smart Playlist, choose filter criteria Playlist -> Is -> *whatever other [smart] playlist*

Re:Weird criteria (2, Insightful)

Synesthesiatic (679680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508603)

iTunes is great if your music collection is well-tagged and well-organized. However, the average user has a bunch of crap downloaded from Kazaa that they've just thrown into folders for makeshift playlists. If they want to correct the metadata, they rename the file. Meaning the actual tags are less accurate than the filename. For these people iTunes is a huge, confusing hassle and most people I've setup with iPods would be happier with the option to drag-and-drop through Explorer. Few people take the time to properly tag their files.

Re:Weird criteria (5, Insightful)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508733)

I must respectfully disagree.

I absolutely abhor the iTunes interface. It is 2nd last on my list of good music management programs, one small notch above Music Match Jukebox. Seemingly simple tasks like copying music from your hard drive to your mp3 player have to be done in roundabout ways which for some reason involve playlists. I gave up after half an hour and just installed RockBox [rockbox.org] on my Nano so I could be free from it's horrors.

I would imagine that iTunes is great for the casual user that doesn't need nor want much MANUAL control over their music library, but for more advanced users the non-standard UI (on Windows) and strange "simplified" ways of doing simple things make it near useless.

Aim vs. Gaim/Pidgin (1)

canyon289 (848746) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508491)

No match there. Aim takes up so much ram and pops up an ad filled browser window with all the latest news of celebrities I dont care about

MC/NC (1)

doktorstop (725614) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508493)

Anyone recalls Norton Commander? NC, or its free Linux alternative, MC... simple, powerful, no hand-holding, the way any file manager got to be!

not really bloat space/ram-wise, but (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508495)

I just noticed today that Vista business edition companied by office install and recovery files for hp laptop leaves you with almost 400,000 files on your hd.

Oh no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508499)

Oh God, he insulted Apple software...Oh God, oh God...get out while you can!

Name Your Favorite Bloat-Free Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508507)

Name Your Favorite Bloat-Free Software

Don't tell me what to do. You're not my mom!

Can't live without (2, Informative)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508509)

Cobian Backup (http://www.cobian.se). An amazingly good and full-featured backup program, which actually, works as a Windows Service, which is unique AFAIK

IrfanView (http://www.irfanview.com) . There's no better for image viewing an batch manipulation.

Actually, those are the only 2 freeware programs I use. The rest, I pay for them. I don't use freeware and OS programs just because. That's not a religion and I firmly believe in commercial applications, so I help the developers buying the programs I need, even if there is an almost identical free variant.

uTorrent (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508513)

uTorrent is one of the cleanest, smallest, most efficient pieces of software I have ever had the pleasure to use. Since switching to OSX a few months ago (I bought a Macbook Pro planning to run XP, and the switch just seemed to happen), my one real regret is that uTorrent is Windows only. I've been reduced to using Azureus, which gets the job done, but is horribly bloated.

So, my nomination is for uTorrent, and if anyone knows of a similar package for OSX I would love to hear it.

emacs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508523)

that was easy

ls / cd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508535)

ls and cd vs explorer :)

Foxit (5, Informative)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508541)

Foxit Reader [foxitsoftware.com]

Re:Foxit (5, Insightful)

GoatEnigma (586728) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508633)

Absolutely the best de-bloating move I ever made. I was so sick of Adobe's Reader phoning home, downloading slower and slower updates with more crap, crashing my web browsers, and generally taking 30+ seconds to start up. If you've never heard of Foxit reader, I strongly recommend it!

Not an "application" (3, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508547)

It's not quite an "application" but: WindowMaker. Unbloated in every sense.

Also, as the rest of modern desktop Linux has bloated to the point where Konsole and Gnome Terminal aren't bottlenecks any more I've moved away from it in favor of tabs, but I used to only use rxvt instead of heavier alternatives. Gnome Terminal in particular used to have visible lag, and I'm a lot more tolerant of that stuff in a multimedia app than in a freaking shell.

Re:Not an "application" (1)

Webdude (5964) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508653)

WMX is way better then WindowMaker if size and memory is your key goal. Statically compiled its under 900k runs super fast...

on win32. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508553)

cdrtfe for burning
ghostview/ghostscript for reading pdfs
mplayer for watching video

i'm sure there is more but i cant think of it this early.

(and btw, i didn't mention gimp because lately i've been using paint.net. yeah, ill admit it. /shrug)

Here's my picks (1)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508567)

Office Suite: Appleworks
IDE: Merlin Pro
Desktop Publishing: The Print Shop
Media Player: Music Construction Set
Entertainment: Wavy Navy

Thread Convergence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508577)

Opera. You can tweak it down to near nothing on resource usage, and it's a full-featured web browser. Sorry, Firefox has too large a footprint for a limited resource machine. Yes, I know you hate hearing that.

My choices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508601)

Ditch the consumer version of McAfee or Norton.
  Eliminate SpySweeper.

  Install either Corporate Norton or Avast!

  For anti-spyware, Defender, Ad-Aware and Spybot win the day,
  although the latter two have to be run manually in their free versions.

suckless.org (2, Interesting)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508605)

I like dwm, it's a rather tiny and simple window manager. Watching their mailing list is entertaining at times, the amount of effort invested in deleting lines of code is pretty impressive.

http://www.suckless.org/wiki/dwm [suckless.org]

The tarball for it is only 19k, and doing a wc -l on all the *.c files gives 1781 lines. RSS on my system right now is only 1336K, which is smaller than a single bash shell. Probably not something someone infatuated with glittery stuff would like to run but it's definitely a small program.

/bin/yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508611)

Only 13,144 bytes and it'll go as long as you can want.

My nomination for compilers is.... (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508615)

What are some of your favorite applications which are a little less bloated?

For compilers, this is easy. Borland Turbo Pascal.

In 29K or so it amazed me they could pack in all of:

  • compiler
  • strict type checking
  • linker
  • editor
  • debugger
  • library

But will agree, it is ancient and I haven't used it for years.

Konqueror (2, Interesting)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508627)

Konqueror.

No, seriously.

Before my Clamshell iBook (running Gentoo Linux) died, my alternatives for web browsing were Konqueror and Firefox. I found that, despite the heaviness of qt versus gtk+, Konqueror was much nicer than Firefox in terms of both memory and CPU usage. (Opera was on par with Konqueror but... it gave me the creeps to use, I don't know why.)

-:sigma.SB

Lighter-weight CD/DVD Burning for OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508637)

Burn OSX [sourceforge.net]. GPL. Much lighter-weight than using iTunes for Audio CDs.

My favs (3, Insightful)

crt (44106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508639)

  • Ultra-Edit [ultraedit.com] for text editing. Tons of features but still starts & runs fast. 10MB download, ~10MB ram.
  • ACDSee [acdsee.com] for image viewing. I run an ancient version, so I don't know if the new ones are more bloated.
  • Jungle Disk [jungledisk.com] for storage and backup, 1.5MB Win download (4.5MB mac), ~12MB ram. Mozy uses about 30MB.

.theprodukkt --3D FPS in 65k! (1)

rhartness (993048) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508649)

I think I originally heard about this projecto n /. quite a while ago (sorry, to lazy to search for the article). .theprodukkt [abraxas-medien.de] Is an amazing project where a simple but amazing FPS is crammed into 65k! I think they also designed much of the game in a 3D editor that is also smaller than 65k.

vi (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508663)

My nominee is the little Unix utility that everyone loves to hate: vi It sucks just as bad as it did twenty years ago but it has not gotten worse--which in my book is a plus.

rTorrent (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508665)

My favourite bittorrent client is rTorrent [rakshasa.no]

"rtorrent is a BitTorrent client for ncurses, using the libtorrent library. The client and library is written in C++ with emphasis on speed and efficiency, while delivering equivalent features to those found in GUI based clients in an ncurses client."

VuePro and vi (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508681)

For Win...Vuepro is an amazing picture viewer. For *nix ....well, vi, of course. Maybe vim but vi does whats needed.

Rockbox. (2, Informative)

maeka (518272) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508699)

Rockbox is my favorite piece of unbloated software.
Great care is taken to keep the core as small as possible, while maintaining focus on the fundamental goal of being the best DAP firmware possible.

you can't compare software for bloat (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508701)

with and application to application comparison. It's foolish and pointless. It has to be on a feature bases.

I can write a mp3 player far more compact then winamp, does that mean winamp is bloated? No, it may mean that mine is a command line that only plays mp3, no other feature at all.

So, when you have a piece of software that has all the features of iTunes, then you can compare for bloat. and I mean ALL the features, like being able to buy music, get podcasts, play TV shows, etc...

NC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20508719)

Good old netcat, convert sockets to pipes & pipes to sockets.

Also, GNU tar (even bloated it weighs less than most things).

ePrompter (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508727)

I don't use it anymore (I now use Gmail Notifier instead) but for a long time I enjoyed using ePrompter, a taskbar email checker and lightweight email client.

You can set up as many as 8 email addresses, each with its own colour. When you receive an email the taskbar icon turns the colour of the respective email address and displays a number. If more than one email address receives mail the icon alternates colours. Double-clicking the tray icon brings up the small main screen which shows each account and the number of emails. You can open an account, read the email, and reply with the very streamlined and simple client. HTML email isn't supported so it's a great first line of defence against spam.

The program is freeware. It used to be ad-supported but they've since removed the ads.

http://www.eprompter.com/ [eprompter.com]

Ad Muncher (1)

mmxsaro (187943) | more than 6 years ago | (#20508729)

Ad Muncher [admuncher.com] is quite possibly the best advertising blocker out there, hands down. I haven't seen an ad in years and it eliminates the need for an anti-spyware application as you'll never come across those annoying smiley banners again. It has a continuously updated filtering system that stops all the pop-ups and ads out there while not breaking websites. For a one-time fee of 25$, it's a steal.

Oh, it doesn't steal any of your precious megahertz or RAM either. It's a well written program. Try the demo out for 30 days, you won't be disappointed.
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