Smaller alternatives

There seems to be a tendency in the IT industry of applications increasing in both size and resource usage with every new version that’s released.In some instances such increases are unavoidable however often it seems to be a case of lazy programming as old versions are rehashed by having new bits ‘bolted on’ rather that some thought being put in to rewriting the code efficiently from scratch.It’s in instances like this that I start to look for an alternative and fortunately for every oversized application you can practically guarantee that someone has come up with an application designed to function in the same way but with a smaller footprint.

Time and time again I suggest AVG as an alternative to some of the bloated anti-virus checkers out there but thought today I would touch on some other applications which haven’t been given enough coverage.

Quicktime Alternative – Unless you configure it correctly, Quicktime has a habit of becoming both intrusive and resource hungry.Whilst some of the less used features of its bloated relative will be absent, this alternative is almost half the size and doesn’t suffer any reduced functionality as a Quicktime file player.You may not think it but the MOV format is actually surprisingly common both on the Internet and on many digital cameras so sooner or later you will need a suitable player.

Realplayer Alternative – You may find that you are required to have Realplayer installed when you come across a website which has embedded RealMedia content.Your browser will of course point you in the direction of the larger and more resource hungry official player however, as you would expect, this alternative does exactly the same job.

Foxit Reader – Adobe Acrobat is actually one of the applications that I despise the most - I’m not sure if it’s just bad luck but I’ve found it incredibly slow and unstable on every computer I’ve ever installed it on.Having a PDF reader on your computer is absolutely necessary; these files which are designed for transmitting documents complete with layout and images have a habit of cropping up everywhere.The Foxit reader runs like greased lighting and is would appear to be a great deal more stable than the official Adobe release.

Firefox – We’ve covered this one a dozen times before.This free, faster, more functional and more secure alternative to the fantastically bloated piece of software going by the name of Internet Explorer is absolutely essential.

Media Player Classic – Whilst this application looks like it is almost two decades old, it’s possibly one of the most comprehensive media players and is designed as an alternative to Windows Media Player which ships with Windows.Consisting of a 2mb download, Media Player Classic doesn’t even need installing - it consists of one file that you run whenever you want to use the application.It is best used when in conjunction with the Realplayer and Quicktime alternatives previously mentioned as with these three installed on your machine you will be able to play practically any format using the one player.

Rather than giving URL’s for each individual application, you’re probably best using a site such as to locate and download them.It goes without saying that all of the above are free of charge and don’t include anything suspicious such as Adware or Spyware.



About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.