I hate to have tools on my machines that costs too much and|or leave me locked into something I do not like.
Archiving & compressing comes in many flavours and some are better then others but one tool really stands out since it reads about everything under the sun [archive formats like: 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO], and is free [as in beer]:
Oh ,did I mention that it allows you to drag and drop files from and to Windows Explorer, create and extract archives directly in Windows Explorer, create multiple archives spanning disks, creating self-extracting archives, repair damaged zip archives, converting from one archive type to another, view and write comments and many more?
Some more good, small & free stuff:
http://utorrent.com <--- super lean & mean torrent client
http://infrarecorder.sourceforge.net/ <-- Infra-Recorder, an ISO & DVD burner
http://www.codecguide.com <--- get the ultimate codex pack, k-lite here
Thank you guys!