February 2006 we received a zv6000 laptop from HP. 15.4" monitor, AMD x64, lots of built in hardware, and running XP Home. This is the software I have installed and updated.
First go to MS Update and get patched.
Get the CPU information with WCPUID. Depending on power settings, this AMD will throttle down and show significantly fewer MHz.
A couple alternative browsers: Opera and Firefox.
Winamp music player.
Real player. Deny the TkBellExe browser help object.
OpenOffice office productivity.
ClamWin virus scanner.
Protect from spyware.
X-Ray displays running process information to allow removal of removal of spyware. This is for more advanced users.
X-Cleaner free version does a reasonable job finding and cleaning malware.
Hosts file changes to reduce advertisements while browsing.
Site Advisor installs in Firefox or Internet Explorer and rates the safety of web sites.
Adobe Acrobat reader.
Power archiver works on TARs.
===== Some others. =====
Check the prices of gold and silver.
For those supporting remote machines, try Real VNC to forward a screen.
PuTTY is a telnet and ssh character-based logon tool.