MovableBlog: Essential Software
March 26, 2004
Earlier this month Matthew Mullenweg wrote a list of the essential software on his PC. Since the main section of this weblog is dying for some content (any content!), here's my list of essential software.
The list is shorter than Matt's because he's obviously far geekier than I am, but in an effort to maintain the appearance of not having lost face, I will add a sentence or two as to why or how I use the software essential to me. This is an inexhaustive list. It may get updated in the next couple of days, but only to append the list. These are all, as you can already tell, Windows software, but I'm itching to buy a new box, get rid of all the software on this one, and install Linux.
- Thunderbird: the newly-added identities feature is very cool if a pain to implement.
- Firefox for web browsing, the Tabbrowser extension for tabbrowsing and the Chatzilla extension for IRC. For a while I had switched away from the then-Firebird client to the Mozilla suite because the former was too slow, but Firefox's speed and feature improvements were too hard to beat. I lost all my bookmarks in the latter thanks to a sloppy nightly build install, but that's okay. Sometimes you need to just start out fresh.
- Photoshop. Okay, I use Photoshop Elements. Because it does everything I need to do. And besides, it's a legit copy.
- SmartFTP: because it's free.
- Putty: because it's free and because it's excellent. This may be sad or funny depending on your outlook, but everything I know about Unix I learned while in ssh.
- AIM, YIM and ICQ. I use Windows Messenger that came with XP because I don't use Hotmail (anymore), and why upgrade to something with ads when the ad-free version does everything I need? I don't know how it worked, but except for my Icelandic cousin, only people from British Columbia are on my Windows Messenger contacts list. And yes, I use the separate clients rather than an all-in-one solution because Trillian just didn't do it for me.
- Winamp: to play MP3s and CDs, since my CD player done broke, and SHN and FLAC, and videos. I have installed the Real-Player alternative and uninstalled the real Real, but I don't consider either essential.
- FeedDemon: for the longest time I held out, using SharpReader because it was free (and because it supported <wfw:commentrss>, Phil Ringnalda's feed being the only one in my list that actually implements it). But FeedDemon is both faster and prettier. (You often get what you pay for, especially if it's free: in my aside about a free RSS reader for Internet Explorer, I had the biggest problems with the "free" and "Internet Explorer" parts.)
- Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition: I got it cheap through a bulk deal at my alma mater.