There are a number of computer applications that I use and would like to recommend. Over time I have evaluated a great number of software programs and online services so at this point in time, you are looking at a “best of the best” list, filtered, of course, along my interests and usages.
Don’t ask me why I like to make lists of things. I don’t know, either.
- Flickr: the best image archival application on earth. Throw away all your old photo albums (after scanning the photos, that is) and just use Flickr. I even use it to organize scanned documents and artwork my children have done. You can set public or private for any image you upload, and access your library from anywhere on earth. Beautiful. Here is my Flickr.
- Del.icio.us: the simplest and handiest research companion for you on the internet. It does one thing and one thing only: it saves your bookmarked websites. But by ‘tagging’ your bookmarks on Del.icio.us, your list of URLs becomes a contextualized research history. Scroll to the bottom of this webpage here on Garden of Blog, and check out my Del.icio.us tags ordered by prevalence. You get a visual representation of the topics I have been researching these past 4 years since establishing my Del.icio.us account.
- Gmail: My email had turned into a steady tragedy of spam and neglect before I switched to using Gmail. I still use the web address supported by my webhost (email@example.com), an inbox I’ve been responding to for about 10 years, but I fetch mail via POP and manage it in Gmail’s interface. Replacing the endless folders with a simple ‘Archive’ button and optional tagging system was a huge relief to me, possessed as I am of the kind of personality that must make a million folders if he makes one. The spam filtering is also second to none I have seen.
- Google Calendar: Flick and Del.icio.us are Yahoo holdings, so I might as well follow up with two in a row from Google. Their Calendar is a godsend, with ease-of-input and sharing features which have greatly simplified our family’s planning.
- Skype: We haven’t had a land line for a couple of years now, and truth be told, I’m not much of a phone person even on the cell. But I still think Skype is a great application worth mentioning here. I like how I get access to the voicemails on my computer, and have used the voicemail box as a call-in line for my podcast. I also pay the yearly to have an actual New Hampshire phone number for my Skype, which is remarkably reasonable. My family and I have also used the video chat on occasion to connect from a distance when I am traveling.
- Stackoverflow: This is a specialty website for programmers to post questions and answer them for one another. Really well designed and long overdue… it just launched a couple months ago. Here is my Stackoverflow page.
- Adium: Mac OS X folks, you may already know about Adium, an instant messenging client allowing you to connect your AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google and other chat accounts in one interface. PC users can try one called Pidgin, which I now see has an OS X version as well. Using a program like these is the only way to fly in the world of chat, which has always been a mess of competing services.
- World of Warcraft: Oh, how many countless hours have been spent in the splendid WoW? The greatest technological achievement in gaming.
Feel free to recommend your own favorite software in the comments. I might add one or two to this list as I think of them.
Haven’t posted in awhile. Just keeping my head down, that’s all!
For my fellow webserver admins: have you heard about apachetop? Just like the old standby UNIX performance utility ‘top’, but for Apache… install (rpm) was a breeze on my Red Hat EL4 system at UNH.