The basics – All the software and web apps below are free to use, and many are opensource.
Firefox. I use this everyday on my work PC. Unfortunately, for SAP related tasks I need to use Internet Explorer as some applications will not function correctly in Firefox. Nevertheless, nearly all business applications and work fine using this. I enhanced the browser with a a few add-ons including:
- Diigo which I use for all my bookmarks
- Various work search plugins (just .xml files)
Foxit Reader. I use this as it is quicker to load and read PDF documents. I often find that Adobe Acrobat is very slow when opening PDF files, and Foxit is certainly much less hasle.Xobni. This makes using Outlook easier and more ‘social’. It’s possible to search all my emails quickly and also to view all emails related to a particular person. For anyone that uses Outlook at lot, I really recommend it.
Twhirl. I use this to keep a check on Twitter during the day. At home this is constantly running in the background. At work, I open it a few times during the day, as otherwise it is too distracting.
GIMP. If I need to create or manipulate pictures for wiki work etc. I use GIMP. It takes a while to get used to the UI, but after a while you realise how powerful it is.
Printscreen. I heart this piece of freeware. I use it all the time to do screen captures. I have it setup so that when I press F10 it will activate and allow me to capture a specific area of the screen to either the clipboard or a .jpg file. It’s a great tool to document steps e.g. in wiki or SAP. For the Mac, I use Skitch.
Primary OS. My work PC runs on Windows XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2. However, for personal use I use a MacBook Pro running Mac OS X Leopard.
Peripherals. Well don’t have any except a mouse.
Netvibes. I use this to store all my podcasts and RSS feeds. I have opened up some of my Netvibes page so you can view some of what I read at http://www.netvibes.com/rfahey.Netvibes is probably my favourite web app.
Twitter. I use this a lot, but mainly with Twhirl.
Remember the Milk. I use this sometimes to keep track of tasks. Mostly, however, I use the To do list within Netvibes.
Sproutbuilder. This is a great tool to build widgets. I’ve built a few for various things and hope to use this more.
Zoho Creator. This is a great tool to build forums with databases. It’s great for storing information or for conducting surveys.
Overall, I use web services more than I use any applications on my PC. Most of my work is conducted through my Firefox browser. I rarely use Microsoft Word – except when requested to by a client – and I keep away from Powerpoint as much as possible (I use Keynote on my Mac instead). SaaS type applications are becoming more and more popular and this trend is going to intensify over the coming years. Therefore, the most important application of them all is the browser!