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Shewbox Software Roundup 2004

November 23, 2004

Being a long time computer user, I always find it interesting to see what different software people use to accomplish the same task. If a friend or coworker is showing me something on their computer, I look to see if they use different software than I do for tasks such as internet browsing, office, media player, etc. So I thought it might be interesting to show to others what software I use to do my day to day computer ‘work’.

OS

Windows XP
I started using a Microsoft OS somewheres around DOS 3.0, and have stuck with the company from Redmond for no other reason than that’s what comes with 95% of all new computers, and, well, its just what I know. I’ve dabbled in Linux quite a bit but never really stuck with it for my primary OS. Again, not because I feel Linux is inferior to Windows, but just because I’m too entrenched in the Windows world to move out easily.

Internet Browser

Mozilla Firefox
I switched from IE about 2 years ago I think. I absolutely love firefox, and between tabbed browsing, popup blocking, and better security, it’ll take some MAJOR overhauling for me to even consider switching back to IE. If you are using IE to read this page, you absolutely MUST give Firefox a try.

Email Checker

Mozilla Thunderbird
I never did use Outlook, using Eudora years ago when I first started using the internet at home, but its another clean program from the Mozilla group I highly recommend.

FTP Client

Filezilla
Its how I get my files to Shewbox.org.

Instant Message Client

Miranda Instant Messenger
This multi protocol instant messenger program is open source, small, and way better than the clients it replaces.

Network Monitor

NetMeter
Check your upstream/downstream speeds, daily, weekly, montly totals for both downloaded and uploaded. Freeware.

Graphic Editor

The Gimp
What little graphic editing I do, I manage to get done in this open source graphic editor.

Text/HTML/CSS Editor

Notetab Light
I’m not much of an HTML/CSS/web design expert, but what I do manage to slap together is made much easier in this handy freeware utility.

Office Suite

Open Office
If you need to use powerful word editing software, and maybe some spreadsheet or presentation software, but don’t want to shell out hundreds for Microsoft’s office suite, I recommend Open Office. It does everything I need it to without costing me bunches of cash.

Video Player

Media Player Classic
This powerful media player is super small, but has enough plugins available to play almost any video format you might come across. Get rid of that bulky Windows Media Player.

Audio Player

Foobar2000
I used Winamp for years, but after Nullsoft’s release of versions 3, and then 5 of Winamp, it was getting too bulky with features I never used, so I switched to this powerful, lightweight, although a bit bland, audio player. It may be a bit more complicated than some flashy, skinned to death players, but I love it.

Audio Editor

Audacity
Although I own some nicer, more expensive audio software, smaller audio projects such as splicing/normalizing/encoding the audio I post on Shewbox are done with Audacity.

Misc

Winkey
So it hasn’t been updated since 1999. I still use this app all the time. With winkey, you can assign programs or folders to open with a combination of the Windows key plus any other key(s). For example, Windows Key + 1 opens C:, WK+2 = D:, and I have Firefox set to open with WK + A.

Pixie
Get HTML or RGB numbers for any color you mouse over.

Celestia
3-D real time space simulation. Fun.

A great source to find open source/freeware applications is Pricelessware.org. The software I use changes as I find better/newer replacements for them. This isn’t a difinitive list of the best software out there, just a look at what I personally use to get my day to day tasks done on my computer.