The Blog's of Elijah Lynn.

Whether you tell yourself you can or whether you tell yourself you cannot... you are always RIGHT!

List of must have software (for me at least)

I got this idea after rummaging through -->> Scott Hanselmans 2007 Ultimate Developer And Power Users Tool List For Windows
So I thought I better get to work so I remember how to replicate my current computer experience in case I ever lose it. It also may help some of you find some useful applications. This is a living Google Doc's Document so when I change it it changes here. Be sure and check back. Also if you find a lighter client, less buggy better solution etc please let me know!! There are more that should be on this list but I have not tried them yet.

    • Google Toolbar for Firefox - The universally accessible bookmark feature is KING!! I can access my bookmarks from anywhere in the world and I can bookmark content to more than just one category and I can search for bookmarks with google. Just get it. So much more to it. IT DOES NOT CURRENTLY WORK WITH GOOGLE APPS FOR YOUR DOMAIN THOUGH. eh ehm I did find a button for it that has Gmail for GAFYD though.
      I used to use the Google Bar but not anymore.
    • Google Send to phone - extension for firefox that allows you to send text messages to your phone. Find a phone number on the web, send it to your phone in seconds! Copy and paste whole addresses etc.
    • ScribeFire - Full featured blog editor. Currently has a bug with embedding video. Just don't use rich text mode when doing video embedding. I love this because it opens a new pane in the bottom of the screen and I can just grab whatever I want from multiple pages and pop it into one blog.
    • Image Zoom - Ever want to make a picture bigger while browsing? Just scroll your middle wheel and Wahla! Has a function that allows you to use firefoxes increase/decrease font size with a global image zoom function. This effectively makes a "page zoom". CTRL + or - does this trick. You must turn on this in the view/image zoom/zoom with text menu selection.
    • ZoomFox - Only reason he is still on the list is because it supposedly has a option called thumb view. Need to figure that out. Image Zoom is preferred though.
    • Video Downloader - gets to the bottom of where a video actually is coming from and allows you to have a direct link to it. Doesn't work all the time but a heck of a lot easier than sorting through your temp folder.
    • PDF Download - Allows you to choose whether to open a pdf or save it in firefox.
    • IE Tab - Allows you to load a page into IE in a new firefox tab or new window. very useful for when a page only works in IE.
    • Minimize to tray - If you don't have Power Menu then this is handy.
    • Mouse Gestures - Allows you to go back and forward and much more while browsing by just right clicking and drawing a red line across the screen. Very cool and a big time saver. I use Alt + --> and Alt + <-- to go forward and backwards in my web history respectively as well. You have to activate "mouse trails" in the visual tab of the add on options box. Pick any color! Well you do not have to but I like it!
    • Drag Drop Upload - Instead of clicking the add attachment button in gmail you can just drag a file right onto it!! Priceless
    • Keyboard Shortcuts - Ok, this isn't software but good stuff to know.
      • Middle click a tab with your wheel and it closes the tab.
      • Hold down CTRL and scroll your wheel on the mouse and wallah the text size gets bigger and /or smaller depending up the direction!!
      • CTRL + J - Opens your download window
      • CTRL + H - Opens your history
      • ALT + F4 - Closes firefox . Actually, that works for any window.
      • ALT + right arrow goes forward in history
      • ALT + left arrow goes backwards in history
      • Middle wheel click a link - opens link in a new tab, you can also hold ctrl and left clcik but this is way easier.
Google (related)
  • Google Earth - View the world and soo much more, also has Google Sky built in now! View the universe in an impressive resolution.
  • Star Office - Download this from Google Pack along with all the other good stuff, only thing I never liked in Google Pack was Real Player. I HATE Real Player. It is so bloated and slow. This is $70 bucks on the link but if you go to Google Pack then its free. No support though. For those wondering what the difference is between and Star Office? It si the templates and some Works translator I guess. This is a very very real threat to Microsoft Office and its free!
  • Picasa - Googles picture organizer!! This rocks, you get 200 MB of online webspace for your galleries, online slideshow capabilities, there is way too much cool stuff about this. You must get this now!! They even have a plugin for iPhoto!
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Docs and Spreadsheets - This is some nice stuff. It is great for collaborating. It tracks changes and up to 50 people can edit the same document at the same time. Star Office works nicely in conjunction, I am just waiting for Google to integrate the 2 so we have one tightly integrated online offline application that syncs and does file versions etc. Coming soon to a server near you!
  • Gmail - Umm, best email on planet, don't believe me? Bugger off then. Yes this is a software. Everyone MUST have 1 Gmail account. 20 MB attachments, 3 GB storage and the ability to use Gmail Drive with it!! Definitly try the keyboard shortcuts in the settings as well!! I can read, delete, reply, send and archive all of my mail with the keyboard!! Very efficient!
  • Gmail Drive - Allows you to use your Gmail account as a virtual drive on any computer. Just install, it assigns a drive letter like "D" and drag and drop files. 10 MB limit I believe.
  • Google Talk - Very nice app that works awesome with Google Mail or Gmail. It archives your chats in a folder in your Gmail. Allows you to call any other gmail user and also lets you just send voice mails to ANYONES email. Leave a message after the "Meep" very cool! Also has built in file transfer functionality.
  • Google Maps - I love the My Maps feature. I can made a map of all the healthy places to eat, well semi-healthy at least. And when I drive around town I can pull out my laptop and EVDO and find a restaurant nearby that I approve of.
    • Keyboard shortcuts
      • Page up, Page Down, Home and End keys work the map like flipping pages in a sense.
      • Use the directional arrows to navigate the map.
      • Combinations of arrows like up + right will navigate diagonally.
      • + and - keys will zoom in and out accordingly.
  • K-Lite codec pack
  • CamStudio - Open source free ware Screen Capture program. This kicks butt so far. Camtasia is cooler because it can embed video from an external video source (webcam) into your screen capture and it has a video editing program. But this CamStudio is pretty much the same as the OLD Camtasia.
  • Camtasia - Great screen capture program. Many online video tutorials are done with this software.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Paper Tiger - This application is such a time saver. It is kinda like Google Desktop but for paper. I file by number now and will never go back!! This costs but it is so worth it!!
  • ZoomIt - Sweet zoom utility. Great for presentations too. Beats the crap out of Microsofts magnifying glass. Only 44 KB!!
  • MWSnap - Nice litte screenshot program

  • CDex - CD ripping program. Installs the lame mp3 encoder as well.
  • EAC - Exact Audio Copy. A cd ripping program. Pretty hardcore error correction built in.
  • XaMpD - A nifty little media player that plays from your XM Radio Online account. You an use this with a free trial as well.
  • VLC Player - Simple media player that does not take up so much resources as Windows Media Player does. I also like mplayer2 from the run command.
  • Audacity - Free Audio editor and recorder, very simple to use, pretty light and not to fancy.

  • Trillian - AIM, Yahoo Messenger and MSN all in one!! They do have a MAC version.
  • Skype - Slick VOIP client. I think Ebay owns this. Make free voice and video calls to anyone in the world. I like the way it archives your chats you have. Real easy to put people on hold and add more people to calls etc. Must have. Using you can actually set up conference calls with both Skype and landlines, mobiles etc and have up to 500 people in a room with hand raising function and recording capabilities, along with a control panel to mute and call upon raised hands.
  • Google Talk - Very nice app that works awesome with Google Mail or Gmail. It archives your chats in a folder in your Gmail. Allows you to call any other gmail user and also lets you just send voice mails to ANYONES email. Leave a message after the "Meep" very cool! Also has built in file transfer functionality.

  • DU Super Controller - Upload download speed monitor
  • GetRight - Download Manager. Do not currently have this but it is a great program for download tons of files http.
  • Cute FTP - Fast FTP file manager. They have a kick butt backup CDP or Continuous Data Protection software that backs up data at the byte level so you do not have to have bandwidth intensive syncs whenever a large file changes. Pretty slick stuff Pretty Pricey stuff as well!

Computer Utilities
  • Synergy - It allows you to use your mouse and keyboard on another computer in your network. Basically I come home and plug my laptop in next to my desktop 22" widescreen and I just move my mouse to my laptop screen. Really nifty tool! Pain in the ASS to setup but it does work and it works nice. It also holds clipboard data so I can copy url's back and forth between computers. It is not the same as have dual displays because you cannot transfer windows etc. You are basically using one keyboard and mouse two control 2+ computers and their screens.
  • Unlocker - When a file will not delete because another program is using it this is a good shell extension to have.
  • Process Explorer - Just a little bit more useful than windows task manager.
  • Ad Aware - This and Spybot are the 2 spyware apps I run.
  • Spybot Search and Destroy - This and Ad Aware are great together.
  • WinRar - Great archiving tool with a shell extension. Just right click a zip file or folder and either pack it up or unwrap it. Supports zip files as well and password protection.
  • Power Menu - Always on top, Minimize to tray, Priority levels and transparency. Why did windows not have this to begin with?? Must have. Here is a blog page on Power Menu.
  • Sequoia View - Visually shows you which files are hogging up disk space!! Very lite and not to fast nor slow. Awesome stuff! Click for a screenshot.
  • Roadkil's Disk Speed - Extremely lite tool for checking seek time and read.write speed of your hard disk. Gives you a rough idea, not sure how super accurate it is but it gives you a good idea.

  • Macromedia Dreamweaver - Works great for building websites!
  • Joomla - PHP MySQL Database for websites. Free open source.
  • Adobe Photoshop - Awesome photo manipulation and so much more.
  • Adobe Illustrator - Vector based drawing program.
  • Gimp Shop - Got this suggestion from some folks over at Dr. Fuhrmans boards. Do I prefer photoshop? Yes? Is this pretty usable when you are not on your computer and want something lite and quick to install? Yes!

Applications I hope to try soon.

  • UltraMon - Need to get another 22" widescreen Hanns-G from to try this out!
  • MaxiVista - This iseentially replaces Synergy as well. It has more features.
  • Disk View - Gives a sweet visual of hard disk usage and includes S.M.A.R.T. capabilties that tell you when you hard drive is about to hit the dust.
  • WinSnap
  • Window Clippings
  • Jahshaka
  • Ubuntu with Compiz Fusion