When I find a new tool that I love to use I often blog about it, but sometimes I forget. However, I thought I’d list the software that I use on a daily basis that is not just work related (Like Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0, which I use because I have to, not because it’s great – it gets the job done). Software can cost money or be open source, but either way, if it is excellent then I recommend it to others. If you’ve seen my root site you’ll see that I link to four pieces of software:
Why do I use the above software? Necessity in part, and brilliance, too. The software listed there is, I believe, the best on the market. If I didn’t have that software I’d be using other software, or possibly multiple programs to get things done that these programs do by themselves. Of course these are not useful for all of my readers, I do believe that the first, FeedDemon is the most usable for the largest audience.
FeedDemon is for RSS and Atom feeds. If you don’t know what those are the simplest way to describe them is that they’re files on a web site that allow you to check out the latest headlines or posts on the web site. Practically speaking I think this saves me around two hours of time a day if I was checking web sites individually for new content. However, I won’t lie, FeedDemon has caught me off guard more than once by distracting me from what I was supposed to be doing by exposing me to new sites, new content and new information. However, all of those things are great and I know keep track of 121 feeds [note: 121 is a palindrome].
The usability in the latest version of FeedDemon is incredible. Nick Bradbury has taken user feedback, his own intuition and experience and rolled one of the finest pieces of software on Windows. If you haven’t tried it yet, download the 30 day trial at it’s home page.
As most readers of this blog know I’m a FireFox junky. I use it exclusively except for when I test my work on other browsers to make sure that they render well. FireFox blocks pop-ups, has tabs for keeping track of multiple pages in one browser (rather than lots of browser windows), and allows you to add plugins and utilities that are being created and added to by other users. Open Source at its finest. Without FireFox I would probably still be scratching my head using Internet Explorer for Windows.
FireFox integrates usability with functionality and comes out far ahead of its competition. Check it out.
OK, so most people don’t have control over what email server they use, or what email their company uses, or their ISP. However, if you’ve got control over that, use MDaemon. I must confess that I worked at Alt-N for three years, and now I consult with them. I may have a biased opinion but let the following attest to it’s effectiveness against viruses and spam:
- I have never ever had an email borne virus infect my computer [in four years].
- I get one or two spam messages a day at most. Sometimes I go several days without spam.
What software do you use without fail that makes your life easier?