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And Ye Shall Know Us By Our Trail of Web - 10 Apps

About 10 Apps

Previous Entry 10 Apps Feb. 7th, 2012 @ 06:08 pm Next Entry
Months ago, a few people where listing the 10 apps they usually had open. I finally got around to it.

BBEdit - every geek needs a great text editor, and exactly which one people use is a very personal choice, but that tends to display ones personal geek history. BBEdit pretty clearly marks me as 'old school Mac guy'. FWIW, I'm definitely a vi not an emacs guy, but have never felt inclined to use vi when I have the choice of an editor with a real GUI.
I find being able to edit files on remote servers directly via SFTP is something essential to my normal workflow.

iTerm - every geek needs terminal access. I prefer iTerm to the built in Terminal. Actually, iTerm 2.

Echofon - desktop twitter client of choice. I'm always surprised whenever I discover anyone that regularly uses twitter via the web interface. I've tried about half a dozen desktop twitter clients, and seem to have settled on Echofon for now. I use Tweetbot on the phone, I actually like that even more. I tweet from more than one account, so that is an important feature for me.

Google Chrome - Safari comes across as a bit bloated to me. I'm pretty bad at closing tabs, so Safari eats memory fast. I'll probably switch browsers back eventually, though, Safari has a few features I really like (like easily enabling me to open a PDF in a suitable other app). I also use Firefox.

Preview - I find myself looking at PDF docs all the time, for both work and hobbies. I seem to be using Skim - a PDF viewer designed for annotation etc - more and more, and it may well end up replacing Preview for most PDF docs.

Word - I've found working in Universities in which everyone uses Word makes it so much easier than alternatives, despite it not being my favourite word processor. So it is always open.

Scrivener - going to be my tool of choice for serious writing from now on, I think. This is an amazing tool for writing complicated documents, the sort of document I previously would have started in an outliner. Still a bit unsure about reference manager integration, but otherwise amazing.

Skype - I'm involved with at least a couple of groups that seem to have settled on Skype as a regular communications tool, particularly the Burning Man Australia crew and ICANN NCUC gang, plus some friends that use it as preferred IM, so I keep it open most of the time. I don't think I have used its video features ever, but I use both IM and voice chat regularly.

Mail - I finally made the big shift to Apple Mail. Now I've shifted, I'm unlikely to shift again for a really long time, unless someone designs a good IMAP mail client for people that receive massive amounts of mail on multiple mailing lists and multiple accounts and need to filter it all. At the moment, I'm also reading one email account through Sparrow as an experiment, but the rest are all through Mail. I'm experimenting with some add-ons, but not really satisfied.

Powerpoint - I lecture, and I like to lecture with slides, and that usually means Powerpoint. I prefer Keynote if I can, and I've used Prezi and think it is pretty cool, but Powerpoint is the bread and butter choice, because the machines I lecture on have Powerpoint installed, so it is just easier.
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From:artisanat
Date:February 8th, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
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I use MailTags which I'm fairly happy with and I have used Act-On and may do again. It went through an awkward phase when there wasn't a current version that worked with an OS upgrade so I quit using it. I also use Things for to-do's and it works quite well with Mail in that a key combination will make a Things item with a link to the message.
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From:strangedave
Date:February 10th, 2012 10:19 am (UTC)
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I keep experimenting with add-ons such as MailTags in the hope it will make Mail more suited to my habits.
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From:shrydar
Date:February 9th, 2012 01:44 am (UTC)
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How are you finding Mail with IMAP? My primary account (hosted with Google Apps) seems horrendously slow; I've been putting off trying switching back to POP for a few years now.

It does seem to handle multiple accounts and mailing lists better than anything else I've tried.
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From:strangedave
Date:February 10th, 2012 10:20 am (UTC)
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It does seem crazy slow. As it is mostly chugging along in the background, I just ignore the ridiculous delay most of the time, but sometimes its a real problem.
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From:tcpip
Date:February 10th, 2012 06:39 am (UTC)
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For me...

1. GNOME terminal.
2. Gedit
3. Firefox
4. Pidgin
5. Banshee
6. Evince
7. LibreOffice
8. Thunar
9. X-Windows
10. FreeCiv
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From:strangedave
Date:February 10th, 2012 10:34 am (UTC)
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I wouldn't have thought X-Windows counted as an app itself. More the nasty thing that lurks beneath the surface of otherwise reasonable apps.
Hmmm... glancing at a few things on that list makes me grateful to be a Mac user, to be honest, some of them look a bit mediocre, especially evince.
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From:tcpip
Date:February 15th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
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Evince isn't as fancy as Adobe Reader, but it's light and fast which is what I need.
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From:strangedave
Date:February 15th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
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Oh, Adobe Reader is a bloated lump, filled with lots of features no one uses and some disastrous UI decisions. But comparing evince to my free reader options on OS X (Preview and Skim), both of which are fairly light and fast, it seems both feature lacking (no annotation features at all, limited export etc) and the UI seems a bit flabby (all that space at the top taken up by a few giant buttons).
Not that I'm saying it is dreadful or anything, just saying that I'm certainly not feeling that I am missing out by using OS X. I know the generalisation about Linux not generally having the same polish as regards UI is a lot of why I don't use it as my desktop OS (I use Linux for servers, though), but it is interesting to test that in detail.
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