2nd Post :) – What I use everyday

Posted on Sunday, July 6th, 2008 at 12:14 am

OK not the best start to my blog as I have been rather busy with many other things, so what helps me organise my busy schedule and what applications do I use everyday?

My email clientThunderbird and the Calendar add-on called Lightening.  I was a long time user of Outlook and its built in calendar until a friend a few years back said had I tried Thunderbird and once tried and tested I never looked back.  If your an Outlook user and are considering either upgrading Outlook (or Office) or looking at other email client options I really do encourage you to try Thunderbird – you will not be sorry.

Like Firefox it has a host of available add-ons to meet your specific needs, for example I liked my Signatures feature in Outlook, Thunderbird does not come with a same signature feature by default but a nice add-on comes to the rescue and all is good again – there are several options as well as stationary options – have look at them here and choose the one that best suits your requirements – I use Signature Switch as I have 8 well used email accounts 🙂

My browserFirefox 3 now after its recent release, much better and faster than Firefox 2 and is way way ahead of Internet Explorer.  I have and still have to use IE for testing as more often than not there is some small style quirk that causes a page to look odd in IE compared to what works well in Firefox, but I will admit that IE7 is a big improvement on IE6 but still not up to scratch with FF2, let alone FF3.

My Firefox would not be complete with my most used add-ons including;

Brief – excellent for RSS feeds to get the latest feed updates (that you subscribe to) and then be able to quickly browse through them and then follow the relevant links to read the full articles.

Colourful tabs – been using this one for a long time, it helps me track which tab I am on as I tend to have around 10 open at any one time.

DownThemAll – A must for anyone that does quite a bit of downloading :).  You can use it to download all links on a page, images and more – really nifty features with simultaneous downloads and also the ability to add downloads paused so you can download them during off peak times if you are like me and have an ISP that uses Peak and Off Peak bandwidth settings.

Dummy Lipsum – neat and easy to generate example text strings for filling content for example pages etc as I design and create web sites and templates

My Aussie dictionary of course so my colour is with a u and not just color – no offence intended for any US readers 😛

Firebug – now this is a MUST for any one that has or is developing a web site.  It allows you to inspect the code of the page and more to identify any coding errors – what can I say this has saved me countless hours of time.

FoxyTunes – got to have my online radio (radio.wazee) playing while I work, be lost with out it – simple and easy to use with my winamp player 🙂

Google Toolbar – well I guess I added this as it helps me in a number of ways, searching is one – er der.  But also for finding images, translating pages, highlighting searched text, spell checking and more – I just find it useful.

Stumble-upon – Probably one of the best add-ons I have ever come across.  The whole stumble-upon idea is just brilliant and simple.  I have located countless web sites I now use often (that is for another post soon) that I would not have found without Stumble-upon – if you have not tried it yet I suggest you do – excellent.

Web-Developer – as the name says this is great for anyone that develops web sites.  Used with Firebug this adds more functionality to pin point errors, test with and without style sheets and other web components, resizing windows for window size tests and so much more, again a must for anyone that designs web sites.

My Graphics Application of choice is now Photoshop CS3.  When I say now it is because I have been a long term user of Paint Shop Pro, back when it was owned by JASC, then Corel got their grubby hands on it and well ever since then I would not even think about upgrading from my version 9 of Paint Shop Pro.  I resisted for a long time the move to Photoshop simply because of the cost of the software.  While great I think it would be better and more widely used if it did not cost so much, but in the end I went with Photoshop.  Before any would be Gimp users out there say have I tried Gimp the answer is yes, and while it is a great piece of software, especially as it is Open Source I like the way Photoshop works and for the moment prefer it.

My Code editor(s) of choice – yes I like code more than I like WYSIWYG applications.  Homesite and Notepad++ are my two very regularly used applications.  While Homesite is now getting a tad old I have not ‘yet’ found a HTML editor that works as good as it does.  By all means I have tried and tested many others, many many others but I keep coming back to Homesite.  I have a host of snippets and other bits of code I use over and over again that I have embedded with Homesite and its link with Topstyle for style sheet creation is very handy.  I hope that Adobe look at developing a new version of Homesite soon as I don;t know what to go to next (by all means suggest away and I will see if I have tried them already).

Notepad++ is my quick edit notepad replacement and source viewer for Firefox and IE.  I like it as it is able to have multiple files open with a tabbed interface and it will pretty much open any file you want it to open and it does not mess with any of your code when you save, close etc and has very good search and replace functions.

For file comparisonWinMerge is my side by side code checker of choice.  It has helped me many many times where I have had to update a piece of software (php script or the like) and I had to check for changes from one file to the next – easy to read with highlighted changes when comparing one file to another – also allows full directory comparisons.

FTPingCuteFTP, I know filezilla is good but have been using Cuteftp for so long its more a trust in its use form me than anything else – I know it back to front and it has worked flawless for me for many years.

Backing up Syncback SE, ever heard of the phrase backup backup backup, if you do not yet backup daily, or at least weekly then give yourself a quick slap :).  Backups are a must and while Windows and the various Linux distros have backup options built in I have always gone back to and use SyncBack SE.  There is also a free version that works just as good.  It allows me to synchronize between PC’s so I can jump on the other PC here in the office and still have all my files and it can also sync to external drives, CD, DVD or even memory sticks.  Has a built in scheduler and can be invoked with Windows scheduler if required.  This little tool has saved me many time 🙂

Well they are my every day apps, I have others but that will do it for this post – I will add others later as I find more time.  Oh and y the way, none of the links above are affiliate links – just links to the products in case your interested, I simply use these products myself and thought I’d share my experiences with you.


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